Ota named to International Fencing Federation leadership post

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Fencer Yuki Ota, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, was selected as one of six members of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) Athletes Commission, it was announced on Tuesday.

The term is for four years for the Shiga Prefecture native and the other commission members.

In 2008, Ota earned a silver in the men’s individual foil at the Beijing Summer Games. Four years later, he took home a medal for Japan’s runnerup finish in the team foil competition in London.

Ota has played an active role for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid Committee, serving as one of its ambassadors. During the IOC Evaluation Commission visit in March, he led a tour of Tokyo Big Sight, the proposed fencing site for the 2020 Games.

Now, he’s eager to make an impact in a leadership position within the international fencing community.

“It is a tremendous honor to become a member of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) Athletes Commission,” Ota said in a statement. “Fencing is my life, so I am thrilled to serve as one of the commission’s members. Today is a huge milestone in my career. Going forward, I look forward to collaborating closely with my international colleagues for the betterment of the sport. I am confident that the popularity of fencing will continue to grow in Japan.

“Should Tokyo 2020 receive the honor of hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I would be so proud to welcome all of my international fencing friends and colleagues to Japan.”

Tokyo 2020 CEO Masato Mizuno said Ota’s appointment to the commission is a big deal, calling it “a huge day for Ota and the nation.”

“Tokyo 2020 is very proud that one of its bid ambassadors has been given such an honorable role,” Mizuno said. “As with his role at Tokyo 2020, I am sure he will be a strong and effective ambassador for athletes in the FIE Athletes Commission, leading to further development and progress for the sport.”

The IOC will select the host city for the 2020 Olympics on Sept. 7 in Buenos Aires. Istanbul and Madrid are the other bid cities.