By Mike Rowbottom

Koji Murofushi said he wants to recreate some of the buzz seen at Tokyo 1964 ©Facebook/AISTSKoji Murofushi, Japan's Olympic and world gold medallist in the hammer, has today thrown out some new ideas about the possible key aspects of the Tokyo 2020, for whom he was named sports director in June.

Speaking at the first of what will be a series of education seminars in the Japanese capital organised by the Tsukuba International Academy for Sport Studies (TIAS) and the AISTS Mastering Sport group, the 39-year-old Murofushi set out a series of possible challenges.

These included spreading the Olympic legacy to older and well as younger generations, and using sport to help mend communities broken by disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami which struck the east coast of Japan three years ago.

"We want to build on the London 2012 legacy idea," Murofushi said.

"Legacy must find special ways of touching the lives of young people, and that is really important to me.

"But I wonder whether in Tokyo 2020 we can reach a bit wider and touch not just one generation but every generation.

"At the Tokyo 1964 Games Japan provided some of the youngest competitors, but those Games were the first for an athlete who has since become the oldest Olympian at 71, Hiroshi Hoketsu, who competed at the equestrian events in London 2012.

"I heard him talking in an interview, and he said: 'I only stop competing when I feel I no longer improve.'

"What an incredible attitude!

"Other countries around the world all share the challenges that come with having an ageing population.

"I hope one part of the Tokyo 2020 legacy will be to encourage people of every age to lead healthier, more active lives."

The Olympian was speaking at an education seminar in Tokyo ©Facebook/AISTSThe Olympian was speaking at an education seminar in Tokyo ©Facebook/AISTS

Murofushi, who dedicated his 2011 gold medal at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Daegu to the people of Kobe, who had been stricken by natural disasters earlier in the year, made out a possible new field of operation for Tokyo 2020.

"We will look at how sport can play a role in communities that have suffered disaster," he said.  

"This is something particularly close to my heart because of work I and fellow athletes have been involved with in tsunami areas in Kobe.

"We received incredible support at the time from the global Olympic family.

"It really opened my eyes to how much sport can mean apart from just sport.

"I think we can have a fantastic opportunity as Tokyo 2020 to look at the different experiences of the role sports has in helping disaster recovery around the world.

"Maybe we can even create a new template of global best practice.

"Believe me, if you really want to see sport changing lives and reviving hope in people, come with me to one of the schools we have been working with in Kobe and you will be blown away.

"That kind of thing is a legacy as big as anything else we can aspire to."

Koji Murofushi said he Tokyo 2020 to have the same kind of impact that the Olympics had in 1964, the last time the Japanese capital staged the Games ©Olympic MuseumKoji Murofushi said he Tokyo 2020 to have the same kind of impact that the Olympics had in 1964, the last time the Japanese capital staged the Games ©Olympic Museum

Murofushi added that he wanted the Tokyo 2020 Games to give "a new generation in our country the same buzz about opening up to the world that their grandparents had 50 years ago at the 1964 Games.

"It's hardly news to this audience that Japan is an island and we can sometimes come across as a little bit closed within ourselves.

"Looking at it from our point of view, a huge part of the 2020 Games will be opening up to the world.

"Twenty twenty is an amazing opportunity for a new generation to show how Japan and the rest of the world can come together.

"It can play a big role in showing the next generation how good it is to open up to the world and people of different cultures.

"The heart of that will be athletes in the Olympic Village.

"But there are lessons we can learn from London 2012 - the welcome they gave to the world was amazing in every way."

Murofushi also addressed the promise made to the International Olympic Committee, that Tokyo 2020 "would be about discovering tomorrow", adding: "That's why we have announced our Sports for Tomorrow project, a government-backed plan to reach out to 10 million people in 100 countries between now and 2020.

"It has many dimensions, and I want to highlight a couple of them.

"We aim to create a new generation of coaches and sports officials in developing countries, and we will do that by setting up a sports academy to transfer those skills to countries who need it most.

"We intend to transfer those skills, and we are also committed to sharing Japan's knowhow and experience in the field of anti-doping.

"These are some of my initial thoughts on some key aspects of Tokyo 2020.

"But I should make very clear that nothing I am talking about is written in stone - we are very open to challenge and new thinking.

"But a big part of Tokyo 2020 will be about taking Japanese skills in specific areas and sharing them more widely than ever before.

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