A Japanese nonprofit group said Wednesday that it is "preparing to set up a hospitality venue welcoming LGBT athletes and fans during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in an effort to boost diversity at the events," according to KYODO. Similar spaces for LGBT athletes and fans called "Pride House" have been created in cities hosting int'l sporting events since the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, but it would be the "first such venue to be set up in Japan." The venue, envisioned by Tokyo-based "good aging yells," is "likely to come under the spotlight as one of the drivers for social change at the Tokyo Games," which aims to "raise awareness of unity in diversity among citizens of the world." Good aging yells Founder Gon Matsunaka said, "We want to leave a legacy by opening up the world of sports (to diversity) at the Tokyo Olympics." The group is "considering organizing educational sessions and sporting events to help people deepen their understanding of LGBT issues, and may collaborate with Olympic organizers and the Tokyo metropolitan government" (KYODO, 8/16).
MASCOTS: The JIJI PRESS reported the 2020 Tokyo organizing committee said Tuesday that it received a total of 2,042 applications in a campaign to "solicit ideas for official mascots" for the event. Applications were accepted until noon Monday. After multiple screenings, the committee "will announce the official mascots by early February next year." The selection process will kick off on Tuesday (JIJI PRESS, 8/16).