Even if I break my dream, I'm satisfied. That's why it's 14:17 on August 4th.
Can I say that I am "complete" now?
I was asking myself in front of a swimmer who was unable to compete in the Tokyo Olympics and decided to end his competitive life for more than 25 years.
Even if you can't make your dreams come true, if you think you've done it toward your dreams, you may be able to see the horizon beyond that.
Now I'm starting to think so.
(Nagoya Broadcasting Station reporter Kazuya Hoshi)
Unexpected words spoken by one swimmer
"I really enjoyed the last race. It was a race where I knew why I kept swimming. It was refreshing even after I touched the wall of the pool and the race was over."
This is Mr. Kazuki Watanabe.
I participated in the Japan Swing Championship, which also served as the representative selection for the Tokyo Olympics held in April, and in the first semi-final of the men's 200-meter breaststroke, I was not able to reach the final in the sixth place out of eight. ..
Watanabe is 27 years old from Kanagawa prefecture.
I, who was the same year as Mr. Watanabe, knew his existence well because I had been devoting myself to swimming for about 10 years until my second year of high school in Kanagawa prefecture.
There are Kosuke Hagino and Daiya Seto in the same grade, but I definitely think he is one of the top swimmers.
I heard that he had retired after the race for the national team and visited him to ask why.
I'm still 27 years old, and I think I'll be able to play an active role, and I wanted him to do it.
However, Mr. Watanabe's answer when he asked how he felt when the last race was over was the opening word.
While losing in the national team selection, the Olympics will be held in front of you.
"I was disappointed" "I'm sorry I couldn't catch my dream."
His words were surprising just because I thought it was such a feeling.
When I asked Mr. Watanabe why he thought so, he looked back on his own competitive life.
When Watanabe started swimming shortly after birth, his parents, who had a hard time, took him to a local swimming club, where he was so energetic that he couldn't sleep easily.
When I was a senior in kindergarten, I entered the athlete course and it was purely fun to enter the pool, and I swam crazy every day.
Naturally, the results came out, and when I first participated in the national tournament in the third grade of elementary school, I was on the podium one after another.
to win a
medal at the Olympics in the future,"
he wrote in his elementary school graduation collection.
The Olympics are the best stage for all athletes.
That was a big dream for Mr. Watanabe.
They were on the podium higher than themselves
Kosuke Hagino and Daiya Seto, who participated in the Tokyo Olympics, stood on the podium higher than Mr. Watanabe.
"When the award ceremony is over, eat rice balls with kelp."
This was the first conversation I had with Hagino when I stood on the podium in the third grade of elementary school.
I heard that there is a very fast child, but when I exchanged words, I was a little out of tune when I was in the same elementary school as myself.
I practiced to beat them and chased my back.
Still, I couldn't catch up.
"When I was in elementary school, I was faster than Seto-kun. Only Hagino-kun was by far the best in my generation. I have never beat Hagino-kun."
A dream is a goal, a dream chased
Watanabe-san was in the second year of college.
For the first time, I was selected as a designated athlete to strengthen the Olympics, and for the first time, the Olympics became a goal that I could realize, not just a dream.
The decision to invite the Olympic Games to Tokyo the previous year also helped me to have a concrete image of that goal.
After that, I started to enjoy the practice I hated.
Instead of swimming towards something invisible, each practice, each race, has come to be considered an important process towards the goal.
Accumulation of efforts will lead to the final goal of the Olympic Games.
What I was seeing through the goggles was not the backs of Hagino and Seto, but the "destination".
Never give up
However, the Rio de Janeiro Olympics representative selection meeting at the age of 21 lost the semifinals.
I aimed to be a representative in the breaststroke 200 meters, but I couldn't even make it to the final.
On the other hand, Hagino won the gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Seto won the bronze medal.
Still, Mr. Watanabe never gave up toward the dream and goal of the Olympic Games.
Occasionally, I was worried that this effort might not pay off.
However, within Mr. Watanabe, little by little, the time when he was heading toward his dream rather than winning or losing someone was becoming more and more enjoyable.
I want that time to continue forever.
So, just as if you were growing up today than yesterday, make one stroke of the breaststroke and move forward even a little more than before.
I spared no effort for that.
This is the "last race"
Then, we welcomed the representative selection of the Tokyo Games in April.
"This will be my last race."
Watanabe-san's time when he won the qualifying was the 16th overall.
When he stood on the starting point of the semi-finals, Mr. Watanabe realized that.
The gun rang and the race started.
I jumped into the water, sprinkled it smoothly and powerfully, and suddenly emerged toward the surface of the water.
Then start swimming with the usual big strokes.
So far, this movement would have been repeated tens of millions of times.
How many more times can I do today?
Every time I moved forward, every time I made a turn, I decided to put out all the thoughts and power I bet on my swimming life.
I touched the wall of the pool, took my face out of the water and looked at the bulletin board.
was the 6th time among 8 people.
This is the moment when Mr. Watanabe's journey to his dream is over.
Because you can say "I've done it"
"I've done it." I felt refreshed because I thought so. Also, I had dreams and goals, and the time I was pushing toward them was a really happy and precious time. It's been a few months since I left the competition, but I really feel it. "
At the end of the interview, Mr. Watanabe looked back.
I felt like I somehow understood why I could say "refreshing" even if I couldn't make it to the Olympics, which I had dreamed of, away from the sport of swimming that I had been devoting myself to for more than 25 years.
Everyone may be shining at the moment when they are chasing their dreams and pushing toward their goals.
However, when you reach the goal without reaching your dreams, can you confidently say that you've done it like Mr. Watanabe?
Am I "complete" now?
To the next stage
Watanabe, who turned 27, is now working at a trading company in Tokyo after retiring as a player.
He says it's all about getting used to, but he didn't seem to be confused in the future.
When asked if he was worried or afraid to take a new step after losing his dreams and goals, Mr. Watanabe revealed.
"I had decided that the Tokyo Olympics was my biggest goal, so I decided to end it, whether I could go or not. It was a result that I thought I had done everything I could. I think I'm heading to the next stage. "
" I've been aiming to be the best in the world of swimming, but in the end I quit without being the best, so in another field I want to take the best. It's too cool to say that I'm going to master my current job, but I want to play an active role. "
Nagoya Broadcasting Station Reporter
Nagoya Broadcasting Station in
After being assigned to the Nagoya Broadcasting Station
disasters and election coverage
after working for the Aichi Prefectural Police.Keywords: