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August 11, 2008 – It’s just getting started

Well even though I’m done competing, the Games have just begun.  Luckily judo gets done in the next few days so that the team can enjoy watching other sports and not just judo.
These past few days have been really exciting.  Yesterday our teammate Taylor Takata had a great day and ended up going 2-2 and placing 9th.  He beat some really tough players in the first few rounds and we thought that he may end up in the medal rounds.
Today Val fought and so did Ryan, and Val went 1-1, losing to Isabel Fernandez who was the Olympic Champ back in 2000.  Ryan lost a really close match to Mongolia but fought really tough.
Countries that you would never hear of normally won medals yesterday and today, including an awesome peformance by a man from Azerbeijan (don’t even know if i’m spelling this correctly) who chucked the Korean in the finals of the men’s 73kg like a little baby.
The Olympics are an amazing experience and there are many ups and downs.  Today there were so many suprises in judo, especially in the women’s division (57kg) where the reigning world and olympic champions both lost.  A virtually unknown Italian won the division.
It just goes to show that anything can happen and that no one can be taken for granted at this level.  Judo is a sport where its not over until that buzzer rings and you can get thrown in the last second even though you’re up be a wazari, 5 yukos and 10 kokas.
I’m excited to see what will happen tomorrow and now that I can really enjoy the games, its even better.
These last few days I’ve been hanging out with my dad and Asanuma Sensei, but my dad goes home tomorrow.  We went to some authentic Chinese restaurants, which was an interesting experience.  They even had turtle on the menu (needless to say, we didn’t try it)
Anyways, hope this email doesn’t bore people but I’m gonna keep writing until I leave (which is in about 2 weeks)
Keep me updated on whats going on at home!
Love
Sayaka

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