Today’s story-teller is judoka Tadahiro Nomura.
First, he says that he goes to the bathroom and look at himself in the mirror after washing his face with cold water right before he plays in a big game.
It is a kind of ritual for him to face himself to make a break with the wimpiness. He tries to remember why he devotes his strength. He does not do it to wimp out and lose the match.
Usually he cannot sleep at all the night before the match. He cannot look at himself in the mirror at the ritual when he has to play in the match without enough practice. Sometimes he just stands there and stares at himself over 5 minutes before he manages to make a move.
Thus, he has to gather his courage to get onto the stage.
At the Atlanta and the Athens Olympics, the gold medal matches were scheduled on the same day as the match of the women’s judo. Thus, Nomura had to play right after Ryoko Tamura finished.
When Tamura who is nationally popular lost at the Atlanta Olympics, Nomura could feel a feeling of oppression from the seats where Japanese supporters were. Contrary, at the Sydney Olympics, he felt a lot of energy from the audience because Tamura won the match.
Nomura likes attention. But he did not feel good about getting onto the stage in an atmosphere of somberness. But he took it as a fate and tried to do his best.
Sometimes he feels envy of the professional players who get big paycheck. However, at the end of the day, he thinks to himself, “They cannot practice only to win once every 4 years, can they? But I can do it.”
This kind of strong confidence has been supporting him.
The NIKKEI 03/17/2010 by Tadahiro Nomura
(judoka of the extra lightweight [60kg] division)
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