• Kyodo


Morinari Watanabe, who took office as president of the International Gymnastics Federation on New Year’s Day, proposed Tuesday the word “challenge” as this year’s slogan for the sport.

“I am from Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun. I would like to throw new sunshine on the gymnastics family,” Watanabe said in his post on the official website of the world governing body for gymnastics, known in short as the FIG.

“I am determined to rise to the challenge of forming a new FIG and I would like you to join me in accepting new challenges in 2017,” he said. “Please take on a new challenge that is different from what you did last year.”

The 57-year-old Watanabe, who served as secretary general of the Japan Gymnastics Association, became the first Asian chief of the FIG and the first Japanese head of an international organization for an Olympic sport in 23 years.

His four-year term runs through 2020, when Japan hosts the Olympics and Paralympics.

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