TOKYO 2016 Places Athletes' Needs at Heart of Bid With Launch of Dedicated 'Sports Department'
TOKYO 2016, Japan's Bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, today launched a dedicated 'Sports Department' to place the needs of athletes and International Federations at the very heart of its Bid. TOKYO 2016 has appointed veteran athletics administrator, Toru Hirakata, as its Sports Director, head of the new department, enhancing its team as it gets ready to move into a new phase of the bidding process.
Hirakata, who was previously Director of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF), will oversee sports operations within the thriving Japanese capital's Bid, using his strong experience and relations with the national and international sporting community. A former athlete and coach, Hirakata served as the Chairman of the JAAF International Affairs Committee, member of the International Relations Committee of the Japanese Olympic Committee and as member of the Marketing Promotion Commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). At the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan, he played in an important liaison role between the Local Organising Committee and the IAAF.
Dr Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of TOKYO 2016, said: "The creation of the TOKYO 2016 Sports Department marks another significant milestone in our Bid to host an incredible Games at the heart of our vibrant capital city. Headed by the vastly experienced Toru Hirakata, the Sports Department will be responsible for consultation with international elite athletes and International Federations, ensuring that every possible consideration is taken and represented within our uniquely compact Games plan. The needs of the international sports community are of paramount concern to TOKYO 2016 in our efforts to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to our nation."
Toru Hirakata, Sports Director of TOKYO 2016, said: "As someone who has worked in sport my entire adult life, nothing is more exciting than to join the Bid to host a uniquely compact Olympic and Paralympic Games in the very heart of Tokyo. My mission is to build strong relations between our Bid and various national and international sport federations and to ensure that the needs of the world's finest athletes are at the core of TOKYO 2016. One of the legacies of TOKYO 2016 will be to propel Japan to become a central hub of the sports world. The Games would be a new showcase for the Olympic Movement for the benefit of our nation, neighbours and the international community."
For further information, please contact:
Tetsuo Nakayama (Mr), Chief Director, International Communications, TOKYO 2016 Olympic Games Bid Committee
Masa Takaya (Mr), Manager, International Communications, TOKYO 2016 Olympic Games Bid Committee