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Meet the unsung stars determined to make the Olympics a success

From engineers to volunteers, behind-the-scenes players rise to the occasion

Tomohisa Moridaira poses with Miraitowa, left, and Someity, the mechanical mascots developed by his team at Toyota.

As Tokyo gets set to host the Olympics and Paralympics after 2020's false start, a multitude of behind-the-scenes players have long been exercising their minds to ensure a gold-standard games. We meet some of the unsung stars, from engineers to volunteers, who are determined to make the games a success -- even if many Japanese people remain cautious about the event taking place at all.

When International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach first pronounced in 2018 that Tokyo was the best-prepared Olympic city he could remember, you knew that he wasn't just being polite. Of course the Japanese capital was ready for its big moment. Ever since the games had been awarded to Tokyo in 2013, the city -- and country -- had embraced its Olympic responsibilities with relish. Japanese companies raised a record-breaking amount in sponsorship; more than 200,000 people applied to be volunteers; and venues were completed with plenty of time to spare. A triumphant Olympics seemed all but guaranteed.

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