Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020, believes the Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games will provide “valuable experience” in the build-up to Tokyo 2020.
The Olympic Council of Asia’s 8th Asian Winter Games opened at the Sapporo Dome in February featuring five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events at 12 competition venues.
Mori said: “It is a great honour for Japan to be able to host such a prestigious event as the Asian Winter Games for the fourth time. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee would like to welcome and wish the best of luck to the athletes from 32 countries and regions who are competing at this birthplace of the Asian Winter Games.
“We would also like to send our best wishes to the organisers who will be able to showcase the best of what Sapporo and Japan have to offer: world-class facilities, a centuries-old culture imbued with a modern and cosmopolitan spirit, as well as a unique Japanese kind of hospitality we call ‘omotenashi’.”
A record 1,200 athletes and 32 National Olympic Committees competed in Sapporo 2017 and Mori added that the logistics behind the Asian Winter Games are important for Tokyo 2020 preparations.
Mori said: “For Tokyo 2020, the Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games offers the experts we are engaging in various fields, from transportation to medical services, media operations and venue management, an opportunity to gain valuable experience in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“For international delegations and sports fans, they also offer a foretaste of the experience that awaits them at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”