# Overview and Schedule, New Sports, Team Korea’s Goal
The fact that the Tokyo Games are the first Olympics ever to be postponed by one year could be considered one of the most distinctive characteristics of this year’s Games. Another difference from past Olympics is that despite them traditionally being called the “world’s greatest sports festival,” because the postponement came amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still looming concerns over the Games being held.
Despite such concerns, the Tokyo Olympics will open with a ceremony on July 23 with some ten thousand athletes in attendance, to be followed by 17 days of fierce contest for 339 gold medals in 33 sporting events.
While the contents of the opening ceremony are usually revealed only to the media a few hours before the start of the event, specific details or the identity of the last torchbearer are customarily kept a secret.
Based on what has been announced, the opening event on July 23 will take place at the new National Stadium in Tokyo’s Shinjuku. Around one-point-six trillion won was spent for the construction of the stadium over a span three years.
The Olympic Stadium was constructed under the concept of a “stadium of the forest,” and both the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track events and football matches, will be held there.
The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee has said the opening and closing ceremonies will be held under basic visions of “achieving a personal best,” “unity in diversity,” and “connection to tomorrow,” as well as the concepts of peace, coexistence, reconstruction and future.
While it remains unknown how the Olympic flame will be lit, considering that Japan had cast light on post-war economic recovery when hosting the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, it is expected to highlight its revival after the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, as well as humanity’s efforts to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee said the motto emphasizes connecting people from diverse backgrounds through emotions, enabling them to overcome barriers of nationality, religion, disability and to understand each other. The Olympic logo consists of a circle formed by linking three types of rectangles, representing different countries, cultures and ideals. It incorporates the message of “unity in diversity,” and expresses that the Olympics seek to promote diversity as a platform to connect the world.
The Olympic mascot is a robot named “Miraitowa” that has a special power to instantly teleport anywhere. The name “Miraitowa” is based on the Japanese words “mirai,” meaning future, and “towa,” meaning eternity, representing the wish for an everlasting bright future.
Baseball, which was excluded after the 2008 Beijing Games, will return, while karate, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing will be introduced for the first time.
Mixed team events were added to existing disciplines to increase participation by female athletes. Mixed team events were added to archery and judo, as well as mixed doubles in table tennis and mixed relays in both track and the triathlon.
In basketball, three-on-three team events were introduced in both men and women’s disciplines.
The 50-meter pistol, in which South Korea’s “god of shooting” Jin Jong-oh has won three back-to-back gold medals, was excluded.
In fencing, two gold medals have been included. In the past, only ten gold medals were allowed out of 12 events of foil, epee, and sabre for individual men and women, as well as respective team events. That meant that one team event for men and one for women had to be left out every four years. But all the team events are scheduled to be held in Tokyo, which is great news for South Korea, which has become a fencing powerhouse over the years.
South Korea aims to win at least seven gold medals to rank tenth in Tokyo. Having ranked ninth at the 2004 Athens Games, seventh at the 2008 Beijing Games, fifth at the 2012 London Games and eighth at the 2016 Rio Games, South Korea has set a goal of ranking among the Top Ten for the fifth consecutive time at the Summer Olympics.
To achieve this, the national team will need to excel in archery and taekwondo, two key events in which South Korea holds an outstanding medal record. The athletes should also put up a good fight in the two events for Team Korea’s morale, as they are both scheduled early in the Games.