Just 10 months prior to the rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games, Koji Murofushi, the organization committee’s Sports Director, has resigned.
A former Olympic gold medalist hammer thrower, Murofushi has been one of the prominent domestic faces of the Olympic Games, having served on the committee since 2014. He is credited with helping design the event schedules for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the time of his appointment, Olympic.org described Murofushi’s role as that of acting as a liaison between athletes, international sports federations and the Organising Committee to ensure the needs of athletes will be met during Tokyo 2020.
Of his appointment, the Olympic medalist said, “I’ve had the honour of competing in four Summer Olympic Games, from Sydney 2000 to London 2012, and I know what it takes to make a great Olympic experience for athletes.
“I want to contribute to organising an athlete-focused Games that will deliver a long-term legacy and benefit for the sporting community in Japan and beyond.”
Now 6 years later, Murofushi will be moving on to commissioner of Japan Sports Agency, an outfit which aims at promoting sport within the nation of Japan.
Inside the Games reported that Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori said he was “delighted” for Murofushi, but said he would be missed by the Organising Committee.
“Mr. Murofushi assumed the role of Tokyo 2020 Sports Director soon after the Organising Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced an overhaul of the initial venue plan from the bid phase,” Mori said in a statement.
“Mr. Murofushi proceeded to put in countless miles meeting with international sports federations throughout the world for a variety of discussions.
“It is thanks to his tireless work that we were able to finalise a plan that optimises existing venues and befits our current age.
“Although of course he will be missed with next year’s Games just around the corner, everyone at Tokyo 2020 offers our most heartfelt good wishes to Mr. Murofushi as he launches on an exciting new challenge.
“I know that Mr. Murofushi will prove a dependable partner at the helm of Japanese sports administration as we work together toward the success of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“We will continue to make every effort in the delivery of a safe and secure Games.”
You can view where Murofushi’s role fell into the bigger picture of the entire organization committee via this diagram.