• Japan In Focus

Sapporo props up bid for 2030 with tour of 1972 its Olympic venues

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masashi Abe, right, shows the tour group his 1994 Olympic gold medal that he donated to the Sapporo Olympic Museum at the museum on Aug. 6.

SAPPORO — Kiyota Ward, Sapporo, invited parents and children to take a tour of several venues used at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics last month to help build momentum for the city’s bid to host the 2030 Games.

Thirteen residents of the ward who applied to take part in the tour traveled by bus on Aug. 6 to Makomanai Park, Miyanomori Ski Jump Stadium and other venues for the 1972 Games. They also watched a snowless ski jumping competition held at Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium and visited the Sapporo Olympic Museum as part of the tour.

Nana Fujimoto, who competed in her third consecutive Olympics at this year’s Beijing Winter Olympics as a member of the women’s ice hockey team, served as the bus tour guide.

At the museum, Masashi Abe, who won the gold medal in the Nordic combined team competition at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, spoke to the tour group about the skis on display, saying, “I wrote my son’s name on the skis.”

Ren Osanai, a sixth-grade elementary school student from Kiyota Ward who joined the tour with his family, said, “I want to see the Sapporo Olympics firsthand eight years from now.”

His sister, a second-grade elementary school student, expressed her excitement after Abe allowed her to hold his gold medal. “It was heavy, but it was beautiful and I had a good time,” she said.