Toyota has selected 240* athletes from 43 countries/areas as their ‘Global Team Toyota Athletes’ to help them to realise their dreams of qualifying for the Olympic and Paralympic Games at Tokyo 2020.
Toyota has launched a dedicated page on its global website to support and share the stories and activities of approximately 240* athletes from 43 countries and areas around the world.
The name “Global Team Toyota Athletes,” we chosen as the people in the team embodies 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 page will be updated as the Games draw nearer, such as who qualifies to compete at Tokyo 2020, and as the athletes look forward to giving their best performance on the world’s stage.
The new page also communicates 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 those facing the auto industry during this 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 wants also to contribute to the improvement and advancement of people’s daily lives and society as a whole.
The “Global Team Toyota Athletes” include not only those who are Toyota employees, but others who have been selected from each country because they share Toyota’s philosophies, 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 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.
Toyota’s involvement with sports goes back to the founding of the company in 1937, when its first sports club, for track and field, was organised. Since then, Toyota has walked together with sports. The teamwork and personal progress gained through sports are not only experienced by the athletes themselves but also give power to those, including Toyota’s employees, who cheer for and support them.
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, commented on the reason why the company’s founder Kiichiro Toyoda created the sports division. He said: “To make things even 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, sports provided Toyota with a feeling of hope and encouragement to “never give up”. The Great East Japan Earthquake struck early in that year and, later in the year, flooding in Thailand caused the supply chain to be cut off, causing production to be suspended. Akio Toyoda went to see the situation and, while there, 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 game had been tied at 0-0 and the team 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 with a two-run victory instead.
Following the updated information about the miraculous win, Toyoda commented: “This came during a time when we as a company were already facing the challenge 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 sports 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. Toyota hopes to share the passion for sports will all its stakeholders, including its customers.
In addition to the new web page for athletes, Toyota already has a robust set of sites dedicated to sports, athletes and mobility
- Toyota Olympic, Paralympic and Sports website – will share information about Toyota and sports including the Olympics and Paralympics
- Athlete pages – new site introducing each of the Global Team Toyota Athletes
- Athlete stories – blog articles from selected athlete interviews that focus on their spirit of challenge
- Mobility for All – a site that shares the Start Your Impossible campaign’s philosophies and stories with comprehensive content, including the newly released film Para Tech, a feature about the eight-time Paralympic gold medallist Andrea Eskau and how Toyota engineers pushed the limits of what’s possible in para-cycling, drawing on Toyota’s experience in motorsports.
*Number correct at 22 August 2019
For a full list of athletes, images and profiles, please click here.