Passing the Torch: Japan and Canada’s Friendship through Sport

In 2021, Japan hosted the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (Olympic Games: July 23 to August 8, Paralympic Games: August 24 to Sep 5).  The Games were postponed from 2020 to 2021 due to COVID-19 and held without any spectators. However, Team Canada sent 371 athletes for the Olympic Games and 128 athletes for the Paralympic Games, who won a record 24 medals (Gold:7, Silver:6 and Bronze:11) and 21 medals (Gold:5, Silver:10 and Bronze: 6), respectively.
On the occasion of Japan hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Embassy of Japan hosted a virtual event celebrating the friendship and people-to-people exchanges between Japan and Canada through sport. From July 22 to September 12, the Embassy of Japan had a special website featuring exclusive content and information related to the Games, as well as the friendly sports-relationship between our two nations.
This special online exhibition served as a hub for information related to the Games and our sports-relationship by introducing the Twitter streams of sports-related organizations such as the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) , Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and CBC Olympic news and individuals, as well as links to related websites, and the latest medal count of Team Canada.
For this website event, Kawamura Yasuhisa, Ambassador of Japan to Canada, the Hon. Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Ms. Tricia Smith, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Mr. Marc-André Fabien, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Ms. Melisa Kamibayashi-Staples, President of the Ottawa-Japanese Community Association (OJCA) delivered video messages to cheer on athletes and highlight on the significance of the friendship between Japan and Canada through sports.

Ambassador Kawamura’s video message

This website also introduced Japanese host towns to Canadian athletes. These host towns fostered their relationship with Canada through sports and showed their friendships and hospitality to Team Canada by supporting their performances. There were more than 20 host towns and some pre-camp sites. Among them, 17 host towns joined the Embassy’s website project. These are Sapporo City, Hakodate City, Misawa City, Morioka City, Shiwa Town, Natori city, Okaya City, Numazu City, Anjo City, Kariya City, Yokkaichi City, Gifu Prefecture, Komatsu City, Wakayama city, Akaiwa City, Miyazaki Prefecture and Miyazaki City.
The host town page:
On this website local Japanese cultural groups, as well as Japanese and Japanese-Canadian artists displayed performance videos cheering on athletes. Contributors included Mikuro Mika, J-Pop Artist, Oto-Wa Taiko, an Ottawa-based Japanese-style drum group, Canada Yosakoi Team Kaede, a group dance from Japan, Minyo Kai, a local group which performs Japanese traditional folk dance, Matt Miwa, Vice-President of OJCA and former gymnast, and Kids Dance Ottawa, a Japanese children’s dance troupe. 
The Embassy of Japan would like to express its extreme gratitude to all the above contributors. Thanks to their support, we hope the relations between our two nations was deepened through sport.

The top page of the event website

Many local Japanese and Japanese-Canadian artists
contributed videos cheering on athletes
Detailed information about each Japanese host town
to Canadian athletes was listed as part of the online event