• Kyodo


Olivia the parrot, one of several soccer psychics from the animal kingdom, predicted on Thursday that Japan’s men’s soccer team will win its opening match against Nigeria at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on the same day in Manaus, Brazil.

Olivia, a gray parrot kept at the Nasu Animal Kingdom in Tochigi Prefecture, impressed visitors last year by correctly predicting the outcome of Japan’s six games leading up to the final against the United States at the Women’s World Cup in Canada.

The Nigerian soccer team will arrive at the venue just seven hours before kickoff for unknown reasons, delayed from the planned time of Wednesday afternoon, Olympic organizers said Wednesday.

Japan’s men’s team reached the semifinals at the 2012 London Olympics where it lost to South Korea 2-0 in the bronze-medal game. Japan has not won a medal in men’s soccer since the 1968 Mexico City Games.

The parrot is a veteran in fortunetelling. Usually it picks paper fortunes for visitors, a job it has been doing for several years.

Paul the octopus correctly chose Spain to win the men’s 2010 World Cup from his tank in Germany, while Australia’s Flopsy the kangaroo and Singapore’s Mani the parakeet all came and went.

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