In spite of unfounded expectations, Madrid’s bid to host the Olympic Games of 2020 turned out the loser in a race with Tokyo and Istanbul where the Spanish capital was weighed down, most of all, by the economic and political difficulties afflicting a country still steep in low moments. The members of the International Olympic Committee were wary of an austere program that nevertheless had a plus in the fact that majority of the infrastructures necessary for the event were already built. Tokyo finally carried the day thanks to its organizational solvency and its financial muscle, not to mention Japan’s unquestionable weight in the world.
With regard to the solidity of its finances, Tokyo presented a proposal that was as attractive as it was predictably structured around a spectacular building designed by the architect Zaha Hadid – author of the London Aquatic Centre for the Games of 2012 –, who once again resorts to soft white forms in her design for the renovation of the National Olympic Stadium, which was built for the Games of 1964 and, after the expansion works, will take in as many as 80,000 spectators.
The architectural heritage of the previous Tokyo Olympics was the extraordinary Yoyogi National Gymnasium, perhaps the most important work of Kenzo Tange, author, too, of the project for an Olympic Village at the port that was never executed but which now, for the year 2020, will have a second chance.