Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Koji Murofushi takes part in the Tokyo 2020 support programme "Polishing the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Cauldron"


On 4 March, the “Polishing the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Cauldron” programme was held at the General Sports Park in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, as part of the Tokyo 2020 Support Programme. Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee Sports Director Koji Murofushi took part in the event, which aimed at promoting interactions and deepening ties with the children from the local area.

The Olympic Cauldron, which was used for the Tokyo 1964 Games and had been located at the former National Stadium in Tokyo until 2014, has been loaned out to the Ishinomaki City General Sports Park as a symbol of the recovery of the area, which was badly affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster. Under clear blue skies, Murofushi, was joined by local elementary and junior high school students, and local young athletes including Sendai University rowing club member Hiro Kojima, second-year university student Yuki Ochiai, and first-year student Tatsumasa Kajiwara. Together, the participants set about polishing the Olympic Cauldron with cloth soaked in sesame oil.

Tokyo 2020 Sports Director Koji Murofushi commented, “Today, we all poured our hearts and souls into polishing the Olympic Cauldron as we wished for the speedy recovery of the disaster-affected area and the success of the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

Participants share their thoughts

Young athletes

On polishing the Olympic Cauldron

“Even though the Olympic Cauldron has been here for quite a while, I haven't really given it much thought. But when I started polishing it, I really become aware of the tremendous power of the Olympics and Paralympics.”

(Tatsumasa Kajiwara)

“By taking part in Olympic and Paralympic-related activities, I began to feel a real affinity with the Tokyo 2020 Games. I certainly plan to take part in more activities related to the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

(Yuki Ochiai)

“As a young athlete representative, it was a great honour for me to take part in the polishing of the Olympic Cauldron, which is a symbol of the Olympics and Paralympics.”

(Hiro Kojima)

On the Tokyo 2020 Games

“Women athletes put in some great performances at the PyeongChang 2018 Games. I really hope that more and more women athletes start competing, and I'm looking forward to some great performances by both men and women at the Tokyo 2020 Games. I will have left university by the time the Tokyo 2020 Games come around, but I hope to be involved in some way.”

(Yuki Ochiai)

“Even if I can't get to Tokyo for the Games, I'll be doing all I can to build excitement and momentum for the Games and lending my support from here in Miyagi Prefecture.”

(Hiro Kojima)

Local elementary schoolchildren

On polishing the Olympic Cauldron

“Seeing the Olympic Cauldron close up, I realised how big it is, and I feel a real sense of achievement after helping to polish it.”

(Tatsuki Hasegawa, sixth grade student from the Sumiyoshi and Kaihoku Athletics and Sports Club)

On Tokyo 2020 Games

I won't be able to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Games, but I'll be cheering on the Japanese athletes with all my might. I really hope they get a load of gold medals."

(Tatsuki Hasegawa)