Sunday, December 26, 2010

Miwa Asao 浅尾 美和 (JPN, Beach Volleyball Beauty)

For our next Superb Senora, we turn to the Land of the Rising Sun and the sport of Beach Volleyball.

In recent years, beach volleyball has grown exponentially in terms of popularity. From its awkward roots in the movie Top Gun (where Maverick and Goose played an intense pick-up game against Iceman and Slider, well not really. I just couldn't let writing about beach volleyball pass without referencing one of my favorite movies of all-time!), beach volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1996.
Photos from Picasa, and Wikipedia

Aside from the appeal of the laid-back beach setting, where sand and sun commingle, the beach volleybelles themselves provide the centerpiece for the sport. In Japan, the emergence of Asao Miwa 浅尾 美和 has boded well in stirring much interest in beach volleyball. Brawns and good looks are a potent combination for any sport.

A Mainichi Daily News article on Asao credits the 24-year old with putting "beach volleyball on the map" but also expresses fear that Japan's foremost beach volleyball icon is "overexposed" in light of her commitments in the media and her "excessively skimpy swimsuits." In fact, Asao missed the 2008 Beijing Olympics since she and her partner were ranked 44th in the world at that time, below the required top 24 for Olympic competition.

In sport, an Anna Kournikova is needed to pave the way for a Maria Sharapova. Who knows? Asao is still relatively young. Her moment of (sporting) glory is yet to come. But for now, what makes her superb is her being larger-than-life icon for her respective sport.

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