Olympics: Hanyu, Kodaira take part in Olympic candidate workshop

World men's figure skate champion Yuzuru Hanyu and women's 500-meter speed skating World Cup champ Nao Kodaira took part in a Japanese Olympic Committee workshop on Friday. With the Pyeongchang Olympics less than a year away, the JOC gathered around 260 candidates for Japan's team next February in an effort to build team solidarity and ensure legal compliance by the athletes. Athletes from various sports participated in games to aid in their coming together as a team and received lectures from police officials about dealing with antisocial elements. "We were able to interact with various people, and that gave me new motivation," said Hanyu, whose season wrapped up the previous weekend, when he helped Japan win the International Team Trophy. Another member attending the three-day event was scandal-hit badminton star Kento Momota, who missed last summer's Rio de Janeior Olympics after receiving a one-year ban for betting at casinos in Japan, where they are illegal. Momota was participating as part of his rehabilitation program. Kodaira, who was unbeaten on the World Cup circuit over 500 meters this past season, said she was reminded of an athlete's obligations. "What I took away is the importance for an athlete to maintain a sense of awareness and responsibility," she said. ==Kyodo

Apr 28, 2017 | KYODO NEWS