POSTED: Friday September 7th 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tokyo 2020 Kicks Off 1-Year Countdown to Host City Election
Tokyo, 7 September 2012 - Tokyo 2020 organised a rousing celebration to kick off the one-year countdown of the Host City selection for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The celebration, which included the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee receiving support of six London 2012 medallists, featured Tokyo Skytree, now the world's tallest broadcasting tower at 634 metres (2,080 ft) and new landmark in Japan's capital, being dramatically illuminated in the Olympic colours and the traditional Japanese Edo purple.
Olympians, business leaders and government officials joined a large crowd of sports fans to witness the iconic tower become a breath-taking beacon for Olympic Values and a symbol of Japan's enthusiasm for sport, which underpins Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Tokyo 2020's efforts to win the rights to host the 2020 Games continue to engage Japan's general public. Earlier today in downtown Tokyo, four Japanese medallists from the London 2012 Games, including men's 66kg freestyle wrestling gold medallist Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, women's 48kg freestyle wrestling gold medallist Hitomi Obara, women's judo 57kg weight class gold medallist Kaori Matsumoto and men's boxing middleweight (75kg) gold medallist Ryota Murata, had the crowd cheering as they vowed their strong support for Tokyo 2020.
Obara said: "It was the first time I ever participated in the Olympics, and when I cheered my teammates from the stands after I finished competing, I realised again how amazing the Olympics are and was truly inspired. I really hope Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games."
It will be wonderful if Tokyo hosts the 2020 Games, as people all over the country including little children will see the matches live and experience the inspiration and courage first-hand.
The event also attracted the enthusiastic participation of numerous senior officials, including Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Tenzo Okumura, Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Tadashi Okamura, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Shintaro Ishihara.
During the illumination event at Tokyo Skytree, Tsunekazu Takeda, IOC Member and President of Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), and Masato Mizuno, Tokyo 2020 CEO and JOC Vice President, also received support for the Bid from Hiromi Miyake, silver medallist of the women's weightlifting 48-kilogram division, and Aya Terakawa, swimming bronze medallist of the 100m backstroke and 4x100 meter relay.
Takeda said: "Excitement and momentum are building as we enter this final year of our Bid to welcome the world to Tokyo in 2020. We have strong backing across all levels of Japanese society, as reflected in the events today, which united Japanese government, business, sports leaders with members of the general public. We are a cohesive team underpinned by a deep national passion for sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
The Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee is now determined to submit the strongest and most attractive Candidature File to the IOC by 7 January 2013, after which the Evaluation Commission will visit the three Candidate Cities of Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo before the final vote by the IOC in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 7 September 2013.
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Name: Masa Takaya
Organization: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid
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