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Announcement of Kiyou Shimizu’s Retirement

Announcement of Kiyou Shimizu's Retirement

In a heartfelt and emotional announcement, Kiyou Shimizu, one of the most esteemed and accomplished karatekas of our time, has declared her retirement from competitive karate. This announcement follows closely on the heels of Sandra Sanchez of Spain, who won gold in Tokyo 2020 and also recently retired, marking the end of an era for women’s karate.

See the medal list of Kiyou Shimizu in this athlete profile.

Kiyou Shimizu’s career in karate spans over two decades, filled with a blend of triumphs, trials, and invaluable lessons. Reflecting on her journey, Shimizu shared, “After spending 20 years as an athlete in this sport, I have decided to announce my retirement. My competition career was filled with happiness, pain, and frustration, and there were many lessons that came from it.”

Her career witnessed several phases – periods of consistent victories, challenging losses, and moments of resilience. “There was an era where I couldn’t win, there was an era where I continued to win, and there was an era where I had more losses. So much truly happened over the years,” Shimizu reminisced. Despite these fluctuations, her commitment and passion for karate never wavered.

One of Shimizu’s lingering regrets is not clinching the title of Olympic Champion. “The one thing I regret is not being able to get the title of the Olympic Champion. The frustration still lingers to this day, but the Olympic stage was amazing and unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced before. The experience is an asset that I will forever cherish,” she admitted. The Olympic experience, despite not ending in gold, remains a pinnacle in her career that she holds dear.

Shimizu’s journey was not devoid of hardships. “The joyous moments were always brief, and much of the time were tough and painful,” she recalled. However, it was the fleeting yet priceless moments of joy that fueled her perseverance. “Those brief moments of joy were so priceless and I knew exactly how they felt, it was enough for me to continue pushing all this time.”

Her gratitude towards her supporters is profound. “It was the support and encouragement from all of you that allowed me to continue my career till now. Who I am today exists because of everyone who has touched my life in some way. Thank you so much for everything,” she expressed, acknowledging the vital role of her fans, coaches, and loved ones in her journey.

Although Shimizu will no longer compete, her life as a karateka is far from over. “I will no longer be on the mat as an athlete, but the life as a karateka is forever, as I will continue to train every day, and will continue to hone my skills to continue moving forward,” she promised. Her future will be dedicated to imparting her knowledge and passion for karate to others. “To pass on my experience to as many people as possible, I will continue to learn and make effort to spread karate.”

In conclusion, Shimizu reaffirmed her lifelong motto, a testament to her enduring spirit and dedication to the art of karate. “Lastly, I will continue to cherish my childhood motto, ‘I will perform kata that can move peoples’ hearts!’ and will continue to live by it.”

As we bid farewell to Kiyou Shimizu’s competitive career, we celebrate her contributions to the world of karate and look forward to her continued influence and inspiration within the karate community.

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