On Tuesday, 16-year-old Sae Miyakawa of Japan performed her floor routine to a klezmer arrangement of the song “Kol HaOlam Kulo,” which was written by founder of the Hasidic Breslov movement Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.
Though the song’s Hebrew text has an upbeat message (“The whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is to not be afraid.”) it wasn’t enough to earn Japan a medal. The Japanese team finished fourth, after the United States, Russia and China.
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WATCH: Japanese Gymnast Performs Rio Routine — to Klezmer Music
Josefin Dolsten is a former news fellow at the Forward, writing about politics and culture, and editing the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.