After numerous appeals Japanese authorities assured that the 1964 Olympic cauldron will be kept at the new stadium, planned ahead of the 2020 Games. Its story is a truly Olympic one.
The 2.1-meter Olympic cauldron sits atop stands at the existing National Olympic Stadium since the 1964 tournament. For years only as decoration, it was recently lit again as Tokyo was selected to host its second Olympics, in 2020.
For years it’s been an attraction for stadium visitors and reminder of the great history, but also much more: a true example of Olympic spirit. The creators, Mannosuke Suzuki and his son Bungo, have taken care of it together for 45 years, cleaning and polishing the cauldron every year.
Once the father passed away in 2009, Bungo was approached by Koji Murofushi, gold medalist in hammer throwing, who wanted to take up the honour of cleaning the cauldron along with the last son of Suzuki.
As appeals for preservation of the cauldron have been growing recently, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has decided to do so. The sculpture will be removed for the demolition and reconstruction of the stadium, but will return in 2019, once all work is done. Not as the main cauldron of the 2020 Olympics, but it’s expected to find a worthy place at the new 80,000-capacity stadium.
There are also calls regarding the use of the cauldron during works. Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, a city hit hard in the Great East Japan Earthquake, wants the cauldron put on display in the city. The ministry is considering the possibility of lending the cauldron to various cities until the new stadium is completed in 2019, it said.