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Thread: "Slovenly snowboarder barred from opening ceremony and nearly kicked out games

  1. #1
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    News "Slovenly snowboarder barred from opening ceremony and nearly kicked out of games

    The dreadlocked 21-year-old drew sharp criticism for the way he wore Japan's official Olympic uniform when he traveled with the snowboard team to Vancouver and was not allowed to attend an arrival ceremony at the Olympic athletes' village held Wednesday.

    Kokubo was seen at Narita International Airport with his tie loosened and his shirt hanging out of his trousers, which were worn low down off his hips.

    The Ski Association of Japan was leaning toward kicking Kokubo out of the games altogether but Hashimoto persuaded the association to allow him to compete.
    In English
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0100214a1.html


    Kokubu's so-what attitude, saying "I reflect on myself," stretching the ending of the word (i.e., a joking tone) at a press conference, fueled the fire.......One of CEOs of Skating Association of Japan and the vice-president of the Japanese Olympian Team, Mr. Yukio Kasahara, also suggested that he would resign from the position and kick out Kokubo as well.
    In Japanese
    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...000239-sph-spo

    Picture of "slovenly" Kokubo arriving at the airport
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0100214a1.html

    Are there any dress codes when olympians travel? Why does this have to result in not only barring him from opening ceremony but also kicking him out of the games and resignation of a CEO?
    Last edited by Bennett; 02-15-2010 at 01:56 AM. Reason: grammar

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    it sounds like a TEAM rule, not an Olympic rule.

    kinda like when Johnny was told to tone it down with the CCCP jacket and Russian love during the games in Torino. You're not just representing yourself - whether you agree with it or not - your country is living through you for these two weeks. I don't see it as wrong or as a problem that a federation - who's paying your plane ticket, etc - acts that you conduct yourself appropriately while at those games.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    it sounds like a TEAM rule, not an Olympic rule.

    kinda like when Johnny was told to tone it down with the CCCP jacket and Russian love during the games in Torino. You're not just representing yourself - whether you agree with it or not - your country is living through you for these two weeks. I don't see it as wrong or as a problem that a federation - who's paying your plane ticket, etc - acts that you conduct yourself appropriately while at those games.
    Hummm, I wouldn't argue if it were the opening ceremony, but it was just a flight...

    Besides, wearing a jacket of some other country is another story.

    Kokubu did wear the Japanese uniform, but did not wear it as neatly as they wanted him to (see the pic <http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/so20100214a1.html>).
    Last edited by Bennett; 02-14-2010 at 01:40 AM.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    Kokubu did wear the Japanese uniform but did not wear the tie and the pants as neatly as they wanted him to (see the pic).
    opperative word being "uniform"

    once you're in a uniform you wear it like they tell you. It's disrespect, is what it is, I'd have the same reaction the federation did. It's stupidity on his part, as well as arrogance.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    I'd have the same reaction the federation did.
    Really? Kick him out of the games and a CEO resign from the position taking responsibility for his dressing sloppily while he traveled? I think that warning would have been enough.

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    Custom Title Tigger's Avatar
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    You've got to remember though that we're talking about the Japanese here. They take respect *very* seriously and it is still a very rigid and traditional society.

    It may seem way out of bounds of reason for us, but for the Japanese, I'm not surprised at all.

  7. #7
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Hey, the boy has his street cred to look out for. He did the best he could at making that prissy uniform look cool.
    Last edited by Mathman; 02-14-2010 at 10:12 AM.

  8. #8
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    I agree with MM on this one. I think he was making a statement, I am young, hip and cool. He fits right in with the snowboarding crowd.

  9. #9
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    He wore that uniform neatly at ceremonies back in Japan.

    His University announced an official statement on their HP that they feel deeply regrettable and will send someone to officially apologize.

    BTW, back in summer, I recall Mao wearing the uniform jacket of Russia that TAT gave her as a present. I hope she won't bring it to the Olympics!

    ETA: His University canceled a cheering party that they were planning to hold watching his performances live. Perhaps they are afraid of the media coverage.
    Last edited by Bennett; 02-15-2010 at 12:19 AM.

  10. #10
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demarinis5 View Post
    I agree with MM on this one. I think he was making a statement, I am young, hip and cool. He fits right in with the snowboarding crowd.
    yes but the rest of the snowboard crowd were respectful enough of their teams that they wear their uniforms with pride and correctly. some boarders/skaters are better dressed than the Team Leads

  11. #11
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demarinis5 View Post
    I agree with MM on this one. I think he was making a statement, I am young, hip and cool. He fits right in with the snowboarding crowd.
    The following article may be right on spot in that regard.
    http://www.cnngo.com/tokyo/none/olym...o-loose-268192
    Of course, this entire episode should be seen as a generational clash within the Winter Olympics rather than Kokubo's own mistake. The authorities want snowboarders for the Olympic Team, but want those snowboarders to drop the rebel culture that made them great snowboarders in the first place. That is not a winning battle.

    Kazuhiro Kokubo has stated that this uniform affair will not get in the way of his performance at the Olympics. And since he thinks that the Olympics are just "another snowboarding event" and "nothing special," he will likely not likely let the Olympics get in the way of his career either.
    They barred not only Kokubo, but also his two coaches and snowboard team manager from attending the opening ceremony at the village on last Wed for not supervising him properly (group responsibility).

    Kokubo also "voluntarily refrained" from attending the Olympic Opening Ceremony on last Sat 13th (Voluntary restraint is what Nobunari Oda did at the Japanese Nationals two seasons ago for DUI, in addition to being barred from attending the GP series. It's like self-punishment to express regrets to the outside pressures).

    ETA: Kokubo's university's rationale for canceling a cheering party for Kokubo to watch his performances live was also "self-restraint." Kind of snow bowling effects.
    Last edited by Bennett; 02-15-2010 at 03:36 AM.

  12. #12
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    That's slovenly?? These Japanese people should come to New Jersey! That dude is a fashion plate.

  13. #13
    Dedicated follower of the black line Wicked's Avatar
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    If that's slovenly, I'd love to know what these kids in Southeast DC are!

    However, it's the Olympics, you're representing your country, it won't kill you to clean it up for a short time. Then you can go back to "reflecting on myself."

  14. #14
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    Banning him from the Opening Ceremonies and the consideration to remove him the Olympic team altogether is a very extreme measure. This was a MAJOR over reaction by the Japanese delegation. He is there to compete in a sport, not strut down a fashion runway. An athlete's fashion has absolutely no bearing on his/her athletic performance. I think people are making a way too big of a deal out of this.

  15. #15
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    It's not only the delegation, but also the media and the public that's doing very heavy criticisms at him. I am sad that the university decided to self-restrain from holding a cheering event for him. Despite the incident, he totally deserves cheering for what he worked for many years. He is actually one of the medal contenders. I really hope that he does well.

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