Masahiko Harada

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This article is about the ski jumper. For the boxer, see Fighting Harada.
Masahiko Harada
Personal information
Full name Masahiko Harada
Born (1968-05-09) 9 May 1968 (age 46)
Japan Kamikawa, Hokkaido
Height 1,73 m
World Cup
Seasons 1987-88, 1990-2003
Wins 9
Additional podiums 12
Total podiums 21
Updated on October 7, 2011.

Masahiko Harada (原田 雅彦 Harada Masahiko?, born May 9, 1968 in Kamikawa, Hokkaido) is a Japanese 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.

Career[edit]

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.[1]

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.

Harada has competed in five of the Olympic Games. In addition to the Lillehammer and Nagano games, he competed in Albertville in 1992, Salt Lake City in 2002 and Turin in 2006.

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.[2][3]

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.

World Cup[edit]

Victories[edit]

Season Date Location
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

References[edit]