POSTED: March 25th 2013

Track star Carl Lewis supports Tokyo 2020 for the summer Games

Nine-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis visit the National Stadium / Tokyo 2020
Nine-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis visit the National Stadium / Tokyo 2020

Lewis is excited about the new stadium plan / Tokyo 2020
Lewis is excited about the new stadium plan / Tokyo 2020

LAURA WALDEN in ISTANBUL / Sports Features Communications

March 25 - American track superstar Carl Lewis has come out as an athlete ambassador for Tokyo's bid to host the Olympic Games.

Lewis won “the best race of my life” setting the 100-metre world record during the 1991 IAAF World Championships in Athletics in the National Stadium.

The very same stadium is set for a major overhaul by architect Zaha Hadid who was just in the city to oversee the plans.

The sprinter said, “I’m all for progress. I believe in high-technology, I believe in state-of-the art new stadiums for people. It makes it more comfortable, and leads to improved performances by the athletes.

"Japan has always been a very high-tech community and I think it will be a showcase for a stadium probably more high-tech than any stadium that’s ever been made. I think it will be a great place to be."

“It’s always wonderful to be back in Japan and I wish them the best of luck because I think they will put on a tremendous Games. I will be at the 2020 Games wherever it is, and I hope it’s here,” he added.

IOC Member and head of the Tokyo 2020 bid committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, was thrilled at the support by the American Olympian.

“It is a true honour to welcome the legendary Carl Lewis," said Takeda, "without a doubt one of the most accomplished athletes of our generation. His strong endorsement of Tokyo echoes the widespread international sentiment for our Bid and our goal to deliver a dynamic celebration in the heart of Japan’s capital. The Tokyo 2020 Bid plan is poised to demonstrate Tokyo’s unmatched organisational skills that provide athletes with a perfect world stage on which to excel.”

Sports Mentors

Lewis made a visit to Japan’s quake-struck Tohoku region together with fellow American track and field legends Willie Banks, former triple jump world record holder, and Mike Powell, who also set a long jump world record at the 1991 World Athletics Championships in Tokyo that still stands.

They were mentoring the local youth and Lewis said, “Kids were great and the energy of the people was amazing. I just think people came together and they have a spirit that they’re going to bring it back and better than ever. It’s been a real great visit back to Japan. I’ve been here many times and it’s always great to be here. And we hope some of the kids we were working with yesterday will maybe be back here in 2020.”

Tokyo is bidding against Istanbul and Madrid to host the 2020 summer Games, the final vote will take place on September 7th at the IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Keywords · Tokyo 2020 · Carl Lewis · track and field · Olympic bidding

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.