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All out for Vancouver 2010! An Indomitable Cross-country Skier

Mr. Masaya Kimura

Cross-country skiing is like running a marathon on snow. According to Mr. Kimura, "It's like talking face to face to your body. You have to decide when to take action based on your skills and your body situation, when you're still traveling over the snow".

Mr. Kimura spends much of his time in such countries as Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and Italy on national team training camps that are held throughout the world. He is a cosmopolitan who moves from place to place in overseas competitions. Some years, he spends more than 150 days on snow overseas. "The level of technique and degree of nervousness I feel in international competitions are much higher than that of Japan." Skiing in foreign countries requires a strong mind not only in competitions but also outside the competitions. Communication is entirely in English. It is not easy to give one's best performance in competitions in an environment that is totally different from Japan with regard to your condition, diet, and stress. "Never lose the strength of desire for victory" is what Mr. Kimura has as a philosophy on the world stage. How can he be that tough?

In fact, it comes from the chagrin he felt in high school when his coach gave him a pep talk on an injury he had suffered. "I cannot forget the chagrin I felt when my coach said to me 'There is no way someone who does not take good care of his own body will qualify for the Inter-highschool Championship!'" The words goaded him so much that he won the Inter-highschool Championship the following year. "I cannot forget the moment of my victory because it was a moment that I learned about the process of changing chagrin into desperate effort to win. A coach who was really mad at me became my precious teacher."

Although Mr. Kimura says that his mind is mostly preoccupied by skiing every day, he finds himself feeling most relaxed when he spends time with his teammates from the ski team at Waseda. "We're like a real family in the ski team. When I don't have any training to do, I'll call my friends and my teammates out, so that we can fool around together. It makes me feel comfortable," he said and gave us a nice friendly smile, one that almost makes people forget that he is a tough athlete.

His goal this year is to win all four events in Cross-country Skiing in the Intercollegiate Ski Games. "I am aiming for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games that is coming up in two years and the Sochi Olympic Winter Games that is coming after the Vancouver Olympics," he declared, with his eyes on the world stage. To Mr. Kimura, wether results of competitions are good or bad, it was consisted of every effort, a strong mind, and the earnest thoughts for his fellows. "In the future I would like to train skiers who can compete on the world stage." The challenges for this indomitable fighter continue as he moves forward to the Vancouver Olympics and his own future.

* Inter-collegiate Ski Games
Cross-country skiing consists of the 1.3 km Sprint, the 10 km Classical, the 30 km Free, and the 4x10 km Relay.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Mr. Masaya Kimura

Born 1986 in Niigata. Graduated from Sekine Gakuen High School. 4th-year student at the School of Sport Sciences. Member of Waseda University Ski Team. Belongs to Takarada Yuudai Research Group. While he was a senior at high school, he won the championship of the men's interscholastic athletic meet in cross-country skiing. He then claimed victory in the Sprint event of the Intercollegiate Ski Games of 2007. After that, he came in first in the men's 10 km Classic Skiing and 30 km Free-technique Skiing event of the same competition in 2008. This season, he was chosen to represent Japan in the upcoming Winter Universiade. His hobby is sports.