Japanese Men’s Team Puts in Hours on the Glacier in Quest for Olympic Qualification

Japan sets draconian Olympic qualification standards for its athletes: if they can't land at least three top-12s in World Cup racing, then skiers are stuck at home and quota spots handed out by FIS go unfilled. The Japanese men have qualified as a relay team, but are working extra hard to prepare for early season World Cups where they hope for results that will allow them individual starts as well. For now, that means many hours on snow in Stelvio, Italy.

I was reading FIS’s interview with Japan’s Masako Ishida with interest, because I’ve really been rooting for her to pull off some strong results. In the interview, she mentions that some of her goals for next season include increasing her presence in the top 5, and in particular making the jump up to some podium [...] Related posts:

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News about Japan hasn’t been hard to come by for the past two weeks. Viewers around the world have been able to watch live on television as the damage unfolded from a massive earthquake and tsunami that hit the country; an ensuing nuclear catastrophe has played out on the front pages of the world’s newspapers. We’d heard little, though, about any impacts of the natural disaster on skiing in the country. Masako Ishida was the...