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Aya Ohori is an 18-year-old badminton player hailing from Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture who’s recently come into the spotlight, not for her athletic prowess but rather her beauty and flawless skin.

You would think that it would be a crime for athletes to be both physically talented as well as beautiful. We’re really not sure what all the fuss is about, but her appearance on a sports documentary has created quite the fan base and certainly got the media aflutter.

I guess when we think of celebrities, stars, or idols, one does not think of badminton players. I’m sure most of us couldn’t name a single champion badminton player, yet could easily cite musicians, movie stars, other professional athletes and even politicians by name.

On 3 May, broadcaster Fuji TV aired a sports documentary in which badminton player Aya Ohori appeared, which you can check out here.

She has since come under the spotlight amassing a large following with many cooing over her beautiful and flawless skin. Many are smitten with her looks deeming her way too pretty to be a badminton player. Rather than focusing on her talent and sporting ability, viewers have honed in on her looks and appearance, and seemingly overlooking the fact that she is a champion athlete.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 3.40.37 PMYouTube screenshot (SMASH and NET.TV)

Ohori was the winner of the 2013 and 2014 Russia Open Grand Prix and 2013 Asian Junior Championships, as well as the silver medal in the 2013 World Junior Championships.

Fans have commented that “there are many beautiful Japanese women in the sport of Badminton,” and one only needs to look at past players such as Reiko Shiota, Misaki Matsumoto and sisters Ayaka and Sayaka Takahashi to see that they’ve got a point. With a parade of beauties, these athletes are changing the image of badminton, with talent as well as good looks paving their way to success.

As for Aya’s beautiful skin, maybe the secret to her youth and beauty is the fact that she is actually still young. At 18 years of age, of course her skin is young and flawless looking. Or perhaps the  secret to her good looks is the fact that she says she eats natto for breakfast for good luck on match days.


 YouTube screenshot (Fukushima Prefecture Official Channel)

Aya is also an ambassador for the youth of Fukushima in their Seeds of Hope campaign. Born and raised in Fukushima prefecture, she attended Tomioka High School, and has been playing badminton since she was six years old. There remains a bright future ahead for her and the many other youths of Fukushima.

Source: AOL Online Japan, NTT East Japan
Top image: YouTube (J Sports)