|Tsunekazu Takeda - President, Tokyo 2020|
|Profile of the week|
Friday, 05 July 2013 15:53
Tsunekazu Takeda is the President of Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee and IOC member.
Takeda has dedicated 40 years of his life to serving the Olympic Movement – as an athlete, coach and team leader and National Olympic Committee (NOC) Executive.
He competed in the Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 Olympic Games as an athlete in equestrian jumping events. Following his retirement, he continued to pursue his passion for sport as a coach and administrator, leading the Japanese equestrian teams at the Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
He was subsequently selected to serve as Chef de Mission for the Japanese delegation at two Olympic Games: Salt Lake City 2002 and Athens 2004, and the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. He was also appointed sports director for the Nagano Olympic Organizing Committee (NAOC) in preparation for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games held in Nagano, Japan.
In 2001, Takeda was elected as President of the Japanese Olympic Committee for his contribution to Olympic sport in Japan. He has since served on three International Olympic Committee Coordination Commissions – for the Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 Games.
In July 2012 he was appointed IOC Member for his contributions to the Olympic Movement. In addition, he currently serves as the President of the Olympians Association of Japan, Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia and Honorary Vice President of the International Equestrian Federation. Takeda is a graduate of Keio University in Tokyo. He is a music lover and still an active sportsman with a particular enthusiasm for golf.
By Ismail Uddin
As you are the President of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and Tokyo's 2020 Olympic bid, how hard is it to juggle both jobs in a pivotal time for your country?
I am very honoured to have these two responsibilities. These two positions have different challenges and different implications, and I am enjoying both.
Holding both these positions is not a problem as Tokyo 2020 and JOC strive to strengthen sport in Japan and in the rest of the world, thereby contributing to the Olympic Movement; this is precisely what I have dedicated my life to.
Last year you were elected into the IOC. How big an achievement was this?
My country has a long history on the Olympic Movement and I was extremely honoured to become the 13th member of the International Olympic Committee from Japan.
I started out as an equestrian athlete and had the pleasure to compete in the Munich 1972 Games and Montreal 1976 Games. Since then, I have enjoyed the fortune to work in several positions in the Olympic Movement.
It is a true honour and extremely humbling experience to be elected as a member of the IOC.
Tokyo's 2020 bid has recently seen a massive upsurge of popularity for this bid. How do you account for this surge and how much does this boost your bid?
Indeed, the latest figures (March 2013) show that Tokyo 2020 has more than 10 million supporters in the capital – 77% of Tokyo residents support the Bid; and a variety of opinion polls have consistently indicated that more than 80 million people in Japan are behind the Bid.
These results reconfirm Japan's deep passion and enthusiasm for sport, particularly the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
I believe our momentum really began with the London 2012 Games. The Japanese team set a new record bringing home 38 medals and the "welcome home" parade we organised gathered half-a-million spectators to cheer our nation's heroes.
Thanks to Japan's unmatched passion for sport, Tokyo will host an incredible city-centre party, and the Games' heart will be at the heart of city life like never before.
Tokyo failed in its bid for the 2016 Olympics. What have you learnt from that and how has that helped your 2020 bid?
We are taking full advantage of the experience, knowledge and expertise gained during the 2016 Bid. Tokyo's 2020 bid has been enhanced: we kept the best and improved the rest.
As a result we have revised our plans in a few key areas such as the Olympic stadium, Olympic Village, and better use of transportation and other infrastructures.
Our main focus now is to illustrate why and how Tokyo can guarantee to deliver superb Games in 2020, which help to promote the Olympic Values for new generations in this challenging and fast-changing era for sport.
You have recently announced a number of bid partners. How important are local sponsors to your bid and sponsors in general?
Tokyo 2020 has unmatched sponsorship programmes which reinforce our promise to deliver amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
Japanese companies' have a decade-long enthusiasm towards domestic and international sports events. Japanese corporations will pursue partnerships with the Tokyo 2020 Games not only for promotional purposes, but also out of a sense of social responsibility to help further sport in Japan.
Tokyo 2020 also estimates that domestic sponsorship eventually could exceed US $930 million.
The Tokyo 2020 Official Bid Partner Programme welcomes the support of other corporations that embrace the noble values of the Olympic Movement, and the desire to deliver long-term legacy for the city of Tokyo, nation of Japan, and the international sport community. Our Bid already has 18 Official Partners on board and many more to follow.