2011: Japan's World Cup Victory Brings Hope to Their Country
In 2011, the Japanese women's football team became the first Asian team of any gender to win a World Cup. And their victory, over a heavily-favoured US team, wasn't just historical. Earlier that year, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami wreaked havoc in northeastern Japan, causing over 15,000 deaths and a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Japan's groundbreaking victory on one of sport's largest stages came at the right time, for a country that sorely needed its message of hope and perseverance over adversity.