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Carrying Waseda spirit to the London Olympics & Paralympics
Support for 16 global athletes from Waseda

On July 12th and 18th, the "Waseda University London Olympics and Paralympics Send-Off Event" was held on Waseda Campus. More than 500 students gathered to show their support for Waseda students and alumni who will compete in the London Olympics and Paralympics from August to September, 2012.

A total of 16 athletes from Waseda University will compete in the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics. Athletes participating in the send-off event included the following 5 Olympic athletes: Yuhei Tokunaga (Men's soccer; graduated from School of Human Sciences in 2007), Haruna Sakakibara (Women's singles scull; 1st year student at the School of Sport Sciences), Asumi Omura (Women's singles kayak canoe sprint; 4th year student at the School of Sport Sciences), Genki Dean (Men's javelin; 3rd year student at the School of Sport Sciences), and Takumi Kuki (Track & field-Men's 4×100 meter relay; 2nd year student at the School of Sport Sciences). Also participating were the following 2 Paralympic athletes: Junichi Kawai (Men's swimming; graduated from School of Education in 1998, completed courses at Graduate School of Education in 2005) and Junpei Kimura (Men's swimming; graduated from the School of Education in 2007). In front of student supporters, all of the athletes vowed to give their best performance at the Olympics.

Group photograph taken after send-off party

Bringing hope and courage to Tohoku and Japan through Waseda's performance

Following the send-off event, the athletes were showered with cheers and applause from the Waseda Cheering Club and participating students. Everyone then put their arms around each other's shoulders and sang a chorus of Konpeki-no-Sora (Azure Sky) and Alma Mater. President Kamata then gave the following message of strong encouragement: "I hope that you will show the results of your devoted training and will display the Waseda spirit. It would be wonderful if that effort leads to your winning a medal. I also look forward to the full support of all students and alumni who attended today's event. We must show our athletes the full support of our Waseda spirit. I hope that all competitors from Waseda will stay healthy and give their best effort." Olympic athletes will travel to London after finishing their final training in Japan.

The school flag is carried through the crowd under blue skies

President Kamata encourages athletes

A total of 282 students and alumni (167 students, 115 alumni) from Waseda Students have participated in the Summer Olympic Games until now. Our students have an outstanding record of 8 gold medals, 18 silver medals and 18 bronze medals. Athletes from Waseda have also won numerous medals in the Paralympics. We look forward to more glory in London.

Messages from athletes

Yuhei Tokunaga

Yuhei Tokunaga

"My goal is to win a medal. Although men's soccer isn't getting much attention compared to the women's team, we will play as hard as possible while aiming for the best possible result. Please cheer for us!"

Haruna Sakakibara

Haruna Sakakibara

"My ultimate goal is to win a gold medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. For now, I hope to post a personal best time in London. Thanks for your support."

Takumi Kuki

Takumi Kuki

"Before the Olympics start, I hope to get to know the other runners and prepare thoroughly. I know that a lot of people expect us to win a medal. We have a young team with many university students, and I think that this youthful exuberance will enable us to compete with the world."

Asumi Omura

Asumi Omura

"After experiencing send-off events in my hometown and at university, I really feel the power of everyone cheering for me. I'm so excited. I will make the most of this opportunity which comes only once every four years. I hope to give my best effort and, most of all, to enjoy myself."

Genki Dean

Genki Dean

"All of the support that everyone has shown has made realize that the Olympics are right around the corner. No Japanese athlete has ever won an Olympic medal in the javelin. I will make every effort to give the best performance in Japanese history."

Junichi Kawai

Junichi Kawai

"This will be my 6th time participating in the Paralympics. I will give my best effort to win a medal. The Waseda spirit will be in my heart as I compete in London. Your support means everything to me."

Junpei Kimura

Junpei Kimura

"I am focused on winning a medal. I hope that everyone will pay attention to the Paralympics. It would be great if Waseda students would convey the appeal of the Paralympics to other students and other people. I look forward to your support!"

Link

Special webpage for London Olympics & Paralympics