Former Female Olympian Seiko Hashimoto Elected as New Tokyo Olympic President Replacing ‘Sexist” Yoshiro Mori.
FOLLOWING the resignation of the head of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Organising Committee, Yoshiro Mori, after sexist comments he made against women being leaked to the Japanese press on February 4, former female Olympian Seiko Hashimoto has been appointed at an executive board meeting – which is 80 per cent male. The Japanese Olympic Committee board currently has 24 members, five of whom are women.
During a board of trustees event, 83-year-old Mori, a former Japanese prime minister, allegedly inferred that having more women at meetings would only serve to make them longer, as women talk too much.
Now, 56-year-old Hashimoto has been named president of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee on Thursday, February 18 after resigning from her role as Olympic minister to take on her new position as chief of the Tokyo Games.
Hashimoto competed in three Summer Olympics (’88, ‘92 and ’96) in cycling and in four Winter Olympics (’84, ’88, ‘92 and ’94) in speedskating. She won a bronze medal – her only medal – in 1992 at 1,500 metres in speedskating.
As reporting by the AP, Hashimoto told the board: “Now I’m here to return what I owe as an athlete and to return back what I received,” speaking through an interpreter in Japanese.
Japan is 121 in the list of 153 countries on gender equality compiled each year by the World Economic Forum so naming a woman could be a milestone for gender equality in the country, where women are under-represented on boards and in politics.
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