So yesterday Japan finally got their first medal, making it to the podium in 500m men’s speed skating. 2 Japanese olympians stood shoulder to shoulder on the podium, smiling and clutching their hard earned silver and bronze medals. As I am from Canada I was a bit sad because they both had races with Canadians and both beat my compatriots, but living in Japan I was happy to see those smiling (albeit exhausted) olympians’ faces. But the real positive effect of all this is that my students are bubbly and happy. Now upon entering my English school, my students immediately start jabbering away (in English) about the latest results, and I am happy to discuss both the olympics and my hometown (Nanaimo BC) which is very near to Vancouver. Seeing their olympians excelling and getting results has had such a positive effect on them and all the students at my English school in Otsu, and I am proud of the English ability my students are displaying in both watching the olympics (in English) and talking about them. In fact, standing in front of JR Otsu station this morning, I felt like everyone in Otsu was happier and I was amazed that the results of a sports event halfway around the world could inspire so much joy in people here. The olympians are truly an amazing bunch as they inspire future generations and improve the morale of all Japanese people!
As I write this now, I am watching the Japanese women’s curling team win their opening match against the American women’s team. Go Japan! For full Vancouver 2010 Olympic Coverage, click Vancouver 2010 for the official website.
Edward, Smith’s School of English Otsu