Noriaki KASAI. Photo: Reuters
These people refute the stereotype that professional sports – the inheritance of 20 years.
While the IOC for the past couple of decades aims to rejuvenate the image of the Olympics, to attract a new audience, some athletes continue to come to the Games, demonstrating unprecedented sporting longevity. And that’s cool.
“SE” has made a selection of those who still wins the race against time. Some were Olympians, when not yet born, those with whom they will compete for medals in Pyeongchang.
Noriaki KASAI, Japan
Age: 45 years
Progress: three-time medalist of the Olympics – two silver and a bronze, seven-time world Championships medalist
This Japanese long ago entered the history of world sport. But in competitions he will enter himself in the record books, this time in huge letters. Kasai in Korea will become the world’s first athlete who will perform at eight winter Olympics.
The Japanese already owns a number of unique achievements. For example, it is already the 28th season in the national team and the Games-2014 became the oldest jumper, who won the Olympic medal at the age of 41 years and 254 days, the Japanese took silver in the large hill. Almost a year later, Noriaki and even won the world Cup. Incidentally, his first and last at the moment of reward Games share 20 years – Kasai made his debut as an Olympian in Albertville, and Lillehammer was on the podium. He is still part of the world elite, and this season has already got the prizes. Among the awards jumper nicknamed Kamikaze not enough gold large tournaments. And when he says he will try to get it in Pyeongchang, believe him.
Claudia PECHSTEIN, Germany
Sport: skating sport
Progress: five-time Olympic champion, the sixfold world champion
Another living legend of world sport – Pechstein even older Kasai, but by the number of participations in the Games is a little behind. The reason for this extremely bad story – in 2009, according to the testimony of the so-called blood passport German speed skater accused of doping and disqualified for two years. In an attempt to prove his innocence, she went through all the circles of hell – and the usual field of sports arbitration, the Supreme court of Switzerland, the Federal constitutional court of Germany. Have Pechstein in the fall of 2010 even had a nervous breakdown, but the sanctions against it and has not removed.
But in February the following year, she returned to the ice after suspension, and again started to engage in the usual business of winning medals. She brought five consecutive Olympic games from Albertville to Turin. But in Sochi, the German were a bit unlucky, she was fourth in the race at 3000 meters and fifth at a distance of 5000 m. But that didn’t stop her. In 2016, she became the oldest winner of the world Cup at the age of 44 years and 263 days, and a year ago at the pre-Olympic world Cup in Kannyn took the silver on “the five”. In Korea, it will become the record holder for number of participations in white Game for women.
Sergei DOLIDOVICH, Byelorussia
Sport: ski race
Progress the winner and medalist of world Cup stages
Belarusian skier even Wikipedia believes finished his career, and he continues to start and goes for a seventh Olympics. And in Pyeongchang Dolidovich will become the absolute record holder in their sport, ahead of the legendary Harry and Marie-Lisa Kirvesniemi, Sergey Chepikova, Andrus Veerpalu, Catarina Neumannova.
Specialization racer from Minsk has always been long distance – 30, and particularly 50 kilometers. Although Dolidovich never was one of the stars of the first magnitude, but repeatedly went close to the podium in the marathon at the Olympics and world Cup. For example, for the Olympics 2014 “fifty dollars” he was the fifth. Perhaps his dream of a medal will be in Korea.
Janne AHONEN, Finland
Progress: a two-time medalist, five-time world champion
Another mastodon jumping games in Pyeongchang will be the seventh, although the same Kasai he is younger by five years. Once he became famous as a child Prodigy, making his debut in the world Cup 15, and the first victory won in 16. Then there have been numerous successes – Ahonen is a record of the world Cup by the number of hits on a pedestal (133) and in the top 10. Finn has twice retired from the sport and came back twice.
In the list of unfinished business from Ahonen is individual medal of the Olympics. He twice took in Games silver, but both times in the team tournament of “flying skiers”, and starts three became four. Finn also has a reputation as quite a gloomy man, and when he was once asked why he rarely smiles, even standing on the podium, he said: “We are here to jumping and not to smile.” But I want to believe that if Ahonen finally get what you want, then let myself have emotions.
Alla TSUPER, Byelorussia
Progress: Olympic champion
Another long-liver of the national team of Belarus going to Pyeongchang-gun to defend the title obtained four years ago at the Games-2014. Then Tsuper with great difficulty was skilled in acrobatics, ahead of the next competitor by only three hundredths of a point. But in the final, she played confidently and consistently, and all of its main rivals blew off the last jump that brought the Belarusian fiscaliste gold.
Incidentally, early in his career Tsuper played for the Ukrainian national team. In 1998 in Nagano, the athlete became the fifth under our flag but then changed his citizenship and went to Belarus after his trainer.
Hanna MANNINEN, Finland
Progress Olympic champion, silver and bronze medalist, three-time world champion
Career milestones Manninen something similar to the way of life Ahonen. As a compatriot, he came to prominence as a teenager – starting with Nordic combined at age 10, at 15 he made his debut at the Games in Lillehammer. Like Ahonen, he twice announced the end of his career and the second time spent outside the big sport four-and-a-half of the season, returning in January 2017. As Janne, most of his awards were won in team competitions.
It is very interesting that Manninen was the fastest rider of combinators – and even in 2002, competed in the ski sprint at the Olympic games in salt lake city, finishing in eighth place, but chose a profession connected with flying. He is now the pilot of the plane. And in his own words, in the first place for the Hanna family, second – the wheel of the aircraft, and a sports career is only third.
Cheryl BERNARD, Canada
Progress: Olympic champion
Despite everything written above, the oldest sport on the white Olympic games is undoubtedly the Curling. The age of the participant of the Games in Pyeongchang will be the legendary canadian Bernard, which engaged in this sport for more than 40 years. The current experience for her second career – in 2010 she was the skip of team Canada, who took silver in Vancouver. Four years ago she was retired from the sport, but in Korea goes as a spare. And since Curling medals get and reservists, with almost absolute certainty can be argued that Bernard will soon become the oldest winner of a winter Games among women.
By the way, even if canadian don’t have to go on the ice, the veterans will still be the representatives of the Curling – 49-year-old Finn Tomi Rantamaki already worked as head coach of the national team, and in Pyeongchang will perform in the mixed doubles, and skip of team Norway, Thomas Ulsrud already noted 46th birthday.
Hanna-Riikka VALILA, Finland
Progress: Olympic bronze medalist, six-time bronze medalist of the world Championships
Team Finland – record the current games in the number of veterans in the squad. And the oldest of them are not even with Manninen Ahonen and forward Valila women’s hockey team that goes on the ice wearing the team’s Jersey Suomi for over 18 years. Incidentally, she’s from a real hockey family – her brother Lasse Nieminen and Mika Valila husband played professionally in the Finnish and Swedish leagues.
The very same Hannah, who in his youth no less successful than in hockey, played softball, won their first world championship medals in the national team in 1990. Speaking under her maiden name Nieminen, she was the best scorer of the Olympic tournament in Nagano when team Finland for the first time made it to the medals of the Games. In six matches on her account was 12 (7+5) points. In Sochi, she became the author of the “old” goal in the history of the Olympics, and since then has become the fourth hockey player, entered in the IIHF Hall of fame, winning two bronze medals at the world Cup and wants to play in the tournament in 2019.
Claudia RIEGLER, Austria
Progress: world champion, two-time world Cup medalist
Although snowboarding is traditionally considered one of the most youth sports, to this rule there are exceptions. Riegler is a traditional example of how patience and a little effort. On the Board she stood up when most of its competitors have not yet appeared on light – 30 years ago, and in the world Cup debuted in 1994. And for many years it was thought that in their family more talented snowboarder is the older sister Manuela, who won gold at the world Cup in 2005.
But riegler, almost fifteen years prosalovskaya in the second tier, not love, and was rewarded with a main success in his career, came to her in age is over 30, and now it is rightfully among the world elite. 37 she took two awards at the 2011 world Cup in parallel disciplines, the last four seasons ranked in the top 10 on the planet Cup. And in 2015 the Austrian won the world championship in parallel giant slalom, when she was 41 years and 200 days, becoming the oldest winner in history.
German MADRAZO, Mexico
Sport: ski race
But this story is about something else. That if you ignite the desire and aim, proportionate to its power, it is possible to break on the way any obstacles. It is so respectable businessman from Texas was the flag bearer of the national team of Mexico at the winter Olympics and will debut at the Games in the sport, which until recently only heard from others.
In General, Madrazo guy in sports is not accidental. He has long been interested in Jogging, has a sporting goods store, does triathlons and several times overcame the harsh discipline of Ironman. But with winter sports until recently was not connected. Until one day he read in a magazine story about the Peruvian skier Roberto Careline and came up with the idea.
He contacted the hero of the publication – and went to South America to embark on cross-country skis. Then, together with the Chilean Jonathan Fernandez and the representative of Tonga Pita Taufatofua, Madrazo began to prepare for selection for the Games. They went to the Alps, I rented a house and practiced for 10 hours a day. The efforts invested by the Mexican paid off – he was able to get a ticket to Pyeongchang.
Lasell BROWN Jamaica/Monaco/Canada
Progress two-time medalist. World champion
And even born in the country where snow has never seen before, you can become an elite athlete in a winter sport, if you have talent and zeal. Brown began his career as a member of the famous in circles of fans of the bobsled team of Jamaica. But unlike his teammates, he reached the Olympic podium.
As often happens, the future famous athlete was in the bobsled almost by accident in 25 years. Once in the national team of Jamaica, he performed at the Olympics in salt lake city that many would already crown career. But brown decided not to stop there – he moved to Canada, became a citizen of this country and after some time, according to experts, is among the three best overclocking in the world. With pilot Lyndon rush, he won gold world Cup 2005 and a few medals. Including two Olympic silver in Turin in the two and bronze in Vancouver four. From the canadian national team, he said after the 2010 Olympics went to team Monaco, and raced in the crew of Patrice Serves, but then returned under a flag with a maple leaf and will now be going to the fifth Game he ever played.
Anton BABOSHIN, sport express