The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has announced the appointment of Japanese dancer and producer EXILE HIRO as the director of the Tokyo 2020 cultural segment of the Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony.
The ceremony, during which the Olympic Flame will be passed from the Hellenic Olympic Committee to Tokyo 2020 representatives, will be held at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on March 19, next year. After a cultural performance by Greek dancers and entertainers, the host country of Japan will stage its own cultural performance, under the direction of EXILE HIRO.
Born Hiroyuki Igarashi in Kanagawa, Japan, he had debuted as a member of Japanese music group ZOO in 1990.
In 1999 HIRO founded J Soul Brothers, which later changed its name to EXILE. As both performer and leader of the group, he propelled EXILE to become a national sensation. EXILE HIRO stepped down from performing in 2013. In March 2015, he became a member of the Tokyo 2020 Culture and Education Commission. Later that year he was awarded the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Award by the Japanese Government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs for his contribution to Japan’s artistic culture, Tokyo 2020 has stated on its official website.
EXILE HIRO commented, “I am extremely honored and humbled to have been chosen as the director for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony Tokyo 2020 Culture Part in Athens. My main goal is to have the kids, who are Japan’s hope for the future, express the The concept for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay: “Hope Lights Our Way”. I would like for the world to see the children’s spirited performance, which will further build on the momentum leading up to Tokyo 2020, but most of all, I will give it my all to make sure that the children experience something that they can take with them for the rest of their lives and to have it be an experience that will inspire them to build a bright future together.”