FUNABASHI, Japan, June 20, 2019 – The U.S. Senior Men’s Team training camp in Funabashi, Japan, concludes this Saturday. This is the second straight year for the camp in the city of Funabashi, which is sponsoring significant portions of the camp as part of an agreement with the U.S. Men’s National Team that extends through the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“The camp has fulfilled all of our objectives in coming to Japan,” said High Performance Director Brett McClure. “The gym is a state-of-the-art training facility that features much of the equipment that will be used at the 2020 Olympic Games, and the training atmosphere has been fantastic. The athletes have responded well to the travel and training conditions as evidenced by the quality and sheer volume of work.”
In addition to experiencing the travel, culture and environment of Japan as part of the men’s program preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the athletes have been embraced by the city of Funabashi and in return have strived to be great ambassadors for our sport and country. Community outreach has been a strong component of the Japanese team camps, a goal the men’s team has readily embraced. The team has participated in a welcoming ceremony at the Funabashi City Hall, a reception hosted by the mayor and participated in cultural events, including experiencing traditional tea ceremonies and visiting a historic shrine.
One of the most rewarding aspects has been the outreach to the youth of Funabashi. Each day a different class of school-age students has come to the gym to watch the athletes train, and the U.S. gymnasts visited an elementary school, where they had lunch with the students and answered questions. The camp culminates in a community open house and a special “mini-camp” where local youth have the opportunity to work directly with our national team athletes.
Mark Williams of the University of Oklahoma, one of the coaches for the camp, said, “Not only have the workouts been productive and meaningful, but the sharing of our cultures and the communication between our Japanese hosts helped make the trip an amazing experience.”
The U.S. gymnasts also had experienced a driving tour of the 2020 Olympic Village and saw the gymnastics arena for the Games. The tour concluded with a welcome reception arranged by the Tokyo American Club, which the United States Olympic Committee will use for its USA House during the Olympics.