Introducing Yuko Okura, Archery Manager for Tokyo 2020
Yuko Okura started archery in high school, where she was taught by her teacher, who was a two-time Olympian in archery. Minako Sato-Hokari competed at both Montreal in 1976 and Los Angeles in 1984.
“Since it was so fun, I decided to continue this sport at College of Physical Education, where I studied sports psychology and coaching,” says Yuko, who still enjoys shooting whenever he has a chance.
After she graduated, she went on coaching her high school club, then progressed to the women’s team of her college, as well as teaching archery classes in university and to juniors in her home city. This led her to completing the National Coach Academy held by the Japanese Olympic Committee, and in 2015, she passed the test to become a continental judge.
Before being appointed as sport manager for archery for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Yuko Okura worked as a volunteer at the Archery World Cup Final held in 2012 in the Japanese capital.
This opened the door to getting involved into the national archery association, the All Japan Archery Federation, of which she was appointed a council member of its international committee the year after. Yuko has also acted as a translator for the national archery team, which exposed her first-hand to international archery events.
“I’m very grateful to the All Japan Archery Federation for sending me to World Archery events as an observer to learn how to manage the events,” Yuko says. She observed the 2015 World Archery Championships in Copenhagen as part of the international federation team. “It was a great experience for me and I hope to pay my appreciation back by learning a lot more and working hard.”
While admitting that she still has to learn many things, Yuko says she now has a great team – Tokyo 2020 – and a great mentor – World Archery – both of whom she’s very excited to work with: “They are always giving me great support.”
“By working together with the teams, having good relationships and supporting each other, I hope we can make a great Games for archers and spectators. I want to make people from all over the world see how wonderful Japan is and make archery more popular in the country.”
“I know archery is a great sport, and I hope many people will have the chance to realise that through the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.”