Tokyo, Japan, 13 August 2009 – As the countdown to the selection of the Host City for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games hit 50 days today, Tokyo 2016 re-affirmed its commitment to inspire and educate future generations around the world.

The Tokyo 2016 Bid to stage the most compact, sustainable and athlete-friendly Games ever connected thousands of children in the heart of Japan’s dynamic capital city for the Marunouchi Kids Festa, which gave children and their families the chance to think of their dreams and discover ways to achieve them.

Crowds of young people gathered at the Tokyo International Forum – Tokyo 2016’s proposed venue for weightlifting – between 11 and 13 August to listen to inspiring stories about the Olympic Movement and participate in Tokyo 2016’s latest ‘Olympics for All’, roadshow event. The roadshow series has seen Olympic and Paralympic heroes promote sport and Olympism to youth across Japan since October 2007.

The event featured energetic live demonstrations in gymnastics, athletics, volleyball, swimming, rhythmic gymnastics and badminton by some of Japan’s most well-known Olympic athletes. This included Jyunichi Miyashita, Beijing 2008 bronze medallist in swimming; Erika Akiyama, who competed in rhythmic gymnastics at Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988; Tomoko Yoshihara, a volleyball star at Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004 and Reiko Shiota who competed in badminton at the 2008 Games.

During the roadshow, Olympians wrote personals message of support for Tokyo 2016 on a special Bid flag. This will be taken by the Tokyo 2016 delegation to Copenhagen, where the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will select the host city for the 2016 Games on 2 October.

Dr Ichiro Kono, Chair and CEO of Tokyo 2016, said:
“Tokyo 2016 is committed to providing opportunities for young people to embrace the Olympic Movement and to experience the sense of achievement that comes from participating in sport and pursuing their dreams.

“Events for children, such as our very successful Olympic Games for All programme, are being held all over Japan as Tokyo 2016 continues setting the stage for generations of new heroes through our unique Bid concept.”

Also taking place was the start of the Tokyo 2016 Countdown Auction, at which uniforms from popular athletes numbered from 1-50 are being auctioned daily. Proceeds from the auction will be utilised in support of the Kano Jigoro Memorial International Sport Institute, established in May 2009 in honour of the first Japanese member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). 

The Institute actively promotes the Olympic Movement, fair play and exchange between nations and cultures, through sport. The auction saw Japanese Olympic and Paralympic sports federations demonstrate their support for the cause by donating uniforms from popular competitors.

For further information, please contact:
Masa Takaya (Mr), Manager, International Communications, TOKYO 2016
+81-90-6548-6102 (mobile), +81-3-5320-2480 (Tokyo office),