|Full name||Masahiko Harada|
9 May 1968 |
|Updated on October 7, 2011.|
Masahiko Harada (原田 雅彦 Harada Masahiko?, born May 9, 1968) is a Japanese former ski jumper. He is best remembered for a meltdown at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer and his subsequent redemption at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
At the 1994 games, the Japanese team had a nearly insurmountable lead heading into the last jump of the large hill. Harada, the team's anchor, had jumped 122 meters in his previous attempt and needed only 105 meters in his final jump to clinch the gold for Japan. His jump was just shy of 97,5 meters and dropped Japan to second, with the gold going to the German team.
Four years later Harada would again have his chance to deliver his team a gold, this time in his home country. His first jump of 79.5 meters knocked his team from first to fourth and brought back memories of Lillehammer. Then, on his second attempt he delivered an Olympic-record tying 137 meter jump. His teammate Kazuyoshi Funaki would then close out the event with a 125 meter jump, clinching the first Olympic ski jumping gold medal for Japan since the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo.
Along with the team gold, Harada also captured bronze in Nagano in the individual large hill after a 136 meter final jump that pushed up him from sixth to third.
He is a two-time FIS Nordic World Ski Championships winner (1993: individual normal hill, 1997: individual large hill), and also won three silvers (1997: Individual normal hill, 1997, 1999: Team large hill) and one bronze (1999: Individual normal hill) as well.
Olympic normal hill individual competition in Pragelato on 11 February 2006 was the last highly ranked official event participated by Masahiko Harada - who won 2 Olympic medals in Nagano and 1 in Lillehammer - and it was after over 3 years break from participating in Ski jumping World Cup. Unfortunately for him, he was disqualified in the qualifying and did not compete in the final. Later he started only in FIS Cup event in Sapporo.
On July 12, 2006, Harada was appointed Ambassador to the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo, Japan by the organizing committee. The 2007 Championships ran February 22-March 4, 2007.
For reasons unbeknownst to many ski-jumping fans, Harada is commonly remembered by casual Olympic viewers as Happy Hatsui.
|1995-96||December 8, 1995||Villach|
|February 18, 1996||Iron Mountain|
|March 1, 1996||Lahti|
|March 3, 1996||Lahti|
|1997-98||December 8, 1997||Villach|
|December 12, 1997||Harrachov|
|December 21, 1997||Engelberg|
|January 11, 1998||Ramsau|
|March 13, 1998||Trondheim|
- John Walters (February 4, 1998). "1998 Nagano Olympics-Masahiko Harada". Sports Illustrated.
- "Torino 2006 Official Report - Ski Jumping". Torino Organizing Committee. LA84 Foundation. March 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2009.
- Masahiko Harada at the International Ski Federation
- FIS Announcement on Ambassador Appointment
- 2007 Nordic World Skiing Championship announcement