The 2012 Summer Paralympics Games commenced three days ago.
It’s unfortunate that the Paralympics or Special Oympics don’t get as much recognition or fanfare as the “regular” Olympics…because I think the athletes of the Paralympics and Special Olympics are amazing.
In fact, I wrote a post about them a couple of years ago…with special focus on one Japanese Paralympic athlete from the 2010 Winter Paralympics who overcame tragedy in his life twice.
(Click here to read it.)
Anyways, have you seen the promotional ad for the 2012 Summer Paralympics that are currently underway in London?
It’s titled “Meet The Superhumans“! It’s a great ad…here it is:
Everyone, I’m sure, knows that the 2012 Summer Olympics are underway…and that they games are being hosted by London.
Have you watched the opening ceremonies?
Did you see “James Bond” escort the Queen of England to the games by helicopter…and “the Queen” parachuted in?
And Mr. Bean playing with the orchestra? David Beckham driving a speed boat? And the “legend” himself, Muhammad Ali?
It was a pretty good opening ceremony. I enjoyed watching it (on television…I’ve never seen an Olympics event “in person”. The closest that I came was when my wife and I took the 新幹線 (bullet train) to 長野 (Nagano, Japan) in 1998 to see the “Olympic city” atmosphere).
Anyways, are you watching any of the games?
Which events do you like best?
Last night, I watched Japan “almost” get gold in men’s judo…but lost to Georgia.
So far, the top three countries with medals won are China, America, and Italy.
Japan is currently in 15th place.
I’m not a big baseball fan but I have written a few baseball related posts…including two about Ichiro Suzuki.
( Click here to read the post I wrote about Ichiro playing baseball in Japan against Japan…and click here to read my post about Ichiro and the rest of the “Samurai Japan” team).
Even to someone (like me) who isn’t a baseball fan, it’s well-known that Ichiro was a member of the Seattle Mariners MLB team…but that’s no more.
Ichiro was just traded to the New York Yankees.
(Picture from the New York Yankees website).
And, in a bit of ironic fate, his first game as a player for the Yankees is today…against his former team, the Mariners!
The American Major League Baseball (MLB) teams Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics (A’s) are here in Tokyo, Japan now to play a total of six pre-season games at the Tokyo Dome.
They’re scheduled to play two games against each other on 2012 March 28th and 29th.
But before those games, the two American teams will play games against the Japanese baseball teams the Tokyo Giants and the (Osaka) Hanshin Tigers.
Today the Seattle Mariners played the Hanshin Tigers and lost.
Ichiro (Suzuki) and the Seattle Mariners lost to the Hanshin Tigers in the Tokyo Dome today.
And then, after that game, the Oakland A’s played the Tokyo Giants and won.
This was third-generation Japanese, Ken Suzuki's (of the Oakland A's) first trip to Japan.
The A's beat the Tokyo Giants in today's game.
Tomorrow, the two Japanese teams and the two American teams will change opponents (it will be Oakland A’s vs Hanshin Tigers and then the Seattle Mariners vs Tokyo Giants).
(Images in this post are from SeattlePi.com, VancouverSun.com, and 読売新聞.co.jp).
Have you ever watched the volleyball World Cup championship games?
They are held every four years…and this year (2011) was one of the years that the matches are held. They are currently winding down…the women’s games ended a couple of days ago and the men’s will finish up soon too.
Did you know that Japan is always the host nation of the Volleyball World Cup?
Italy are the champions of the 2011 Women’s Volleyball World Cup. The American team are the second-place winners and China came in third.
Japan’s team are the fourth-place winners.
America came ahead of Japan in the final results, but Japan beat the U.S. (3 sets to zero) in the Japan vs USA match.
Since Italy, America and China came in first, second and third place (respectively), those teams qualified to play in the Olympics in London next summer.
If Evel Knievel hadn’t died four years ago, today would be his 73rd birthday.
Coincidentally, Evel Knievel spent the last few years of his life in Clearwater, Florida...the same town that I grew up in!
Do you know who Evel Knievel was?
Maybe only Americans recognize that name…and maybe only Americans who are at least my age.
When I was a child in America during the 1970′s, Evel Knievel was one of my idols.
He was a daredevil stunt motorcycle jumper who often jumped rows of cars and trucks with his Harley-Davidson motorcycle on live television.
He also attempted jumps over the Caesars Palace fountains, lions, rattlesnakes, tanks of sharks, and the Grand Canyon!
Evel Knievel jumping the Caesars Palace fountains.
He crashed many times and he’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having sustained the most broken bones in his lifetime.
When I was a kid I had an Evel Knievel lunchbox and motorcycle rider toy.
Did you know who Evel Knievel was? Did you watch his jumps on TV?
Evel Knievel 1938 October 17 – 2007 November 30, R.I.P.
Also, today is the 21st anniversary of the day I came to Japan. I came here on 1990 October 17.
I can’t believe it’s already been twenty-one years…I’ve lived in Japan longer now than I lived in America!
Japan has changed a lot since I first came here.
I wrote this post about the Women’s Soccer World Cup championship game being played by Japan against the USA today.
As you probably already know, Japan won the game in penalty kicks.
Here’s a video I found on Youtube that shows the penalty kick attempts by both the USA and Japan.
The announcers in the video sound English. I don’t often watch TV in English anymore…so what mostly got my attention when I watched this video was the way the announcers butchered the Japanese players’ names!
Japan’s team celebrating their win as the 2011 Women’s World Cup Champions.
But here’s what it looked like:
The video ends before it has a chance to show
Did you watch the game?
It started at 3:45AM Japan time so I didn’t stay up to watch it. I saw the highlights on the news this morning.
On the news here, they also had a Japanese reporter and cameraman in a sports-bar in New York during the game to get the American fans’ reactions.
Each time the U.S. team scored a goal, the Americans in the bar erupted into a “USA! USA! USA!” chant. I guess I’ve been living in Japan so long that I was taken by surprise a bit by that. It was like a culture shock!
From 2011 June 26 until this Sunday (July 17th), the Women’s World Cup international soccer championship games is being held in Germany.
On Wednesday (July 13th), two semi-final matches were held.
America played against France and Japan played against Sweden.
The U.S. and Japan each won their games with a score of 3-1.
So, now the final match for the 2011 Women’s World Cup Championship will be held on this Sunday, 2011 July 17th.
Japan will play against the U.S.
I’m not sure which country to support!
I’m American. I was born and raised in America. But I’ve been living in Japan since 1990…most of my life now. Japan has become my home.
Well, I’ll support both teams.
Have you watched any of the 2011 Women’s World Cup matches? Will you watch the championship game on Sunday?
Did you watch the Japan vs Sweden game last Wednesday? After Japan won that game, the team members held up a banner thanking the world for supporting Japan after the 2011 March 11 disaster.
Their banner said:
“To Our Friends Around The World
Thank You For Your Support“.
The Japanese Womens soccer team holding their banner
Yesterday was 冬至 (Winter Solstice). In Japan, many people eat pumpkin and take a bath with Yuzu fruit to prevent catching a cold.
Click here to read a post I wrote with more detail about this Japanese tradition.
Today is a holiday in Japan. It’s 天皇誕生日 (the Emperor of Japan’s birthday). He’s 77 years old now.
This is one of the two days of the year that the public are invited into the Emperor’s Palace grounds to see him and listen to his speech.
Click here to read my FAQ about it.
Anyways, every year the Mitsukoshi Department Store in 銀座 (Ginza, Tokyo) has an exhibit of press photos of the biggest news stories of the year.
We often go to see it. And we went to this year’s exhibit today.
It was quite good, as usual. There were nearly 300 photos that showed many big events of this year…from the World Cup and the Olympics to the miners rescue in Chile.
2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada
Of course, there was photos of the closing of the Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.
Click here to read my post about this famous theater’s closing (with photo that I took).
The closing of the famous Kabuki Theater in Ginza, Tokyo.
If you’re in Tokyo you should check out this exhibit. It’s free of charge and runs until Sunday (2010 December 26).
All photos in this post are from the Mitsukoshi 2010 Press Photo Exhibit website.
Japan has become a powerhouse in the sport of baseball.
In the American MLB there are many Japan star players such as Ichiro and Hideki Matsui, the Japan team was the world champions in both the 2008 and 2009 “World Baseball Classic” games (which, unlike the so-called “Baseball World Series”, is a real international baseball championship), and tonight (4:00 AM Japan Standard Time (JST)) Japan will play in the final game of the 2010 Little League World Series.
Just like the World Baseball Classic, the “Little League World Series” is an international championship match for the best baseball teams of boys up to age thirteen.
The “Little League World Series” is held every August in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA since it was started in the late 1940s. At first, only American teams played, but in the ’60s it became an international event.
The Japan team took the championship the first two years that the series became open to other countries, and has held the championship a total of six times so far (only America and China were champion more times).
The Tokyo Little League won their game against Taiwan yesterday and tonight they will represent Japan in the final match of the 2010 Little League World Series against the Hawaiian team (who are representing America).
After the game tonight* (it will be nighttime in Japan, but 3PM in America where they’ll be playing), either Japan or America will be the 2010 World Little League Baseball champions and the other team will be second place.
A great job by both!