Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota announced that, starting November, figure skater Rika Kihira is the company’s sponsored athlete.
Kihira was quoted by the company saying, “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to join Toyota starting from this season. Currently, I am training in Switzerland. As there are many figure skating competitions that also take place overseas, being able to receive support from Toyota employees and affiliates in various countries around the world gives me confidence. I look forward to being able to communicate with everyone. I would like to say thank you to Toyota for accepting me into the company and will do everything I can to grow as an employee and athlete at this exciting time. Thank you again for your support.”
The second-largest automobile manufacturer in the world, Toyota has been part of the Olympic Games since the mid-1990s. They became a Gold Sponsor of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, and, in 2015, the company reached an agreement with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee to become an Official Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner.
Toyota has sponsored many athletes for years – Nathan Chen, Shoma Uno, and Miki Ando are some of the top figure skaters who are either currently part of the Toyota brand or have been in the past.
18-year-old Kihira is currently the number one ranked ladies’ figure skater in the world, by the International Skating Union. She is the reigning Japanese National champion, a two-time Four Continents Championship winner, and won the ISU Grand Prix Final in her senior level debut season.