Man Arrested for Racial Abuse of US Olympian Sakura Kokumai Caught on Video

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

An athlete performs kata moves during a karate test event at Nippon Budokan, a venue for judo and karate at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

A man has been arrested in Orange, California, after shouting threats and racist comments at United States Olympic karateka Sakura Kokumai this month.

According to TMZ Sports, 25-year-old Michael Orlando Vivona was arrested after Kokumai captured him on video at a park. In the video, Vivona can be heard calling Kokumai a "stupid b---h" and saying, "I'll f--k you up."

Vivona also referred to Kokumai, who is a Japanese American from Hawaii, as "Chinese" and "sashimi."

Police arrested Vivona for "threatening a Japanese American" after arresting him on Sunday for a separate incident.

Vivona allegedly "punched a 79-year-old Korean American male and his 80-year-old Korean American wife in the face," per police.

Police called the attack "unprovoked" and arrested Vivona for elder abuse and committing a hate crime.

The 28-year-old Kokumai is scheduled to represent the United States in karate at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which will mark her Olympic debut.

She won a gold medal in the women's individual kata event at the 2019 Pan American Games, making her one of Team USA's top prospects to medal in Tokyo.

Kokumai is among the latest examples of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities being subjected to violence and threatening behavior in the United States.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.