POSTED: Tuesday August 14th 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Japan's Olympic Team is United: "Let's Host the 2020 Games in Tokyo!"
Tokyo, 14 August 2012 - At the conclusion of the London 2012 Olympic Games during which Japan's Olympic Team earned an impressive record 38 medals in 13 competitions, Japanese athletes today unanimously pledged their ongoing support for Tokyo's effort to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. The Japanese people hold athletes - and Olympians in particular - in great esteem, so the Olympic Team's words of encouragement help to further boost the momentum behind Tokyo 2020's goal to deliver a dynamic celebration in the heart of the world's most forward-thinking city.
A selection of statements from Japanese medallists follows:
Gymnastics phenomenon Kohei Uchimura, who took gold in the individual all-around and silver in the team competition and men's floor exercise, said: "The Olympics only take place once every four years. In London I experienced the wonderful feeling of competing at this level. Let's host the 2020 Games in Tokyo!"
Saori Yoshida, who made history by winning her third straight gold in the 55-kilogram freestyle wrestling division, said: "Everyone in Japan will be excited if we host the Olympics, and it's a positive thing that the world will pay close attention to us. In this respect, it would be fantastic if Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games."
Ryota Murata won his country's first gold in the ring after 48 years by earning gold in the men's middleweight boxing. He said: "I will do anything I can to help Tokyo earn the rights to host the 2020 Games, as it will serve as the driving force for Japan's future development."
Kaori Matsumoto, who became Japan's first gold medallist at the London Games with her victory in the judo 57-kilogram division, said: "My mother had never left our hometown, but I promised her I would take her to the Olympics. With this Olympics and this gold medal, I've fulfilled that promise. I want to encourage all children to pursue their dreams, and I know hosting the 2020 Games in Tokyo would inspire our young athletes!"
Hiromi Miyake, daughter of Mexico City Olympics weightlifting medallist Yoshiyuki Miyake, became the first Japanese woman ever to win a medal in Olympic weightlifting, besting her father's bronze by taking silver in the 48-kilogram division. Miyake offered her support for Tokyo 2020: "I hope the younger generation will increasingly pursue weightlifting, and it would be great to see them put on a strong showing in front of our people in 2020. I would love for our country to host the Games again!"
Yuki Ota, Japan's leading fencer and part of the first Japanese fencing team to win an Olympic medal, said: "It was always my dream to compete at the Olympics, and I am extremely proud to have competed in three of them. I'll cherish forever the time I spent here with my teammates. I think it's my destiny to raise the profile of fencing in Japan, something that would no doubt get a boost if Tokyo can host the 2020 Games."
Takeshi Matsuda, team captain of Japan's swimming squad and silver medallist in the 4x100-meter relay, pledged his support for Tokyo 2020: "I love the Olympics and know from experience how wonderful it is to take part in them. I sincerely hope Tokyo can host the 2020 Olympic Games."
Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa made badminton history by earning a silver medal in the women's doubles, Japan's first-ever medal in the sport. Fujii said: "For me, the Olympics is a stage where I can demonstrate my gratitude to everyone who has supported and encouraged me along the way. This is the first time I've competed in the Games, and I spoke with other athletes and we all agreed how great it would be if Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games. I hope to be involved in some capacity."
Kakiiwa added: "t will be a completely different experience for us in Tokyo. It would be amazing to have the entire country united behind you right there."
Men's hammer thrower Koji Murofushi earned a bronze medal in his fourth consecutive Olympic appearance. He said: "People from Tohoku tell me all the time how much the athletes inspire them. I am confident Japan will be united and moved by the Olympic passion if we host the 2020 Games in Tokyo. I really hope we can bring the Games to Japan."
The women's archery team also scored a national first with its bronze in the team event. Archer Miki Kanie said: "Let's bring the country together again with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games!"
Masato Mizuno, JOC Vice President and Tokyo 2020 CEO, said: "I am proud of the Japanese athletes' performances in London. Japan's Olympic Team is fully behind Tokyo 2020 and we hope their stellar performances in London will promote the Bid and show the Japanese passion for the Olympic Movement to the world. Sport has the power to unite our nation, and no event more so than the pinnacle of competition: the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
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Name: Masa Takaya
Organization: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid
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