Tokyo Wins 2020 Summer Olympics Bid

In what many considered to be an upset win, Japan’s capital won the winning bid for the 2020 Olympics early Sunday. Tokyo won the bid after a final round of voting by International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in Buenos Aires, beating Istanbul by 60-36 votes.

It was a surprise, as not many expected the city to win. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to show the world “a safe and secure Olympics games” during a personal presentation to the committee, promising a major cleanup of any radiation leakages from the Fukushima nuclear plants.

In a post-announcement press conference, Abe said, “Sport has the power to unite people. We experienced that after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, when athletes came to our country and helped us. Japan needs the power of sport; we need hopes and dreams.”

The upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia, followed by the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, and then the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Audrey’s Athletes to Watch | Olivia’s Olympic Picks for the U.S.

Courtesy of nataliecoughlin.com

With the London Olympics a little over a week away, athletes and fans are gearing up for the most prestigious sporting event in the world. This time around, a number of Asian Americans will be representing the United States in various events.

Swimming
This Olympics, the U.S. has two Asian American swimmers hitting the pool. Natalie Coughlin (she’s a quarter Filipina) and Nathan Adrian (he’s half Chinese) will be competing in London.

Audrey’s Athletes to Watch | Olivia’s Olympic Picks for India

India’s Olympic hopes largely rest on the shoulders of several extremely talented women. These women are not only experts in their field, but they are also trailblazers for women’s athletics in India.

Krishna Poonia


Courtesy of thehindu.com

At 30 years old, Krishna Poonia is looking to capture an Olympic gold medal in the discus throw. She broke out onto the international seen in 2006 and entered the Beijing Olympics as a medal contender but failed to make the finals. The mother of a ten-year-old son, Poonia is looking forward to settling down and spending time with her son after these Olympics. However, Poonia admits that her son is one of her most avid fans. Poonia made history by becoming India’s first female athlete to win the discus throw at a major international tournament history when she won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Continue reading

Audrey’s Athletes to Watch | Olivia’s Olympic Team Picks

Wang Hao and Chen Roulin. Courtesy of NBCOlympics.com.

While many countries have star athletes, few have star teams. China is a champion-making machine, turning young children into Olympic athletes through extreme training and discipline. Japan, a country still recovering from the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters that devastated the country a little over a year ago, has also turned out a couple of noteworthy teams as well.

China’s diving team
The Chinese diving team earned the title of “dream team” by winning five gold medals in Sydney and six gold medals in Athens. At Beijing, China hoped for a clean sweep in the diving events and the team almost succeeded. Australia’s Matthew Mitcham snatched the gold medal in the men’s 10 m platform though, and China had to settle for seven golds. While most nations would be ecstatic, “almost” is not good enough for the Chinese. This time around, the Chinese “dream team” is determined to accomplish their goal. At this year’s world championships, they successfully won all eight events. Qiu Bo, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, will be competing in the elusive men’s 10 m platform along with teammate Lin Yue. Currently, all the world No. 1 divers are Chinese. China has won 33 out of the 48 Olympic diving titles offered in the past 28 years. This may just be the year that China will add eight more to that medal count.


Winning Chinese men’s gymnastics team in Beijing. Courtesy of fulltwist.com.

China’s men’s gymnastics team
While China’s women’s gymnastics team has a chance for Team gold, they are not the overwhelming favorites. In contrast, the men’s team won Team gold in Beijing by a large margin, scoring the highest on all events except floor. They also won Team gold at the last world championships. China’s gymnastics team is extremely deep and all of the men competing were part of the winning world championship team. However, China does not have room to falter because another team from Asia is right on their heels…


All-around world champion Kohei Uchimura. Courtesy of fulltwist.com.

Japan’s men’s gymnastics team
Japan’s men’s gymnastics team settled for the silver medal in Beijing, after winning Team gold in Athens. Japan is back with vengeance and their team may be able to oust China from the top of the podium. The team is lead by Kohei Uchimura, the three-time all-around world champion who will compete on all the apparatuses for the team. Gymnastic siblings Kazuhito and Yusuke Tanaka (sister Rie Tanaka competes on the women’s team) are also part of the men’s team.


Winning Japanese women’s soccer team at World Cup. Courtesy of Washington Times.

Japan’s women’s soccer team
Controversy broke out last week when the women’s soccer team was seated in coach class while the men’s soccer team flew in business class. If seating had been decided by skill rather than sex, the women should have flown in first class. The winners of last year’s World Cup and ranked No. 3 in the world, Japan’s women’s soccer team may be able to upset the United States’ team again. Their star player is Homare Sawa who was voted world player of the year. However, Sawa is not a one-woman show. She has a disciplined team to back her up that includes Aya Miyama, Ayumi Kaihori, and Nahomi Kawasumi.

And more Chinese teams…
Alas, the Chinese method of training, while rigorous and demanding, has been proven to produce champions. In China, athletics is a profession and not a recreation. Children are recruited at the age of ten to begin training for a sport. For many people, especially those from rural areas, becoming an athlete is their best hope for leading a quality life. In addition to diving and gymnastics, expect China to dominate in table tennis, badminton, weightlifting, and shooting. These six sports alone garnered China 38 gold medals in Beijing during the last Olympics.