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Updated : January 29, 2021

Introduction of Olympic torchbearer 04

  A lover of physical exercise dreaming of an Olympic Gold Medal

【 Soka city 】 Ms.Himena Otaka



Ms. Himena Otaka loves to move her body and is selected as Sainokuni Platinum Kids. Her goal is to win a gold medal in fencing, a sport she started in Grade 5, at the Olympics. She spoke energetically about how she’d like to take the run seriously and have fun with a smile on her face as a chosen torchbearer.


—It seems that you like to be physically active.  

When I was little, I would be energetic and active from 5 in the morning, and I would have fun exploring at the nearby Sōka Park. When I entered elementary school, I started gymnastics, swimming, tennis, and trampoline. In Grade 4, I participated in a program that would elevate my physical strength conducted by Sōka City’s Sports Association and was accepted into “Sainokuni Platinum Kids”.


—What made you start fencing?

I did modern pentathlon at Platinum Kids. This included fencing, swimming, horsemanship, laser run (shooting and running). At first, I did not like fencing as it is painful when poked, and I’d have bruises. However, there was no better feeling than when I was able to poke my opponent, and I’d get the desire to win by any means during tournaments, and that was what made it fun. Now, I’ve narrowed down to fencing and am aiming for the Olympics.

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—What kind of training do you go through these days?

I practice three times a week at Nishikawaguchi’s club. With a total training of 1 hour and 30 minutes, I fight (tournaments) and am later given a private lesson by my coach for technical aspects. I have days where I get home around 22:30 from practice. There are days when food won’t go down my throat due to exhaustion, however, I know the importance of eating, sleeping, and training well, so I’d like to do my best.


—Is there an athlete that you’ve bene paying attention to at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

The fencer, Kazuyasu Minobe. He is also an épée fencer and is someone I look up to as his steps and footwork are admirable. I won the tickets for the semifinals and finals, so I’m excited to watch live. Some other athletes I’m excited about are Hiromi Miyake of weightlifting and Anna Doi, a 100m sprinter, with both being Olympians from Saitama Prefecture. With opportunities of meeting them through speeches, participating in the Olympics is now a goal that seems achievable. I’d like to aim for the Los Angeles Olympics which will take place 8 years after the Tokyo Olympics.


—Lastly, please share with us what you are enthusiastic about regarding the torch relay.

The deadline to sign up for the torch relay was exactly the same day as the national competition for fencing. Because I wanted to sign up writing that I had won, I practiced hard for the day of the competition. Although I lost the final, I was able to win the semifinals, and was selected as a representative of Japan. I could not believe that I was chosen as a torch bearer; as I aspire to obtain a gold medal at a future Olympics tournament, I’d like to have a taste of the Olympics here at my hometown of Sōka City. Since I was chosen, I’d like to have serious, but fun run. 

Ms. Himena Otaka recommendation


Sōka Park 

Ms. Yui
Mr. Masato
Mr. Ian









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