Chiharu Nakamura misses out on a second Olympic appearance

Japan Rugby Football Union recently released their line up for the Tokyo Olympics which will kick off this July. The continued efforts to continue the Olympic Games has had mixed reactions from athletes and the nation. As people protest to cancel the games due to an increased threat of the Covid-19 virus on their country if the games continue.

The Japanese Rugby 7s teams will consist of new faces, with the men’s team only retaining three Rio Olympic Olympians, Kameli Soejima, Kazushi Hano and Lote Tuqiri, while the women’s 7s will only bring back Mifuyu Koide from the 2016 line up.

Chiharu Nakamura, the Sakura 7s legend has been a staple figure in the Japanese line up and has played a key role for the team over the past years. The playmaker was not part of the 12 players that was announced for the Olympic Games, JRU has also not mentioned why the legendary Sakura wont be taking the field this July.
Nakamura, has also been busy recently because of her  new role as player/coach for a newly-formed women’s side Nanairo Prism Fukuoka. The sevens icon is well aware of the responsibilities of helping grow the games in the country  as she continues to expand her rugby journey.
Earlier this June, Japan made headlines as the people took the streets to protest against the Olympic Games. Volunteers in the thousands have apparently backed out, while hospitals post on their windows saying “Stop Olympics”, hundreds of cities also backed out of hosting athletes.

BBC news reported that Japans hands seem to be tied with the contract they have with the IOC “When the public realized that the contract between the government and the IOC didn’t allow Tokyo to cancel the Olympics without risking future lawsuits, they grew even angrier.”

Nakamura, was one of the several athletes that was asked by the people to call on the cancellation of the Olympic Games. She said on Twitter: “I cannot publicly say I want the Games to go ahead because I know it’s athlete’s ego.”

“It’s unfortunate that athletes don’t feel comfortable saying that they want the Games to go ahead,” said in an interview by Toshinao Sasaki, a journalist who has written extensively about how Japan needs to be able to have a healthy debate.