A Hero from the Rubble

This is such a great story, I had to share it…

Yuzuru_Hanyu-Sochi_2014Image by David W. Carmichael


Japan’s newest hero is Yuzuru Hanyu: the first Japanese man to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics figure skating! He has won the hearts of many with his boyish charm and cute nature. Who will ever forget his “oh my god!” reaction to finding out his result?! My high school students idolize him. The girls talk about him with so much excitement, pride and what I call “love eyes”. Some of my students have already started putting his picture on their notebooks, alongside the One Direction boys!

Hanyu is a 19-year-old from Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. On March 11, 2011, he had been at practice when the earthquake struck. The rink he trained at was damaged, as was his home, and he spent the days following the quake at an emergency shelter. Miyagi was the hardest hit, being the closest prefecture to the epicenter. Thousands lost their lives, and the ones who survived were left traumatized by the event. At one point, Hanyu even thought about giving up skating. But such is human nature; we don’t just want to survive, we want to succeed. The devastation of that day eventually turned into motivation to win. And in turn, his win has inspired a country. We hope the people of Tohoku especially, have been encouraged even just a little bit, and can be proud that their son has triumphed. Just goes to show, there are no excuses!

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Tokyo 2020 candidate poster
Tokyo2020 candidate poster

I woke up this morning and scrambled for my phone to see the result of the 2020 Olympics ballot.

I got chills down my spine. For all the right reasons.

Beating out Istanbul at 60-36 votes, it was CONGRATULATIONS to Tokyo for winning the bid!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hear it was the promise of quality and safety as well as the futuristic element in their ‘Discover Tomorrow’ theme that pushed them ahead of the competition. So, expect to be seeing some spaceship stadiums!

I’ve been seeing promotional posters for Tokyo 2020 for years, and it seems like the whole nation was holding their breath. I can’t wait to hear my friends’ and students’ reactions! I’m so excited and happy for Japan!!

Now the next question, will I still be living in Tokyo in 2020…. it might just be a good incentive to stick around that long!

P.S. if you Google ‘Tokyo 2020’ you can see some of the proposed stadiums… they look pretty cool!