Naomi Osaka is the tennis player of the moment, the sportswoman of the moment, for many reasons, and at Tokyo Olympics 2021 she could achieve the definitive world consecration at all levels, transcending only the sporting level.
She is already an icon of current sport. A formidable tennis player, a beautiful girl, adored by brands and magazines, a fighter against racism, always in favor of social equality. So will Naomi be the standard-bearer of Japan at the Tokyo Olympics? Osaka will have a rival in this context: her countryman Hideki Matsuyama, winner of the Augusta Masters 2021.
Matsuyama recently became the first Japanese professional golfer to win a men's golf Major. Osaka, 23 years-old, has already won 4 Slam titles, including the 2021 Australian Open (in total, two Australian Open and two US Open).
Former golfer Rex Kuramoto stressed what it would mean if Matsuyama became the standard bearer of Japan. But Osaka is poised for the same honor.
Who do you think will be Japan’s flag bearer at @Tokyo2020? Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, @naomiosaka or someone else? 🇯🇵#Tokyo2020 #StrongerTogether https://t.co/LhNFx9FmT6 — Olympics (@Olympics) April 12, 2021
Naomi Osaka: "I'm proud to compete for Japan in the Olympics"Osaka said in a recent interview: "Since I have spent a lot of time in Japan in my teens and early adult life, those memories are clearer than my early childhood.
It’s a bit more difficult to go out publicly in Japan than it used to be. So sometimes I disguise myself in a cap and wig. I give credit equally to all those cultures for shaping me into the person I am today. I credit my Japanese side for my discipline, good manners, cleanliness and sense of style.
My mom’s work ethic, working two jobs a day to support my tennis, has rubbed off on me too. My American side has allowed me to be more open-minded and progressive. And my Haitian side has given me the courage to push through when things get tough.
Japan is such an important part of my life and my makeup. I am proud of who I am and no one will be prouder than me when I compete for Japan in the Olympics later this year, hopefully with your full support!"