East Meets West Olympic Style

Kanpei Hazama, a famous Japanese comedian and Tokyo 2016 Ambassador, who is half way through his 36,000 km (23,000 miles) Earth Marathon to promote Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, reached Chicago Wednesday and paid a visit to Pat Ryan, Chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016.

Hazama said, “as a passionate supporter of Tokyo 2016’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the heart of Japan’s vibrant capital, it is an honour to be in Chicago. While undertaking the Earth Marathon I am supporting Tokyo 2016’s bid vision of uniting our worlds through inspiring people from across the globe with the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect – so far this has included many people, young and old, in the United States of America.

“The Earth Marathon is an immensely challenging event, but my resolve to continue is regularly reinforced by the dream of Tokyo setting the stage of heroes in 2016 – I truly believe that my undertaking will demonstrate Japanese passion for the Games”.

Thousands of people around the world are following Hazama on his epic round-the-world test of endurance.

Dr. Ichiro Kono, Chair and CEO of Tokyo 2016 said, “Chicago 2016 and Tokyo 2016 coming together through Kanpei Hazama demonstrates how sport and Olympism can unite people from across the world in the spirit of friendship. By completing his Earth Marathon, Hazama is already united our worlds – a key commitment of the Tokyo 2016 bid committee. Although the two cities of Tokyo and Chicago are competing to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016, today we are joined in the friendship and respect for the amazing 36,000 km challenge being overcome by our Japanese hero”.

Pat Ryan, Chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016 said, “in the spirit of friendship, it was an honour and pleasure to welcome Mr. Hazama to Chicago and to our headquarters. This meeting signifies the power of the Olympic Movement to bring people together from all corners of the world. We wish him safe travels as his global journey continues”.