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Akito Watabe

Olympics: Nordic Combined-Team Gundersen LH / 4x5 km
Nordic Combined JPN

Akito Watabe

Akito Watabe
  • Birth date 5/26/1988
  • Birthplace Hakuba
  • Hometown Nagano
  • Residence Nagano
  • Height/Weight 5'8"/ 132 lbs
  • Olympics 2006, 2010, 2014

Biography

Growing up near the 1998 Nagano Olympic ski jumping venue was inspiring from Akito Watabe. He began in Nordic combined at age 12 even though he thought he may be better suited as a ski jumper. In 2006, he broke his wrist and was able to hone his cross-country skiing skills during the recovery period. He went on to compete at the 2006 Torino Olympics, finishing 19th on the large hill (then called the sprint). In 2010, he competed in Vancouver and his best individual finish was ninth on the large hill. The Japanese team finished sixth. Watabe referred to himself as having “fourth-place syndrome” across World Cup events leading up to the 2014 Games, as he was frequently finishing just outside the podium.

At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, he broke through and won a silver medal on the normal hill, in addition to notching a sixth place finish on the large hill. The Japanese team finished fifth. He again claimed the silver on the normal hill in PyeongChang.
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Getting to know Akito Watabe

1

He won a silver medal on the large hill at the 2017 World Championships

2

His brother, Yoshito, also competes on the Nordic combined World Cup circuit

3

Describes flying through the air on a ski jump as the best feeling in his life

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