As she marked her 24th birthday on that day, she expressed her gratitude with a caption that began with the phrase “24, Kobe year” to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant. She wrote,
“24, Kobe year. I just wanna say I’m so extremely grateful, thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes.”
Osaka then explained how her younger years’ birthdays were filled with wishes from only her sister and parents. But now, she has fans all around showing her love.
The 24-year-old athlete was also shown love by other celebrities such as Viola Davis and fellow athletes like herself, including the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
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Osaka’s Successful Year
The year 2021 has been a joyful ride for Osaka. As reported by PEOPLE, she engaged in various projects, including the launching of her skincare brand back in September.
The star athlete’s brand, KINLÒ, is specifically targeted to meet the needs of people of color. The products are designed to reduce the exposure of colored athletes to skin cancer.
During the launch, Osaka took to her Instagram story to tell her fans how the project has been in motion since last year and the vision behind it.
The word KINLÒ is a combination of Japanese and Haitian Creole, which can be traced to the tennis star’s heritage. Kin and Lo both mean gold in both languages, respectively.
Osaka’s Absence From Press Conferences
Earlier this year, The Blast reported that Osaka did not make an appearance at the French Open, which she was fined for. At the time, the star claimed that she was not up for media talk.
Osaka later shared her issues with the world in a TIME magazine article. The article elaborates on how grateful she is for the support of her fans during her disappearance.
Although she also used the medium to settle all disputes between her and the press, some critics still came for her with several arguments about her need for attention.
The colored tennis star didn’t take any of the backlashes to heart but still emphasized the unsatisfactory way the press conferences are conducted. In her words,
“The first is the press. This was never about the press but rather the traditional format of the press conference. I’ll say it again for those at the back; I do not love all press conferences.”
Osaka is no hater of the media; she just isn’t a fan of how they handle conferences. Now, the star is back in the limelight, gracing events with poise.