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Noah Lyles, renowned for his blazing speed and charismatic presence on the track, has never been shy about his passion for manga and anime. In a candid confession to Olympics.com, he revealed, “I was staying up late—and this is when I was in middle school—and I’m reading this from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. when I was supposed to be sleeping.”

He even shared with the Washington Post, drawing parallels between his aspirations and those of Goku from Dragon Ball Z, saying that in Goku’s final stage, or form, his hair turns silver or gray, which means peak readiness. This led him to dye his hair silver for the 2019 World Championships. However, despite his childhood inspiration from Goku, Noah Lyles sadly will not realize his cherished 2022 aspiration.

Noah Lyles’ 2022 dream remains just a dream

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During an interview with NBC at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon with Lewis Johnson, Noah Lyles recounted a touching moment when he and one of Johnson’s colleagues from Japan discussed their favorite anime and manga with him. Lyles shared that the interviewer had promised to introduce him to the creator of Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama. Beaming from ear to ear, Noah Lyles shared, “I ain’t gonna lie; I don’t get cranky about many people, but I think I might shed a tear on that one.”

World Champion/Dragon Ball fan Noah Lyles fanboys about the idea of meeting Toriyama
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While he was sharing his love for the popular anime, a glimpse of his stance was seen when he stretched his hands together and stretched out in front of him. He replied, “Yeah, that’s my Kamehameha,” mimicking Goku’s iconic Kamehameha stance. This heartfelt throwback showed the deep love Lyles has for the show, a sentiment that has also contributed to his success on the track. Sadly, this wish of Noah Lyles remains unfulfilled as the world mourns the passing of Akira Toriyama.

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The impact Akira Toriyama’s work had on Lyles

Otaku and weebs all around the world, including Noah Lyles, mourned the passing of Akira Toriyama, who passed away on March 1, 2024, at the age of 68. In a post on X, Noah Lyles reflected on Toriyama’s death, sharing, “Ik his work has forever affected my life.” Later, he even took to Instagram to share a heartfelt tribute to the Japanese manga creator, with a nine-image carousel post expressing how much the character Goku inspired him.

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He shared the immeasurable effect that the creation of Akira Toriyama had on his life. And Noah Lyles wrote, “You have inspired more than you can ever imagine.” As manga fans worldwide mourn this profound loss, they hold on to the hope that Noah Lyles will continue to pay homage to Akira Toriyama through his distinctive looks and styles on the track.

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