Seiko Hashimoto appeared in seven Olympics – four Winter Olympics and three Summer Olympics. According to historian Dr Bill Mallon, her seven appearances is the most by any “multi-season” athlete in the games.

Hashimoto made even more history on Thursday in Japan, where women are still rare in the boardrooms and positions of political power.

The 56-year-old Hashimoto was named as president of the Tokyo Olympic organising committee after a meeting of its male-dominated executive board. She replaces 83-year-old Yoshiro Mori, a former Japanese prime minister who was forced to resign last week after making sexist comments about women.

Hashimoto had been serving as the Olympic minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. She also held a portfolio dealing with gender equality and women’s empowerment.

She competed in three Summer Olympics (’88, ’92 and ’96) in cycling and in four Winter Olympics (’84, ’88, ’92 and ’94) in speedskating. She won a bronze medal- her only medal in 1992 in at 1,500 meters in speedskating.

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