A remote temple, high up in Japan’s Nagano mountains -- not the first place you’d expect to find a potential Olympic champion.
But this is where the Buddhist monk Kenki Sato grew up -- he's representing his country in horse eventing at the London Games.
His father, now the master of the 460-year-old temple, remembers how horses used to be part of everyday life in the village.
SOUNDBITE 1 Shodo Sato (man), Kenki Sato’s father (Japanese, 21 sec):
"Not so long ago, when there were no hearses, the monk in charge of the temple rode a horse for funerals, as he did on his other daily tasks. In this area, that was also the case for many people, such as doctors, who rode horses to their patients’ houses."
Shodo Sato was a professional horse rider, just like his son.
He would have ridden at the 1980 Moscow Olympics had Japan not boycotted the Games.
His other son took part in the Beijing Games four years ago.
And the family’s youngest hopes to follow in her brothers’ footsteps too – she’s already a five-time national showjumping champion.
SOUNDBITE 2 Tae Sato (woman), sister of Kenki Sato (Japanese, 17 sec):
"Because I grew up with horses, horse riding was always something natural for me. So naturally, I wanted to improve my skills and that led me to participating in competitions."
The stables play an important role in Ogawa, employing a number of local people – who will all be keeping a close eye on events in London.
SOUNDBITE 3 Chiemi Toki (woman), works at Myoshoji horse-riding centre (Japanese, 12 sec):
"In such a small village, a place most people have never heard of, even those who live in the prefecture, it's amazing that we have someone taking part in the Olympics. It's something to be proud of."
Japan’s last Olympic medal for horse riding was back in 1932.
Sato has already brought honour to his home village without getting a medal -- now the monk hopes to make his whole country proud by riding to victory.
OGAWA, NAGANO PREFECTURE, JAPAN, JUNE 6, 2012, SOURCE: AFPTV
-Wide of Nagano mountains
-Tae Sato, sister of Kenki Sato, riding her horse
-Wide of Tae Sato in training
-Zoom in on still photo of Kenki Sato taken in 2010 during the Asian Games in China (SOURCE: AFP PHOTO)
-Various of Shodo Sato, father of Kenki Sato, at doors to temple
-Shodo Dato showing trophy cabinet and photos of family riding
-Various of trophies won by the family
-Tae Sato riding
-Still photo of Tae Sato during a competition
-Wide of stable
-Wide of Chiemi Toki working outside stable
-Various of Tae Sato training
Olympic bits you must know
Spotlight on Filipino Olympians
- Baldwin named SEABA, SEA Games coach
- Tab Baldwin to be named Gilas head coach soon - report
- Chot Reyes reacts to current Gilas status
- PBA, SBP begin search for next Gilas head coach
- Gilas Pilipinas program set for second reboot
- With a solitary gold, PH limps to one of its worst Asian Games performances
- PH gets BMX gold, another taekwondo bronze in Day 12
- Boxer Charly Suarez earns at least another bronze for PH in Day 10
- Ex-NBA coach Avery Johnson, Blazers Lopez and Matthews to visit Yolanda-hit areas
- Filipino archer Gabriel Moreno bags gold in Youth Olympic Games