Tokyo, 14 July 2009 — In the spirit of the pioneering founder of the modern Olympic Movement, Pierre de Coubertin, Tokyo 2016 today announced two major new academic partnerships with Osaka University of Sports and Sciences and Yamanashi Gakuin University.

The partnerships will see the Bid collaborate with the two institutions on research and education centred on the Olympic Movement, as well as examining how to maximise the unparalleled legacy of Tokyo 2016’s ultra-compact, sustainable and environmentally-friendly Games vision.

The universities bring Tokyo 2016 total major academic partnerships to eight. Tokyo 2016 already has agreements with Nippon Sport Science University, National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Ryutsu Keizai University, Senshu University, Kinki University, and University of Tsukuba.

A press conference at Osaka University of Sports and Sciences was attended by Dean Hirohide Nagayoshi, who emphasised the institution’s commitment to the Tokyo Bid and to developing Olympians and Paralympians of the future. Other university officials and celebrated alumni such as 2008 Olympian in trampoline, Yasuhiro Ueyama and 2008 Paralympian in athletics, Atsushi Yamamoto joined him at the event.

Paralympian Atsushi Yamamoto said:
“I am delighted by this partnership between my old university, Osaka University of Sports and Sciences, and the Tokyo 2016 Bid Committee. I fully support the Bid, and would love the people of Tokyo to see me compete at the Games in this city.”

A press conference was also held at Yamanashi Gakuin University. This was attended by Dean Tadahiko Furuya and other officials, who were joined by Professor Yuji Takada, wrestling gold medallist at Montreal 1976 and bronze medallist at Los Angeles 1984, and Professor Takashi Kawakami, Head Coach of the Japanese skating team at the 1988 Winter Games and Japanese team manager at Salt Lake City 2002 and Torino 2006. Also present was Professor Takahiro Nishida, Japanese national Judo team coach at Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. Dean Furuya outlined the educational and human resources assistance with which the university will assist Tokyo 2016.

Yamanashi Gakuin University’s vigorous promotion of sport earned the institution the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) Sports Award in 2004 – specifically in recognition of the school’s efforts to support athletes and enhance the international competitiveness of Japanese sport.

Professor Yuji Takada, two-time Olympian and wrestling gold medallist at the 1976 Games, said:
“I was fortunate enough to participate in more than one Olympic Games, and they were extremely valuable experiences for me. I want as many people as possible to have similar wonderful memories, and Tokyo 2016 will help to create these through uniting Japan’s unique history and culture with the Games. This will inspire young people everywhere, and Yamanashi Gakuin University will fully support the Bid in making this happen.”

Dr. Ichiro Kono, Chair and CEO of Tokyo 2016, said:
“The Tokyo 2016 Bid Committee is pleased to partner with both Osaka University of Sports and Sciences and Yamanashi Gakuin University. We all share a common belief that education, sport and the Olympic Movement’s values of excellence, friendship and respect can benefit all levels of society.

“Both schools have made major contributions to Japanese sport, and partnerships like these are ensuring that Tokyo 2016 is setting the stage for athlete and sport industry heroes for the benefit of Japan and the entire Olympic Movement.”


For further information, please contact:
Masa Takaya (Mr), Manager, International Communications, TOKYO 2016