By Tom Degun

Samaranch Memorial Opening with Jacques Rogge April 21 2013April 23 - Tokyo 2020 claim their bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been boosted by the inauguration of the Samaranch Memorial in Tianjin, China, last weekend.

The Samaranch Memorial, a tribute to the late International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch, was officially opened on Sunday (April 21) after being founded and designed by IOC Executive Board member CK Wu.

The Memorial houses one of the biggest collections of Olympic memorabilia in the world, including much of Samaranch's personal collection of around 16,000 pieces that was donated to Wu shortly before his death.

The unveiling comes with an Olympic Museum scheduled to be built inside Japan's new National Stadium, which will be used as a venue at Tokyo 2020 if their bid is successful against rivals Istanbul and Madrid. 

Tsunekazu Takeda, an IOC member and President of both the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and Tokyo 2020, claimed having the Memorial in Asia will help the Japanese capital as they look to secure the Olympics and Paralympics.

"As vice-president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), it is truly a great honour to have the Samaranch Memorial Museum open in Asia," said Takeda.

"Tokyo's Bid for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has already shown the supreme passion for sport and Olympism in Japan.

Juan Antonio Samaranch at Samaranch Memorial 2 April 21 2013Juan Antonio Samaranch Junior with his family at the opening of the museum dedicated to the memory of his father

"Creating an Olympic Museum in our new national stadium, in addition to the opening of the Samaranch Memorial Museum in China, will undoubtedly boost the Olympic Movement across Asia even further."

The Olympic Museum in Japan will be built following the creation of the Centre for Olympic Research and Education (CORE) in 2010, which is the country's first centre for Olympic studies and research recognised by the IOC.

The host city is due to be announced at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires on September 7.

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