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Road to Tokyo: OLYs shine at Tokyo 2020 test event

Japanese beach volleyball Olympians with Vicente Araujo (centre), the President of the FIVB’s Beach Volleyball Commission
Tokyo, Japan, July 27, 2019 - As a side-event to mark one year to go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, eight of the 12 beach volleyball Olympians from Japan were in attendance here Sunday to receive a framed OLY certificate and pin badge to honour their participation in the Olympics.

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The World Olympians Association launched the OLY post-nominal letters initiative in November 2017. Since that time more than 10,000 Olympians worldwide have been granted the honour, which serves as a constant public reminder and recognition of an Olympian’s achievements in the field of sport, as well as a recognition of their status in society and their commitment to furthering the Olympic ideals.

Vicente Araujo, the President of the FIVB’s Beach Volleyball Commission, presented the Japanese beach volleyball Olympians with the certificates and pins and said: “It was an honour for me to be here today to recognize these athletes for their Olympic accomplishments. Japan has a rich culture in volleyball and has been a leader in the development of the sport worldwide.”

The presentation was held prior to the medal matches at the 2019 Tokyo Open, which is a part of the 2018-2019 FIVB World Tour event. Among those receiving their OLY certificate and badges were Japanese women beach volleyball Olympians Yukiko Takahashi Kito (1996 and 2000), Sachiko Fujita Sagara (1996), Yukiko Ishizaka (1996 and 2000), Mika Saiki Fukui (2000 and 2008), Chie Seike Arita (2000) and Ryoko Tokuno Ito (2004).

Japanese men receiving their OLY certificate and badges were Shoji Setoyama (1996) and Katsuhiro Shiratori (2008 and 2012).  Other Japanese beach volleyball Olympians not present Sunday were Teruko Nakano (1996), Kazuyuki Takao (1996), Chiaki Kusuhara (2004 and 2008), and Kentaro Asahi (2008 and 2012)

“What better way to mark one year to go to Tokyo 2020 than to honour the Olympians, who play such an important role in securing the impact and legacy of the Olympic Games, with OLY,” said World Olympians Association President Joël Bouzou.

“I wish all Olympians and athletes on the road to Tokyo the very best of luck as they strive to compete on sport’s greatest stage in just 12 months’ time,” said Bouzou. Beach volleyball promises to be an exciting spectacle on the waterfront in Tokyo and I cannot wait to see the competition unfold.”

Saiki Fukui, who placed fourth with Takahashi Kito at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games said: “Competing at the Olympic Games was a moment of great joy for me and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I am proud to accept the OLY title as an enduring reminder of my role as an Olympian, in sport and in life. I can’t wait to welcome my fellow Olympians to Tokyo 2020 next year for what will be a wonderful celebration of the Olympic spirit.”

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