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Twenty years after winning his first Olympic medal, veteran Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai made two visits to the podium at Sochi 2014. He has continued to excel on hills around the world since then and is gearing up for yet another tilt at Olympic gold in PyeongChang.
When asked about what drives him to keep on competing well into his 40s, Kasai replied: “Because I haven’t won [Olympic] gold yet.” His thirst for success unquenched, the Japanese flyer scored his 17th career win on the HS142 hill in Ruka (FIN) in November 2014, and then won FIS World Championship bronze with Sara Takanashi, Yuki Ito and Taku Takeuchi in the mixed team event in Falun the following year. Seven top-three finishes came Kasai’s way in the 2015/16 World Cup season, during which he appeared in his 500th event.