Kodaira pays emotional tribute to late friend after gold medal win


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"I felt moved that your efforts over the past four years were rewarded," Abe told Kodaira

On this I agree with Abe. You are a champion in so many ways, Kodaira san.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

such a class act. love the fact that she was magnanimous in her victory and reached out to her rival, lee. and telling this touching story about her close friend really makes her a champion, regardless of how many medals she wins.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

She embraced the South Korean silver medalist who was in tears after the race as they circled the ice.

A true moment of what the Olympics are all about.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A class act, and more the consoling of her fellow Olympian, Ms Lee. If only we could bottle that kind of love, respect and empathy the world would be a better place.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

A fantastic win, and wonderful and thoughtful actions and speech thereafter. Well done.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think she is crying because she just found out how little gold is actually in the gold medal!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

A super athlete - but an even better person. Well done, Ms Kodaira!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I suppose in a way this will be closure for her friend. How strange how they hushed up her death though. Either way a really emotional moment for her and a display of good sportsmanship.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She is an exceptional athlete and competitor. May her ex teammate rest in power.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Classy and a good heart.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How strange how they hushed up her death though.

Maybe suicide for not making the team with her friend?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Madden, “How strange how they hushed up her death though.”

I don’t know if I’d say they hushed up her death itself. I read about it on Yahoo news at the time. But about the only details given were that she recently had not made the team, and that she was found dead in her home.

Anyway, regardless of how she died, it’s sad that she went so young and it’s good of Kodaira to speak of her and keep memories of her alive.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I watched this entire news conference. It was long (over 40 min) but I could not move away even for few seconds because I was so amazed by her responses. Every word she spoke, ever so softly, was unassuming, genuine and often very thoughtful.

One of her responses was to a question about how she would enjoy the gold medal she was about to receive in a ceremony. She said it's not the physical medal but how to live her life in wining medals that's important for her. She was certainly very happy to win the medal, she said, because it was for those who supported her.

Another question was what exactly "joy of skating" is. (Apparently Kodaira speaks of joy of skating often.) The joy of skating, she explained, is the fact that when she "talks" to ice, the ice responds to her. You have to "listen" to ice and cannot just impose your demands upon ice. It's like human relationship, she says. The mutual relationship between skater and ice that cannot be described in words is the joy of skating.

And many more fascinating stuff ... including about her relationship with her rival Ms Lee.

Here is the entire clip:


5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am an American and even though my country's team is currently at 5th place and not scaling the top of the medal count list, I gotta say - Nao Kodaira, you won a gold medal for your home team from Japan but you also have comforted your South Korean silver medal rival and you've paid a tribute to a fellow athletic cohort who's gone. Gold medal or not, you are a winner regardless, showing true sportsmanship and class. You embody the Olympic Games spirit and you are one super trooper. Even though I'm a gai-gin man, I'm nonetheless proud of the respect and honor you have shown in your winning because if more people in the world had your attitude, it would be a much better place for all. I salute you!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm not criticizing the winner, but I'm reacting to the earlier comment about the motivations of the suicide. I'm pretty sure that failing to make the squad was not the only factor, but I'm also pretty sure that she wouldn't have killed herself if she was about to compete in the Olympics. Perhaps afterwards if she didn't take the gold?

I think this is part of a much larger problem, which I call "the excessively large scale of competition" in today's world. Not so long ago, it was relatively easy to be an exceptional person. Everyone you cared about would already know if you were the fastest runner in the village, but if not the fastest runner, then they knew some other way in which you were exceptional. In contrast, just considering this particular event there was a huge rank separation between the three Japanese skaters, but that was related to only a few seconds of real time.

Perhaps it's better to consider it from the time perspective? Back then your fame as a fast runner might last for 15 years, but now Kodaira-san's great victory will be remembered for perhaps 15 minutes (on average). Or another example from American football. They just had what many people have described as the greatest Super Bowl in history, but they have to do it all over again next year, just as though nothing actually happened.

We have REAL concerns and problems to worry about. Instead, we are putting rather too much emphasis on sports. How many years of her brief life did Sumiyoshi-san devote to sports before killing herself?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shannon JacobsToday 07:58 am JST

Good points, and don't forget that they are also always creating new "sports" like tiddlywinks on ice, so people quickly forget the past and the fat cats at the IOC line their pockets like FIFA does.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not criticizing the winner, but I'm reacting to the earlier comment about the motivations of the suicide. I'm pretty sure that failing to make the squad was not the only factor, but I'm also pretty sure that she wouldn't have killed herself if she was about to compete in the Olympics. Perhaps afterwards if she didn't take the gold?

I must have missed something on the way here. I thought the cause of death for Miyako Sumiyoshi wasn't quite known (or released) yet. Are you sure it was a suicide? And if it was, I seriously doubt it would be just over failing to make the Olympic squad. Suicide is usually over several factors, including mental/emotional illness. How do I know this? An old college girlfriend of mine battled an emotional disorder most of her life and she ended it in late 2016. Her surviving folk, myself and others may never know all the reasons why. I remember when we dated all those years ago and it sometimes makes me cry. Miyako Sumiyoshi's death, suicide or not, is tragic and heart-piercing and Nao Kodaira has every reason and justification to cry too. That's showing love, respect and true sportsmanship. Nao Kodaira is a winner and a champion in more ways than one. RIP MIYAKO SUMIYOSHI 1987-2018

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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