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Events - 12.10.2020

Olympic Webinar 2 | The Power of the Games for Communities


12.10.2020 (Thu.)


JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel



John Harper, COO of LA28, and Hidemasa Nakamura, GDO of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games engage in a dialogue moderated by President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation Renata Simril to explore how planners work together across geographies to create an amazing Games experience for both athletes and fans – uniting the world and bringing together communities. With the Tokyo Games’ unexpected delay to 2021, organizers have had more time to focus on planning for a variety of scenarios, with an ever-present focus on the power and unity of the Games for their community and the world. And with a special legacy of Games in LA in both ’32 and ‘84, LA28 is working towards advancing that storied legacy even further in their ongoing planning efforts.

This is the second of the two-part webinar series “Why Resilience Matters: How Adversity Molds Us” diving into the latest news regarding the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, co-presented by JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, and Japan America Society of Southern California.

*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner.

Recording Available

The recording can be viewed within this event page or on the official JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel.

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Speaker Profiles

John Harper | Chief Operating Officer, LA28
John Harper is a business executive with a proven record of launching new ventures and managing complex projects from start to finish. In his current role, John oversees the Games delivery plan, and the organizing committee’s internal operations, including the development and execution of the committee’s short-term and long-term strategic planning. John joined the team in June 2014 as a founding member of the bid committee.

Hidemasa Nakamura | GDO (Games Delivery Officer) / Executive Director of Sports, The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Born December 12, 1967 in Switzerland. Grew up in Thailand and the United States. After graduating from the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo in 1991, he joined the Ministry of Finance.

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After studying at Harvard University Kennedy School, he worked at the Japanese Embassy in the United States and OECD in France. From May 2014, he moved to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, where he was responsible for planning and finance, and was involved in the formulation of the convention vision, selection of new emblems, and financial agreements. In June 2018, he assumed the position of Games Delivery Officer (GDO) and Sports Director, who oversees the organization of the Organising Committee. Responsible for preparing the tournament.


Moderator Profile

Renata Simril | President & CEO, LA84 Foundation
Renata Simril is President and CEO of the LA84 Foundation. Formed in 1985, originally as the Amateur Athletic Foundation, the LA84 Foundation (“LA84” or the “Foundation”) is a legacy of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Summer Games.

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The LA84 Foundation transforms lives through its investment in youth sport programs, infrastructure, research, and education across eight Counties of Southern California, and is a national leader in elevating the role that sports play in positive youth development. Three primary activities support the Foundation’s mission (“Life Ready Through Sport”) of expanding youth sports in Southern California: grant-making investments in sports activities intended to create, expand and/or enhance structure youth sport participation across the region, with particular emphasis on under-served communities, including girls, ethnic minorities, and physically challenged and developmentally disabled; coaching education and training; and, research, youth sports related resources and public information. The Foundation has impacted the region through investments of $230 million in grants and programs to more than 2,200 organizations in support of over 3 million young people; support of the construction and/or renovation of over 100 sports facilities; educational/training clinics for more than 80,000 coaches; and, one of the nation’s largest sports libraries and an Olympic memorabilia collection.

Ms. Simril is an accomplished civic and private sector trailblazer with more than 25 years of diversified experience with a commitment to leadership and service. She most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, where she oversaw staff operations and special projects. Her earlier career included three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where she served as Senior Vice President of External Affairs overseeing the restoration of the Dodgers brand and the Dodgers Foundation; and over a decade in real estate development with Jones Lang LaSalle, Forest City Development and LCOR, Inc. Her public service included stints as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Housing in the Hahn Administration, where she worked to expand rental and affordable housing in Los Angeles, and as a Development Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley- Thomas, where she worked to help rebuild communities in South Los Angeles after the 1992 civil unrest. Ms. Simril began her career in the U.S. Army as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. and Germany.

Ms. Simril is active in the community outside of LA84 Foundation, currently serving on the Boards of United Way of Greater Los Angeles; LA 2028 Olympic Bid Committee; Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. She formerly served as a Governor’s Appointee on the California Science Center Board, where she led successful negotiations of long-term lease agreements for USC to manage and operate the Coliseum and Sports Arena properties; as Chair of the Board of Regents for LMU, and as a member of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at USC. She was named to the Orange County Register’s 50 Most Powerful in Southern California Sports list in 2017 and to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of The Los Angeles 500 Most Influential People in 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019. CSQ magazine named her a Visionary in Sports and Entertainment, 2017, and Simril received the WISE LA (Women in Sports and Entertainment) Women of Inspiration award in 2016.

Ms. Simril is a third generation Angeleno. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from USC. Ms. Simril resides in Studio City with her husband and two sons.

Olympic Webinar 1 | Facing Setbacks Like a Champion

Everyone faces setbacks in their lives – even Olympic athletes. This panel discussion features three athletes at the top of their sports who will share challenges they’ve faced on and off the field, give tips on how to persevere despite the obstacles, and reflect on how adversity can make us all stronger. Speakers include Apolo Ohno (former short track speed skater and 8-medal winning Olympian).

Watch Webinar

Recommended Article | “Going for Gold”

The Olympic Games are obviously synonymous with “sport”, but their association with art and design is just as strong. Read a new article about the history of Olympic art and design, as well as an overview of how innovative creativity is paving the way toward the next Tokyo games in 2021. From sustainable stadiums to unisex uniforms, Japan’s most cutting-edge creations are getting ready for the spotlight.

Read here
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