U.S. Olympic Riding team bow in tribute to Japanese culture

TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) – The Tokyo Olympics have barely started, but the U.S. equestrian team said on Thursday it had already gone local after taking inspiration from Japanese politeness by bowing to each other others.

“We are all learning to bow,” dressage rider Adrienne Lyle said in a virtual press conference ahead of the first equestrian events which kick off on Saturday.

It was picked up by teammate Steffen Peters, who also said the food at the Tokyo Games was the best of the five Olympics he had attended.

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“Kindness and friendliness are contagious. We notice each other, when we greet each other in the morning, we bow not once but twice … It’s really not that hard to be nice and I really think that ‘You can learn a lot about Japanese culture,’ said Peters, 56.

Asked about the lack of spectators in Tokyo, the German-born athlete, whose US team faces stiff competition from his native country, said the riders were so focused on their horses that they hardly registered the spectators.

“It’s different but I think it’s a very, very small sacrifice compared to what so many people have gone through during this corona outbreak,” Peters said.

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Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Michael Perry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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