With winning the Olympic Silver medal in the large hill individual competition in Sochi Noriaki Kasai made history. The 41-year-old is now the oldest medalist at Olympic Games in ski jumping. And with his success the Japanese also provided an emotional highlight in the RusSki Gorki Ski Jumping Center.
About a month ago, Kasai celebrated his first win in the World Cup in ten years at the ski flying event in Bad Mitterndorf, now he won a medal at the Olympics again, 20 years after he took silver with the Japanese team in Lillehammer 1994.
When he made his debut in the World Cup in 1989, many of the athletes he is now competing with weren't even born yet, 1992 he achieved his first big success with winning the title at the ski flying World Championships.
After some difficult times over the past years he is now probably in his best shape ever. "I hope that my medal also encourages other people. Never give up. Set yourself goals. Do what you love. If you live that way, then everything is possible and life is worth living", Noriaki Kasai is quoted on welt.de.
Kamil Stoch and Peter Prevc, who stood on the podium together with Kasai on Sunday, demonstrated their respect for the veteran. "He is a great person, a great athlete", said the double Olympic Champion of Poland. "I have huge respect for him. He is an inspiration for me", told Prevc.
And the Japanese is not thinking about retirement yet. "At the next Olympics I will be 45, then the one after that 49, but I'm still really hopeful I'll be able to keep performing and improving so that I can prepare for the next Olympic Games."