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  1. #526
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    THIS IS KARATE! Olympic 2020 Promo

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  2. #527
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    Our winners are announced!

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  3. #528
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    Tokyo primer

    Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Summer Olympics


    A dog is pictured on the Olympic Rings displayed at the Japan Sport Olympic Square beside the new National Stadium, still under construction, in Tokyo on July 24, 2019. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU—AFP/Getty Images
    BY RAISA BRUNER
    DECEMBER 26, 2019

    It will be here before we know it: the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, this time taking place in Japan’s capital of Tokyo.

    It’s Tokyo’s second time hosting a Summer Olympics, 56 years after their first time in the spotlight. These Games will see the introduction of some exciting new sports to the lineup, too: skateboarding will make its Olympic debut, as well as karate, surfing and sport climbing.

    There will be plenty of classics to watch as well, from the ever-popular swimming and gymnastics events to track and field and team sports. And while Olympic trials have yet to take place, we’ll most likely be seeing the return of superstars like the 2016 gymnastics standout Simone Biles, swimming record-setter Katie Ledecky and track star Sydney McLaughlin, who was just 16 when she competed in the Rio Olympics and has been on the rise ever since.

    When will the 2020 Olympics start?

    The 2020 Summer Olympics will begin on July 24, 2020 and run until Aug. 9, 2020, with the opening ceremony on July 24 and the closing ceremony on Aug. 9. (Some preliminary events will take place as early as July 22.) In between, audiences around the world will tune in to two weeks of nonstop sports. Most of the big swimming events will take place over the first week, while the track and field competitions ramp up in the second half.

    Where are the 2020 Olympics being held?


    The New National Stadium, the main stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium (bottom right) are pictured on July 24, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Carl Court—Getty Images

    For the second time in its history, Tokyo is hosting the summer Olympics; they first hosted back in 1964. (Japan has also been home to two Winter Olympics, at Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998.) Tokyo is the first city in Asia to host an Olympics twice.

    This time, Tokyo is looking to many of its preexisting facilities to stage the summer’s events. The city has been renovating stadiums and rebuilding where they can: of 43 venues, 25 were already standing, while eight are new and 10 more temporary, as the Los Angeles Times reports. The Nippon Budokkan is getting fixed up as the site of judo competition and karate, for example, while the Baji Koen Park will host equestrian events and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium will be the spot for handball. (Back in 1964, it was the center of the swimming and diving events.) But the big site — the Tokyo National Stadium — has been the focus of a major overhaul. Originally, the Stadium was to be rebuilt to the specifications of a design by the late architect Zaha Hadid. That plan was scrapped due to cost concerns. The ultimate design is one by a Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, at about half the price.

    The decision on a host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics was determined back in 2013 in Argentina. The three final contenders during the bid process were Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo; Tokyo ended up ahead with 60 votes to 36 once the field had been narrowed down to Istanbul or Tokyo. Hosting the Olympics is a complex proposition for any city: while it offers potential economic upsides, thanks to increased construction, investment and tourism, many cities also struggle to make later use of the expansive facilities and housing that the Games require.

    In 1964, Tokyo was the first Asian city to host the games. They had initially been scheduled as host for 1940, but the geopolitics of the era necessitated a shift. (The 1940 games were ultimately cancelled entirely.) The 1964 Games were actually held in October, to account for Japan’s midsummer heat and September typhoon season.

    What sports are in the Summer Olympics?

    The 2020 Summer Olympics will award medals across 339 events, representing 33 different sports. Five are new sports entirely (baseball/softball, skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing and karate), while others — like basketball — see the inclusion of new events within the discipline. Nothing has been dropped since 2016, which also saw the return of golf and rugby.
    .
    Here is the full list of sports, and the number of events within each sport: aquatics (49), archery (5), athletics (48), badminton (5), baseball/softball (2), basketball (4), boxing (13), canoeing (16), cycling (22), equestrian (6), fencing (12), field hockey (2), football (2), golf (2), gymnastics (18), handball (2), judo (15), karate (8), pentathlon (2), rowing (14), rugby (2), sailing (10), shooting (15), skateboarding (4), sport climbing (2), surfing (2), table tennis (5), taekwondo (8), tennis (5), triathlon (3), volleyball (4), weightlifting (14) and wrestling (18).

    Which U.S. athletes will likely be competing?


    Oct. 1 2019, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart: Gymnastics: World Championship, podium training in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle. picture alliance—dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

    Simone Biles. Katie Ledecky. Sydney McLaughlin. Serena Williams. There’s still a lot up in the air about who will end up competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Some Olympic trials don’t take place until late in 2020; for track and field and swimming, for instance, trials to determine who will end up as an Olympian aren’t until June 2020, just a month before the Olympics themselves.

    Other sports, like many of the team events and the marathon, choose their qualified athletes based on performance in international competitions over the course of 2019 and early 2020. NBC’s Olympics-dedicated Twitter account is a good place to keep track of preliminary and qualifying events.

    As for individual athletes set to take the Olympic stage? Michael Phelps, the world’s winning-est Olympian and one of the most recognizable Summer Olympics athletes, probably won’t be back; recent public appearances suggest the dad of three is content letting his record speak for itself after representing the U.S. in four consecutive Olympics. But Simone Manuel, who made waves with her gold-medal tie in 2016, is a possible 2020 Olympian, and Nathan Adrian, who is currently battling testicular cancer, might be back for round three. And then there’s Ledecky, still distance swimming’s dominant force.

    On the track and field side, recognizable names like Justin Gatlin may be in contention for a spot in the competition; the former 100m-medalist from 2004 is posting top times lately. Sydney McLaughlin was the U.S.’s youngest member of the track team in 2016, and has 2020 potential. And sprinter Noah Lyles has been considered an heir to the Usain Bolt throne. Caster Semenya, meanwhile, has been a dominant force in the field — but it remains to be seen whether the 800m champion will be allowed to compete. Semenya already has two gold medals under her belt, but recently she has been battling new regulations set down by the International Association of Athletics Federations that classify her as ineligible to run in women’s races based on the increased level of testosterone she genetically possesses.
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  4. #529
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    Continued from previous post

    #TokyoOlympics

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    As far as gymnastics goes, Simone Biles has been breaking records at recent national and international gymnastics competitions, suggesting that she’s ready to rock for 2020. Basketball, always a Team U.S.A. highlight, might see James Harden take the court in Tokyo. And a cast of familiar soccer stars — Rose LaVelle, Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz — may very well have a world stage moment once more since the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2019 World Cup victory. While USWNT star Alex Morgan is expecting her first child, due just months before the Olympics, the forward has said she hopes to still compete in Tokyo after giving birth.


    Brazilian skateboarder Rayssa Leal competes in the Street League Skateboarding world championship women's final in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on September 22, 2019. NELSON ALMEIDA—AFP/Getty Images

    The biggest change to the Olympics for 2020 is the addition of the five new sports and the return of baseball (absent in 2016), plus a few new events, like the three-on-three basketball competition.

    One change sure to receive a lot of attention are the adjusted gymnastics team rules: instead of fielding a team of five athletes, each country will be whittled down to four all-around contestants, with two more teammates added to compete only in individual events.

    Are there any big controversies ahead of the Olympics?

    Concerns about costs
    Olympics detractors point to rising costs as a serious concern; back in 2013, Tokyo suggested a budget of around $7 billion. That ballooned at one point to an estimated $30 billion, with organizers winnowing it down to nearer $25 billion for now. (For reference, Russia ended up spending $51 billion on the Sochi games — the highest known expenditure for an Olympics. That said, future summer games are looking at budgets below $10 billion, thanks to new regulations.)

    Weather questions
    Aside from the costs, there are some concerns about weather: Tokyo has seen increasingly high summer temperatures in the past few years, which means outdoor events like the marathon could be impacted. On the one-year-to-go mark this summer, the city also experienced a torrential downpour. (In 1964, the Tokyo Olympics were actually held in October to avoid these climate issues.)

    USA Gymnastics
    USA Gymnastics has been roiled by allegations of sexual assault against the team’s former doctor Larry Nassar in the past few years, with star gymnasts including Aly Raisman and Simone Biles speaking out about abuse and urging their governing body to take steps towards change.

    Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual assault of a minor and was sentenced in 2018 to up to 175 years in Michigan state prison, but Raisman and others have remained vocal in her criticisms of the organizations for which he worked.

    Questions about Russia
    Russia will most likely not compete as a nation at the 2020 Olympics, after the World Anti-Doping Agency recommended in November that the country receive a four-year ban from international competition for not cooperating with doping investigations. In January, WADA shared their suspicions that Russia had tampered with its athletes’ data before presenting it for inspection to the agency. Russia has had a fraught history with doping allegations; it has been stripped of 43 Olympic medals over the years.

    Although Russia said in December that it would appeal the WADA decision, if the potential ban is upheld, Russian athletes who have not been found guilty of doping would still be allowed to compete individually. The setup would be reminiscent of the 2018 Olympics, when a select number of Russian athletes were cleared to compete at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics as OAR — the neutral “Olympic Athletes Russian” delegation.

    Doping
    Russia isn’t the only country facing concerns about doping among its athletes. The use of substances to enhance athletic performance has long been a fixture in modern competition, and recently superstars like Lance Armstrong have had their legacies reconsidered in light of new information about doping.

    Swimming has been in focus in particular lately: in October, U.S. swimmer and prior Olympic medalist Conor Dwyer announced his retirement following a 20-month ban due to the discovery of his testosterone use. Australia’s Shayna Jack failed a drug test in July, although she contends she ingested the banned substance unknowingly.

    China’s Sun Yang has been a flashpoint of the doping controversy for years: he first tested positive for banned substances in 2014, and is under investigation for smashing a vial of his blood to avoid testing in 2016. At this summer’s world championships, where he dominated in his events, several fellow competitors voiced their objections to his continued appearance in the sport.

    Bribery allegations
    The longtime head of Japan’s Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, stepped down this summer after a French investigation into the choice of Tokyo as the host city for 2020 uncovered potential corruption and the use of bribes in securing votes back in 2013. Takeda has maintained his innocence, but recused himself from his Olympic roles in the face of the controversy.

    Water temperature and clarity
    Like in Rio in 2016, there are some concerns about the quality of the water in Tokyo Bay, which will be home to sailing events and open-water distance swimming events. In 2017, trace amounts of E. coli bacteria — 20 times the safe standard — were found in the Bay, leading to an increased focus on decontamination. And at a test event in summer 2019, the water temperature itself led athletes to admit to being overheated during their long-distance swims.

    In October, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced that surveys of water quality and temperature in the Odaiba Marine Park showed that their attempts to improve water quality were “effective,” by using a series of underwater screens that reduced the presence of coliforms. Surveys of water temperature also suggested the temperatures on the same summer dates in 2019 were within the target.


    Swimmers dive into the sea at the start of the men's Marathon Swimming 5km competition, as a test event for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo on August 11, 2019. KAZUHIRO NOGI—AFP/Getty Images

    Labor concerns
    Labor organizations, including the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, have reported dangerous and problematic working conditions for construction workers contracted to build and refurbish Tokyo’s many venues, citing a “culture of fear” among workers, plus low pay and overwork, that may have led to multiple deaths so far. For its part, the IOC has said it is working closely with the U.N. agency the International Labour Organization, as the Japanese media has reported, and will be addressing the concerns “with relevant Japanese authorities.” That was in July.

    How can I watch the 2020 Olympics?
    As in the past, NBC will be home to 2020 Summer Olympics coverage. They will broadcast on TV and also have a home for all Olympics viewing on their Olympic Channel website, with events available to livestream. For cord-cutters, NBC apps for streaming and mobile will provide access on TVs and smart devices — but you will have to provide a cable login or buy a subscription in order to access the full coverage.

    Where will the 2024 Summer Olympics be held?
    The 2024 Summer Olympics will be held in Paris. And all the way out in 2028, Los Angeles will play host.

    WRITE TO RAISA BRUNER AT RAISA.BRUNER@TIME.COM.
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  5. #530
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    Sakura Kokumai

    No car, no job, no home: What a female karate master gave up to go for 2020 Olympics gold
    PUBLISHED FRI, FEB 21 20209:56 AM ESTUPDATED SAT, FEB 22 20205:07 PM EST
    Candice Goldman
    Jane Wells
    @JANEWELLS
    KEY POINTS
    Like many American athletes, Sakura Kokumai has given up everything to train for the 2020 Olympics in a sport that doesn’t attract many sponsors or much money.
    She quit her job to focus on training, lives with a host family, and sometimes sleeps on a gym floor.
    Kokumai has been practicing karate since the age of seven and this may be her only shot at an Olympic medal: Karate will not be in the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

    Money is this U.S. Olympic hopeful’s biggest hurdle

    Her hands move in a blur. Then they stop, frozen like stone.

    Sakura Kokumai is 27 years old and could be America’s best hope for a medal in karate at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

    She has a menacing presence in the dojo, even though she is not quite five feet tall. Somehow, when she puts on her “gi,” or uniform, Kokumai seems to grow.

    “Whenever I wear a gi, I feel very strong. I feel confident, and I feel more like myself,” she says.

    There are two types of karate debuting at the Tokyo Games. One is sparring, called kumite. The other is a series of precise movements done individually, called kata. “I always explain it as like figure skating without music,” Kokumai says.

    She is No. 1 in the U.S. in women’s kata, and she’s top five in the world, winning gold at the Pan American Games last fall and silver at the Karate Premier League Tournament in Dubai last week.

    She accomplished all of this without a coach.

    Kokumai is living for free with a host family in California. She has no car. Her wardrobe consists mostly of Team USA clothing, and when asked how much money she has in the bank, she hesitates. “A little,” she finally admits with a laugh.

    Like thousands of Americans, Sakura Kokumai has given up everything to train for the Olympics in a sport that doesn’t attract many sponsors or much money. But unlike many of those other athletes, she never thought the Olympics could be in her future.

    “A lot of swimmers, wrestlers, they will grow up dreaming about the Olympics because they see athletes competing at the Games before,” she says. “For us karate athletes, it was like a different universe.”

    Suddenly when the International Olympic Committee decided in 2016 to add karate to the Tokyo games, Kokumai had decisions to make. “Where do I go? Where do I start? What do I do?”

    Training since seven

    Kokumai began taking karate lessons at the age of 7 in Hawaii. “My mom kind of threw me into a YMCA class,” she says. She enjoyed the sport and the people. “To me, karate was more of an escape...just something peaceful about it. It was calming.”

    Kata in particular attracted her. “It’s less than three minutes, but I felt like I was expressing myself through the kata, so I think I fell in love with the art of it.”

    Kokumai says each kata routine is a fixed set of movements that’s been “passed down for years.” What an individual athlete can change “is the rhythm, the timing.”


    Sakura Kokumai, 2007 Panamerican Junior Championship, Quito, Ecuador
    Sakura Kokumai

    Kokumai says her small stature allows her “to show more speed” than someone who is taller. “I think strength is my power.”

    She became good enough to start competing overseas as a teenager. “It’s been nonstop since then.”

    Kokumai eventually went to college in Japan, earning an undergraduate degree in linguistics and education, followed by a master’s in international relations, and she was working in Tokyo when word came down that karate was going to be in the 2020 Olympics. Upon hearing the news, “I didn’t know what to do to train,” Kokumai says. “I didn’t know what it took to get there, because there was no example. It’s the first time, and there was no past karate Olympian.”

    Kokumai tried to continue working and training, but found herself falling asleep doing stretches. She wasn’t eating right. “I soon realized that juggling work and karate was impossible. So I decided to quit my job.”

    That’s when she moved to California. She trains in the garage at the home where she stays, and she walks to the local gym. “I did find a strength conditioning coach, but he’s in San Diego.”

    Once in a while, Kokumai spends around $50 to take an Amtrak train to San Diego, where her conditioning coach lets her sometimes sleep over in the gym.

    Could be first and last shot at Olympic gold
    Even though Sakura Kokumai has spent much of her life traveling back and forth to Japan, there was never any question in her mind which country to compete for. “I started karate in Hawaii, I looked up to athletes who have represented the U.S.,” she says. “I always identified myself as an American.”

    Money, however, is increasingly on her mind. “Because I’m my own coach, I never really had the time to handle the other things, which has been a struggle.”

    She recently picked up Panasonic as a sponsor, though she will not reveal what kind of financial help, if any, comes with that. She receives a monthly stipend from Team USA, and the USA Karate Federation reimburses her travel expenses to international tournaments crucial to earning enough qualifying points for the Olympics.


    via GIPHY

    There are no guarantees Kokumai will earn one of the 10 spots for female kata in Tokyo, though she is currently among the world’s best. Only Japan is guaranteed one spot — the remaining nine will be based on an individual athlete’s global ranking.

    This could be Kokumai’s only shot at an Olympic medal. Karate will not be in the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. What if all this work and sacrifice is for nothing? Even if she does win gold, is there any financial reward for a kata karate athlete?

    “My focus right now is to qualify, and then my thought was, OK, once I get there, then I’ll figure it out,” she laughs.

    Maybe after she qualifies, Sakura Kokumai will be able to afford a coach. Or maybe not.

    “I just practice and do what I know, and it’s gotten me where I am today,” she says, “so I guess I’m doing all right.”




    Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the number of spots Japan is guaranteed in female kata at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
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    Sakura Kokumai

    There's a vid behind the link

    Woman Training for Olympics Becomes Target of Anti-Asian Rant at Orange County Park
    Sakura Kokumai, 28, is the first American to qualify for the Olympics in karate, and is training for the summer games in Tokyo.
    By Angie Crouch • Published 3 hours ago • Updated 3 hours ago

    An Olympic hopeful from SoCal — the first American to qualify for the Olympics in karate — posted a video of the man shouting at her as she trained in a park. Angie Crouch reports April 8, 2021.

    An Asian American woman training for the Olympics' karate competition says she was threatened by a man yelling racial slurs at an Orange County Park, and is sharing the recorded video of the incident in order to spread awareness about growing harassment against Asian Americans.

    Sakura Kokumai, 28, is the first American to qualify for the Olympics in karate, and is training for the summer games in Tokyo.

    She said she’s still in shock over what happened at Grijalva Park in the city of Orange last week.

    “Nobody likes to be yelled at by a complete stranger," she said.

    In a video she shared on Instagram, you can see a stranger berating her and threatening her as she worked out.

    "Go home, stupid," can be heard. “I’ll (bleep) you up - I’ll (bleep) your husband up or boyfriend or whoever you’re talking to on the phone."

    She responds with, "I haven’t done anything.”

    "When somebody is just yelling at you that aggressively you do get your guard up a little bit - you do get worried," Kokumai said.

    Kokumai is Japanese American, but she says the man yelled something about her being Chinese as he drove away.

    "The only two words I picked up were 'Chinese' and 'sashimi' which have no connection at all," she said.

    In an online summit with other Olympic athletes, U.S. gymnast Yul Moldauer revealed he too has been the victim of racial harassment.

    “Last month I was driving and a lady cut me off. She yelled at me, 'go back to China.' For me my job is to represent this country so I take a lot of pride into it," Moldauer said.

    The man in the Instagram video has not been identified and Kokumai wasn’t hurt.

    She says while it’s heartbreaking to see a rise in attacks on Asian Americans, she hopes sharing her story will bring awareness.

    “We all belong here and we don’t have to be afraid when we go out. But I encourage people to look out for one another," she said.
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    Michael Vivona busted for elder abuse

    More on Sakura Kokumai

    Police Arrest Man Accused of Berating Team USA Karate Athlete Training at Park for Olympics
    Sakura Kokumai, who qualified for this summer’s Olympics in karate, was training at an Orange County park when a stranger began yelling at her and making threats.
    By Staff Reports • Published April 19, 2021 • Updated 6 hours ago


    An Olympic hopeful from SoCal — the first American to qualify for the Olympics in karate — posted a video of the man shouting at her as she trained in a park. Angie Crouch reports April 8, 2021.

    A man accused of assaulting a Southern California Asian couple and threatening a U.S. Olympian who was training at an Orange County park has been arrested.

    Michael Vivona, 25, of Corona was arrested Sunday on suspicion of elder abuse and committing a hate crime in connection with an assault on a Korean American couple. He also was arrested in the April 1 encounter with 28-year-old Sakura Kokumai, who qualified for this summer’s Olympics in karate.

    Details about the arrest were not immediately available. It was not immediately clear whether the suspect has an attorney.

    Kokumai, a seven-time national champion, shared video of the encounter with a man who yelled at her in Grijalva Park in the city of Orange. In video shared on Instagram, the man can be seen berating her as she works out at the public park.

    It makes me emotional just to think about it because at the time I did feel that I was alone.

    Sakura Kokumai
    “Go home stupid,” the man can be heard saying. “I’ll f— you up. I’ll f— your husband up or boyfriend or whoever you’re talking to on the phone.”

    Kokumai is Japanese American, but she said the man yelled something about her being Chinese as he drove away.

    “The only two words I picked up were ‘Chinese’ and ’sashimi,’ which have no connection at all,” Kokumai told NBCLA. “Nobody likes to be yelled at by a complete stranger.”

    Kokumai was at the park to go for a jog as she prepares to represent the United States in front of the world at the Olympics in Tokyo.

    Kokumai said she shared the video to spread awareness about harassment against Asian Americans.

    “I want everybody to know, especially in the AAPI community, that you’re not alone,” Kokumai told NBC News. “I think it’s really important to have compassion, share love and look out for one another.

    “It makes me emotional just to think about it because at the time I did feel that I was alone."

    In the aftermath, Kokumai said she received heartwarming messages of support.

    “They made me feel that I do belong here,” Kokumai said.

    Details about the other crime for which the suspect was arrested were not immediately available.
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  8. #533
    Justice will always prevail.

  9. #534
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristoffer View Post
    riiiiiight, chill everyone?
    I am just interested in how other kung fu students feel about karate. Uhmm, ok, so how is the Okinawan Karate (Shuri Te+Naha Te) different from the stuff we see out there now? is Shuri Te+Naha Te a rare art to find?

    ~K~
    "maybe not in combat..... but think of the chicks man, the chicks!"
    To answer your twenty year old question, I am posting a vid that explains everything :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65mZA-ICJXQ

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    Our latest sweepstakes. Enter to win!

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    Our winners are announced

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    Congrats Sakura Kokumai!

    I hope you get a chance to compete.

    SAKURA KOKUMAI OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED AS FIRST U.S. KARATE OLYMPIAN
    By Todd Kortemeier | May 25, 2021, 3:36 p.m. (ET)


    Sakura Kokumai poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympic shoot on Nov. 22, 2019 in West Hollywood, Calif.

    Sakura Kokumai first saw her name appear alongside the word “Olympian” back in March 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were postponed, the karate Olympic qualifying system was revised and athletes had to wait until Tuesday to have their Olympic fates confirmed.

    Kokumai found herself in the same spot — among the first 40 karate athletes officially qualified for the Games. Kokumai ranks as the fourth kata athlete in the world, securing her place. She is the only one among the 40 from Team USA.

    It’s been a long wait for both Kokumai and the sport of karate, as both will be making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo. The discipline of kata that Kokumai practices is based on progressing through a series of movements. Athletes receive scores from judges on their technical execution.

    Kokumai, 28, first took up the sport at the age of 7 in her native Hawaii. Growing up, she lived in both Hawaii and Japan, where her parents are originally from. Kokumai now lives in San Diego.

    Kokumai committed to the kata discipline at the age of 16, and by 2012 won her first world championships medal. A seven-time national champion at the senior level, Kokumai has been a member of the national team since 2007. She owns six senior Pan American championships and in 2019 captured the gold medal in individual kata at the Pan American Games. She’ll hope to bring home a medal of a similar color from Tokyo.

    “Karate has been a part of my life for a long time now,” she told TeamUSA.org in September. “It may be new to the Olympics, but there are so many karate practitioners around the world, and I think that people who practice karate have a relationship with the sport that’s very personal. I’m hoping the Olympics will allow people to see what we do and why we do what we do.”


    Todd Kortemeier
    Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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  13. #538
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    The King of Karate

    Pop-Up “King of Karate” Exhibit to Open at Graceland

    Graceland Mansion (photo by Shara Clark)

    Flyer Staff
    11:43 a.m. Jun. 4, 2021
    Elvis Presley is not most famous for his love of karate, but his interest in the martial art is indeed part of his legend. It informed his fashion, his stage moves, and more. Now, to celebrate the 39th opening of Graceland to tours on June 7, 1982, Elvis Presley’s Graceland will open a new pop-up exhibit, dedicated to the King’s experience with karate, inside the Graceland Archives Experience in Elvis Presley’s Memphis. The new exhibit will open on Monday, June 7th.

    Presley began his study of karate while he was in the Army, stationed in Germany. The King developed a passion for karate, and he continued to study the form when he returned to Memphis, earning his first-degree black belt under Hank Slemansky.

    Perhaps most famously, Presley studied in a Memphis dojo under Master Kang Rhee, who eventually bestowed seventh- and eighth-degree black belts on Presley.

    Included in the pop-up exhibit’s collection will be Presley’s personal karate gis, his seventh- and eighth-degree black belt certificates, and the original handwritten script for his 1974 karate documentary, New Gladiators.

    The exhibit will open at Elvis Presley’s Graceland on Monday, June 7th.


    Photo courtesy Elvis Presley’s Graceland

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