The Japanese Government said on October 23, 2012, that Saori Yoshida, the triple Olympic wrestling champion from Japan, will receive the People’s Honor Award for bringing hope and courage to society, making it the 20th time that Japan has bestowed the award.
The other recipients of the award include Yasuhiro Yamashita from the sport of Judo, marathon runner Naoko Takahashi, baseball’s Sadaharu Oh and the National women’s soccer team. The announcement was made at a press conference by Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura. Fujimura added that Yoshidda has helped bring joy to the people of Japan which is still recovering from last year’s tsunami and nuclear crisis.
After a meeting with the cabinet, where the decision was made to honor Yoshida, the chief cabinet secretary said, “She has accomplished something which has never been done before in wrestling”. He added that the wrestler has broken new frontiers in women’s sport, and that her achievements have deeply inspired many people. Moreover, she has brought hope to society in troubled times.
Yoshida began her accomplishments in the 2002 World Championships, and claimed her third gold medal at the London Olympics. Yoshida said that it was a real honor to receive the award, and that she will continue to keep training hard and stay humble.