Kenki Sato and Hop and Skip, 2010 World Equestrian Games
On leave from the Myoshoji temple near Nagano, Buddhist monk Kenki Sato will gallop from the start box for Japan in London, where he’ll be following familial footsteps.
Younger brother Eiken show jumped at the Beijing Games, and father Shodo, who serves as 25th master of the Myoshoji temple when he’s not busy coaching his kids (Kenki also trains with Michael Jung), was set to event at the 1980 Moscow Olympics until Japan’s boycott of the competition.
According to Dawn.com:
[The Japanese Olympic team] are not strongly tipped to end Japan’s 80-year wait for a second equestrian medal, following Baron Takeichi Nishi’s showjumping gold of 1932. But Sato said the experience would have spiritual value.
‘I may learn something as a human being when I encounter various people with different religions and languages abroad,’ says the diminutive Sato, who turns 28 on Wednesday. ‘I want to feed it back into my path to Buddhist enlightenment.’
For more of the Sato family’s fascinating story, including prayer, meditation and generations of equestrianism, check out Dawn.com.
Thanks to JER for the tip!