A Japanese Olympics super fan, Naotoshi Yamada that has attended all games since 1964, died on 9th of March due to a heart failure.
A national celebrity that has appeared to every summer game, known by everybody as the “オリンピックおじさん”(Olympic Ojisan/ Uncle Olympics), died at 92 years old this year, in March.
It was announced that the funeral will be held only between close relatives and also a farewell party will be held from 16th of April at Koto Ward in Tokyo, Tokyo Kiba Hotel, 2 pm.
「オリンピックおじさん」こと山田直稔さんが92歳で亡くなられたと聞き、胸を痛めております。彼は1964年東京オリンピック以来全ての大会を観戦された本物の「スーパー」ファンでした。我々皆来年東京で彼にお会いできないこと、残念に思います。- IOC会長トーマス・バッハ pic.twitter.com/QtrdNteykO
— オリンピック (@gorin) March 18, 2019
Uncle Olympics cheering on Japan’s team has become beloved by the media in Japan, the Japanese players and all the citizens, always with a shimmering smile on his face, a gold top hat and traditional clothes has won everyone’s hearts and became the international cheerleader that made the athletes feel relieved at his sight and receive lots of energy from his radiating smile and the energy he supports them with.
— 絶対 (@2BenKi) March 18, 2019
The last event he participated in was Rio de Janeiro in 2016 , his golden hat and the fan with the Japanese Flag ‘Hi no Maru’, waving and cheering the athletes, made him well-known between the Brazilian audience that seemed to have taken a liking on the cheerleading ojisan.
— いわん (@iwan0730) March 18, 2019
Naotoshi Yamada, a man in love with sports, especially the Olympics. Was born in 1926 in Toyama Prefecture. During his life, besides enthusiastically cheering up Japan in the Games, he worked as a salaryman and built a successful business as a wire rope manufacturer. Slowly he expanded his business to hotels and real estate sectors.
— プロ野球まとめNEWS (@yakyuu324) March 18, 2019
Mr. Yamada has supported Japan and up until now, he has been going to every summer game since 1964: Mexico, Munich, Moscow, Montreal, L.A, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Beijing, London, Rio de Janeiro, Athens and also supported the athletes during the winter games in Nagano in 1998. His first Olympics in Tokyo were at the age of 38 and has declared to the Japanese media that he strongly wishes to see the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
— OTEKOMACHI（大手小町） (@otekomachi) August 7, 2016
The Uncle Olympics made the games in Mexico so much exciting as he mistook one of the runners for a Japanese athlete and loudly supported the Mexican, leading to an unbelievable result and turning it into an amazing show that goes beyond imagination as the locals started to cheer for the Japanese athletes in return.
Always livening up the atmosphere of the games with his overflowing energy, the Olympic Ojisan will always remain in our hearts and I am sure he will be watching the Games together with us supporting and watching over the athletes during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.