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A Look At the Life and Career of Swimmers Mai Nakamura & Natsumi Hoshi

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

About Japanese Olympic Swimmer Mai Nakamura

China is not the only Asian nation that has historically been great at Olympic swimming events. Japan has also had many swimming champions. Mai Nakamura is one of them. A native of Niigata, Japan, Mai Nakamura entered the world on July 16, 1979. Mai’s parents divorced when she was just four years old and was raised by her mother. Mai became involved with swimming at the young age of 4. In junior high school, she won the 100 meter backstroke event. Note: this Mai Nakamura is not the same athlete as synchronized swimmer Mai Nakamura.

Update:

When I first wrote about this swimmer, I also included a biography about Masami Tanaka, another former professional swimmer. Now in 2019, we are going to change focus again just a little and include some information about another Japanese swimmer Natsumi Hoshi but first let us discuss why Mai Nakamura was significant to the sport of swimming.

A First Look at Former Backstroke Swimmer Mai Nakamura

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Mai Nakamura's Career 1996-2007

During the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Mai finished in 4th place in the 100 meter backstroke. In the 4 X 100 meter medley relay, she finished in 9th place. Four years later in Sydney Australia, Nakamura earned a silver medal in the Women’s 100 meter backstroke and a bronze medal in the Women’s 4 X 100 meter medley. In 2002, she graduated from the University but did not qualify for the 2004 Olympics in Athens Greece. In 2006, Mai started to have shoulder problems and was defeated the following year during the World Championships. She announced her retirement from swimming and now works as a swimming instructor for children. Her retirement from the sport was announced in April 2007.

More Photos of Mai Nakamura

Mai Nakamura eating gyoza (dumplings) and a plate full of green beans.

Mai Nakamura eating gyoza (dumplings) and a plate full of green beans.

With Ms. Miko Chiba, a marathon runner.

With Ms. Miko Chiba, a marathon runner.

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With golf player Rio Ishii (right).

With golf player Rio Ishii (right).

Mai Nakamura's Biggest Achievement

What was Nakamura’s biggest achievement as a swimmer? She is the former world record holder in the 50 meter backstroke event. Nakamura issued a statement about her retirement saying "I feel relieved, although I can't think of my life without swimming. I want to hand down the wonderful feelings you get from the sport," (Mai Nakamura Announces Retirement, 2007). Injuries are unfortunately something that happens often in sports but Mai Nakamura can rest assured that she left the sport of swimming being a champion.


Natsumi Hoshi

Natsumi Hoshi adjusts her goggles prior to the second heat of the 200 meter Women's Butterfly swimming competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.

Natsumi Hoshi adjusts her goggles prior to the second heat of the 200 meter Women's Butterfly swimming competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.

Natsumi Hoshi Wins the 200 Meter Butterfly Stroke In 2015

Who Is Natsumi Hoshi?

Natsumi Hoshi born on August 21, 1990 specialized in the 200 meter butterfly during her career. It may seem obvious but pretty much every professional swimmer has had a certain specialty and for Natsumi it was the butterfly stroke. Natsumi studied sports science at Waseda University. Natsumi won the world title in this stroke in 2015 and she also won bronze medals in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. In spite of those two successes, Natsumi Hoshi announced her retirement from competitive swimming in October 2016 even though she was only 26 years old. The main reason she gave for her retirement is because she felt that she gave it her best effort in the Rio Olympics in 2016. She was glad to have led a satisfying career.

Bibliography

Mai Nakamura Announces Retirement. (2007, April 27). Tokyo, Japan.

© 2018 Ara Vahanian