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Japan won 5 medals at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. How would you assess the results?

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Fair to middlin'

5 medals-no golds-after one gold in 2006 and only two medals in 2002.

Then again, any reasonably competitive country should benefit from the ever-increasing # of medal events in successive Games and win more medals overall.

Japan has got a lot of work to do to be better at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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Well the Japanese Team chef said, "Because I create food the team I will gurantee 10 medals. I take my work for the team seriously to guarantee their success."

So I guess the food sucked and the chef will be persona non grata for any future work with Team Japan.

Kind of reminds me of "Monty Python's - The Meaning of Life" scene:

Jerry: What killed us Mr. Reeper? Grim Reeper: The salmon souffle. All: I knew it!

Hang the chef and get the excuses and tears over with. New chef for 2014 please.

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Countries that didn't get gold medals: Kazakhstan, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Croatia, and .... Japan. Yes, I think Japan can do better.

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Lusterless medals for lackluster performance ! Let's hope the year 2014 will not be so disappointing for Japan.

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Nothing will improve under the "company sponsored" Olympic athlete system. Japan needs to look at Korea; why could they win three times as many medals?

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Not so bad, but so what? It's not really very high up in the scale of important things in this world so far as realistic people are concerned. It's more of a distraction from reality and an opportunity to meet up and play sports with people you'd otherwise never even see.

But then, I suspect that most of the critics of Japan's prowess will be Americans or possibly even Canadians, seeing as the US got more medals overall than anyone else and Canada got more golds. I don't normally consider Canadians to be that boastful though, but I could be proved wrong.

Incidentally, my own country only got one medal, but it was a gold. That's not wonderful either, but I couldn't care less and I wouldn't be impressed even if they got 50. And it's normal for the US to get most medals as it put so many athletes in for the games. It would have been bewildering if they hadn't got loads of medals.

Still, the next thing is waiting to see if anyone gets accused of doping. If they do, and they had a medal, we'll have to wait and see what the end result is. That doesn't mean that the current statistics for Japan, US, Canada or Britain will change though, don't get me wrong. But sometimes athletes really do gamble with their country's honour and lose. I really hate that, and hope it doesn't happen this time, but traditionally it does happen every time there's any big competition so we'll see.

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Five medals is not bad, unless you view that result in light of the ludicrous amound of hype and attention Japan gave its athletes. Leading up to the mogul events, Aiko Uemura (who did not medal) was given more air time than the 9-11 attacks.

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5medals isnt bad but isnt great either, less gaman & more REAL gambatte is needed!

And dammit, pretty long winded for someone who doesnt give a rats....... haha

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dammit -- good point, but your premise is all wrong. As combinibento points out, the Japanese care very much about their team's performance, and, as a result, hype their athletes way too much going into the games. So, in answer to your question, that is the so what. Given that, I think the 5 medals is a disappointment to the J-fans, but, in line with reasonable expectations. However, I recall four years ago the head of the J-Olyimpic team saying something along the lines of the one gold being worth like four of five bronzes. Bet we won't hear that this time.

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I think if Japanese people actually ate protein for breakfast they would quadruple that number one day. I don't think eating just rice and miso soup (which 75% of my students do) for breakfast is a good way to start the day. Where is the fiber, where is the protein, where is the good fats. where is any of the nutrition. Eating just white rice is basically eating sugar. I want to see Japan win more medals next time. I thought winter was there thing! Plenty of school in Japan, every single student can ski and they ski everyday from age 10. I have one school where every single student ski every single day of winter. They should have ski champs left and right popping out of Japan.

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Dismal - considering Japan has so many venues for winter sports. There seems to be something wrong with the whole way athletes are coached here doesn't seem to be lack of will as the athletes themselves generally show a lot of perseverance and enthusiasm, but hey what do I know..............

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"Where is the fiber, where is the protein, where is the good fats. where is any of the nutrition."

Where are the question marks?

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i thought they did fairly ok. Don't think the people were that disappointed as the Japanese media might have made it out to be. I thought the media failed to focus on the right atheletes. There were so much attention toward the mogul uemura, figure stating(ando, asao), and the 15yr old skater. I was like the most of the Japanese who were expecting them to medal, but came out disappointed. When Japan won a silver and bronze in men's 1000m(?) speedstaking, most of the people in Japan didn't know who they were. At least it was better than the One gold medal(figure skating) they won in 2006. Or is it?

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If Japan wants to live up to the hype that is generated by its domestic media, then it needs to take a good long look at its sporting programs. It went well in figure skating because domestic competition here in Japan for Olympic berths is very tough. It also picked up 3 skating medals which should be applauded. The other sports, however, sxcked seriously. Indeed, there were a number of events in which Japan was unable to field competitors because the standards in this country are so far below those of Olympic competition. Furthermore, although us foreign folks tend to take the Japanese media and their claims of Olympic supremacy with a large grain of salt, I wonder how the locals handle all this hyperbole? Indeed, if the locals are really that upset with their performance, then questions should be asked in the Diet, and spring cleaning conducted on mass at the JOC. Moreover, if Japan wants to truly compete on the world stage, then something needs to be done to increase the number of people who are playing these sports here in Japan. Only then will domestic competition result in competitors who are truly world class.

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I have one school where every single student ski every single day of winter.

Do they ski to and from school?

To the point of this article... It's obvious that something is messed up with the JOC. Canada was pretty dismal in the Winter Olympics until recently. Why is that?

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Dismal once again as usual mainly because the jmedia and the JOC hyped up the expectations and when they fell short; the public naturally were disappointed. The Japanese atheletes will laways fail on the world stage if they have their head stuck up their you know what in the belief that they are better than they actually are. A lot more training and a little less newspaper reading about how your countrys media think you are just super should do the trick (in all sports).

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personally i think japan did poorly at the olympics.

first time i watched the olympics on tv here in japan, and with all the hype about the japanese teams i was expecting way more.

if i watched it from my home country, id probably say that did a reasonable effort. though many mistakes.

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Much better than Turin, even without a gold to show for it. I would say the results are pretty good.

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I assess it as small. The same problem with the Summer Olympic Games: Japanese are too small, too small, too delicate. No place for them among giants who can are faster, taller and stronger.

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ops, "too small, too short"...

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Japanese are too small, too small, too delicate

So what do you suggest? A racially-based league system for the Winter Olympics? Perhaps we could have the Northern Europeans Aryans in a super league, along with the Anglo-Saxon-dominated North Americans and the far-flung outposts of empire.

Meanwhile, the Japanese and others (those who eat too much rice for breakfast) could battle it out in a second division, focusing on sports they are good at like ice skating and short track?

For some reason I don't think this would work....

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Meh. Maybe they need to untuck their shirts next year.

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Disappointing, and moreso for many due to the usual hype associated with Japan competing in any major sporting event. Don't forget, soccer coach Okada reckons Japan can make the WC semi-finals. Someone please tell him that he's dreaming.....

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I never said that timeborder. You should read more newspapers about sports. Let's take a very popular sports on TV as an example. Did you know that despite being treated as heroes, despite all sponsors, neither National Teams have won a single medla the last 20 years? The reason: while athletes imported from Europe and Americas spend hours working out to harden muscles they will need to attrack and jump higher, Japanese coaches keep training rolling on the floor? They haven't done good in Vancouver due to the lack of a more specific training, which should include hard work out. That's why I said they are too small, too delicate. The difference of the number of medals among Europe, US, China to Japan is all about training.

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The Olympics these days are all money. The teams that spend the most on training, facilities etc., win more. The athletes who win more get cash rewards. If people want to spend money on training Olympic teams, fine: but I don't think it's a good idea to spend tax yen on pumping athletes up just to go one better than other countries. That way lies nationalism, and we can do without that.

If the country has money to spare, spend it on raising education standards, lowering unemployment, raising welfare and lowering taxes, not on mollycoddling sports geeks in spandex.

For what Japan spends on sports, compared with what some other countries spend, I think they did just fine.

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They did fine for the talent that they had out there. I am not sure about how they train but that might be a problem.

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"The Olympics these days are all money. The teams that spend the most on training, facilities etc., win more. The athletes who win more get cash rewards. "- Very true. Imagine if the chinese government starts taking the Winter Olympics seriously, they will take over the standings. That's just my opinion.

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True to a point cleo, however all you have to do is look at Russia, look at all the money they spent and then look at the fact that this is the worst performance in the winter Olympics for Russia.

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cleo -- disagree entirely. Given a choice between "sports geeks in spandex" and a bunch of out-of-shape geeks playing pachinko/PS2, I'll take the sports geeks any day. Having a reasonable amount of tax money going to fund world-class athletes can be very beneficial, in that it supplies young people with positive role models. Japanese kids are becoming increasingly fixated on the latest gadgets, and, as a result, are having increased levels of childhood obesity, etc. The problem is Japan loses sight of the Olympic spirit that the winning is in the effort, training, etc. and gets fixated on just how many medals they won.

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Given a choice between "sports geeks in spandex" and a bunch of out-of-shape geeks playing pachinko/PS2....

Who suggested giving tax money to a bunch of out-of-shape geeks playing pachinko/PS2?

Having a reasonable amount of tax money going to fund world-class athletes can be very beneficial

Depends on what you call reasonable. I think the levels are pretty reasonable as they are. Other countries' levels are over the top. It's all about winning - sports aren't fun any more.

Japanese kids are becoming increasingly fixated on the latest gadgets, and, as a result, are having increased levels of childhood obesity, etc.

True, but that's surely a separate problem. There's a happy medium between a country of tubby kids and everyone trying for the Olympics. Places like America spend a lot more money than Japan on supporting their Olympic athletes, yet they also have a much bigger problem in the tubby kids department.

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Japan could do better.

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The problem is Japan loses sight of the Olympic spirit that the winning is in the effort, training, etc. and gets fixated on just how many medals they won.

herefornow: It depends on who you talk to. Sure there is the average Japanese who thinks this way, but most I've met just enjoy the spirit of the games and watching the competitions. The thing is, that this attitude of just winning medals happens everywhere. After all, it is the reason why they started to allow professionals to compete in the first place. All nations wanted to send their very best in order to get the most medals.

As for Japan winning 5 medals; it was an improvement over Torino and Salt Lake City. There are areas that have shown improvement, such as the speedskating events. Then there was a big disappointment with the skiing.

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Cleo;

For what Japan spends on sports, compared with what some other countries spend, I think they did just fine. Could you back your statements with some figures for some of us to understand japan doesn't spend as much as the heavy spenders ?

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For a country with over 120,000,000 people and decent winter conditions would have thought they could have got at least 1 gold! But as an Australian I happy, as we've outdone them again and I get bragging rights with all my japanese co-workers, now its the last 2 winter and summer olympics and the world cup soccer and rugby....

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I might be slightly facetious but it could have some half-truths : too much juku.

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Japanese are too small, too small, too delicate

They have a far smaller population and yet they still managed to get a lot more medals. they are just as small and delicate as you put it.

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drlucifer -

Could you back your statements with some figures for some of us to understand japan doesn't spend as much as the heavy spenders ?

Can't give you any links, sorry; it was on telly a few mornings ago, and again this morning. They said Japan spent 27 hundred million (27 oku) yen supporting sports; S Korea and the UK spent I think it was 120 oku apiece; the US was 150/180 oku (can't remember exactly) and Germany was 258 oku.

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Having a reasonable amount of tax money going to fund world-class athletes can be very beneficial, in that it supplies young people with positive role models. Japanese kids are becoming increasingly fixated on the latest gadgets, and, as a result, are having increased levels of childhood obesity, etc.

Using this logic, America, which funds its athletes very well, should have low levels of childhood obesity. Yet we have the highest rates in the world.

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Gold medals as well as silver and bronze should require being earned more than bought in tune with original Olympic intent. In sport the best teams don't always win. Those two points alone provide quite a complete assessment. As for future participation, it would be more honorable to sacrifice medals than try to purchase them.

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The results are simple to assess, whomever was quicker, faster, and better won the gold, everyone else was not in 1st.

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Can't give you any links, sorry; it was on telly a few mornings ago, and again this morning. They said Japan spent 27 hundred million (27 oku) yen supporting sports; S Korea and the UK spent I think it was 120 oku apiece; the US was 150/180 oku (can't remember exactly) and Germany was 258 oku.

I've been hearing that same excuse coming from Japan for days. And it only sprang about due to Japan's dismal performance in the Games. Assuming the numbers are real, 27 hundred million yen = over 30 million US dollars all focused onto a handful of athletes. Thats still several hundreds of thousands of dollars per athlete. Are you telling me that Japan would have beat all other countries in total medal count if they spent 270 Oku rather than 27? Would the extra funding have magically turned snow boarder Kazuhiro Kokubo from a badly dressed punk kid who came in at 8th place to a guaranteed gold medal winner? Would the extra funding have magically let Mao who is already a millionaire beat Kim?

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@midnight promise

The results are simple to assess, whomever was quicker, faster, and better won the gold, everyone else was not in 1st.

Plushenko apparently disagrees with you.

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Are you telling me that Japan would have beat all other countries in total medal count if they spent 270 Oku rather than 27?

All I'm telling you is the figures I heard. Personally I'd rather the Olympics went back to being for amateurs instead of the precious star-fest they've become. I don't really care who (or what country) gets what medal. I just like watching them run and jump and slide and throw things, a whole lot better/faster/higher than I ever could. I'd like sometimes to see a few unknowns come from nowhere and take a few medals. But I don't want really them doing it on my taxes.

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Would the extra funding have magically turned snow boarder Kazuhiro Kokubo from a badly dressed punk kid who came in at 8th place to a guaranteed gold medal winner?

The more 'guaranteed gold medal winners', the less interesting the Games.

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A quote, "The thing about Kim, says Scott Hamilton, the 1984 Olympic champion who defeated Orser, is that her programs are constructed so cleverly and her talents are so astonishing, that she has many ways to build up points in the current judging system."

Your queen of the ice used finances and resources outside of her individual talent and gets a gold medal for it.

Wow Kokubo is looking better and better.

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There is too much money in the whole thing.In my eyes the young guy who saved the drunken woman from the train is a real hero and not necessary the sports people who get a gold or silver medal. (Which does not mean that I did not admire their efforts.)But the real heroes do not depend on money.

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@kavikahi

What are you babbling about? I have no idea what the heck you just said. I would love to "argue" with you, and prove you wrong. Unfortunately, I have no idea what exactly you are yammering about. And did you just accuse Yuna of bribing the judges? You truly are a sore loser.

@Cleo

The Olympics still is and always has been a place for amateurs, with the possible exception of certain sports(Hockey, figure skating, snowboarding etc). In which case, those pros face other pros. The US and Canadian Hockey team both used pro NHL players.

The vast majority of medalists in most other sports are relatively unknown.

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The figure skaters did quite well, with even Kozuka and Suzuki breaking into the top 8. I think Kozuka will be a real force in a couple of years, though perhaps Im just biased because he skated to Hendrix and Hotei. Thought Ando should have placed higher. With the exception of a fairly small stumble in the short, she seemed flawless. Perhaps the judges were not fond of the Cleopatra costume? Choice of attire certainly did not help Tinkerbell on the mens side... Uemura was real close as well, but was way too hyped by the media in the run up.

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Who cares? All this medal counting is just plain ridiculous.

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gonemad is right we're talking about some awfully boring sports here that many can only put up with watching once in 4 years,japan only got 5 medals so what,rather have my taxes go into medicine or education than curling or halfpipe...

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Congratulations to the medal winners and the near-medal winners.

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Heck, congratulations to all the athletes who gave their best efforts and provided us with exciting contests.

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Slack attitude among the Japanese team contributed to the low medal count. Didn't one Japanese athlete dress like such a slob and address the Olympics as 'Nothing special'?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100211/wlasiaafp/oly2010snowboardjpn;ylt=Akk4G4FayzUDIU1k5tgZ0XZotLV

Which also means that Japan shared the zero gold status with such countries as Kazakhstan, Estonia, Albania, Latvia, and Croatia (way to go Japan!)

With Japan ranked #16 overall in the medal count, and South Korea earning nearly 3 times the amount of medals that Japan did, I'd say it is indeed time for the Japanese to work on improving their pathetic situation.

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How deep are your pockets Japan? You did fine. Canada's mission statement was to "Own the Podium".

CBC: "That Canadian public invested heavily in the program. Of the $117 million invested in athletes, $66 million of it was taxpayer dollars."

Homelessness in the host city went from an epidemic of around 600 when they were awarded the games to roughly 3,000 today. Hold your head high, Japan.

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@VG877

Are you telling me that Japan would have beat all other countries in total medal count if they spent 270 Oku rather than 27? Would the extra funding have magically turned snow boarder Kazuhiro Kokubo from a badly dressed punk kid who came in at 8th place to a guaranteed gold medal winner? Would the extra funding have magically let Mao who is already a millionaire beat Kim?

Simple answer is yes, the money would have changed the event. Korea knows this. No, I did not accuse the skater of bribery, you implied it.

If you take a gold medal and account for the individual effort and talent that acquired it, how much belongs to the athlete? There is quite a difference between the ladies figure skating gold and the mens bronze winners isn't there?

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Cava bien.OK. It is great to see all the athletes from around the world compete peacefully. Mutual respect and all.

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Japan don't normally give support to athletes and they give very little if they win anything. The women's speed skating, who do you think paid for their training? Its their company. Their boss knowing their potential decided to slash his salary and their company workers all did the same to be able to raise 20 Million yen so that they can borrow an ice skating rink, practice and train. And they won the silver. Where is the government in this?

Most athletes in Japan don't get any support from the government. These athletes have to raise their own funds by looking for a willing sponsor or pay it by themselves.

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doitsujin -- you must be new here. J-media almost never focuses on anything but J-teams or J-athletes. Apparently they think that is all the viewers here want to see. Which is probably true, unfortunately. Read one of the American sites yesterday, and they talked about a woman's cross country skier from somewhere in Eastern Europe, who won a bronze medal, AFTER breaking like four ribs and having a collapsed lung suffered in a training-run fall. We didn't hear about thet here. Guess Japanese believe they are the only ones capable of "gambatte", and, therefore, cannot relate to inspirational stories of other country's athletes. Sad.

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Homelessness in the host city went from an epidemic of around 600 when they were awarded the games to roughly 3,000 today. Hold your head high, Japan.

Japan must be proud there is no homelessness there.

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Back in 1960s and 70s, Japan was a sporting super power of Asia. Comparing with those glorious days, current winning medals is so little and negligible. It may be lack of funding or sponsorship.

Neighbouring China and South Korea have performed better than Japan for most of the olympics. I was amazed and impressive about South Korea's winter sport competition which only have the half of the population of Japan.

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Japan won 5 medals at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. How would you assess the results?

At 50% of their goal.

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herefornow that story about the skier with the broken rib was featured in an nhk BS report,you didnt see it doesnt mean it wasnt shown...keep your sadness!!

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My country didnt win any bloody medals so Japans five medal haul was outstanding by my country's standards

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I look at it as Japan won 0 gold medals. Keep practising, guys.

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As usual, overhyped by media. Good thing I learned reading this is that Japan doesn't spend that much tax payer money on this nonsense.

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well said nisegaijin - it's been massively overhyped as usual by the J-media, blowing their own trumpets as always. But then, what can you expect when many of their best sports talento has jumped ship for a better life overseas?!

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Stipend, I hope you are not seriously implying that there is a causal relationship between the increase in homelessness in Vancouver and the “own the podium” program.

Moderator: Back on topic. The subject is Japan.

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I thought that as a country with mountains that many alpine sports should have had even a few Japanese contenders. It seems people just ski for the fashion, not the sport. Too much work in sport. And the world isn't going to rollover and hand you a gold. That said the speed skating was good and the women's team did quite well. Given the challenges of no support, just like Canada before this Olympics btw, they should benefit from all their hard work.

J-Media should really examine why they destroy athlete's confidence on a regular basis. But that would imply an interest in a sport and knowing who are the top players (non Japanese). Is accepting personal best so wrong? Managing realistic expectations rather than expecting unrealistic dreams would go a long way to reducing stress.

Many Japanese practice in Canada because there are a lack of winter amenities in which to practice. Not much media hype here since no one is going to know who you are and even if so you can practice in peace.

If Japan wants success, they will have to pay for it. The Canadian program worked well. It should be noted though that this was a first for serious gov't support, prior to this we also just did our personal best. This shows that with a little push, a personal best can win medals with facilities, technology, coaching, and mental training.

Honestly though we got pwned more than not, but because we tried we at least won the most gold of any winter host nation in history. Not bad eh

The Canadian Skeleton Sled gold winner Montgomery ran through the streets of Whistler and picked up, and drank, a pitcher of beer at the same time.

Good Times.

However note though how Canadians lost. When Jennifer Heil got a silver and was expected by a demanding media to get gold, she went out of her way to FIRST thank all her supporters through the media for an amazing run, and THEN say that she didn't lose the gold, but won the silver. A total class act that shut up the media attitude a fair bit. This mandra was then repeated by Brian Williams the media anchor for the CTV broadcast many times, and I think helped tone down the media jackals.

Watching the figure skating with Mao about to have a personal meltdown because she didn't win gold was not gracious at all.

Have regret and always try you best even if it doesn't work out, but always be a class act and personal in defeat.

One Japanese winner was going to donate his prize to his former highschool and I thought that was in keeping with his Olympic experience. Many Canadian athletes are doing the same and towards other causes including Right To Play, helping kids get involved.

Japan needs the emotional support, media professionalism, and personal gravitas to control nicely the message they give even during a bad interview.

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herefornow at 09:48 AM JST - 2nd March

doitsujin -- you must be new here. J-media almost never focuses on anything but J-teams or J-athletes. Apparently they think that is all the viewers here want to see. Which is probably true, unfortunately. Read one of the American sites yesterday, and they talked about a woman's cross country skier from somewhere in Eastern Europe, who won a bronze medal, AFTER breaking like four ribs and having a collapsed lung suffered in a training-run fall. We didn't hear about thet here. Guess Japanese believe they are the only ones capable of "gambatte", and, therefore, cannot relate to inspirational stories of other country's athletes. Sad.

America sounds great. I think Japan should be just like America.

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