The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced Seiko Hashimoto as their replacement of former Tokyo 2020 Olympics Chief Yoshiro Mori. Mori resigned from the role following reports from earlier this month that he had made sexist remarks.
Seiko Hashimoto competed at the 1984, 1988, 1992, and 1994 Games in speed skating, along with the 1988, 1992, and 1996 Games as a cyclist. She won bronze in the 1500 speed skating event at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.
Following her athletic career, Hashimoto transitioned to a career in politics and was head of the Japanese competitor delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics. In 2019, Hashimoto was named Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Regarding her appointment to the role, Hashimoto said the following:
“I, Seiko Hashimoto, was selected as head of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee.
“As I’m taking on such a grave responsibility … I feel I need to brace myself.”
The IOC shared the 5 main criteria that they used to select Mori’s replacement. Those 5 criteria that they used during the selection process are:
1. Profound knowledge of the Olympics, the Paralympics, and sport in general.
2. Deep understanding of the principles of the Tokyo 2020 Games and the Olympic Charter, including gender equality, diversity, and inclusion; ability to actualize them during the Games and as keystones of the Tokyo 2020 legacy.
3. Experience on the global stage; international profile and sense of awareness.
4. Understanding of the overall background of the Tokyo 2020 Games and their current state of preparation.
5. Organizational management skills and ability to bring together diverse stakeholders.
Earlier this week, IOC President Thomas Bach said the following regarding Mori’s resignation:
“The IOC fully respects President Mori’s decision to step down and understands his reasons for doing so. At the same time, we would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution to the organisation of the postponed Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 over the course of the past years. Among his many accomplishments, President Mori helped to make Tokyo the best-ever prepared Olympic city. The IOC will continue working hand-in-hand with his successor to deliver safe and secure Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in 2021.”
Mori assumed the head role of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee back in 2014 and led the group for the majority of the lead up to the Games. Prior to that Mori served as Prime Minister of Japan from April 2000 until April 2001. He resigned from the Presidency after a year due to a significantly low approval rating.