December 13, 2013
Japan’s athletes support bid for 2020
Focusing on a history of none Japanese athlete having failed a doping test, many of the most remarkable Japanese Olympic and Paralympic athletes yesterday made a firm support to Tokyo’s bid for 2020 Games at a press conference held in a downtown hotel in Buenos Aires City.
“Japan is proudly committed to anti-doping and integrity in sport. Anti-doping is part of the national school curriculum in Japan. Every high school student learns the core values of Olympics relating to anti-doping and how to live their lives according to those principles,” said former swimmer Dalchi Suzuki, who won the gold medal in 100m backstroke in Seoul 1988.
“Japan has already committed to developing the delivery of anti-doping, especially in Asia, and will continue go even further to realize a play-true culture.”
The athletes read a declaration where they vowed to encourage through the Olympic Games the development and promotion of sport, to adhere the spirit of fair play, to advance international contribution and make a strong contribution to society.
“I am hugely excited by our promise to help athletes to exchange ideas internationally to further advance sport. Assisting athletes from around the world to meet and discuss the key issues in sport today will go a long way to guaranteeing the future positive growth and development of sports,” said artistic gymnastic Rie Tanaka, a member of the Japanese national team in London 2012.
Former soccer player Saburo Kawabuchi, who competed in Tokyo 1964, remarked that he was the only member of the Athletes commission who had lived the experience of taking part in an Olympic Games edition held in Japan. “I know that I am the oldest here he said laughing, when I used to play, soccer was not a popular sport but it became a very popular sport nowadays with packed-full stadiums. So, people will enjoy the success of Japanese player’s as they did with the women’s team in London, which won the silver medal.”
The athletes were also asked about the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant but they dismissed the threat of radioactive contamination in the air. “Athletes and visitors will be safe in Tokyo,” said Los Angeles 1984 national team member in wrestling Hiroshi Hase, who is currently member of the House of Representatives. “The rates of contamination are under the minimum level needed to represent any treat of health damage,” added.
Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul seek for hosting the 2020 Olympic Games and the winner will be decided tomorrow in the afternoon.