A record holder for being the Japanese woman athlete who has made the greatest number of Olympic appearances
Seiko Hashimoto, for the Japanese, is a name synonymous with Olympics, literally! Born in the year of the Tokyo Olympics, in 1964, she was named after the Olympic flame ‘seika’. A record holder for being the Japanese woman athlete who has made the greatest number of Olympic appearances, the former speed skater, sprinter and track cyclist is a beacon of inspiration for women who dream of making it big in the male-dominated world of sports and politics.
Currently the president of Japan Skating Federation, she has served as the Japanese minister for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games until she replaced former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organising Committee president after he made a controversial exit from the panel.
Hashimoto was just 20 when she debuted at the Olympics. After a series of successful athletic pursuits, the seven-time Olympian conquered the political arena, handling development, education, foreign affairs and sports. Call this woman a real sport; even when she switched her athletic career to politics, she continued her winning streak, getting elected to the House of Councillors, thrice!
A mother of six, Hashimoto revolutionised the concept of female lawmaker when she availed maternity leave after becoming the first upper house politician to give birth while in office. A campaigner for maternity benefits, she established a child care facility at the Japanese legislature.
As someone with athletic background, political sensibility and sensitivity, the 56-year-old is all set to rock in her new role to deliver a safe and successful Olympics, which is slated for July.