Crowds cheer Japan’s Olympic medalists in parade
TOKYO – Thousands of fans have screamed, cheered and snapped photos as Japan’s Olympic medalists paraded through downtown Tokyo.
Members of the silver-medal winning women’s football team, dubbed the Nadeshiko after a pink mountain flower, were among the Olympians wearing red jackets and riding open-air buses through the main street of the Ginza shopping district Monday.
The 38 medals won at the London games were the most ever by a Japanese Olympic team.
“They boosted our spirits,” said Akiko Ina, who came to the parade with her 7-year-old daughter Kanare, and had a Japanese flag emblazoned on one cheek and the numeral 15 for her favorite female football player on the other.
Japan has been struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami last March that set off a nuclear crisis.