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Former Japanese beach volleyball player helps bring excitement of Olympic Games to Tokyo

Kentaro Asahi, Japan’s beach volleyball London Olympics participant was also a former volleyball player who was on the Japan's men's national team in the 1990s.

Tokyo, Japan, September 25, 2013 - Kentaro Asahi, Japan’s beach volleyball London Olympics participant, took part in a panel discussion entitled, ‘Power of sports unites local communities’, to celebrate Tokyo’s hosting of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.   

About 300 people attended the panel discussion, which also included former Japanese Olympic swimmer, Hiroko Nagasaki who competed in the Seoul Olympics. The event was held Monday at a hall in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward.

Old video footage of the opening ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics was shown prior to the start of the discussion and videos of the performances of Japanese athletes during previous Games.

Nagasaki spoke of the loud cheers she received when she left the airport to participate in the Olympics and told the audience, “Everyone should also support the [upcoming] Tokyo Olympics.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020 to Tokyo at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires at the beginning of September. The Japanese city was chosen over fellow Candidate Cities, Istanbul and Madrid, after two rounds of voting.

Tokyo received 60 votes to Istanbul’s 36 in the final round, with Madrid having been eliminated in the first round after losing a tie-breaker with Istanbul. Tokyo, which also bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, previously hosted the Games in 1964.


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