While Tokyo 2016 was celebrating Tokyo’s winning Japan Swimming Team at the 13th FINA World Championships Sunday, the committee was also mourning the death of Japanese freestyle swimmer, world record holder, and a former chairman of the Japan Olympic Committee, Hironoshin Furuhashi, who was attending the FINA World Championships in Rome.
Japan’s swimming team completed the 13th FINA World Championships with an “impressive” four medals overall, said a press release. The team had gathered Sunday to express its support of Tokyo 2016’s Summer Olympic Games bid shortly before the announcement of 80-year-old Furuhashi’s death.
The swimming team talked about its desire to perform in front of the nation’s “passionate” fans at Tokyo 2016’s new 20,000-seat aquatic centre, should Tokyo host the 2016 Games.
Dr. Ichiro Kono, Chair and CEO of Tokyo 2016, called Furuhashi a legend in Japan. He said, “he was our greatest ever sportsman and his incredible sporting achievements that brought hope and inspiration to millions will live on”.
He added, “we were humbled by Mr. Furuhashi’s active support for our Tokyo 2016 Olympic bid. Even during the FINA Swimming World Championships we talked every day and he kept encouraging us to push forward”.