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Ayumu Hirano

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Ayumu Hirano
Hirano in 2022
Personal information
Born (1998-11-29) 29 November 1998 (age 25)
Murakami, Niigata[1]
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight50 kg (110 lb)
Coached byElijah Teter[2]
Medal record
Men's snowboarding
Representing  Japan
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2022 Beijing Halfpipe
Silver medal – second place 2014 Sochi Halfpipe
Silver medal – second place 2018 Pyeongchang Halfpipe
Winter X Games
Gold medal – first place 2016 Oslo SuperPipe
Gold medal – first place 2018 Aspen SuperPipe
Silver medal – second place 2013 Aspen SuperPipe
Silver medal – second place 2022 Aspen SuperPipe
Burton Global Open Series
Gold medal – first place 2018 US Open HalfPipe
Silver medal – second place 2013 US Open HalfPipe
Bronze medal – third place 2015 US Open HalfPipe
Gold medal – first place 2013 European Open HalfPipe
Silver medal – second place 2015 European Open HalfPipe
FIS Snowboard World Cup
Gold medal – first place 2021-22 Global Halfpipe
Laax Open
Gold medal – first place 2022 Laax HalfPipe

Ayumu Hirano (平野 歩夢, Hirano Ayumu, born 29 November 1998) is a Japanese Olympic champion and three-time Olympic medalist snowboarder and Olympic skateboarder. He won the silver medal in the superpipe in 2013 Winter X Games XVII at the age of 14, becoming the youngest medalist in X Games history,[3] and won silver medals in the half-pipe at both the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.[4] He also competed at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo as a skateboarder, becoming one of the two athletes, the other being Jaqueline Mourão, who participated in all of the three consecutive Olympic Games in East Asia between 2018 and 2022.[5][6]

Early life


Ayumu Hirano was born and raised in a small coastal city called Murakami in Niigata Prefecture, situated in a rather snowy area in Japan. His mother named him Ayumu (歩夢), which means "walk the dream" (歩=walk, 夢=dream), wishing him to become a person who would know the joy of pursuing a dream and the perseverance to make it come true. His father, Hidenori, was a surfer who eventually opened a surf shop and later made a skate park (Nihonkai Skate Park) from scratch in his hometown of Murakami. The father originally hoped for his son, Ayumu, to become a surfer, but the son did not like it much. Instead, he got absorbed in skateboarding, following in the footstep of his 3-year-older brother, Eiju. He started skateboarding at the age of 4 and then snowboarding half a year later. He said he did not even remember how he started as he was too young, and it was just so natural for him. He belonged to the skateboarding team "e-Yume Kids" (meaning team "great dream kids") at Nihonkai Skate Park and joined skateboarding competitions. As there was not a halfpipe near their hometown, his father often had to drive Hirano to Yokone ski resort in Yamagata Prefecture, where there was the first official permanent halfpipe in Japan, which, however, is 4 meters narrower than the world standard halfpipe. Burton, one of the leading snowboarding brands, has been sponsoring Hirano since he was a fourth-grader.[7]



Hirano's first big international snowboarding success was in March 2011, when he won the Burton US Junior Open. At the age of 12, the sixth-grader was not officially allowed to enter the open division of the event, where his mentor Kazuhiro Kokubo would win gold, and his brother Eiju would take the 7th place. However, he dropped into the pipe between rounds as a "poacher" and amazed the audience. In 2012, he was invited to the Burton High Fives, an open event held in New Zealand to win the gold at the age of 13. In 2013, he was invited to compete in the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, snowboarding's biggest non-Olympic stage, where he won silver in the halfpipe behind Shaun White, who explained: "The Japanese rider who got second is 14 years old. It's amazing!" He continued with a first place at the Burton European Open, a second place at the Burton US Open (also behind Shaun White), and a third place at the Oakley Arctic Challenge, becoming the 2012/2013 Halfpipe World Tour Champion. With this, he became the youngest rider to achieve this title. In the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, he won the silver, behind Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov.[8]

In 2018, Hirano became the first Japanese snowboarder who won at Winter X Games Aspen after landing the first-ever back-to-back double cork 1440s in Halfpipe history.[9]

Hirano again took the silver in the half pipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, with Shaun White of the U.S. taking the gold and Scotty James of Australia garnering the bronze.[10]

Hirano competed in Men's Park Skateboarding at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, placing 14th.

Hirano landed the first triple cork in halfpipe competition history at the 2021 Dew Tour at Copper Mountain.

Hirano won the halfpipe event at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing after outrage sparked by controversial judging of his successful second run, where he only scored a 91 in an unprecedented performance that included landing a triple cork which had never been landed in Olympic competition;[11][12] Hirano then repeated his exceptional performance in the third run, successfully landing the "too dangerous" triple cork again under greater public scrutiny of the judges, and winning the gold medal.[13][14] Hirano became the first athlete to win gold for Japan in snowboarding at the Winter Olympics, as well as the first Japanese athlete to win Olympic medals for three winter games in a row.[15]



Hirano's mentor, other than his parents, is Kazuhiro Kokubo, a Japanese two-time US Open winner in the halfpipe. Hirano said in an interview in 2013 with a Japanese magazine, Transworld Snowboarding Japan, "The environment has dramatically changed after I first went to the US. I met Kazu (Kokubo) and Carl (Harris), and it made it possible for me to join Mt. Hood summer camp and to compete in New Zealand. It gave me the experience in different pipes, and I got to see the leading riders ride. I came to understand what world-class means and knew what I needed to improve." Kokubo has been mentoring Hirano since 2011 and was assigned as the official technical coach for the Japanese national snowboarder team in 2013 by the Ski Association of Japan to support them in the 2012–2013 season.

Among Hirano's other coaches are Ben Boyd and Elijah Teter at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.

Hirano's father has had the motto of "Personality comes first. The most essential is the most important" throughout his parenting and running his kids' skateboarding team.

Personal life


Ayumu's brother, Kaishu Hirano, is also a snowboarder.[16]


  1. ^ "Ayumu HIRANO". sochi2014.com. Organizing Committee of the XXII Olympic Winter Games. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Pro snowboarder transitions to coaching Olympians – Lake Tahoe NewsLake Tahoe News". laketahoenews.net. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  3. ^ "xgames superpipe results". espn.com. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Olympics-Snowboarding-Men's halfpipe finals results – Yahoo Sports". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Ayumu Hirano a step closer to Tokyo 2020 skateboarding dream". Olympic Channel. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Ayumu Hirano". NHK. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  7. ^ "五輪目指す15歳の実力者、平野歩夢|コラム|他競技|スポーツナビ". sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Sochi Winter Olympics: Ayumu Hirano is far from your average 15-year-old boy". smh.com.au. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Ayumu Hirano Takes Gold in Snowboard SuperPipe at X Games Aspen 2018". Cision PRweb. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  10. ^ "@abcgrandstand" on Twitter
  11. ^ "Ayumu Hirano Robbed Trending On Twitter & Controversy -How Is Half Pipe Snowboarding Scored?". showbizcorner.com. Retrieved 11 February 2022. This incident with Ayumu Hirano has infuriated people to the point that the judge who gave him a low score has been called racist. Ayumu, in the second run, performance was so impeccable that it was foolish for anyone to give him a low score... Twitter has been flooded in support of Ayumu because many believe the score the US judge gave him for his second run is unfair and would have cost him his medal.
  12. ^ Matthey, James (11 February 2022). "'Should be arrested': Olympic scandal erupts". news.com.au. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  13. ^ "What Is Triple Cork in Snowboarding? Olympic Halfpipe Flips, Twists Explained". NBC New York. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  14. ^ "'Just grenaded their credibility': Olympic judges saved after snub of Ayumu Hirano's 'best ever run'". Fox Sports. 11 February 2022. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  15. ^ "平野歩夢「2本目の点数に納得いかず、そういう怒りがうまく表現できた」...日本選手で冬季初の3大会連続メダル". 読売新聞 (in Japanese). 11 February 2022. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  16. ^ Kano, Shintaro (25 January 2022). "Brotherly love: Hirano Ayumu and Kaishu eye joint podium in Beijing". olympics.com. Retrieved 9 February 2022.