translated by Brett Larner
London Olympics marathoner Arata Fujiwara (30, Miki House), a native of Nagasaki, visited Toyama city hall on Sept. 6 to talk to mayor Masashi Mori about his Olympic experience. Asked whether he is targeting the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil four years down the road he replied, "Of course," showing his resolve to make his third Olympic marathon team.
In the course of his casual chat with Mayor Mori, Fujiwara looked back on the endless parade of little curves and undulations on the Olympic marathon course, saying, "It was a rough, unsteady course and it just cracked my strength." When the topic turned to the psychological demands of competing in an event that lasts for hours Fujiwara told the mayor, "When you're running for a long period of time a lot of things float through your mind to fill the emptiness. Sometimes I find myself singing songs inside," laughing as he shared his insights into the mind of a competitor.
Looking to his future he said, "If I run a marathon [this winter] it'll be either Fukuoka or Tokyo." Talking to reporters after his visit with the mayor, Fujiwara told them, "The Olympics were a total failure, but I can take pride in the fact that I gave it my best shot." Looking again to Rio he said with determination, "In four years I'll be 34. There's no reason you can't still be competitive at that age, so I want to do everything I can to get there."