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Pursuing the Beauty of Rhythmic Gymnastics

Since she was in the second grade of primary school, Ms. Inoue enjoyed learning rhythmic gymnastics at a local sports club. After entering junior high school, she began to take rhythmic gymnastics more seriously and improved rapidly. When she was in the second year of junior high school, she performed in the Kanto District Junior Championships and won in the new player match.

Ms. Inoue in her starting pose

Ms. Inoue joined the "Airship Gymnastic Club" in her second year of junior high school. "Not disregarding the basics but also beautiful and delicate" was the style that influenced Ms. Inoue and made her decide she wanted to join the club to "pursue my own rhythmic gymnastics."

The Universiade Representative Determination Competition, 2006 Ms. Inoue performing clubs at the 60th National Championships held in November, 2007

When she was in the second year of high school, Ms. Inoue was chosen to be a training competitor for the Olympics. The next year she was elected as a representative of Japan in the team performance section and came in 9th place. After this, Ms. Inoue once again worked for the singles, but was unfortunately not able to regain the sense of performing as a single, and therefore was not able to make it to the Olympics. "After this no matter what I did I wasn't able to regain my confidence," she says. "There was one part of me saying I don't possess what it takes to be a player, and another part of me competing against the world's representatives. "I wasn't focusing when I was performing". However during her hard times, through her daily training with her coach, the style of rhythmic gymnastics that Ms. Inoue was looking for became clear. "Rhythmic gymnastics is an art consisting of music, the body and gymnastic instruments. I realized I wanted to create a world of my own."

Because of such hardships, Ms. Inoue did not choose a university with many gymnastic players and decided to enter the gymnastic club of Waseda University. She trains 3 to 4 hours on weekdays, and 8 hours on weekends. She also makes good use of her 4 hours, on her way to and from school, by doing image training. Ms. Inoue thanks all her gymnastic fellow players that always come and cheer her at competitions.

It is not possible to be a gymnastic performer for a lifetime, but Ms. Inoue is determined to create her own style of rhythmic gymnastics and perform in the World Competition that will be held in Tokyo in 2009. "I plan to work with rhythmic gymnastics by being a trainer in the future, but for now I first want to get as much experience as I can," says Ms. Inoue.

"Please do come and feel what a live performance is like at the stadium! In the kingdom of rhythmic gymnastics, Bulgaria, people watch performances in a more relaxed way but the cheering atmosphere is very good. I hope Japan will be like that too someday," says Ms. Inoue, already looking toward the future of rhythmic gymnastics in Japan.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Ms. Mimi Inoue

Ms. Inoue is a 3rd-year student of the Sports Medicine Department of the School of Sports Sciences of Waseda University. She was born in Tokyo in 1988, and graduated from Bunkyo Gakuin University Girls' Senior High School. Ms. Inoue has won both the Youth Championship and Inter-College Championship, and came in 6th place at the World Championship Team Ribbon. Her hobbies are to relax in baths and saunas.