It was with great sadness that The World Games family learned of the death of the former President of the Japan World Games Association and the former President of Sasakawa Sports Foundation, Ms Kiyoko Ono. Ms Ono died on 13th March 2021, 85 years old, from COVID-19.
As an Olympic gymnast, Kiyoko Ono took part in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and won the bronze medal at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. After retiring from competition, Ms Ono and her husband established the first private sports club in Japan.
In 1986 Ono was elected to the House of Councillors where she served three terms, and in 2003 she became the first woman to become Minister of the National Public Safety Commission.
Meanwhile, in 2001 The World Games was held for the first time in Asia at Akita prefecture in Japan, where Ms Ono was born. This 6th edition of The World Games was a great success and Ms Ono, as the Vice President of the Organising Committee, received great acclaim from the many sports organisations in Japan.
In 2005 Ms Ono became the first woman to become the Vice President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, and in 2016 she received an Olympic Order from the International Olympic Committee in recognition of her contribution to the Olympic movement.
During her lifetime, Ms Ono made significant achievements in promoting Sports For All movements, including Olympic philosophy and The World Games Sports in Japan.
The World Games thanks Ms Kiyoko Ono for her lifelong dedication to promoting The World Games and the Sport for All movement in Japan.
The thoughts of The World Games Family are with Ms Ono’s beloved ones at this very difficult time.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.