Japanese Ambassador Hosts Ukrainian Olympic Champions
Japan's Ambassador to Ukraine, Takashi Kurai met with famous Ukrainian sportsmen and cultural officials
Athletes, ministers, and dignitaries attended a reception at the residence of Japanese Ambassador Takashi Kurai.
Many of the Ukrainian athletes will be headed to Tokyo next year for the Olympic Games.
As Tokyo will host the games in 2020, Kurai invited famous Ukrainian sportsmen and cultural officials to his residence.
Japan has hosted both the Winter and Summer Games, Kurai said.
For next year’s Olympics, Japan introduced a program of cities to host the various teams.
The Ukrainian team was hosted by three cities that provide cultural exchanges and sporting events for all participants.
“This project was organized specifically in preparation for the Olympic Games. In Ukraine, a lot of people are very much engaged in Japanese martial arts. Daria Bilodid is very famous in Japan, not only as an athlete but also as a very beautiful girl. Two weeks ago, the tournament for the cup of the Japanese Ambassador in kendo was held in Kyiv. I personally was there — it was awesome. The exchange between Ukraine and Japan in the field of sports will continue in the future,” Kurai said.
The Olympics in Japan has a special significance to Ukraine, as the paralympic team debuted at the 1998 games in Nagano. Ukrainian participants brought home 33 medals from the 2017 Paralympic Games in Japan including first place positions in the Ski World Cup and Biathlon.
“The young and inexperienced Paralympic team of Ukraine surprised the whole world by their will to win. Paralympic Games in Nagano gave the start to further development of the Paralympic movement in Ukraine. We appreciate that the Embassy of Japan is showing a high level of social responsibility towards Ukrainians experiencing social insecurity,” said Vice-President of the Ukranian National Committee of Sports for Disabled People, Oksana Skuhareva.
President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine Serhiy Bubka and winner of the 2016 Olympic Games Jean Beleniuk joined the event in order to wish athletes from both countries luck.
“I wish that Ukrainian athletes win as many medals as possible in the history of the Olympics,” Kurai said.