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Japan Has Chosen Female Ex-athlete As New Committee Chief After Sexism Storm

“As someone with an athletic background, I will carry out a safe Games for both athletes and citizens,” said Seiko Hashimoto.

Japanese athlete-turned-politician Seiko Hashimoto has been chosen as president of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing committee, replacing a man who resigned after setting off a furor with sexist remarks.

Hashimoto, who competed in seven Summer and Winter Olympics as a cyclist and a skater, now faces a raft of tough issues at the helm of one of the world’s biggest sporting events, with less than half a year before its delayed start.

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She must ensure athletes and officials are kept safe from the coronavirus, while also facing strong public opposition in Japan to the Games being held amid the pandemic.

Hashimoto announced her selection shortly after submitting her resignation as Olympics minister to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who encouraged her to make the Games successful.

“As someone with an athletic background, I will carry out a safe Games for both athletes and citizens,” she told a news conference Thursday.

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