Why are the seats at the Olympics different colors?

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A fanless stadium at the Tokyo Olympics leaves those who watch TV see a backdrop of multicolored seats.

TOKYO, Japan – The 2020 Olympics in Japan are drawing to a close, and thousands of world-class athletes end after record-breaking performances at sporting events, many of which took place in Tokyo’s brand new National Stadium.

Holding the world’s largest international sporting event at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still rife has forced Tokyo to make drastic decisions to prioritize health.

One of those resolutions is to not allow fans to this year’s international games. Stadiums without fans leave a quiet atmosphere and, of course, empty seats, as there are no spectators to contribute to the atmosphere of the competition.

The audience saw a backdrop of multi-colored chairs as they watched televised Olympic events.

So why are the seats inside the stadium different colors?

“The mosaic design is a natural solution to the problem of no spectators at the Olympics,” Japanese architect Kengo Kuma told Slate in July. “By accident, the idea fits the situation with COVID perfectly. “

According to the Olympics website, Kuma designed the stadium to seat 60,000 people, and the earth-toned gradient makes the mighty venue feel fuller.

Japan Sport Council spokesperson Takeo Takahashi said the colors create “an atmosphere where people can feel close” when the new national stadium was officially unveiled in December 2019.

The Olympic website says the seats are a combination of white, olive green and dark brown, with darker colors closer to the pitch and lighter seats closer to the roof to create a “mosaic”.

Although the stadium seats from a distance give an optical illusion that fans are present, close-up camera cuts of dozens of rows of empty seats and moments of silence in TV coverage are reminiscent of the COVID-19 pandemic in Classes.


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