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Last weekend a Japanese Buddhist monk named Kenki Sato won the "eventing individual" gold medal at the Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China. After winning Sato discussed how his Buddhist practice "gels" with his love for horseback riding and his dream to eventually compete in the Olympic Games. From The Chakra report:
According to Sato, horse riding “gels well with Buddhism” and thus he has been horse riding since the age of 7. He said that Buddhism is so important to him that he tends to naturally get attracted to activities that other Buddhist monks also take part in, which includes horse riding. He takes both horse riding and being a monk very seriously.
He completed one year of study in Buddhism at a Buddhist monastery where his father is the clerical head. He is confident that he is good at both horse riding as well as being a Buddhist monk. His goal is to combine his two passions—being a monk and horse rider so that they can become one—and this is the special life path he is on.
Last October, at the World Equestrian Games in the United States, he was the best Japanese performer. He trained in equestrian in Germany just after leaving his temple school.
He followed his father’s footsteps of being a horse rider and wishes to fulfill a dream his father was not able to. His father Shodo, was once chosen as a representative of Japan to participate in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow but his dreams were shattered when the Moscow Games were boycotted that year.