The exciting team competition on Monday evening was the grand finale of the ski jumping events at the Olympic Games in Sochi. For one of the athletes it was an especially emotional moment. Due to a sickness, Taku Takeuchi was afraid that he might not be able to participate in this Olympics.
The 26-year-old Japanese was diagnosed with the Churg-Strauss-Syndrome in January. This is an inflammation of the small blood vessels, that can also damage organs.
Due to this sickness, Takeuchi ended the 4-Hills-Tournament already after the competition in Innsbruck. After he was treated in a hospital, he was then able to compete again in the World Cup at home in Sapporo late January. Now he won the bronze medal in the team competition in Sochi.
"I thought I might not be able to take part in this Olympic Games. But with the support of my family, the people in the hospital and many others I was able to come to the Olympics", an obviously moved Taku Takeuchi said after the team competition. "I thought I might even have to quit. My father told me I can do it. He wrote the word Gold on a picture of the competition in Lillehammer in December, where I was second, and brought it to my hospital room."
For his teammate Noriaki Kasai it was a special moment to stand on the podium together with Taku Takeuchi. "I tear up thinking about this sickness, so I really wanted him to get the medal."
With his performance in Sochi the Japanese also wants to encourage other people who suffer from this disease. "I want to show the people that if you don't give up and keep going you can win a medal. This is the message I want the people to know. I want them to get better. That's what I thought when I jumped today."