How Japan Won The Olympic Marathon
August 25, 2008, 08:28 PM
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It's conventional to complain about the ethnocentrism of American television coverage of the Olympics, but northeast Asian countries are much more monomaniacal about focusing on their own nationals. Japanese television, for example, devoted hours of coverage to Japanese athletes washing out in the preliminary rounds of obscure events. My man in Japan writes:
"You may be thinking that Sam Wanjiru's victory in the marathon was due to his genetics. Wrong. If you had been listening to Japanese TV you would know the truth. He went to school in Japan and it was the training and techniques he acquired in Japan that allowed him to win.

"Fortunately, he speaks Japanese so he was interviewed on TV, the only non-Japanese athlete honored in that way during the last two weeks."