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Osaka Celebrates Embracing Differences in New IOC Video

“I want to inspire the girls out there watching right now. The ones that some people think are too different,” says Naomi Osaka in new IOC video. EPA-EFE/RHONA WISE

Naomi Osaka embraces differences and aims to alter expectations in a new Olympic video.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka will make her Olympic debut before home fans at the Tokyo Olympic Games this month. Osaka commemorates her return to tennis with this video message as a tribute to the next generate of outside-the-box thinkers. 

“People might think I’m quiet,” Osaka says. “Different. That I don’t fit the box of what an Olympian should be. But I’m proof that the definition is bigger than people think.”

The former world No. 1 sends a motivational message to young girls who share the feeling of being “different” that Osaka herself felt growing up.  

“I want to inspire the girls out there watching right now,” Osaka says. “The ones that some people think are too different. Too quiet. Too something. 

“And if we don’t fit that expectation of what people think we’re supposed to be, good! That just means we’re the ones who get to change it.”

Osaka’s video message is part of the International Olympic Committee’s “Stronger Together” digital campaign.

This video is the fourth in a series of five athlete portraits which are intended to build excitement for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Osaka’s video follows Tony Hawk, Usain Bolt, and Yusra Mardini, each echoing the broader message that we are “Stronger Together.”