This is Andrea Wang’s and my fifth installment of our Asian Culture Series. Today, we are talking about Asians and sports. We are exploring our connections to sumo, Nissin Sports, and keeping girls in sports! And, as karma would have it, all of this points towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics…
We are also giving away a copy of How To Coach Girls, in keeping in our theme today of encouraging youth to participate in sports and reach for the stars ! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
Asian Culture and KidLit series with Andrea Wang
September 2018: Cover Reveal! Andrea’s MAGIC RAMEN: The Story of Momofuku Ando
February 2019: Cover Reveal! Mia’s Sumo Joe
April 2019: Sumo, Ramen Noodles & Chinese Connection
June 2019: Tempura and Chankonabe (and how it’s related to our books!)
August 2019: Our Connection to Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Nissin Sports Advancement Foundation, Sumo for Girls)
October 2019: It’s a Small World: Nissin Connection
Our Connection to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Momofuko Ando Helps Athletes Reach the Olympics
In 1983, Nissin Sports Foundation (currently called Ando Foundation) was founded. Momofuko Ando believed that sports play a vital role in human development and fitness. He said, ““Eating and sports are the two axles of health.” The foundation’s main activities are support for track and field events and tennis players. And the Tokyo Olympics are part of the big picture!
Since 2013, the Ando Foundation has sponsored the junior tennis player development program organized by the Japan Tennis Association. In fiscal 2018, a total of 87 players participated in 3 top performer training camps, 198 players attended 26 national junior tennis camps, and 59 top junior players and instructors went on 14 overseas tours.
Since 2015, the Ando Foundation, together with the Japan Association of Athletics Federations, has conducted the Ando Foundation Global Challenge Project to support overseas competition by young track and field athletes. The project supports unsponsored individuals age sixteen or older who aspire to win medals in international track and field competitions.
In fiscal 2018, the project provided support to nine athletes expected to make a particularly strong showing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Nissin sponsors a Japanese tennis player, Kei Nishikori, who was an Olympic bronze medalist in 2016, defeating Rafael Nadal. Look for him at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!
Kei Nishikori, image from Wikipedia
Sumo Is Almost an Olympic Sport
We might catch sumo as part of programming surrounding the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but it won’t be as an Olympic sport … yet! Sumo has been granted full recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – raising the possibility that one day it be an Olympic sport! This is an important step! Sumo was among 26 sports competing for inclusion at the 2020 Olympics but it did not make the cut most likely due to the small number of countries that have sumo wrestling programs. Karate, however, will make its debut at the Tokyo Olympics, and will feature eight events with men and women competing in sparring (kumite) and forms (forms).
The Japanese sport, whose roots stretch back to the 17th century, was officially upgraded from provisional to full recognition during a meeting of the IOC Executive Board.
How To Coach Girls and Olympics
Did you know that the number of women competing at the Olympic Games is nearly 50%? It wasn’t until 2012 that women even participated in every Olympic sport but that number will increase became all new Olympic sports MUST have women’s events. There is also effort to include women as coaches and in leadership positions as part of the administration of the Olympic games, but there is still work to do. Check out these stats:
Female athlete participation lags slightly in the Winter Olympic Games from the Summer Olympics. Both games still have not hit 50% participation so here’s hoping there is gender equality at the 2020 Olympics. It’s something to watch for!
Women began competing on Olympic sports as early as 1900 in tennis and golf, but for many sports, it was years before women joined the men. For example, boxing has been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since the 1904 Summer Olympics. Boxing was not included at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, because Swedish law banned the sport at the time, but it was not until 2012 that women’s boxing became an Olympic event! That’s over 100 years!
The International Olympic Committee has seen an increase in female members from 21.4 % in 2017 to 30.8 % in 2018, however, there are only four female members of the executive board out of fifteen! That’s only 26.6%!!
Healthy and Easy Japanese Food Recipes
Nissin has reduced or cut out MSG and sodium in some of their ramen products in order to make them healthier. I’m sharing my summer meal go to, Soba Noodle Salad with teriyaki salmon. For dessert, Andrea found an easy, no-bake recipe for Chocolate Haystacks using instant ramen. I’m sharing my summer meal go to, Soba Noodle Salad with teriyaki salmon.
image from Spoon University
Soba Noodle Salad
Soba noodles (My soba noodles come tied up in serving portions. I use two servings for this dish)
1 English cucumber julienned
1 red bell pepper julienned
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium Kikkoman‘s)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Put everything into a jar and shake well before pouring over the noodle salad.
Step 1: Bring pot of water to boil.
Step 2: Julienne the vegetables and put into serving bowl.
Step 3: Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Mine take about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Step 4: Combine with julienned vegetables and pour dressing over. Toss and serve immediately.
I like to serve this with Teriyaki salmon for a light and healthy summer meal. Here’s my homemade Teriyaki sauce!
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce for Teriyaki Salmon
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium Kikkoman’s)
1/4 cup mirin
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thickly
1 tablespoon honey
Combine in a saucepan and cook on medium-high heat until thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully! Cool and spoon over grilled or baked salmon. You can use salmon fillets or steaks. The Japanese prefer very thin salmon steaks about 4 ounces each.
How To Coach Girls GIVEAWAY!
We are also giving away a copy of How To Coach Girls, in keeping in our theme today of encouraging youth to participate in sports and reach for the stars ! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below. We can only mail to U.S. and AFO addresses.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.