Tokyo, 12 June 2008 - The Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, today unveiled the highly symbolic new TOKYO 2016 emblem and launched the TOKYO 2016 Athletes' Commission, headed by renowned Olympic medallist, Ms Mikako Kotani.
At a media gathering at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in the heart of Japan's vibrant capital, Governor Ishihara revealed TOKYO 2016's new 'Musubi' logo, which now features the globally recognised Olympic rings, denoting the International Olympic Committee's selection of Tokyo as a 2016 'Candidate City'.
Musubi, a traditional Japanese knot which signifies unity, is symbolic of Tokyo's commitment to hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games that will unite Japan and the world, and herald the greatest metropolitan and environmental transformation in history, for the benefit of Japan and the Olympic Movement.
Key to the TOKYO 2016 Games plan will be the insight of the newly formed TOKYO 2016 Athletes' Commission, created to ensure the needs, comfort and performance of elite athletes are at the very core of its Games concept and Candidature File.
The TOKYO 2016 Athletes’ Commission will draw upon the ideas and experience of nearly 20 Olympians and Paralympians, including 1976 volleyball Olympic gold medallist, Yuko Arakida and 1988 Olympic champion in swimming, Daichi Suzuki through to competitors at the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing.
The Athletes' Commission is chaired by Ms Mikako Kotani, who won bronze in synchronised swimming at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and recently travelled to Athens as part of the TOKYO 2016 Bid Committee to meet key members of the Olympic Family and present at the Bid's first press conference as a Candidate City.
Governor Ishihara, President of the TOKYO 2016 Bid Committee, said:
"We recognise that our recent selection as a Candidate City marks really just the beginning of our journey in this selection process for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. To mark the occasion, we are proud and extremely excited to unveil our new emblem. Today, we also welcome the support and invaluable guidance of former Japanese Olympians, Paralympians and other top athletes as we launch the TOKYO 2016 Athletes' Commission. We look forward to making best use of their intimate knowledge of venues and facilities, as well as the tremendous energy that the athletes on this Commission will impart to the Bid Committee, as we work together to plan one of the most compact and spectacular Games ever."
Dr Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of TOKYO 2016, said:
"The Musubi, together with the values it represents, symbolises TOKYO 2016's commitment to the Olympic Movement. By bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Tokyo in 2016, we will be uniting youth and sport, old and new Japan, heritage and innovation, the Games and city life, and Green with 2016, creating an environment that can serve as a benchmark throughout the world. We will be integrating the Games into the very heart and soul of city life and inspiring our young athletes with a new golden age of sporting success. "With the simultaneous launch of the TOKYO 2016 Athletes' Commission, this marks another historic day for our Bid. By talking to past and present generations of leading Olympians and Paralympians, we will be able to produce a truly unique and exciting proposition for the Olympic Family. We will introduce the ideas from the Athletes’ Commission to our Games plan and work tirelessly as a Candidate City to bring the 2016 Games to Japan."
Mikako Kotani, Chair of the TOKYO 2016 Athletes' Commission, said:
"Taking part in the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of an athlete's dreams and is about looking inside for the best possible performance. As athletes and Olympians, the members of the TOKYO 2016 Athletes' Commission are absolutely passionate about providing the best possible ideas for the TOKYO 2016 Games plan. This will include looking at ways to optimise training and sporting venues for the benefit of athletes from across the globe and ensuring the finest spectacle imaginable at the very heart of our vibrant capital city."
"We are long-term members of the international sporting community and we are actively encouraging the views of elite athletes from around the world to create the ultimate conditions for the best possible athletic performances. We are also delighted to be part of this historic Bid and the incredible transformational legacy it is certain to leave for Tokyo, Japan, and the whole Olympic Movement." As a service to our readers, Around the Rings will provide verbatim texts of selected press releases issued by Olympic-related organizations, federations, businesses and sponsors.
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