TOKYO (AP) — Attention Simone Biles: They’re building a venue in Tokyo where you can add to the four Olympic gold medals you won in Rio de Janeiro.
The 2020 Olympic gymnastics venue is halfway completed and should be finished by this time next year.
On Wednesday, engineers raised a massive timber roof section, one of five curved sections that will top out the 20.5 billion yen ($180 million) building, which designers describe as being shaped like a wooden bowl.
“Japan’s wood culture will be communicated through the venue,” architect Hidemichi Takahashi said through an interpreter.
The gymnastics venue will seat about 12,000 and will be used for 10 years after the Olympics as a convention center by the Tokyo metropolitan government. After that, plans call for the building to be razed.
The venue is located in the Tokyo Bay region in an area known as Ariake. The area will also have Olympic venues for tennis, volleyball, BMX and skateboarding.
Located close by in the bay region are also venues for triathlon, marathon swimming, beach volleyball, swimming, water polo, archery, 3×3 basketball, sport climbing, hockey, equestrian, canoeing and rowing.
Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee have been criticized for leaving behind empty, unused venues in Rio de Janeiro — where Biles was among the stars of the games — and earlier this year at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Tokyo organizers are using a mix of new, old and temporary venues, hoping to avoid the stigma of creating white elephants.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports