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Japanese medalists from the 2014 Winter Olympics

February 21
Women’s ski halfpipe, bronze medal
Ayana Onozuka


Ayana Onozuka | AFP-JIJI
Kyodo

“All the work I put in has come to fruition. If it weren’t for all the support of those around me, I absolutely wouldn’t be here now…I feel I’m still far from being a champion, but still it was a good result.”

Onozuka captures bronze in ski halfpipe


February 20
Women’s parallel snowboard giant slalom, silver medal
Tomoka Takeuchi

Tomoka Takeuchi | AFP-JIJI
Kyodo

“I am very happy to get a medal, but honestly what I feel most is that I wanted to win the competition. We (gold medal winner Patrizia Kummerand of Switzerland, and I) were teammates together, and we’re very close so I enjoy skiing against her. I skied hoping we’d be able to praise each other’s results. I feel that I have contributed in my small way to the snowboard Alpine sport.”

Takeuchi settles for silver in women’s parallel giant slalom


February 18
Large hill team ski jump, bronze medal
Noriaki Kasai, Reruhi Shimizu, Daiki Ito and Taku Takeuchi

 Reruhi Shimizu, Taku Takeuchi,  Daiki Ito and Noriaki Kasai
Reruhi Shimizu, Taku Takeuchi, Daiki Ito and Noriaki Kasai | AFP-JIJI
Kyodo

Kasai: “The individual was more precious, but the team is more important. I actually wanted gold, but the color doesn’t mean anything anymore. I’m just very happy.”
Shimizu: “We each did our best but Nori (Kasai) sealed it in the end. I want to thank him as my mentor and my other teammates too.”

Kasai leads way as Japan takes bronze in large hill team jump


February 16
Large hill individual ski jump, silver medal
Noriaki Kasai

Noriaki Kasai
Noriaki Kasai | AFP-JIJI
Kyodo

“I really felt how hard it is to get a medal. It was really a high level competition today. Although I was aiming for a medal, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Lots of thoughts were running around inside my head, like what if I fail, what if I get a medal. But I did well in both jumps.”

Long wait ends as Kasai takes silver medal in large hill jump


February 15
Men’s figure skating, gold medal
Yuzuru Hanyu

Yuzuru Hanyu
Yuzuru Hanyu | AP

“I was trying not to think about winning a gold medal, but I couldn’t deflect the pressure, which was massive. I’m so proud of this feat as a Japanese … The Olympics is so wild and unpredictable. I’ve never been this nervous for a competition in my entire life.”

Hanyu wins Japan’s first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics


February 13
Nordic combined normal hill, silver medal
Akito Watabe

Akito Watabe
Akito Watabe | AFP-JIJI

“Of course, I was aiming for the gold, but I just lacked the strength in the end. I’m satisfied. I did feel some pressure because this was my first time pushing myself for a medal, but I’m glad I could perform up to my best.”

Watabe nabs silver in Nordic combined normal hill event


February 12
Men’s snowboard halfpipe, silver medal
Ayumu Hirano

Ayumu Hirano
Ayumu Hirano | AFP-JIJI
AP, Kyodo

“I was able to put the work I’ve done into my performance. I thought that if I could do well, it would go down in history. I had a good ride and it worked out well.”

Teen snowboarders win first medals for Japan


February 12
Men’s snowboard halfpipe, bronzemedal
Taku Hiraoka

Taku Hiraoka
Taku Hiraoka | AFP-JIJI
AP, Kyodo

“I put together a good ride. I wasn’t nervous … It was awesome.”

Teen snowboarders win first medals for Japan