Tokyo 2020 Games would create new Olympic memories for Japan's modern generation, claims bid chief
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
May 22 - Tsunekazu Takeda, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), is hopeful that Tokyo will win their bid to stage the 2020 Olympic and Paralympics, to help the country reconnect with the Olympic Movement after the city last acted as host in 1964.
The 2020 bid race is currently at a vital stage with the ruling Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) set to meet at SportAccord to decide which bidding cities should be put forward onto the official shortlist.
Tokyo is up against is up against Baku, Doha, Istanbul and Madrid with a decision to be announced here tomorrow.
Tokyo is considered as one of the strongest contenders for the event and Takeda (pictured top), a former show jumper who represented Japan at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics, believes that a successful bid would provide a huge boost for young people in Japan and the continent of Asia.
"We are hopeful that we will make it through to the next stage of the bid process because we think that we have a lot to give the Olympic Movement," Takeda, who is leading the Tokyo 2020 bid, told insidethegames.
"The 1964 Olympics were almost a half century ago and most of the Japanese people don't really remember those Games.
"Some of the young people don't really know what the Games is so this is a real opportunity to bring the event to them, and to show the young people of Japan, Asia and the world the power of the Olympics and Paralympics because Tokyo is a city that has a global reach.
"We think we have a powerful message to give in Japan about culture, innovation and sport so we would love the opportunity to stage the Games in 2020 and we look forward to hearing the decision that the IOC makes this week."
Japan currently has no IOC members after Chiharu Igaya and Shunichiro Okano were both been forced to step down at the end of last year at the mandatory retirement age of 80.
But Takeda is poised to become an IOC member after being nominated earlier this year in a move which will gave Japan's 2020 bid a major boost.
"It is an honour to be nominated to join the IOC, one of the most prestigious organisations in the world," he said.
"I am very proud and if I am elected in London I hope that I can work hard to help the Olympic Movement in the role."
The election of Takeda would see be the 13th IOC member from Japan and the second from his family.
His father, Tsuneyoshi, who was a grandson of Emperor Meiji, also served as an IOC member.
Tsuneyoshi Takeda became President of the JOC in 1962 and was involved in the organisation of Tokyo 1964 (pictured above, Opening Ceremony) as well as the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo.
He was a member of the IOC from 1967 to 1981, during which time he was director of the Executive Board for five years.
Top Picture by Aleksandra Sersniova
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