As the United States stood disconsolately on the field after its shocking defeat in the 2011 Women's World Cup final, one Japanese player broke away from her own team's joyous celebrations.
Aya Miyama sought out every American player she could find and hugged them, while her teammates rushed over to the sidelines before parading around the field carrying a giant banner.
Miyama had every reason in the world to be wrapped up in her own emotions, with her nation having won the tournament for the first time, while paying tribute to the victims of the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that struck north-east Japan four months earlier (hence the touching banner that thanked worldwide fans for their support).
Yet, she could not ignore the Americans, some of whom stood, some crouched, some simply slumped on the field in Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena, unable to comprehend how victory had been snatched from them by Japan's dramatic late comeback and subsequent penalty shootout triumph.
Miyama sought out U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, a friend with whom she had exchanged emails before the game. The pair chatted and Miyama offered words of consolation, before Solo urged her to go off and enjoy the moment.
"She wanted to show the Americans respect because she knew how much it hurt us," Solo told David Letterman after returning home. "I had to tell her, 'Aya, you won the World Cup, the first time in your nation's history, celebrate please.'"
But first Miyama went around the U.S. group, giving kind words. There was a squeeze of the shoulder for Christie Rampone. A hug for Megan Rapinoe. A smile and whispered tribute for Heather O'Reilly.
"It is important to understand the feelings of another person or another football player," the 30-year-old said. "We are all football players and everybody wants to win, but it is only possible for one team to achieve that. You must have respect for them and their effort. This is what I love about the game of football."
- USA today Sports:
Meet the USA's best friend and biggest threat on Japanese World Cup team
I met you a long time ago at the tender age of five. Who knew the little boy who sat in the corner of the classroom would become a part of my life.
Pairing: Yoongi x Reader
Warnings: Mild Language
The days of our childhood were always filled with an undeniable warmth that we always longed for. The pleasant remembrances of the constant touches of the unknown as we would explore the grandiose playground. The aroma of newly bought crayon boxes for us to color and the dry Mac n cheese pieces for us to glue together in order to construct the barren canvas, begging to be embellished by the tender hands of absurd cherubs.
We would barge out, parading through a field of sharply grown grass and the gentle touches of the vibrant colored flower petals. It was a period where the carefree would prance without thinking of what lies ahead. Our fear would be absent, the adrenaline would push us forward. The only worry in our mind is whether we would have the time to play in the yard once again in the same manner. A life filled with a budding innocence blossoming to a dreary hue as we all come to terms that life isn’t hearts and flowers, but a tear-jerking pathway of many fruitless efforts and minimal moments of success.
I reminiscence the day I first laid eyes on the small boy who sat in the corner of the classroom drawing music notes on the back of his spelling homework.
“Yoongi,” I move closer to the groggy man who currently entangled by my body, “Remember the day we first met?”
I would love doing the awards and salutes if it weren’t for the fact that we’re standing at first position on hot turf while wearing black shoes under the scorching sun… my feet were basically baked potatoes.
It’s where we meet up for formation at the designated time and place, and the command team still hasn’t shown up to formally dismiss us. As you can see, we mostly discuss things, wait impatiently, and play with our cell phones.
I’ve been busy all day with planning an exercise involving a new UAV drone (they test them out here.) Fun stuff.