OguShio (Kumiko Ogura and Reiko Shiota), the Japanese women’s badminton team, famous for their play and looks recently had a press conference to announce that they would be breaking up, but continuing to play with other partners.
There are some cynical ways to view this news. I don’t which, if any, of the following are true, but these are my cynical knee jerk thoughts:
- They never really liked each other and were just formed to get more people to watch badminton.
- Prettier or sexier pairs are being formed to further increase Badminton’s sex appeal.
- One or both are actually going to quit badminton (Reiko Shiota has already commented that she wanted to leave the sport to become an announcer or appear on tv.)
- Somebody’s getting married. (Note that except in rare cases like Ryoko Tamura who became Ryoko Tani who is nicknamed Yawara-chan, married female athletes leave the sport… although on the good side, this trend is decreasing. Consider also Kimiko Date’s recent comeback.)
- Just trying to keep badminton in the news.
Newzjapan is in favor of winning over looking good (ref: White Men Can’t Jump) so we don’t really mind that the pair broke up IF it means the formation of a stronger team… but as you can tell by the above comments, we are cynical of the whole affair.
But here’s a video of Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura making a tv commercial:
Here is part of their last press conference in which Reiko Shiota and Kumiko Ogura talk about going separate ways.