Japanese Female Olympians Fly Coach While the Men Fly Business Class
When the Japanese women’s soccer team got on the plane to go to London for the Olympic Games, they were led to coach seating, only to realize that the men’s national team was enjoying the comfortable accommodations of business class.
The Japanese Olympic Committee has recieved criticism for its actions, especially because the women’s team, who is referred to as “Nadeshisko,” is ranked number three in the world and are expected to bring home the gold medal. The men’s national team, in contrast, is ranked 20 in the world and is not expected to medal in London.
Sawa, a four- time Olympian and the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, said in an ABC News interview, “When we won the World Cup, we returned home on business class seats. We hope to produce the same results this time, so we can get the same kind of treatment.”
The Japanese Olympic Committee stated that most of the Japanese Olympians are mandated to fly coach when they are amateurs, making exceptions only for “big time” athletes. Still, the men’s soccer team has been flying business class since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
The Japanese women’s soccer team said that they are going to use its World Cup achievement as a motivation for the upcoming Olympic Games.