Team USA’s Moore shows off Japanese language skills

"We love Makinohara, the waves were a little small, but the beach was beautiful and we had a lot of fun. The hotel, food, beach, and waves were all wonderful, and the people of Makinohara has kindly shown us hospitality, we are truly thankful," said Moore, a four-times world champion in her sport, which is making its Olympic debut this month.

Moore, who studied Japanese for several years in middle school and high school, also presented Mayor Kikuo Sugimoto with a gift of banana nut butter, made by her husband's business back in Hawaii which uses locally grown bananas.

Several dozen community members cheered while waving U.S. flags for the surfing delegation. A banner in front read "Makinohara will support you!! Do your best!!"

The U.S. team spent several days in Makinohara, located three hours southwest of Tokyo on the coast, to get acclimated to the climate and prepare for the competition.

The surfing event at the Olympic Games is due to start on July 25.

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