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2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games Send-off Party

2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games Send-off Party

(2012.07.09)

A send-off party for athletes and supporting staff of the University of Tsukuba (including graduates) who have been selected to represent Japan in the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games was held on July 9‚ 2012.
8 out of 17 athletes and 4 out of 32 supporting staff took time just before the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to attend the party.
The University Hall was packed with more than 500 well-wishers‚ including students‚ faculty‚ staff‚ and some 160 students of Azuma Junior High School.
With Associate Professor Kaori Yamaguchi of the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences chairing‚ the send-off party started with cheer dance performance by the dance club. It was followed by a speech by President Nobuhiro Yamada saying‚ "We hope you will bring out your best in a competition‚ and produce wonderful results." Thereafter Deputy Mayor Okada of Tsukuba City‚ in place of Mayor Ichihara‚ and Professor Hisashi Sanada of the School of Health and Physical Education each gave a speech of encouragement.
In response to this‚ the twelve athletes spoke of their ambitions for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Among them‚ four members who will take part in Judo competitions swore an oath to win gold medals. In addition‚ Ms. Taemi Akimoto (graduate of the Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged‚ University of Tsukuba)‚ who will compete in Boccia at the Paralympics‚ expressed her determination saying that she would like to give hope to the audience through her play.
After the presentation ceremony of commemorative gifts to the athletes by University President Yamada‚ the send-off party concluded with all participants singing the song‚ "Kirinoha."

The athletes who will compete in the Paralympics: (upper left) Mr. Yamada - men's swimming‚ (upper right) Ms. Wakasugi - goalball‚ (lower left) Mr. Suzuki - track and field‚ (lower right) Ms. Akimoto - Boccia
The athletes who will compete in the Paralympics: (upper left) Mr. Yamada - men's swimming‚ (upper right) Ms. Wakasugi - goalball‚ (lower left) Mr. Suzuki - track and field‚ (lower right) Ms. Akimoto - Boccia
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The judo athletes expressing their goals at the Olympics: (upper left) Ms. Ogata‚ (upper right) Mr. Hiraoka‚ (lower left) Ms. Fukumi‚ (lower right) Ms. Sugimoto
The judo athletes expressing their goals at the Olympics: (upper left) Ms. Ogata‚ (upper right) Mr. Hiraoka‚ (lower left) Ms. Fukumi‚ (lower right) Ms. Sugimoto
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The participants singing "Kirinoha"
The participants singing "Kirinoha"
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