Weightlifting | Japan
Rika Saito is an Olympic Weightlifter who represented Team Japan at the 2008 Beijing Games. She came to weightlifting while training for athletics after her coach told her she had the ability to rank top in Japan. In her freshman year of high school, Rika won the All Japan Junior Weightlifting Championships. In recognition of this accomplishment, she was selected to represent Japan at the World Junior Weightlifting Championships and began competing in an increasing number of international tournaments. Rika retired in 2012 and studied abroad in Vancouver, Canada. She was deeply inspired at witnessing the Canadian sport culture and its impact on their personal lives. Now back in Japan, Rika is eager to lead activities that demonstrate the appeal and value of sports for people of all ages. Currently, she works as a strength and conditioning trainer at NRT-method Co., Ltd. She helps manage the company, proposing and executing plans to improve operational effectiveness and increase revenues. Besides her work, she also serves as an athlete committee member of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency to raise awareness on anti-doping initiatives. She is also a member of the Athlete Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, contributing to proposal development.
International Business Development Executive
Mentor | IWF France
Caroline MacDonald is an experienced business development professional with a legacy of excellence in promoting stakeholder engagement, leading fundraising initiatives and delivering projects. She is a public speaking coach & TEDx Founder with a passion for curating conversations. She specialized in Asia related marketing working in South East Asia for Takashimaya and in France and Japan for Galeries Lafayette. During her time in Tokyo she participated in the first Asean forum on Women in the 21st century, editing the forum report “A Gender Agenda”. During a three-year stint in Sri Lanka she wrote 'Sri Lanka for Kids' and a travel guide to Colombo, and, assisted displaced women and AIDS patients, fundraising for better care and opportunities for women. Caroline co-founded TEDxMiami and organized the first Miami One Billion Rising Event with Eve Ensler’s VDay team in 2013. In Brazil she led the first TEDxBrasilia in 2016 and delivered high-level leadership events during the Rio 2016 Games. Having directed the UK government’s scholarship program for Brazil until 2017, she is now developing international business for HEC Paris, France’s top business school. Caroline is Scottish & speaks English, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.