Next Olympic President Likely To Be A Woman

By Ben Hamill - February 21 2021
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Next Olympic President Likely To Be A Woman

In an ironic twist of fate, Yoshiro Mori, the former head of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics who was forced to resign last week after making derogatory comments about women talking too much, now looks to be set to be replaced by a woman. According to local news doing the rounds in Japan, the job of the next president of the Tokyo Olympic committee has been offered to Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto.

Citing an anonymous source intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the matter, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported earlier this week that the selections committee was about to approach Hashimoto about the possibility of her accepting the job. The committee is reportedly scheduled to meet again before the weekend.

Naming the 56-year-old Hashimoto the new president could be a breakthrough for gender equality in Japan, a country where women are heavily underrepresented in politics and in corporate boardrooms.

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Hashimoto’s Competitors

Also reportedly in the running for Mori’s job are two more former Olympians: Yasuhiro Yamashita, gold medallist in judo in 1984, and Mikako Kotani, who won two bronze medals in synchronised swimming in 1988 in Seoul.

If Hashimoto were to indeed be offered the job of president of the Olympic committee, she would certainly have it all cut out for her. According to national polls, roughly 80% of Japanese nationals want the Olympic Games either outright cancelled or postponed for another year. Japan only this week started rolling out vaccines, placing the country months behind developed countries such as Britain and the U.S.

Another cause for concern is the price tag connected to hosting an event like the Olympic Games in a time of incredible humanitarian crisis. Government audits now suggest that the official cost could exceed an incredible $25 billion.

Worry Is Understandable

This year’s Olympic Games are scheduled to open on July 23, followed by the Paralympic Games on Aug. 24. A total of 15,400 athletes are due to compete.

The safety plan of action is to restrict athletes to the athlete’s village in a bubble-like setup. The problem, however, is that many of the thousands of support staff, media officials, broadcasters, and sponsors, will have to operate outside of the protective bubble. This is understandably causing Japanese people quite a bit of anxiety.

The committee has in the meantime rolled out the first of a series of three special “Playbooks”. These are to provide guidance and specific details about how the Olympics can happen in a safe and controlled manner. 

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