Earlier this month we reported how Tokyo 2020 organizing committee Sports Director Koji Murofushi resigned to pursue a new role as commissioner of Japan Sports Agency.
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.
Replacing Murofushi will be Mikako Kotani, an Olympic bronze medalist in artistic swimming (then-synchronized swimming) at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. She was Japan’s first-ever female flagbearer for a Summer Olympic Games.
54-year-old Kotani has currently been serving as an executive board member on the Japanese Olympic Committee. In her new role, she will act as the organizing committee’s liaison with the International Olympic Committee and international sports federations.
“As Sports Director, I am very honored and humbled to be able to support the Olympic and Paralympic Games from a sporting perspective and the perspective of an Olympian,” Kotani said in a statement.
“We will work hard to overcome the unprecedented challenge the world is facing, and help athletes perform to their best in a new kind of Games,” Kotani said. “By furthering deepening communications with athletes as well as the understanding and friendship with international federations that Sports Director Murofushi has built, I will do my best to contribute to the success of these historic Games.” (The Japan Times)