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Former figure skating champion Watanabe to serve as ‘Village’ Mayor at Sapporo 2017

14 Feb 2017
Sapporo, Japan, February 14, 2017: Former Olympic figure skater Emi Watanabe, an eight-time national champion in Japan, will play a new role at the OCA’s 8th Asian Winter Games in Sapporo this week. Watanabe, who also won the bronze medal at the 1979 world championships, has been appointed Village Mayor – or, more precisely, Mayor of the Athletes’ Hotel, as the APA Hotel and Resort in Sapporo will accommodate the athletes.

One of her main roles will be to provide the welcome speech to delegations at the official Team Welcome Ceremonies. The ceremonies will take place from February 16-18 (Thursday-Saturday) and will be held at either Minami Ward Gymnasium or Sapporo Prince Hotel International Convention Center Pamir. 

The first two ceremonies have been set for Thursday, with Kyrgyzstan on first at 4.30pm and host Japan at 6.30pm. Each ceremony will last for 30 minutes, including the opening section, welcome speech by Mayor Watanabe, the national anthem and flag-raising of the NOC and exchange of commemorative gifts.

The schedule for the ceremonies on February 17-18 will be announced later. The Sapporo AWG will run from February 19-26, with five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events at 12 venues - 11 in Sapporo and one (speed skating) at Obihiro.
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