Kazuhiro Koshi (越 和宏 Koshi Kazuhiro?, born December 23, 1964) is a Japanese skeleton racer who has competed since 1991. Competing in three Winter Olympics, he earned his best finish of eighth in the men's skeleton event at Salt Lake City in 2002. He was the oldest member of the Japanese team at the 2010 Winter Olympics and, because of this, was referred to in media reports as, "the hope of the middle class."
Originally a shot putter, Koshi's first attempt at sliding sports fell short when he failed to make the Japanese bobsleigh team for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. He later took up skeleton, a new sport in Japan, and became the first Japanese athlete to win a World Cup event in the sport at Nagano in 1999.
After skeleton was added to the Olympic roster in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah for the first time in 54 years, Koshi qualified and placed eighth. He made the Japanese team again for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, placing 11th. Continuing to compete internationally at an age when many Olympic athletes retire from competition, Koshi gained a measure of fame at home, and was referred to in the media as, "the hope of the middle-aged."
Koshi qualified for his third Olympics, the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada, and competed in the men's skeleton event there, but finished in 20th place. He was the oldest member of Japan's team at the Games. It was expected to be his last Olympics, though Koshi told reporters that he would continue to do skeleton, "for my health," and suggested he might continue to compete in Japanese National Championships in the sport. He also is working to create a governing body for the sport in Japan.
- "Skeleton: Japanese oldie's golden dreams never die". Agence France-Presse (Vancouver 2010). 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- "2003年以前戦績" (in Japanese). Koshi Kazuhiro Official Site. Retrieved 2010-02-26.[dead link]
- Kazuhiro Koshi at the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation
- Skeletonsport.com profile[dead link]
- List of men's skeleton World Cup champions since 1987
- 2002 men's skeleton results
- 2006 men's skeleton results
- Kazuhiro Koshi official site (Japanese)
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