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For karateka at the Games, the goal is gold. For karate the sport, the goal is inclusion.

By Russell Thomas
- via The Japan Times    Jul 22, 2021
Credit : Contributing Writer

Karateka Sakura Kokumai, who will compete for the United States during the Olympics, ties her belt. | ROBERT HANASHIRO / USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS

Kiyou Shimizu isn’t just an athlete, she’s an artist. Just take a look at footage of her stunning win during the 2014 World Karate Championships in Bremen, Germany. She makes strong, deft movements across the mat, throwing herself gracefully in the air before landing in a low lunge with remarkable precision.