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10/13 El Tour XXV Honors Dr. Tatsuo Okada - Founder of the Ecoflag Movement

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El Tour XXV Honors Dr. Tatsuo Okada - Founder of the Ecoflag Movement

11 October 2007, TUCSON, Ariz. - Richard J. DeBernardis, president and CEO of Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc., announced today that the University Medical Center 25th El Tour de Tucson presented by Diamond Ventures will be dedicated to Dr. Tatsuo Okada of Tokyo, Japan for his extraordinary work in promoting the importance of a clean environment for the health and wellness of all individuals around the world.

Dr. Okada, founder of the Ecoflag Movement, a program of NPO Global Sports Alliance (GSA), travels the world promoting a new concept of "Ecoplay" - enrich nature, save energy and reduce material consumption in order to create a sustainable civilization. As CEO and Founder of GSA, located in Tokyo, Tatsuo has established charter organizations in the United States (GSA-USA), Pakistan, Spain, Nairobi, Greece, Monaco, Nepal, Singapore, Beijing, Oslo and Rio. He has become known for his slogan - "Think Environment".

In 2002, Tatsuo led Greg LeMond and his family to the top of Mt. Fuji, promoting the awareness of a cleaner environment. More recently, he funded and led the "Fuji Without Limits" expedition - escorting World Handcyclist Champion Greg Hockensmith, who is paralyzed from the waist down, to a world record ascent of Mt. Fuji in 13 hours.
Since the year 2000, Tatsuo has led many people from all over the world to the top of Mt. Fuji, introducing them to the wonders of Japanese culture and always promoting a cleaner environment. Countless numbers of Americans have reached the top of Mt. Fuji because of Tatsuo's genuine nature to share life's treasures.

In addition, Dr. Okada is a co-founder of "El Tour de Mt. Fuji", a 100-kilimeter perimeter bicycling event around the base of the famous mountain - now an annual cycling event produced by the Japan Cycling Club. Tatsuo has become an ambassador of Tucson by establishing a relationship between El Tour de Tucson and El Tour de Kusatsu, supporting cycling events that promote environmental wellness. He is responsible for promoting El Tour on an international level with the slogan "Bike in clean air. Think environment!" Wherever he goes, El Tour goes with him.

Dr. Tatsuo Okada was awarded a PhD in Material Science and Engineering from UCLA in 1982 and developed one of the largest ski areas in Japan based on environmentally friendly concepts. His diverse talents and vision along with his love of El Tour de Tucson has earned him the highest honor El Tour can bestow upon a cyclist - the prestigious El Tour Dedication Award.

The UMC El Tour de Tucson XXV presented by Diamond Ventures will officially be dedicated to Tatsuo on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at the Tucson Convention Center with Greg LeMond as the keynote speaker. (For information or an invitation to the Dedication Dinner or a photo of Tatsuo, visit

El Tour cyclists raise funds for Tu Nidito Children & Family Services, the American Parkinson Disease Association, Water For People, other Perimeter Bicycling charities and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

El Tour week includes a 3-day Bike, Fitness & Health EXPO with the Michelob ULTRA Beer Garden, Orientation Meetings, a 2-day Wellness Conference, the Dedication Dinner and the Rusing & Lopez 12th annual El Tour Golf Classic.

Ride day opens with the 109-mile Main Event and includes the Cox Communications 80-Mile El Tour, the Intuit 66-Mile El Tour, the Town of Oro Valley 35-Mile El Tour, the TMC Kids & Family Fun Ride and, new last year, the LeMond Fitness Indoor El Tour. Kids activities, live bands, a beer garden, food, massages, the Grand Cycling Awards Ceremony and a grand finale by the internationally renowned Flam Chen fire show round out the El Tour Downtown Fiesta.

The UMC 25th El Tour de Tucson presented by Diamond Ventures will be held Saturday, November 17, 2007 as 11,000 cyclists are expected to ride the perimeter of scenic Tucson. Last year's event drew 8,248 cyclists, 2,700 volunteers and 27,000 spectators. El Tour is expected to bring in approximately - million to the Tucson area during the course of the year including - million on ride weekend alone. This year's event was chosen by the League of American Bicyclists as the 2007 National Bicycle Rally.

For more information please contact Melanie Rineer, Publicity Director of Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc.

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