TOKYO >> The Olympic Village for the Tokyo Summer Games, to start tomorrow, accommodates more than 10,000 athletes and staff.
Located just over a mile from the busy Ginza shopping district, the village is equipped with amenities to keep athletes comfortable and to allow them to experience Japan from within the facility. COVID-19 restrictions mean international athletes will not be allowed to go anywhere outside competition venues, training areas and the village.
Residential blocks comprise 21 buildings that are 14 to 18 stories high. The athletes’ rooms include beds made of recyclable cardboard and blackout drapes that will allow them to sleep well even during daylight. This is especially important for those competing in evening events.
The rooms are being ventilated every 30 minutes.
There are two cafeterias in the village. The entrance to the all-hours main dining hall includes information about the crowd size inside. Tables initially intended for six diners now seat four, and acrylic panels have been installed on the tables.
Another village cafeteria offers onigiri (rice balls), udon and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) among the menu items featuring casual Japanese cuisine.
Athletes can work out at the village’s spacious fitness center, more than 32,000 square feet in size. Also, a sauna is available for athletes who might need to reduce their weight before events, such as boxers and judoka.
Guests can relax at Harumi Port Park, which has a cooling mist area and massage chairs, or go for a jog along the Harumi Greenway, a bayside path more than a half-mile long.
Autonomous buses for up to 20 passengers run every five to 20 minutes around the facility, 24 hours a day. They stop at nine locations in the village.
About 100 medical workers, including doctors, are on hand to treat injuries or illness. The general clinic has orthopedic, internal medicine, dentistry and psychiatry departments, as well as a section for female athletes, a first for an Olympic Village.
Mitigating the risk of coronavirus infections is a top concern, since athletes who test positive will not be allowed to compete. Guests are being tested every day with a saliva sample.
PCR tests using swab samples are being conducted on athletes who develop coughs or a fever and those who test positive in the daily saliva tests. Such testing is being conducted at a fever clinic, where it takes about three hours to get results. Those who test positive are moved to a hospital or a nearby recuperation facility.
More on the food: A variety of dishes are being served to satisfy the appetites of athletes from about 200 countries and regions.
The main dining hall offers about 700 dishes, including halal, vegetarian and gluten-free meals, and has special booths for pasta and pizza. About 50 kinds of spices and condiments from all over the world are available, allowing athletes to season their food as they like.
“Meals are one of the ways athletes adjust their condition before games,” said an Olympic committee official. “One of our priorities was making sure that the dishes on offer were familiar to the athletes.”