Kazuyoshi Funaki

Jumping With Perfect Style

At 22 years of age, Kazuyoshi Funaki was the youngest member of the Japanese ski jump team in Nagano. He entered the 1998 Games under great pressure as a favourite performing in his own country.

Funaki began his assault by winning the silver medal in the normal hill event. He was in fourth place after the first jump on the large hill, but his second jump was a spectacular 132.5m. More important, he earned perfect style points from all five judges - an unprecedented achievement - and won the gold medal. He then earned a second gold in the team event as a member of the victorious Japanese squad.