Monday, March 26, 2007

Japanese Atheletes Today (Sports cont:)

So sports. Right now the country is still in the midst of the swirling excitement of the night Ando Miki and Asada Mao won gold and silver medals in women's figure skating. I actually watched all of the programs that were available on TV so the past week had been a very exciting one for me. Winning not just one but three, and not just any medal but gold and silver is an extremely remarkable feat. Many expected the medals, I think, but the actually winning them is a different matter. The whole nation is enthused over the news. One news article said that the highest viewership of the figure skating championships marked above 56%, which was the moment right after the points for Ando was announced and the whole arena got to know she won first place. Although not a Japanese, another favorite skater of mine, Yu-Na Kim won bronze medal allowing Asians to monopolize the podium.

And other sports: well, I'd mentioned baseball several times before so I think I'll skip over that.
At the same time as the figure skating championships, the World Swimming Championships was taking place and was aired on TV. The media was especially excited over syncronized swimming because Japan's pretty good at it. Swimming is one of the sports Japan is good at, and because the young swimmers are staying at the top level rather stably people do expect medals and watch the matches.
Professional golf: the way people see golf or at least the golfers especially female golfers are different from before. Young golfers led by Miyazato Ai are treated as idols of the golfing world and are in great demand among TV shows.

Idols - overall, I think I've come to reach this conclusion that the way people are drawn into sports and the difference of 10 years ago and now is all about media attention. All of the atheletes mentioned and a handful more in the sports world today are featured on TV and magazines like idols, not so different from the "talento" (TV personalities) and fashion models pampered by the media. The only difference is that the atheletes' profession are their respective sports instead of being interviwed and giving comments. I don't think that there were as many active atheletes showing up in variety shows and being used on various commercials.

I guess the attention of the media works positively in many ways (though perhaps not including enough respect for individual atheletes). Whoever wants to use the fresh and active image of the atheletes will probably get the kind of impression they want from the general public, just like how many of the brands and companies use famous TV people for as their "image characters" (poster people) and for their commercials. Many of the sports benefit from the media's attention on their young and prospective players because the way media portray the players attract more children into that world.

Well that's the end to my random thought on sports. Sorry it's pretty disorganized.

Today's update on Japan Mode:
This Week's Events in Tokyo / Sakura Forecast Tohoku & Hokkaido / Night Sakura Spots

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