Nao Kodaira

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Nao Kodaira
Nao Kodaira PyeongChang 2018.jpg
Kodaira during the 2018 Olympics
Personal information
Native name小平 奈緒
Born (1986-05-26) 26 May 1986 (age 32)
Chino, Nagano, Japan
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight61 kg (134 lb)
Country Japan
SportSpeed skating

Nao Kodaira (Japanese: 小平 奈緒; born 26 May 1986) is a Japanese long-track speed skater who specialises in the sprint distances.

She is the 2018 Olympic Champion (500m). Kodaira is the first Japanese woman to win an Olympic gold medal in speed skating.

In 2009, she graduated from Shinshu University with a bachelor's degree in education.


At the 2010 Winter Olympics she won a silver medal in the team pursuit event. She placed 5th in the 1000 and the 1500 m events and 12th in the 500 m one at the Olympics. At the 2014–15 world cup stop in Seoul, South Korea, on 21 November 2014, she won the 500 m event, and she has a total of 25 podium placings in the world cup. At the 2015 world single distance championships, she won the bronze medal in the 500 m event.

At the 2017 world single distance championships, she became the first Japanese woman to win an individual single distance world title winning the women's 500 m event.[1] She won also silver medal in the women's 1000 m event at the championships. At the world sprint championships in the year, she won the women competition. In the season, she became overall winner of ISU world cup women's 500 m races.

Kodaira took the top step also in every single ISU world cup one in the 2017/18 season ahead of the Olympics.[2]

She is the current world record holder in the women's 1000 metres,[3] 2×500 metres and the sprint combination,[4] and the former one in the women's team sprint, as well as the current Japanese record holder in the women's 500 metres.[5]

At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kodaira won gold medal in the women's 500 m event and silver one in the women's 1000 m event respectively. In the former, she also set an Olympic record and became the first woman to break the 37-second barrier at sea level, as well as the first female Japanese Olympic champion in speed skating.[6]


personal records[7]
Women's speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
500 m 36.50 8 December 2017 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City 2nd place in the women's 500 m history[8]
500 m (sea level) 36.94 18 February 2018 Gangneung Oval, Gangneung Current sea-level world best, current Olympic record.[9]
2×500 m 73.55 26 February 2017 Olympic Oval, Calgary Current world record.[10]
1000 m 1:12.09 10 December 2017 Utah Olympic Oval, Salt Lake City Current world record.[3]
1500 m 1:59.03 20 February 2009 Harbin, China Current Universiade record.
Team sprint 1:26.82 14 November 2015 Olympic Oval, Calgary Former world record.[7][11]
Sprint comb. 146.390 25–26 February 2017 Olympic Oval, Calgary Current world record.[4]


  1. ^ "Kodaira captures women's 500-meter title at world championships". The Japan Times. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  2. ^ "ISU RESULTS". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  3. ^ a b "World Records". Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Evolution of the world record Sprint combination Women". Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  5. ^ "National Records – Japan (JPN)". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  6. ^ Harris, Beth (18 February 2018), "Japan's Nao Kodaira wins 500-meter speedskating gold over South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa", Chicago Tribune
  7. ^ a b "Nao Kodaira". Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  8. ^ "ISU World Cup SPEED SKATING Salt Lake City 1st 500m Ladies". ISU. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  9. ^ "PYEONGCHANG SPEED SKATING LADIES' 500M". IOC. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Speed Skating - Records - Historical World Record 2 x 500m - Ladies". ISU. 26 February 2017. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  11. ^ "ISU World Cup Speed Skating Calgary – Result Team Sprint Ladies". ISU. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
Preceded by
United States Heather Bergsma
Women's sprint combination speed skating world record
26 February 2017 – present
Succeeded by
Current holder
Preceded by
United States Brittany Bowe
Women's 1000 m speed skating world record
10 December 2017 – present
Succeeded by
Current holder