The torchbearers at the Grand Start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay will comprise members of the Japan women's national football team that won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. They were the first Asian team to win a world football tournament at any level.
The fighting spirit the team displayed during the World Cup inspired many of the people struggling in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, which had struck the country earlier that year. Their achievement was recognised with a National Honour Award given to the whole team in August 2011. Only 30 years after the formation of the first Japan women’s football team in 1981, the national team became world champions. The following year, they won silver medals as runners-up at the London 2012 Olympic Games and went on to win the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015.