The Japan Sport Stories Story
In the summer of 2019, we were hard at work helping groups of athletes prepare for the biggest tournaments in Japan. We’d spoken to groups like World Rugby, the British Olympic Association and even made a group of high-performance Paralympic managers shout things in Japanese. We then watched Japan blow everyone’s expectations out of the water at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and we couldn’t wait for Japan to take centre stage in the 2020 Olympics. Then came the pandemic, the postponement of the Olympics and all of that momentum and excitement surrounding Japan and sport evaporated.
We couldn’t let that happen, so we got hold of some of the people we’d met through our lives in Japan and as sports people, and Japan Sport Stories was born. Our aim was simple, to spread to the stories of people who have been touched by both Japan and sport.
If you google Japan and sport, you’re bombarded with marital arts, ancient rituals and ’10 weird things about Japan’ articles. We want to break those stereotypes and show what the Japanese sporting world really has to offer; like the small Japanese city that’s using cricket to revitalise itself, the local factory volleyball team that won Olympic gold and revolutionised the sport or Ireland's most successful Sumo Wrestler.
Each of our guests brings us a unique story and every episode delivers something different. We’ve spoken to Paralympians, Olympians (both Winter and Summer), Academics, Team Organisers, 2020 Hopefuls, all united behind their love of sport in Japan but all with different stories to tell.
The podcast was going to run for 1 year until the Opening Ceremony of Tokyo 20201. But, we’ve found that with each new guest we find out about something new, and that turns into another guest and we can’t see us slowing down anytime soon.