The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) on Monday announced the appointment of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Akihiko Hoshide as Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay Space Ambassadors for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In this role, they will support and enliven the torch relay while in space by broadcasting supportive messages for the Olympic and Paralympic torchbearers from the International Space Station (ISS). During their orbits of the Earth, the astronauts will also undertake various initiatives aimed at bringing an extra-terrestrial dimension to the torch relay and boosting global awareness of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games as the build-up to them continues.
Noguchi commented, “I am delighted to have been appointed a Tokyo 2020 torch relay space ambassador. The flame is a symbol of peace and hope and I am looking forward to sending messages of peace from the ISS and cheering on those participating in the torch relay. I believe that the light of the flame will encapsulate the “power of recovery” emanating from Japan’s recent natural disasters, as well as the “tolerance” that allows us to accept diversity and the “dynamism” uniting local communities in a global festival, and that it will herald the sunrise of a new generation. To everyone in Japan, I say please join with us astronauts and help create a road of hope illuminated by flame.”
Added Hoshide, “When I heard about this opportunity, I felt very honored, and I realized how much closer the Tokyo 2020 Games are getting. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are great events involving top athletes from all over the world striving to win, to achieve a world record or achieve a personal best with the support of their team. Soichi and I look forward to engaging with the torch relay as it delivers the flame to the opening ceremony and helps to connect everyone’s hopes for the future.”© Japan Today