Ski jumper Noriaki Kasai, 41, claimed silver on Monday at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Together with Yuzuru Hanyu, 19, who was the first Asian man to take gold in figure skating, Kasai set Olympic precedent for being the oldest ski jump medalist.
“I just got my silver medal!” Kasai said on his blog early on Monday. “It is quite heavy, much heavier than the team medal I won 20 years ago. It has the weight of all my previous six Olympics in it,” added the ski jumper who also took silver at the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994.
Despite the age and the bad luck he had over the last decades – losing his mother in a fire just before the 1998 Winter Games in All Japan news, being excluded from the team that year due to an injury and having his hometown of Sendai destroyed by the violent earthquake in March 2011 –, his stubbornness made him compete to the Sochi Olympics as well.
“He has always hated to lose,” his older sister Noriko said. “He has said he hates seeing the footage of those Olympics, which I can understand.
“But his face the other day was really happy. I think he is really savouring it now because of what happened before.”
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