Crowds cheer Japan's Olympic medalists in parade | Inquirer Sports

Crowds cheer Japan’s Olympic medalists in parade

/ 12:48 PM August 20, 2012

Japan’s medallists (R) at the London 2012 Olympic Games wave to a crowd of people from open-top buses during a parade at Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza street on August 20, 2012. The Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) held the first ever Olympic medallists parade hoping it will boost the city’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Games. AFP / Yoshikazu TSUNO

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.

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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.

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Japan has been struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami last March that set off a nuclear crisis.

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TAGS: Japan, London 2012 Olympics, London Olympics, Sports
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