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Events - 12.02.2020

Olympic Webinar 1 | Facing Setbacks Like a Champion

Olympic webinar 1 video slide  

12.02.2020 (Wed.) - 03.31.2021 (Wed.)


JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel



Everyone faces setbacks in their lives – even Olympic athletes. This panel discussion features three athletes at the top of their sports who share challenges they’ve faced on and off the field, give tips on how to persevere despite the obstacles, and reflect on how adversity can make us all stronger. Speakers include Apolo Ohno (former short track speed skater and 8-medal winning Olympian), Aaron Philip Wolf (Japanese judoka and gold medalist at the 2017 World Judo Championships in Budapest), and Kanoa Igarashi (Pro Surfer, 2020 Tokyo Olympics Representative), moderated by award-winning ABC 7 News anchor David Ono.

This is the first of the two-part webinar series “Why Resilience Matters: How Adversity Molds Us” diving into the latest news regarding the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. This two-part free livestreaming event is co-presented by JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, and Japan America Society of Southern California.

*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner.

Recording Available

The recording can be viewed within this event page or on the official JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel.

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Speaker Profiles

Kanoa Igarashi | Professional Surfer, 2020 Tokyo Olympics Representative
Kanoa Igarashi has been surfing for as long as he can remember. His dad first put him on a surfboard in Huntington Beach, USA at the age of just three. He took to the sport with natural talent, competing in his first surf contest (which he won) at the age of six. Since then, Igarashi, whose parents immigrated to the US from Tokyo, Japan, has taken the surf world by storm.

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At age 14, he became the youngest surfer ever to win the US National Championships for under-18s and that same year won the Governor’s Cup at the Surfing America Championships and took second in the King of Groms Championships. He was the youngest rookie to enter the World Surf League Championship Tour in 2016 and has won the U.S. Open WSL two years in a row in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, he won 1st place in the WSL CT at the Corona Bali Protected event. He currently belongs to the Kinoshita Group.

Apolo Ohno | 8-time Olympic Medalist, Short Track Speed Skater
Apolo Anton Ohno claimed his first major speed skating title at the US Championships at the age of 14—after just six months of training. Over the next decade and a half, he went from kid prodigy to the most decorated US Winter Olympian in history—a title he still holds—earning eight Olympic medals in short-track speed skating across the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Winter Games. 

Read more.

Following the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Apolo took his understanding of sport psychology and his personal experience with success and setbacks to develop a resilient and mission-driven approach to life. He wrote a book on this subject, Zero Regrets, which was released in 2011 and went on to become a New York Times best seller.  

Apolo  remains involved in the Olympic movement. He was an NBC sports analyst for the Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, and is a global ambassador for the Special Olympics and the Winter Olympics. He is currently on the bid committees for the Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles, California. He has also continued to push himself in the world of sport, winning season 4 of ABC’s hit reality show Dancing with the Stars and finishing the 2014 Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, finishing in less than ten hours. 

Apolo has spent much of the past decade traveling the world and translating his successes and life lessons to business. The bulk of this time in Asia was spent immersed in exploration of various business sectors ranging from rare earth mining and development to infrastructure and software. He also completed the eight-week Executive Education Curriculum at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, alongside executive-track businesspeople from some of the world’s top companies. 

Through his speaking engagements with hundreds of organizations—from Fortune 100 companies to nonprofits—Apolo has helped business leaders think about what it takes to develop a high-performance mindset and remains relevant in a world in which uncertainty is the norm. He has contemplated how individuals—be they executives or those on the front line—find motivation and consistently do their best work. He is passionate about helping others not only achieve but exceed what they believe to be possible in both life and in business.  

Apolo’s most recent work has centered on the concept of reinvention—an undertaking in which he has demonstrated mastery. His life has been defined not just by performing at the highest possible level in various arenas, but also by his regular pursuit of new goals and tackling new challenges, all while maintaining his iconic positive attitude and unmatched energy. Apolo continues to bring these attributes to every new endeavor and every business engagement. 

Aaron Philip Wolf | Judoka, 2017 World Judo Championship Gold Medalist
Aaron started Judo at the age of 6 at his grandfather’s suggestion. He won 3 titles the All National High School Tournament, Kinshu-Kikou High School Tournament, and the Inter-high Tournament when he was in his 2nd year at Tokaidai Urayasu High School.

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While pursuing his education at Tokai University in his first year, he won 7 consecutive Championships titles at the All National Judo Tournament, and won the championship at All Japan Junior Tournament, as well as taking the 3rd position at World Junior Tournament. During Aaron’s second year, he won the IJF World Judo Championship Grand Prix in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In his 4th year, he won 2 consecutive championships and World Tournament.

In 2018, due to a left-knee injury, Aaron initially struggled but he came back and won the All Japan Tournament (non-categorized) for the first time. This positioned Aaron as a Judo master in Japan.

Aaron has excellent power and stamina, and an excellent sense of choosing the right technique for the right situation. He is nearing to win in three different weight classes which only 8 people achieved in the history.

Aaron is a top candidate to win a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Moderator Profile

David Ono | Anchor, ABC7 Eyewitness News
David Ono is the anchor for ABC7 Eyewitness News at 4pm and 6pm, the top rated newscasts in all of Los Angeles. He also anchors Eyewitness News on KDOC-TV at 7pm.
David joined ABC7 in 1996 and during that time has witnessed history worldwide, covering Hurricane Katrina, Haiti's earthquake and Japan's tsunami. 

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He traveled across Europe and Asia chronicling brave acts of the Nisei soldier from World War II.

Ono has attended two Royal Weddings, Prince William’s in London in 2011 and Prince Harry’s in Windsor in 2018. He’s tracked drug runners through Central America and reported live from Boston after the tragic marathon bombing. He’s covered terrorism from Paris not only in 2015 as the historic city was cripple with fear, but also in 2002 after a plot was foiled to bring down the Eiffel Tower.

Ono has trained with the FBI, the elite Los Angeles Sheriff’s SWAT team, ICE and the Los Angeles Port Police. Three times President Obama has invited him to the White House. Twice for exclusive one on one interviews, and once to make a speech about inclusion in America. David has extensively covered the Pope. He witnessed white smoke at the Vatican twice - in 2005 for the selection of Pope Benedict the 16th and 2013 for the selection of Pope Francis. He also covered Francis’s historic visit to the United States in 2015 and his visit to Mexico in 2016.

David has produced multiple award winning documentaries, two of which have made their way to the Smithsonian Institution.

David has won 6 Edward R. Murrow awards, 24 Emmys, 2 RTDNA National Unity Awards, 6 AAJA National Journalism Awards, and was honored with the Distinguished Journalist Award by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Olympic Webinar 2 | The Power of the Games for Communities

This program offers updates on event planning and excitement leading up to the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo next summer and Los Angeles in 2028.

Watch Webinar

Recommended Article | “Going for Gold”

The Olympic Games are obviously synonymous with “sport”, but their association with art and design is just as strong. Read a new article about the history of Olympic art and design, as well as an overview of how innovative creativity is paving the way toward the next Tokyo games in 2021. From sustainable stadiums to unisex uniforms, Japan’s most cutting-edge creations are getting ready for the spotlight.

Read here
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