13 Olympic And Paralympic Athletes To Promote Tokyo 2016 In Copenhagen

Tokyo 2016 revealed Thursday a 13-member team of Olympians and Paralympians who will promote Tokyo 2016’s bid for the Summer Olympic Games in Copenhagen, ahead of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) host city vote.

The athletes were unveiled at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in front of the Governor of Tokyo and Tokyo 2016 President Shintaro Ishihara, who was joined by senior leaders of Tokyo 2016, including its Chair and CEO, Dr. Ichiro Kono.

Dr. Kono said, “in line with our promise to host the most athlete-focused Games in history, our delegation for the IOC Session in Copenhagen will include a number of Japan’s finest Olympians and Paralympians who each believe in the 100-year legacy the Tokyo 2016 Games will create for sport, humanity and the youth of tomorrow. We are thrilled to have these heroes in our team and together we share the passionate goal of returning the Games to athletes and setting the stage for heroes to inspire youth worldwide”.

Later Thursday the bid leaders were to join a 400-strong group of Tokyo 2016 stakeholders and enthusiastic supporters, as well as representatives from business, government and entertainment, for a gala send-off ahead of the delegation’s departure for Copenhagen.

Meanwhile, Japan’s new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has pledged his support for Tokyo’s 2016 bid. He said at the event, “I myself want to make an effort to help the bid succeed. Let us work hard together. I wish from the bottom of my heart that your effort will bear fruit and the Olympics and the Paralympics will be staged in Tokyo to give a big dream and inspiration to the Japanese people and the people around the world”.

Although Tokyo 2016 said they want the new Prime Minister to attend the IOC meeting in Copenhagen, Hatoyama did not indicate he would travel there.