Akita, JAP 2001

2001-Akita-Opening-KantoAkita had indicated their interest to host the Games in early 1994 and made a formal bid in 1996, which resulted in the signing of the contract in October 1996. One of the main issues of the Akita Games was language interpretation, as relative few people in Japan speak English and even fewer people outside Japan speak Japanese. The organizers used over 1000 persons (professional as well as trained volunteers) as interpreters during the event. The World Games 2001 started with the Opening Ceremony at the Yabase Stadium; a dazzling show of cultural elements, music and dance concluded with fireworks under a bright blue and sunny sky. The weather did not stay like that throughout the event; on two days many outdoor events had to be postponed or shifted due to a passing typhoon. The bad weather also troubled a new element at the Games i.e. the World Games Plaza; a festive place in the centre of the City where athletes could meet their fellow competitors and citizens of Akita. Athletes in World Games are hosted by sport for the duration of their competition; Akita was the first Host City where extra hotel accommodation for some of the athletes was arranged by their National Olympic Committee for the periods that they were not in competition.

2001-Akita-GymnasiumThe World Games 2001 were successful games, not only for the sports and the athletes, but also for the organizers, as the ticket sales were far beyond expectations. The organizers had contracted the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, NHK, to televise the World Games in Akita. All events were covered and NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai) also arranged for world-wide distribution of the television programmes.

The Closing Ceremony was planned in the Yabase Stadium; however, due to the forecast heavy rain and wind, the ceremony had to move to the Yuwa Skydome, a big indoor venue, but not with the same capacity as the Yabase Stadium. Despite this limitation, the closing ceremony was still a nice farewell party for the athletes.

   

The City

akita-shrine2001-Akita-Sky-DomeAkita is the capital city of the Akita Prefecture in Japan in the northern part of the Honshu, Japan’s Main Island. The city has a population of 320.000 and is located in the centre of the Akita Prefecture, bordered by the Sea of Japan. The area of Akita has been inhabited for thousands of years. The Akita Castle was established in 733 AD. The area was ruled by a succession of local samurai clans which strengthened the castle town of Akita. With the establishment of the municipality system in 1889, the city of Akita was offi cially established. The Akita Kanto Festival is a 350 years old summer festival where participants balance 15 meter poles with 230 lanterns on their chins; the annual event is held in August during the evening and night hours. It also featured as a cultural element at the opening of World Games 2001.

Economy

akita-hstrainThe economy of Akita remains heavily dependent on agriculture (particularly rice cultivation), forestry and mineral extraction. Akita contains one of the most important oil fi elds in Japan. Oil refi ning, woodworking,
metalworking and the production of silk textiles are the main industries. In the same year as the World Games in Akita, the Akita Shinkansen, connecting Akita to the national high speed network, started its operation.

 

Sport

Japan has a number of traditional national sports that have become international sport such as Judo and Sumo. Likewise a number of international and in particular American sports have become very popular in  Japan, such as Baseball and Basketball and are part of the school sports programmes. Akita has excellent  sports facilities for the whole range of international sports.

 

The Visuals

akita-logoThe event logo for the World Games 2001 in Akita has straight forward and simple design. There is the A from Akita and the W from World Games, crowned with a grid model globe. The World Games logo as well as the year and the name of the Host City completed the image.
The poster for the event promotion shows a glowing grid globe within a three dimensional World Games logo. Images of the participating sports are  projected on the segments of the globe. In the bottom of the poster are three emblems, the World Games logo, the Akita event logo and for the fi rst time at a World Games event, the Olympic Rings acknowledging the fact that the World Games are staged under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.
This patronage was a direct result of the Memorandum of Understanding that was concluded earlier between the IWGA and the International Olympic Committee. Like in Karlsruhe, the Akita OC had the school kids involved in the activities for the event. The kids in the Akita schools made paintings of the participating World Games sports and the designers helped them to arrange the paintings within a circle, like a globe. The organizing committee printed the kids’ paintings on various posters.

akita-kidsposterOn the kid’s poster, a good number of the participating sports in the World Games in Akita are depicted. The kids had a good idea of the essence of the portrayed sports; probably they had been well briefed by the designers, who also assisted in the composition of the total image. Another poster from Akita shows the Akita event logo superimposed over a kids face. This face was composed out of twelve sections from different images; however together the twelve sections formed one face.

akita-mascotThe mascots Huggy and Nummy were created for the Akita event. It is difficult to see which species these creatures resemble. The egg-like shapes are hairy, apparently having a fur. The head hair is longer than the fur and to show you that Nummy is of the female gender, she has a pony tail op top. Huggy shows the World Games logo on his chest, while Mummy shows the Akita event logo. Both are very sporting and athletic as they areused in the pictograms of the participating sports.

 

Programme Sports

Sport

Discipline

Air Sports

Parachuting

Archery

Field

Billiards

Billiards

Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding

Boules Sports

Lyonnaise

Petanque

Bowling

Ten Pin

Casting

Casting

Dance Sport

Dance Sport

Finswimming

Finswimming

Fistball

Fistball

Flying Disc

Disc Golf

 

Ultimate

Gymnastics

Rhythmic

Acrobatic

Aerobic

Trampoline

Tumbling

Ju-Jitsu

Duo

Fighting

Karate

Kata

Kumite

Korfball

Korfball

Lifesaving

Beach

Pool

Orienteering

Orienteering

Powerlifting

Powerlifting

Roller Sports

Artistic

Hockey

Speed

Rugby

Seven-a-side

Tug of War

Indoor

Outdoor

Water Ski

Barefoot

Tournament

Wakeboard

Invitational Sports

Sport

Discipline

Gateball

Gateball

Tug of War

 Indoor

Event numbers

22
Officials Sports
5
Invitational Sports
93
Countries
1968
Athletes
150'000
Spectators
958
Media

 

Subscribe to the IWGA newsletter

Subscribe now.
IOC logo