Konishiki visits Kadena Middle School

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Retired sumo wrestler Konishiki Yasokichi demonstrates a sumo maneuver on 6th-grade social studies teacher Alex Sugay during a visit to Kadena Middle School on Nov. 16, as Assistant Principal Angela Butler looks on in amusement.
Retired sumo wrestler Konishiki Yasokichi demonstrates a sumo maneuver on 6th-grade social studies teacher Alex Sugay during a visit to Kadena Middle School on Nov. 16, as Assistant Principal Angela Butler looks on in amusement.

Konishiki visits Kadena Middle School

by: David Hurwitz | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: November 20, 2012

Retired sumo wrestler Konishiki Yasokichi visited Kadena Middle School on Nov. 16 to give a motivational talk to students about working hard in life to achieve their goals.

The former 600-pound grappler told students they have to make the right choices to get to the next level in life. He encouraged them to go the extra mile at school, using as an example, running extra laps around a track. He explained the need to work for success, take advantage of the opportunities they are given and make them their own.

The Hawaiian-born Konishiki, born Salevaa Atisanoe, was the first sumo wrestler not born in Japan to achieve the rank of ozeki, or champion, the second-highest level in sumo. He fought in more than 1,000 matches and won three tournaments during his 16-year career. Konishiki, 48, now travels around the world inspiring students to "Dream Big."

Photos courtesy of Kadena Middle School