Hino slides with the spirit of Japan

Manami Hino's may not be the fastest bobsleigh racing down Whistler's track on Tuesday but if medals were awarded for artistic impression it would win gold.

Eurosport

The Japanese pilot and brakewoman Konomi Asazu will speed down in the opening heats in a gleaming sled adorned with stunning representations of their country's rich culture.

As well as a painting of the sacred Mount Fuji it features cherry blossom and, most strikingly of all, the front end is emblazoned with a woman wearing a flowing kimono.

"We wanted to display the spirit of Japan," 30-year-old Hino said. "For me it's a very special design and I hope that it will give us luck."

Tadahiro Yamamoto, Japan's team manager, said it had been Hino's idea to have the bobsleigh decorated.

"For beauty, I think we will win gold," he said.

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