Tokyo 2020 Will Be First 'Gender-Balanced' Olympics in History

Published March 9th, 2021 - 08:59 GMT
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

On International Women's Day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Government of Japan and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) are reiterating their commitment to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer a landmark in gender equality on and off the field of play, paving the way for a more equal and inclusive society.

"At the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Almost 49 per cent of the athletes participating will be women, according to the IOC quota allocation. These will be the first gender-balanced Games in history. There will be a ground-breaking competition schedule ensuring equal visibility between women's and men's events and featuring nine more mixed events than at Rio 2016, raising the overall number to 18," IOC said in a release.

For the first time ever, all 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) should have at least one female and one male athlete in their respective Olympic teams. All 206 NOCs and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team will be encouraged to have their flag carried by one female and one male athlete at the Opening Ceremony.

At the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: At least 40.5 per cent of all the athletes will be women, according to the IPC Qualification Criteria. This equates to 1,782 athletes, an increase on the 1,671 women who competed at Rio 2016 (38.6 per cent).

At the Opening Ceremony, all the competing National Paralympic Committees will also be encouraged to have their flag carried by one female and one male athlete.

Following the appointment of its new President, Hashimoto Seiko, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has increased the size of its Executive Board, bringing the percentage of women to 42 per cent. It has also created a Gender Equality Promotion Team under the leadership of its Sports Director, Kotani Mikako, in order to further promote gender and inclusion initiatives during the Games.

"The IOC is committed to gender equality in all areas, from the athletes competing on and off the field of play to leadership roles in sports organizations. With only four months to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Movement is getting ready for a new milestone in its efforts to create a gender-equal sporting world -- the first gender-balanced Olympic Games in history," said IOC President Thomas Bach.

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