Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), worldwide partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, announced today that it 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, to be called "Global Team Toyota 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 we 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 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 also wants to contribute to improvement and the advancement of people's daily lives and overall society.
"Global Team Toyota Athletes" are comprised of not only athletes that are also Toyota employees, but include athletes that 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 walked together with sports. The teamwork and personal progress that are gained through sports are not only experienced by the athletes themselves, but also give power to those, including Toyota's employees, that 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, sports 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 turn it 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 sports to as many people as possible.
The athletes that 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 of sports with all its stakeholders, including its customers.
In addition to the newly added page for the athletes, Toyota already has a robust set of sites dedicated to sports, athletes and mobility:
1) Toyota Olympic, Paralympic and Sports website
- Shares information about Toyota and Sports, including Olympics and Paralympics
2) Athlete pages - Newly announced at this time
- Site introducing each of the approx. 240 "Global Team Toyota Athletes" (as of Aug. 22, 2019)
3) Athlete stories
- Blog articles from select athlete interviews that focus on their spirit of challenge
4) Mobility for All
- Site sharing the Start Your Impossible campaign's philosophies and stories with comprehensive contents, including the newly released film "Para Tech," a feature story on eight-time Paralympic gold medalist Andrea Eskau and Toyota engineers pushing the limits of what's possible in the sport of Para cycling while utilising Toyota's experience in motor sports
About Toyota's Top Olympic Partnership and Worldwide Paralympic Partnership
Toyota became the official worldwide mobility partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Committees in 2015 for the 2017-2024 period, covering the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 (South Korea) and Beijing 2022 (China) and the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Tokyo 2020 (Japan) and Paris 2024 (France). As a partner, Toyota aims to encourage creating a peaceful society without discrimination through sports and is committed to creating a sustainable society through mobility. Toyota's values of continuous improvement and respect for people are shared by The Olympic and Paralympic Games, which brings together the entire world in friendship and solidarity to celebrate the highest realisation of human potential. Toyota believes that mobility goes beyond cars; it is about overcoming challenges and making dreams come true, which is encapsulated in the company's "Start Your Impossible" corporate initiative and is the basis for its transformation from a car company to a mobility company. When you are free to move, anything is possible.