Expelled Olympic boss wanted to light a cauldron by ‘purely Japanese’ ex-Yankee player and NOT Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka was not the Japanese Olympic Committee’s first choice to light the Olympic flame and mark the opening of the 2021 Olympics – instead, sources say, the former committee chair wanted someone who was “purely Japanese.”
Yoshiro Mori, who in February resigned in disgrace as chairman of Tokyo’s organizing committee, had reportedly pressured his colleagues to get former Yankees player Hideki Matsui to light the torch.
“Mori wanted ‘Godzilla’ to light the Olympic flame at the end, not Naomi Osaka,” a committee official said anonymously. The everyday beast, referring to Matsui’s nickname he earned for his fighting prowess as a former Yankee.
He ended his two-decade career with a total of 507 home runs and has since made his appearance in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.
Yoshiro Mori, the former Tokyo organizing committee chairman, had reportedly wanted ex-Yankee player Hideki Matsui (left) to light the Olympic torch, not Naomi Osaka (right)
Osaka, from Team Japan, carried the torch to the Olympic cauldron
The lighting of the Olympic cauldron marks the beginning of the Olympics
Mori, who was previously the honorary president of Matsui’s fan club in Ishikawa prefecture – where Matsui was born, reportedly insisted that Matsui represent the country during the closing moments of the opening ceremony.
He told committee members that Matsui is “a pure Japanese man and a baseball champion in the United States and Japan – the epitome of [a] fighting spirit.’
The employee also said that Mori, a former prime minister of the country, would find it “funny in the sense that Godzilla would breathe flames and Matsui would light the kettle.”
And the committee would usually do what Mori wanted, an employee of Dentsu, a PR firm that works exclusively with the Games, told the opening ceremony, the Daily Beast told.
“If he wanted to change something or have something done, it was done,” said the employee, who also remained anonymous.
“Mori was practically the voice of God.”
It was only after Mori resigned in February in disgrace, following comments he apparently made claiming that women talk too much to serve on the committee, that his fellow committee members decided to approach Osaka – a biracial tennis player who was born in Japan – about lighting the flame, the Daily Beast reports, and she accepted.
But they also found a role for Matsui – as a torchbearer.
Matsui, center, could still serve as a torchbearer at the opening ceremony
Mori stepped down from his position as chairman in February in disgrace after he appeared to argue that women should not sit on the committee because they talk too much
Mori quit his role on the Japanese Olympic Committee more than a week after he appeared to suggest that women talk too much in meetings.
The 83-year-old former prime minister made the insulting remark after a board meeting streamed online on Feb. 3, when he expressed efforts to increase women’s representation on the panel by expressing concern that the meetings would drag on because the female members would compete. against each other to speak the longest, the New York Times reported at the time.
He apologized for his comments the next day, but as time went on, pressure to resign, both in his country and internationally, grew with the International Olympic Committee — which had previously called the matter “closed” after his apology, and later said Mori’s comment “was”. absolutely inappropriate.’
Mori officially resigned the following Friday, saying, “Just as we were preparing to hold the Games final, as president I said something I shouldn’t have said.”
He claimed he “didn’t mean it that way, although it was said to be discrimination against women,” but was instead meant to uplift women.
“I have praised women and encouraged them to speak out more,” Mori said, adding that he believed he was unfairly criticized for his age.
“The elderly are also doing well for the sake of Japan and the world,” Mori said. “I feel extremely unhappy that older people said they were bad.
“But it can lead nowhere if I complain.”