“I Couldn't Eat My Lunch”: Tennis Superstar Naomi Osaka Left a 27-Year-Old American Volleyball Player Dazzled at Tokyo Games

“I Couldn’t Eat My Lunch”: Tennis Superstar Naomi Osaka Left a 27-Year-Old American Volleyball Player Dazzled at Tokyo Games

At some point in our life, we all have been captivated by one or the other famous personality, be it a movie star or a famous sports personality like Naomi Osaka. But have ever wondered if the stars get star-struck too? Well, Chiaka Ogbogu revealed that yes, they do.

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The young American Volleyball player was awestricken by the Japanese Tennis star, Naomi Osaka, during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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Chiaka on being star-struck by Naomi Osaka

Chiaka revealed that at one point during the Tokyo Olympics she was “visibly staring,” at the Japanese star. She believes that the latter might’ve noticed it too. She said, “As I am preparing for big matches, so is she. But Naomi Osaka–I saw her in the lunch room–and I couldn’t eat my lunch. I was visibly staring at her. She probably saw me at one point.

However, despite her admiration, Ogbogu did not approach Naomi, as she did not want to disturb the player. “I met a couple, but one, I don’t know if I regret not going up to her, because like, she looked like she was in the zone and I really did not want to be that girl. We’re all there for the same reason,” says Chiaka.

Born in New Jersey, United States, Chiaka Ogbogu is an American Volleyball player and is a part of the United States Volleyball team. She also plays for the Turkish Volleyball club – VakıfBank SK.

Ogbogu felt Osaka deserves the respect.

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Ogbogu further shared that her mother encouraged her to approach Osaka at that time. However, the 27-year-old Volleyball player was a bit intimidated by Naomi. When her mother had told her that she should approach the Japanese player as they all are there for the same reason, Ogbogu had denied saying that she [Osaka] was different. She further explained that while she feels that she did earn the right to be there, she just felt that Naomi was on a different level.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 14: Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates after winning match point in her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain during day seven of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 14, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Chiaka shared her views on having boundaries and being respectful. She said, “ It’s so funny, it’s like a tricky balance of trying to be professional and respectful….We’re all kind of on the same plane. But some people though, deserve that respect. I gave it to her.

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Chiaka Ogbogu ended up winning a gold medal for the United States in the Tokyo Olympics. However, Naomi Osaka was knocked out after the round-of-16 by Marketa Vondrousova.

Watch Story: ‘I Wish I Could Give Her a Hug’ – When Serena Williams Extended a Hand to a Struggling Naomi Osaka

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