American volleyball star Chiaka Ogbogu revealed she was absolutely star-struck after seeing Naomi Osaka in the Olympic Village during the Tokyo Olympics. Ogbogu, who ended up winning the gold medal with the United States, revealed she was "visibly staring" at Osaka to the point that the Japanese certainly noticed her.
However, she didn't want to approach Osaka and disturb the Japanese while she was eating her lunch. As a professional athlete herself, Ogbogu acknowledges she understands the importance of being respectful toward athletes.
Ogbogu on being star-struck by Osaka
"I met a couple, but one, I don’t know if I regret not going up to her, because like, she looked like she was in the zone and I really did not want to be that girl. We’re all there for the same reason.
As I am preparing for big matches, so is she. But Naomi Osaka – I saw her in the lunch room – and I couldn’t eat my lunch. I was visibly staring at her. She probably saw me at one point. It’s so funny, it’s like a tricky balance of trying to be professional and respectful.
My mom was saying that, 'Why don’t you say hi? You’re all there for the same reason.' I’m like, 'Mom, do you know who that is? It’s a little different' But in a sense, I should also feel like I earned the right to be there.
We’re all kind of on the same plane. But some people though, deserve that respect. I gave it to her," Ogbogu told Kaz Brown. While Ogbogu enjoyed success with the United States volleyball team, Osaka didn't win a medal.
In the Tokyo Olympics singles event, Osaka made the round-of-16 before losing to Marketa Vondrousova. Vondrousova, who upset Osaka, ended up making the Tokyo Olympics final, in which she was beaten by Belinda Bencic.
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