11 August, 2016

Olympics from a different perspective

I've been surprised at how much swimming we've been
able to see, Japan is quite strong in this sport.
With school holidays in full-bore, there is lots of Olympic watching going on in our house. And because we're in Japan there's lots of Japanese athletes that we're seeing on national TV. Living in another country really does change your perspective. I've seen other missionaries mention this recently too. 

on her blog said she loves "the parade of nations", the opening ceremony. Making sure she knows where countries are and stuff about them.
"I love trying to make sure I know the geography of each country, studying the costumes, remembering who I know who has lived there or visited there, and celebrating each country's success in participating in an international event."
I admit we were referring to the map on our wall often on Saturday morning when we watched it too. 

M*, a retired missionary, wrote in her FB page that she misses seeing Japan's athletes, as she's now tied into a US-viewers TV schedule. She also wrote: "The coming fortnight will prove challenging for those of us with divided hearts and loyalties."

But then later I've seen these updates from her: 
"Go New Zealand Women's Rugby!!! Happy for you, P.K. (a former colleague who is Kiwi)!!! Do they have a 'name' like the men's team?" 
"Here's where the Olympics are f-u-n for those of us who cheer on multiple teams: Japan, USA, Japan in the 4X100 IM and the first time Japan has ever won gold in this event. Way to go Japan and USA!!"
So there's another dimension going on here. We've followed a Japanese table tennis player who made it the bronze medal match, but lost. We watched Australia play Japan in water polo and in tennis. It was hard to choose who to barrack for in the last case, but in the first case we felt sad when the Japanese player lost.

We've discovered that the best male gymnast in the world at present is Japanese: Kohei Uchimura. An astonishing gymnasist who has earned two gold medals this Olympics:
"At 19, he earned the 2008 Olympic all-around silver medal. He hasn’t lost a major all-around since, taking two straight Olympic titles and six world titles (no other man or woman has more than three world all-around titles, but all of the previous men to win multiple Olympic all-around crowns competed in an era without annual world championships)." From here.
Japan also has an upcoming gymnast who is also pretty spectacular, but not as much an allrounder as Uchimura, but an extraordinary gymnast all the same. Kenzo Shirai was the youngest male gymnast to become world champion on the floor, the first gymnast ever to perform a quadruple-twisting back flip, and has already had four gymnastic skills named after him, which at not-quite 20 years of age is pretty remarkable. We watched his floor routine in the team event and it was amazing. Below is a video of the floor routine he performed last year at the All-Japan Artistic Gymnastics Championships. 

I know that there are others out there who read this who also have lived in more than one nation. What stories do you have to share of watching the Olympics, or other such international sporting events?

* I'm using initials to preserve some anonymity, though their friends will probably know who they are.

1 comment:

Hillary said...

The Olympics are extra fun in our house with 3 countries to cheer for...I'm Canadian (actually I am a dual US/Canadian citizen now), my husband is American, and of course we cheer for Japan! It's extra exciting when there's an event with all 3 countries involved...but we've yet to see all 3 on the podium at the same time ;)