Saga JETs Jump Into the Mud for the 31st Gatalympics

Asahi Shimbun Image Credit

From left to right, Andrew, Anne Marie, Jay, Siebren and Nyomi participated in the “Age-age ↑↑ Gata-ire!? Hata agetto” competition securing 2nd place in the event. Image Credit: Asahi Shimbun

Sunday May 31st, Saga JETs descended upon the small quiet city known as Kashima – 鹿島市. Ready for glory, these lonely JETs united together along with 1,700 others for 31st annual Gatalympics – 第31回鹿島ガタリンピック.

In both team and individuals competitions these JETs trudged through the mud with excellent results. The Gatalympics hosted a large international presence not including JETs which spanned out from South Korea to Finland.

Onlookers could enjoy an abundance of festival foods and the local Kashima market which contained goods from the local surrounding areas. For the JETs, the highest achievements attained this year was in the “Age-age ↑↑ Gata-ire!? Hata agetto” (flag raising) team competition securing a 2nd place overall.

Another highlight was in the Hakkeyoi (women’s mud sumo) with Alex ascending into the semi-finals.  This year’s thank you goes to Tyler and Kashima City who provided much of the planning and support. The continuing and new JET’s should look forward this event in 2016.

Saga JETs received some notable media attention throughout the event. Here’s a few highlights: Asahi Shimbun (front image credit) and here FNN-News.


Tamarah, Jessica, Tom and Tony look for a partner in Pearinpikku (Pair-lympic).


Alex battling it out.


Muddy success for Tony, Jessica and Tamarah!


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