• Olympics & Paralympics

Ski jumper Kobayashi voices relief after end of his Beijing Games

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ski jumper Ryoyu Kobayashi poses with his gold and silver medals at a press conference in Zhangjiakou, China, on Tuesday.

ZHANGJIAKOU, China (Jiji Press) — Ryoyu Kobayashi, who won gold and silver medals in the men’s ski jumping events at the Beijing Winter Olympics, voiced his relief Tuesday after completing his part of the ongoing Games.

Speaking at a press conference in Zhangjiakou, near the Chinese capital, Kobayashi said, “I’m relieved that the high-pressure period is over.”

At the Beijing Olympics, Kobayashi bagged gold in the normal hill event and silver in the large hill event.

He led Japan as the ace in the men’s team event held the night before the press conference, in which the country finished fifth.

On his remarkable transformation as a ski jumper from the previous 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea, where he experienced frustration over his performance, Kobayashi said, “Over the past four years, I was able to improve [my performance] through support and influence from so many people.”

“I’m very happy [about how far I’ve come],” he added.

Regarding his performance at the Beijing Olympics, Kobayashi said, “I was able to achieve [results] to the best of my ability.”

He added that he was glad he could hit form in time for the Winter Games after facing tough World Cup events just before the Olympics.

Kobayashi will have no time to catch his breath before he is off to compete in the resumed World Cup season in hopes of winning the men’s individual overall title. He is currently ranked a close second.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what performance I can put on” at the World Cup events, he said.