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Tokyo plans to light 2020 Olympic cauldron with hydrogen

Science & Military2020-01-13


The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced on Friday that the Olympic cauldron for the 2020 Summer Olympics will be lit with hydrogen fuel.

The announcement was made by Toshiro Muto, director-general of the Committee, while reporting progress of the preparations for the Tokyo Games at a general meeting of the IOC in Lausanne, Switzerland.

According to experts, using hydrogen will create different colors in the flames.

According to the Committee, about nine tenths of the 3,700 official automobiles provided by Toyota are electricity-powered and about 500 run on hydrogen fuel.

In the past Olympic Games, propane and propane-based mixed fuels have been used to light the cauldron. If Japan can make hydrogen fuel work for the first time in history, it will be more environmentally friendly since burning hydrogen only produces water.

The Committee has made different efforts trying to make the Tokyo Games "greener." For example, on Thursday, bed frames for the Athletes Village were announced and they are made out of cardboard.

"Those beds can stand up to 200 kilograms," explained Takashi Kitajima, the general manager of the Athletes Village, speaking through an interpreter. "They are stronger than wooden beds, of course, wood and cardboard would each break if you jumped on them."

Will these cardboard beds be able to support all athletes? Generally, yes, but theoretically, there may be some exceptions. For example, though the bed can be extended to 2.10 meters long with extra cardboard, seven-footers (taller than 2.13 meters) are not so rare in basketball. Moreover, Ricardo Blas Jr, a judo athlete from Guam who attended the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, weighed 220 kilograms.

Perhaps backup plans are still needed.


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