Risako Kawai: The Best of the Rio Olympics

Several reasons to love this.

Kawai breaks down and cries

Her immediate reaction after winning is to sit down and cry. I love when athletes do this because it shows how cognizant (and grateful) they are of all the hard work and dedication they, and others (coach/family/friends) have put in for such a long period of time. Kawai was clearly overcome with emotions following the win and it reminds me of another wrestler, USA’s Helen Maroulis, who also cried right after her incredible win. Maroulis:

“I was crying because I thought of all the struggles that I went through,” she explained. “It’s one thing that I’m going to sacrifice for my own dream, but it’s a whole other ballgame when you know that someone else is sacrificing for your dreams, that my parents are sacrificing for my dreams, that my coach sacrificed for my dreams. He’s not getting the glory that I get. He doesn’t get the medal, my parents don’t get the medal. I was just crying because now I have this to share with all of them. ”

Her coach is joyful for her

Look at that guy! Kawai’s coach, Kazuhito Saka is jumping around in total glee. I also love how Risako looks over to her right to see her coach celebrating her success.

They clearly have a strong bond

Yes, this was a planned celebration, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. In fact, it shows how cool of a coach Saka is and the close bond he and Kawai have as athlete and coach.

Look how much fun they are having!

The first body slam!

I wish more athletes responded to their success this way. Grateful, gleeful, happy.