Tokyo bids farewell: President HASHIMOTO Seiko praises everyone involved in successful Tokyo 2020 Games

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Tokyo 2020 President HASHIMOTO Seiko: The Olympic and Paralympic Games can contribute to the rebuilding of human ties and bonds, and bring the world together again through the power of sport

A day after the official closing of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo 2020 President HASHIMOTO praised everyone involved in the successful delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

"First of all, I would like to express my pride in the fact that, under difficult circumstances, we were able to host the first global event after the pandemic, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and to pass the baton firmly to Paris."

"I believe that we have been able to create a catalyst for positive change, such as a more sustainable management of the Games, a greater awareness of diversity and harmony, including gender equality, and a more barrier-free society."

With the Tokyo 2020 Games delayed by one year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Hashimoto highlighted the efforts of the volunteers, the people of Japan including the Government of Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and other organisations in delivering the Games in the face of these challenges.

"| believe that it is precisely in these difficult times and in a world divided by coronavirus that the Olympic and Paralympic Games can contribute to the rebuilding of human ties and bonds, and bring the world together again through the power of sport. I have always believed in the value of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for today's society," Hashimoto said.

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Sport for rebuilding society

Much effort has been made by the Organising Committee to showcase the recovery of the Tohoku region, the area that was worst affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. From kicking off the Olympic Torch Relay in Fukushima, to using materials for building venues to the victory bouquets presented to the athletes, the Organising Committee have made a lot of great initiatives to share the progress of reconstruction with the world.

And Hashimoto emphasised that this is one of Tokyo 2020's pillars.

"Looking back, I believe that from the very beginning of our bid in 2011, the theme of the Tokyo 2020 Games has consistently been how sport and athletes can play a role in society, in the face of the difficult times immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

"After 10 years of working on this theme, this summer we were finally able to create a single stage where athletes from all over the world could gather. What I saw every day was a bond between people, a harmony in diversity, a symbol of peace and the power of sport itself.

Sustainability agenda and connecting people with the Games

CEO President MUTO Toshiro, who was also present in the conference also emphasised Tokyo 2020's commitment to delivering its sustainability agenda.

"We have tried to contribute to changing social attitudes by promoting symbolic initiatives such as the Tokyo 2020 Medal project to make medals recycled materials. the project to make podiums from recycled plastic, the Village Plaza in the Athletes' Village, which uses wood from all over Japan, and the torch, which is made from aluminum construction waste from temporary housing in the affected areas," Muto said.

Despite not having spectators at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Muto is proud of what the committee have delivered in terms of connecting people with the Games.

"Throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo has been a digitally connected city. As of 5 September 2021, the Tokyo 2020 website had attracted 195.7 million visitors from both inside and outside Japan. Whilst we have been a no-attendance Games, I believe that we have continued to connect with people and communicate directly with them the appeal and value of the Games.

"Although we have faced many challenges in the past, I believe that the Organising Committee has been able to fulfil its mission of hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games," Muto said.