What is Sakura Kokumai's net worth? First-time Olympian karateka was victim of racist attack
Sakura Kokumai began taking karate classes as a sports-loving seven-year-old in Hawaii
American karateka Sakura Kokumai will be competing for the bronze medal against Italy’s Viviana Bottaro in the Female Kata Division for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The first-time Olympian, 28, has been part of the game for a very long time — she began taking karate classes as a sports-loving seven-year-old in Hawaii. She lived in both Hawaii and Japan growing up, and won her first world championships medal in 2012.
“Karate has been a part of my life for a long time now,” she said last year. “It may be new to the Olympics, but there are so many karate practitioners around the world, and I think that people who practice karate have a relationship with the sport that’s very personal. I’m hoping the Olympics will allow people to see what we do and why we do what we do.”
Speaking about her discipline Karate in an interview, she said, “It's artistic, in a way. We’re given a list of katas to perform, choose one, and basically have to make it our own by changing the rhythm, or by doing it faster or stronger.”
When she became the first US karate athlete to qualify for the Olympics, it seemed that all the chips were falling into their places. But the coronavirus pandemic changed that — it delayed the Games by a year, leaving her feeling isolated and lost. She said she found herself training alone in her garage, at a time when she was supposed to be entering the final stretch of her Olympic quest. “I was really mentally ready to give it my all on that last sprint,” she said. “I went from traveling out of my suitcase to being stuck at home… not being able to go out, not being able to compete.”
What is Sakura Kokumai’s net worth?
While it’s not actually clear what Kokumai's net worth is, a lot of websites place her financial worth between $1 million and $5 million. There is no mention of her earnings, property and brand endorsements.
Earlier this year in April, in Orange County, California, a man called Michael Vivona allegedly punched an elderly Korean-American couple and harassed Kokumai. Vivona yelled at her aggressively. Kokumai took out her phone to record the rant and later posted it on her Instagram page. The man in the video could be heard yelling the word “Chinese” and saying, “You’re a loser. Go home, you stupid (expletive). … I’ll (expletive) you up."
“In that moment, I thought, ‘gosh, this guy is just crazy.’ But when I zoomed out I realized there were a lot of people at the park,” Kokumai wrote in the Instagram post. “Yes a women did come up and asked if I was ok towards the end as it escalated…but for the longest time no one cared. People would walk by, some even smiled. And I didn’t know what to do.” Although Kokumai did not initially file a police report, she did so later, McMullin said.
“Yes, what happened was horrible, but I don’t know which was worse, a stranger yelling and threatening to hurt me for no reason or people around me who witnessed everything and not doing a thing,” she said in her post.