“I’m trying to qualify for the Olympics. If not 2020 then the next one. I’ve been racing for 6+ years now. I got into cycling because when my younger brother broke his femur (thigh bone) while we were playing soccer, I was a bike mechanic and the doctor suggested I help him out. He was lonely so we got into the sport together. But then I was the one who continued. And I came to Japan because I was also interested in studying architecture, plus I worked with JAXA and NASA before. However, right now my hope is to get into a cycling team that’ll sponsor me. Definitely not an easy task. No one replies to my emails. It’s either their team is full or maybe it’s the language barrier. Shouldn’t be an issue, though, since I speak four languages—English, Turkish, Mongolian, and Japanese (plus some German and a little Russian). I guess my strategy is to qualify by accumulating points at cycling events, both domestically and internationally. It’s just a struggle when you’re busy working and supporting your parents. They’re already old and retired. I’m Mongolian-Turkish but I was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. My parents live in the US and I have to help with the rent, which is no joke in San Francisco. Their monthly stipend’s not enough. So here’s my dilemma: Should I stay or should I go?”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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