Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics - Japan's Best Medal Chances

Feb 01, 2022

2019 06 26 Beijing thumbnail

For sports fans, if there's a silver lining to the Tokyo Summer Olympics being postponed, it's that we get a two Olympic Games in less than six months!

With the opening ceremony taking place on February 4th, Japan heads to Beijing with it's largest team in Winter Games history. Among the 124-strong group are a number of medal chances across many different disciplines, including some athletes who've grown up and learned their respective trades in our favourite winter resorts. Here, we profile Japan's best hopes for Olympic Gold!

Miho Takagi - Women's Speed Skating

Miho Takagi

Japan's team captain and now 4-time Olympian Miho Takagi comes into the Games with strong medal hopes in an incredible five different events. The self-described 'iron-woman' will tackle the world's best in the 500 metres, 1,000 metres, 1,500 metres, 3,000 metres and team pursuit events as she looks to add another gold to the one she won in the team pursuit in Pyeongchang four years ago.

Akito Watabe - Men's Nordic Combined Ski

Akito Watabe

Twice a silver-medallist, Hakuba product Akito Watabe is looking to bring back Gold from China in this his third Games. For those unfamiliar with the unique sport of Nordic Combined Ski, as the name suggests, it is a combined sport, where competitors firstly do a ski jump and then tackle a 5 or 10km cross country ski course. Watabe's biggest competition will likely come from German Eric Frenzel, the man widely regarded as the G.O.A.T of Nordic Combined.

Yuki Kadono - Men's Snowboard Slopestyle

Perhaps the 'coolest' event on the Olympic schedule, the snowboard slopestyle event will see the world's best park snowboarders tackle an extreme course with various jumps, rails and boxes. This year's course features an incredible replica of the Great Wall of China, made entirely from snow! Check it out in the video above.

Japan boasts one of the best medal chances, with Yuki Kadono a regular on the podium in recent World Cup and X-Games events.

Ryōyū Kobayashi - Men's Ski Jump

Ryoyu kobayashi ski jumping planica

Japan's Ryoyu Kobayashi (1,186 points) sits just 3 points behind Germany's Karl Geiger (1,189 points) in the Ski Jumping World Cup standings this winter, so it's expected these two flying athletes will battle it out for the top two spots on the Olympic podium. Having placed a disappointing 7th in the normal hill and 10th in the large hill in Pyeongchang in 2018, Kobayashi will be hoping for a more successful Games this time around.


It's mid-winter here in Japan and we have taken the chance to review this years snowfall figures in the biggest and best Japanese ski resorts.

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