Toyota’s #StartYourImpossible Boosts Olympic Athletes, Mobility Future


Toyota Start Your Impossible

Television coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics around the world will feature a range of inspiring spots from Toyota as part of its #StartYourImpossible campaign and “Mobility for All” theme, which kicked off in October, when Toyota held its first Mobility Summit in Athens, just ahead of the Winter Olympic trials.

More than 50 athletes from 20 countries supported by Toyota will compete at the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. Among them are Toyota employees who have been able to continue training and practicing at the highest level while working at the company in Japan.

As a Worldwide Olympic Partner and a Worldwide Paralympic Partner, the campaign reinforces Toyota’s core values and aims to inspire its customers and 370,000 employees worldwide to help create a society where mobility is an opportunity for people to achieve their dreams.

Toyota #StartYourImpossible

The global “Start Your Impossible” campaign focuses on the importance of movement—in addition to its own research and development efforts, the automaker last year donated $5 million to the American Center for Mobility in Michigan and introduced a new mobility vehicle concept at CES in January—and what great things humans can achieve even after fighting the odds to move again.

It also crystallizes Toyota’s shift from being an automobile company to being a “mobility company.”

“I can’t think of any better stage to announce our evolution as The Human Movement Company than the pinnacle of human movement, The Olympic and Paralympic Games,” stated Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Motor North America. “At Toyota, we believe that movement is a human right. With the ‘Start Your Impossible’ campaign, we aim to inspire people and as a company, aspire to solve challenges and create solutions to mobility barriers that limit human potential.”

The global corporate initiative aims to inspire Toyota employees, partners, and customers and connect them with the company’s core beliefs. In an age of accelerating technological and environmental developments, “Start Your Impossible” marks Toyota’s commitment to support the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable society in which everyone can challenge their impossible.

Toyota believes that mobility goes beyond cars; it is about overcoming challenges and making dreams come true. The “Start Your Impossible” initiative reflects these values and highlights the company’s goal to provide freedom of mobility for all. “We want to share this thinking with all stakeholders, including consumers, so that we can approach this challenge together,” said Toyota President, Akio Toyoda, who has spent time meeting the Olympic athletes the company is sponsoring, even working out with some while discussing what challenges they’ve overcome to get to where they are today.

Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda

“I have a profound respect for sports, which have a unique power to offer hope and purpose and inspire us all to never give up,” Toyoda also commented. “It is exciting to watch athletes from all over the world compete on a level playing field, where anything can happen. This concept, when carried over to society, means a place where everyone can participate and contribute, where people turn their weaknesses into strengths with optimism and a fighting spirit―and a strong and determined desire to improve and be better.”

The Japanese automaker has invested heavily in technologies and services that can help people get around, from robots to advanced wheelchairs. Its R&D into artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicle systems will not only build self-driving cars but technology and systems that can assist the elderly and disabled, such as its wearable mobility device for the blind.

Below, watch the campaign’s inspiring ads running on TV and online, featuring stories about individual athletes and the spirit of mobility and triumph that connect Toyota and the Olympics.

Regarding the hero spot for the campaign, above, Toyota states: “We want to make movement better for everyone, whether you’re 1 or 100 years old. As the Worldwide Mobility Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we believe that when we are free to move, anything is possible. ”

Frozen“: Winter has given us so many great moments. That’s why here at Toyota, we are renewing our commitment to hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles to create a sustainable future with ever better mobility for all. Because we believe when we are free to move, anything is possible.

Magic“: If you will it, nothing is out of reach.

Runner“: We never know when we’ll face our toughest journey. But our biggest challenges always bring out our best.

Lanes of Life“: 6 women. 6 journeys. 1 gold. The race to the podium begins long before the starting line for six Olympic snowboardersEva Samková (Czech Republic), Lindsey Jacobellis (USA), Belle Brockhoff (Australia), Chloé Trespeuch (France), Carle Brenneman (Canada) and Isabel Clark Ribeiro (Brazil).

Mobility Unlimited Challenge: Toyota’s $4 million prize, announced in November and concluding in 2020, supports radical improvements in the mobility and independence of people with lower-limb paralysis through smarter assistive technology.

Athletes’ Stories:

As part of the Mobility For All campaign, Toyota is highlighting the mobility stories of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including Tatyana McFadden, the world’s leading wheelchair racer; Rami Anis, a Syrian swimmer and member of the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 games; and Brad Snyder, an American Paralympic swimmer and former captain of the US Naval Academy swim team.

Good Odds“: The odds of winning a Paralympic gold medal are almost 1 billion to 1. This film—which Toyota ran during Super Bowl LII in the first ad slot post-kickoff—follows the journey of Lauren Woolstencroft, who beat the odds to win eight Paralympic gold medals. The Canadian alpine skier and electrical engineer was born missing her left arm below the elbow as well as both legs below the knees. She began skiing at the age of 4 and began competitive skiing at the age of 14.

Woolstencroft commented on Instagram: “It’s been a great experience partnering with Toyota on this ad – Toyota believes that mobility goes beyond cars with a vision to reduce barriers and increase access in order to build an inclusive society in which all people can participate. I’m honoured to be a part of this movement!!”

Tatyana McFadden: Few athletes in history have come from so little to accomplish so much. Born with a hole in her spine caused by spina bifida, she spent the first six years of her life in a Russian orphanage with virtually nothing, not even a wheelchair. A member of Team USA and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, the wheelchair racer has won 17 Paralympic medals in multiple Summer Paralympic Games still overcomes challenges like blood clots. “I give every race 100 percent,” she said. “Whether I’m up top or not, I know that I gave 100 percent and I really do enjoy all of it and working hard for it and trying to change the face of marathoning for wheelchair racing, to help it grow.”

Sudarshan Gautam: After losing his arms, Sudarshan managed to find a world of possibilities that could be accessed by using his feet—including scaling the treacherous slopes of Mount Everest.

Thin Ice“: When you’re dancing on thin ice, every jump is a leap of faith. This film follows the story of Team Toyota Athlete Ashley Wagner, a Team USA figure skater who overcame the traumatic effects of six concussions to win an Olympic medal.

Rami Anis: An Olympic swimmer who lost his home when he fled war-torn Syria, but never lost his dreams.

Michael Milton: The six-time Paralympic gold medal skier beat bone cancer and kept himself in the race even after his leg was amputated, becoming Australia’s fastest skiier.

Seun Adigun: Bringing the first Nigerian bobsleigh team ever to compete at an Olympic Winter Games was an impossible goal for many, but not for Seun Adigun.

Brad Snyder: War veteran and five-time Paralympic gold medalist swimmer overcome what seemed impossible after being injured in Afghanistan and permanently blinded as a result.

Tyrone Pillai: South African Paralympian helps kids choose their lives. “Mobility to me means freedom, means choice. You can choose to be the person you want to be.”

Barbara Buttrick: 87-year-old World boxing champion Barbara Buttrick tells how she broke barriers in the ‘40s and ‘50s when boxing was generally thought to be an exclusively male sport.

Zola Budd: Two-time world cross-country champion and South African legend known for running barefoot encourages young athletes to take it step-by-step and never give up