Japanese snowboarder banned from opening ceremonies because of clothes

Japanese snowboarder Kazuhiro Kokubo, who is expected to contend for a medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics, was banned from the welcoming ceremony in Vancouver after Japanese Olympic Committee officials weren’t pleased with his dress attire.

From Yahoo! Sports:

With his sagging pants, untucked shirt, and loosened tie, Kokubo looked like any sloppily dressed 21-year-old. But that’s not going to fly. According to one Japanese Olympic Committee official, “It is not the way the Japanese delegation should dress themselves while taxpayers’ money is spent on them.” Uh-oh.

Kokubo, who is expected to contend for a medal, was banned from a welcoming ceremony in Vancouver after there were complaints about his clothes. The snowboarder followed that up by saying the Olympics are “just another snowboarding event,” and that they are “nothing special.” Uh-oh again.

When I first read this, my thought was who cares? He’s a 21-year-old snowboard – how else do you expect him to dress?

But after giving it more thought, it’s nice to see that the Japanese Olympic Committee is taking this seriously. The Olympics are not only about competing for your country, but also representing it both in and out of events. How hard is it to wear your suit the right way when you’re out in public? Especially when taxpayers are footing your bill to compete.

Trey Kerby of Yahoo! Sports put it best in the above article:

The anti-authority stance permeates snowboarding, but there are certain times when you have to play nice. One of those times is the Olympics. Your country is paying for you to represent them. You get the chance of a lifetime to do something hardly anyone else gets to do. And it’s all free. Pretty sweet deal. So just go with the flow.

Well said.

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