One year until the Olympic Games 2024 Paris Games July 1 at 3:7 at the first three-year interval in history from Tokyo

July 3 marks one year until the opening of the Paris Olympics, which will be held every three years for the first time in history.

The Tokyo Games, which are associated with negative images such as the corona disaster and corruption, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine continue to spread ripples in the sports world.

What are the athletes thinking about the upcoming "Festival of Peace" next year, and what message will the tournament send to the world?

(Sports News Department, Coverage Team)

Paris is now one year before the opening

Paris, France, is just one year away from the start of the Olympic Games.

The city of Paris I visited this month was not yet in the Olympic mood, but there were people taking pictures in front of the Olympic monument installed in the city hall, and I felt a heightened expectation for the actual performance.

Preparations for the Games were underway, including construction work on the subway around the competition venue and the Place de la Concorde, which will be the venue for urban sports.

We talked to people in Paris about the Games.

on his way home from shopping: "I'm looking forward to buying tickets, there will be many cultural events besides the Olympics, and I think Paris will be more crowded than it is now. It's great for everyone".

On the other hand, there are women who answer, "I think it's a useless fuss for the city and the country," and there are various feelings.

No meat in hot dogs

Next year's Games will be held exactly 100 years after the last Olympic Games were held in Paris.

This goal was revealed at the World Para Athletics Championships held in Paris this month.

One of the keywords is "sustainable = sustainable" competition.

At next year's Olympics, the policy is to not allow spectators to bring in plastic bottles, and in anticipation of this, there were no PET bottled beverages at this venue, and drinks were sold in special cups, and the cups were collected and reused at the kiosk.

Meals with meat were also not on sale.

Since it has been pointed out that beef burp contains the greenhouse gas "methane" and leads to global warming, a hot dog made with vegetables as an ingredient was sold, which is not often seen in Japan.

Including the management aspects, it was a tournament that gave us an image of next year's real event.

Baseball, softball excluded, new breaking

The Paris Games, which will be held for 7 days from the Opening Ceremony on 26 July to 8 August, will feature 11 sports and 17 events, including karate, baseball and softball, which excluded karate, baseball and softball from the 33-sport Tokyo Games.

About 32,329 players are scheduled to participate.

In addition to traditional sports such as judo, wrestling and gymnastics, the Japan team is expected to win medals in urban sports such as skateboarding and sport climbing, which attracted attention at the Tokyo Games.

Advancing generational change

After the Tokyo Games, which won a record 58 medals in their home country, Japan saw a generational change in each sport.

Gold medalists such as Kohei Uchimura, who has led the gymnastics world for many years, and Hayabusa Mizutani, who has played table tennis, also retired from the front line of competition in the "Tokyo" held in their home countries.

On the other hand, new young players are also emerging from the scene.

In wrestling, 3-year-old Akari Fujinami broke the record of three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida's winning streak.

In skateboarding, 14-year-old Rinne Akama and 13-year-old Ginkumo Onodera showed rapid growth.

In sport climbing, 16-year-old Souto Anraku has achieved results at the World Cup, and the teenage athletes have shown remarkable success.

In addition, the newly adopted breaking is also a sport where Japan athletes are expected to play an active role.

Men's ace Shigekix (Shigeyuki Hani) expressed his enthusiasm for the Olympics one year from now, saying, "I feel that the level of attention and awareness of breaking is increasing, and I think we can show a new form of sport as a sport, and I think participating in the Olympics will have an impact."

Player selection is also in full swing

National team selection is also in full swing.

In June, surfer Shino Matsuda, who became the first Japan athlete to be selected for the Paris Olympics, traveled to Tahiti to train for about three weeks.

In order to make the most of the strengths that we decided to participate in more than a year before the World Cup, we will continue to focus on preparing for the Olympics by repeating training in the field.

Surfing Shino Matsuda
: "I thought that the waves in Tahiti are completely different from the sea we usually enter, with completely different power, so it was very fulfilling to go into the sea with a local coach and learn where to ride the waves and the habits of the waves."

In addition, unofficial athletes have begun to be decided in judo and diving, and the selection process for national team athletes for next year will be in full swing in the future.

The challenge is a decrease in sponsorship and reinforcement costs

However, after the Tokyo Games, the environment surrounding Japan athletes has become more severe.

According to a survey of sports organizations conducted by NHK, more than 8% of the organizations that answered that they had "issues" in the run-up to the Paris Games cited a decrease in sponsorship and strengthening costs.

Gymnastics, which has won many Olympic gold medals, is no exception.

According to the Japan Gymnastics Association, sponsorship revenues declined significantly after the Tokyo Games, and soaring personnel costs and tournament holding costs led to a deficit of approximately 2022 million in fiscal 2.

In order to reduce costs, the association decided to merge the tournament, which was held every June as one of the representative selection tournaments, with another tournament to be held next year in the fall.

In the past, the selection of the national team was held in three tournaments a year, but for the athletes, it was an unusual situation that the number of tournaments to be selected for the tournament was reduced one year before the Olympics.

Japan Gymnastics Association, General Manager
of Hisashi Mizutori: "Of course, athletes are the most important thing, but in a sense, there are things that need to be changed to protect athletes. I would like to think about how to conduct the selection process so that changing the shape is not necessarily negative."

Other sports organizations have also responded that they have stopped sending athletes to the Games or reduced training camps, which has had a significant impact on the strengthening of athletes and the selection process.

As the invasion of Ukraine casts a shadow

The challenges don't end there.

Sports associations are divided on whether to allow athletes from the militarily invading Russia and its ally Belarus to participate in the Olympics.

In March, the IOC announced to international sports organizations that athletes from both countries should be allowed to participate in international competitions with conditions such as not allowing military personnel and other personnel as individuals who are recognized as "neutral."

However, it has not made a decision on whether to participate in next year's Paris Olympics, and the Ukrainian Olympic Committee has indicated that it may boycott the Games if athletes from both countries are allowed to participate.

The possibility

of a boycott became a reality at the Judo World Championships in May.

Ukraine did not send representatives to the World Championships after the International Judo Federation allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as individual qualifications.

Daria Bilodid, the bronze medalist in the women's 48-kilogram class at the Tokyo Olympics and one of Ukraine's leading athletes, was scheduled to participate, but it did not happen.

In an interview with NHK, Bilodido said, "It was mentally difficult because we have been practicing a lot to win the match, but as the Ukraine National Team has decided not to play against the Russian players, we have to understand it."

After the Games, International Judo Federation President Bizère emphasized the legitimacy of the decision, saying, "It is a matter of course that all athletes can participate in the Games, and there is no place for war, politics or discrimination in our sport."

While gymnastics, table tennis, and wrestling have decided to allow athletes from both countries to participate, athletics, basketball, surfing, etc. have indicated a policy of continuing to exclude athletes, and international sports organizations are not aligned and divisions are widening.

Can we show a new form of the Olympics?

In the midst of the chaotic international situation, the Paris Games are just one year away.

Professor Takako Tabuta of Chukyo University, who is familiar with the history of the Olympic Games, points out the following as the ideal form of the Games.

Professor Takako Tabuta of Chukyo University:
"The Olympics are held to create an era of peace, but the world is greatly embroiled in conflict against their will, and the meaning of the Olympics is not conveyed. Originally, sports have functions other than deciding victory or defeat, in which each other's efforts are fought and recognized, regardless of position. Sport doesn't have the power to stop conflict, but it does give us a chance to start the world over again when it's over. Whether or not it will be a tournament that can do that could be a big turning point for the Olympics."

What is the future of the sports world?

In addition to the effects of the military invasion, corruption and scandals, the negative image surrounding the Olympics still persists in the sports world.

However, the Olympic Games hosted by Japan for the first time in 57 years left behind not only challenges.

The Gymnastics Association has devised original gymnastics and started an initiative to receive membership fees from companies in order to secure a source of revenue that does not rely on sponsors through social contribution through sports.

In addition, new movements have begun, such as handball, which aims to secure financial resources by increasing involvement with the local community and lead to the strengthening of players.

Haruno Sasaki, a member of the handball Japan national team, said, "It's unfortunate that the scandals since the Tokyo Games have given us a bad image of sports, but we have to evolve and work on new ways of doing things."

Trying to evolve without giving up even in the face of difficult situations is an unchanging value and an important message that sports and athletes have shown to the world.

Will next year's Olympics be an opportunity for the world to start a new path?

The opening is one year later.

Sports News Department reporter
Konno joined Paris
in 2011, where he was in charge of badminton and fencing. His favorite athlete is Masanao Yoshida of the Red Sox.

Sports News Department Reporter
Yuri Numata
Joined the Paris 2012 Olympics
in charge of gymnastics and Paralympics.
She also covers sports from social perspectives such as gender and the environment.

Sports News DepartmentReporter Taku
joined the IOC in 2012 and is in
charge of Olympic and Paralympic Games-related and athletics coverage. The 100-kilometer marathon was completed in 11 hours and 37 minutes.

Sports News Department Reporter
Koken joined the bureau in 2015 Originally from
Okinawa, but practicing finger whistle. The person I respect is Mr. Gushiken Yotaka.