Marathon During Olympic Opening Ceremony

The Olympic Opening Ceremony could be so much more.  Why not add the Marathon to the Opening Ceremonies to make the event more than just a festival.  It would be a competition and a celebration like no other in the world of sports.

Here are three ideas for making the Olympic Marathon during the Opening Ceremonies be a magnificent event.

1. The Artistic Program and Marathon happen simultaneously. The idea for this is quite simple. The official beginning of the Olympic Games would start with the marathon runners inside the Olympic Stadium. The runners would start the marathon on the track, in the stadium, and then head out into the streets of the city. The Artistic Program with all of its singing, dancing, and showmanship would play out while the race is taking place.


2. The runners would return during the Parade of Nations. The marathon runners would enter the ceremony as the other Olympic athletes are walking around the stadium. In just over two hours, the runners would arrive. This would give the Artistic Program plenty of time. As the runners enter the stadium, the other Olympic athletes would be walking around the outer part of the stadium as the runners do one lap on the inner lane of the track.

3. The host country could have the first finisher from their own country in the marathon light the Olympic flame. What better way to officially start the games than with a marathon runner. The host country could have a former Olympian join the marathon runner and assist that tired runner as he or she lights the flame.

This idea definitely won't happen during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. They already have their marathon course mapped out. However, Tokyo, Japan was just awarded the 2020 Olympics, and they should latch onto this idea immediately to give the Olympic Opening Ceremonies a tremendous boost in importance. It wouldn't just be a show anymore, it would be a competitive celebration.

Do you like this idea? Then please share it with as many runners as you can. Also, if you know anyone involved with the Olympics, contact them as well. Here is a brief list of some of the people involved with the International Olympic Committee, the marathon, and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Thomas Bach - IOC President
Paul Kibii Tergat - Kenyan member of IOC
Lawrence Probst III - United States member of IOC
Lamine Diack - IAAF President
Shinzo Abe - Japanese Prime Minister
Naoki Inose - Tokyo Governor
Tsunekazu Takeda - Japanese Olympic Committee President

This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

You can follow David on Twitter @Tiefsa or visit his blog
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