Toyota gives support to Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls

Brian Joss – Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), worldwide partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, announced today that Athletes,” as they embody a spirit of ‘challenge’ and ‘continuous improvement’ to push themselves to qualify for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The dedicated web page for athletes introduces their stories as Global Team Toyota Athletes on their journey to participate in Tokyo 2020. The athlete page will be updated as things move closer to the Games, such as who qualifies to compete in Tokyo 2020, as the athletes look forward to performing their best on the world’s stage.

The new page also conveys Toyota’s ‘Start Your Impossible’ global corporate initiative, a message that encapsulates Toyota’s strong desire to recognise and help with challenges faced by all, including the challenges facing the auto industry during the current unparalleled time of rapid change. Sports, and the way that athletes challenge themselves to improve and reach their goals are inspirational and show the way to a better society. By helping to create a more open and inclusive society that allows people to challenge their potential, Toyota also wants to contribute to improvement and the advancement of people’s daily lives and overall society. *Number of athletes as of August 22, 2019 “Global Team Toyota Athletes” consist of not only athletes who are also Toyota employees, but include athletes who have been selected from each country because they share Toyota’s philosophies and values, such as “challenge,” “continuous improvement,” “sincerity,” “teamwork,” “humility and gratitude,” “accountability and honesty,” etc. The athletes put ‘Start Your Impossible’ into practice when they compete in their respective sports, and they demonstrate courage and invigorate all of Toyota’s stakeholders, starting with our employees. Aside from the support Toyota provides for athletes as an employer, the company also offers support in equipment development, as a sponsor, and in a variety of other ways.

The history of Toyota’s involvement with sports goes back to the founding of Toyota Motor Corporation in 1937, when the company’s first sports club, the track and field club, was organised. From that time, Toyota has been closely aligned to sport. The teamwork and personal progress that are gained through sport are not only experienced by the athletes themselves, but also give power to those (including Toyota employees) who cheer for and support them.

Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, commented on the reason the founder Kiichiro Toyoda created the sports division, saying:

“To make things ever better, we need to have a ‘never give up’ mentality. As we fight for something other than ourselves, such as our colleagues, we realise we are doing it ‘for the team’, something that has been apparent in our repeated attempts to make ever-better-cars.”

In 2011, sport provided Toyota with a feeling of hope and encouragement to “never give up.” During that year, the “Great East Japan Earthquake” struck early in the year, and, later that year, flooding in Thailand caused the supply chain to be cut off, causing a suspension in production. Akio Toyoda went to see the situation, and while there, he received updates on the company’s women’s softball team back in Japan. The team was in the midst of the final match for the season title. The first update was that the team had been tied scoreless at 0-0 and had just given up two runs in overtime.

However, the team rallied and was able to pull off a turn-around from behind, ending the game instead with a two run victory.

Following the updated information about the miraculous win, Toyoda commented, “This came during a time when we as a company were already facing the challenges of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the flooding in Thailand, seeing the softball team’s victory brought much needed encouragement.”

Because of this experience and many others, Toyota aims to spread the wonder of sport to as many people as possible.

The athletes who compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games are the real stars. To help them shine as brightly as possible, Toyota, as a TOP partner, will support the Games by providing technology and services such as leading-edge mobility vehicles, robots that support mobility, and the use of the Toyota Production System.

CAPTION: Up for the challenge: helping people realise their dreams. Picture: Motorpress

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