Olympic Rings Return To Tokyo Bay Following Maintenance Ahead Of Rescheduled Games

The Olympic Rings have been removed from Tokyo Bay for maintenance - Photo Courtesy: Tokyo 2020

The Olympic rings installation has returned to Tokyo Bay after being temporarily removed for maintenance in August ahead of the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Games.

The structure – which stands 15.3m tall and 32.6m wide and weighs 69 tons – was installed in January 2020 in the Odaiba Marine Park, where the open water swimming will take place at the Games albeit with an earlier start time than was originally planned to ensure athlete safety. 

It was removed earlier this year and returned to a factory in Yokohama, near Tokyo, where it underwent safety inspections and maintenance work as well as being repainted before being towed back on Tuesday morning.

The rings were lit up and the nearby Rainbow Bridge illuminated although they must wait for restrictions, which see restaurants and entertainment establishments close at 2200 local time, to be lifted on 17 December for them to once more light up.

tokyo 2021

Tokyo metropolitan government planning director Atsushi Yanashimizu told media:

“We hope that people can feel close to the Games with the Olympic rings. The rings can be enjoyed from various viewpoints while taking proper prevention measures against COVID-19.”

However, there was mixed reaction from Tokyo residents, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo.

Takayuki Kojima, a 70-year-old resident who stopped to watch the operation, said:

“I hope (the reinstalled monument) will lift up people’s spirits in the run-up to the Olympics.”

But 20-year-old student Haruki Hirata said:

“I don’t think there’ll be much excitement even if the Olympics go ahead.

“I think we can prevent a further increase of infections if we take sufficient measures against the novel coronavirus.”

The installation will remain in the bay to the end of the Games on 8 August and will then be replaced by the Paralympic symbol for the 24 August – 5 September Paralympic Games.

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