translated and edited by Brett Larner
2004 Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (32, Team Sysmex) has donated 500,000 yen [~$6,125 USD] to disaster relief efforts following the Mar. 11 disasters in northeastern Japan. As a contracted employee of Sysmex, Noguchi's annual salary is quite different from what pro athletes of comparable ability receive, meaning the donation is a considerable one for her. The Sysmex women's distance running team also contributed 1,000,000 yen [~$12,250 USD] as a group.
Noguchi's coach Nobuyuki Fujita commented, "We're doing this because she herself said she wanted to do something to help the situation. It hurt her deeply to see the disasters happening on television.*" Noguchi agreed, saying, "There are a lot of people in northeastern Japan in very difficult circumstances right now. Even if it's only a tiny part of what's needed, I want to help with their recovery."
*Translator's note: Noguchi is a two-time winner of the Sendai International Half Marathon, located in one of the areas worst hit by the earthquake and tsunami.