Otakorp, Inc. is delighted to welcome sumo stars five-time U.S. Champion Kelly Gneiting and Pro Sumo Champion "Yama" (heaviest Japanese human ever!) as featured performers and guests of our summer events. The athletes will participate in demonstrations and actual sumo matches as part of the expanded programming at the Otakon Matsuri as well as throughout Otakon 2014.
They appear courtesy of USA SUMO, whose interactive demonstrations are both entertaining and educational, in line with Otakorp Inc's educational mission. "These guys were a big hit at Otakon Vegas, and we knew we had to bring them out east. Make no mistake, these guys are the real deal; so not only will you learn to appreciate the sport of sumo, they're actually a lot of fun to watch," said Jim Vowles, Director of Guests & Industry Relations.
Gneiting is a five-time champion who's competed in USA Sumo for the last 12 national championships. He is a 13-time U.S. representative at the World Sumo Championships/Games and a five-time U.S. Sumo Champion. At the World level, in 2006, he lost a medal match (third place) to Poland. In 2009 he advanced to the quarter finals (top eight) at the World Games in Taiwan (with 50 competitors). He has run three marathons, weighing over 400 pounds, and holds the Guinness World Record as the "Heaviest Human Being to Complete a Marathon."
Making a rare U.S. appearance, all the way from Japan, is iconic sumo figure Yama, whose professional sumo fighting name is Yamamotoyama. At 6'4," 601 pounds, he is not only the largest Japanese sumo wrestler ever, but he is actually the largest Japanese human, as well! Yama has been practicing sumo for over 20 years. After winning numerous university sumo championships, he reached professional sumo's highest division ("makuuchi") in only two years, the second fastest pace in history. USA SUMO promotes the sport of sumo wrestling in the U.S. and throughout the world, through demonstrations, lectures, and appearances. For more information, visit usasumo.com.
The Otakon Matsuri kicks off the weekend with an outdoor festival from noon until 9 p.m. on August 7 at the Baltimore West Shore Park, down by the Inner Harbor and the Maryland Science Center. The Matsuri, a free event open to all, will involve music, games, food, a Yukata contest, and a sumo demonstration by Kelly Gneiting and Yama.
Otakon 2014 will be held August 8-10 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD.