20 February, 2014

Passion from the Winter Olympics

I spent some time yesterday afternoon with my language exchange friends and we inevitably got onto one of the current event stories here: the Winter Olympics. 

I was surprised to see one of my friends tear up as she talked about Japan's gold medalist,
Yuzuru Hanyu, in the Men's Figure skating. See here for more of his story. I love the photo in this story, when he and his coach saw his world record score.

This article includes some interesting backstory. Here is the pertinent bit:
And as things turned out, there was a sweet back story to his victory. Hanyu is from Sendai, Japan, where the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 hit the fiercest. His practice rink was destroyed. But the people of Sendai, with all their troubles, still helped him raise enough money to relocate to Toronto and train for these Games.
"I don't think I'm here spiritually all by myself," Hanyu said after his victory. "I am here because of all the people who supported me. I was able to return a favor, if you want to put it that way. The medal itself can't assist with the recovery. But now that I've won it, perhaps there is something I can do, going forward from today."
Another journalist wrote this:
And then Hanyu said something equally extraordinary, when asked by the media about March 11, 2011, a day many of his friends didn't survive. "It's a very difficult subject for me to talk about," he said. "I think my service to all those who were affected by the earthquake starts today." This, he added: "is going to be the starting point for what I can do for the recovery." 
And then gave some passionate advice to the gold medal winner from Sendai here.  

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