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Sport Freestyle Skiing, Para athletics, Para snowboard
NPC Japan   
Place of BirthOsaka, JPN
Height1.72 m
Weight 63 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Further Personal Information
Tokyo, JPN
English, Japanese
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He first tried snowboarding at age one in Osaka, Japan, and began to pursue Para snowboard in 2016.
Why this sport?
He was encouraged to take up the sport seriously by his family.
Club / Team
Shin Nihon Jusetsu: Japan
Senior International Debut
Competing for
World Cup
Landgraaf, NED
General Interest
Grim (Facebook profile, 02 Aug 2019)
Going to the sauna. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Most influential person in career
His father. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Other sports
He competed in Para athletics at the 2019 World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and finished sixth in the men's T64 high jump. He competed in able-bodied freestyle skiing [halfpipe] at the 2013 World Championships in Oslo, Norway. He has also participated in able-bodied trampolining and canoeing at national level in Japan. (, 27 May 2020;, 27 Dec 2018;, 29 Jul 2018;, 06 Nov 2018;, 10 Jun 2017;, 25 Feb 2017; SportsDeskOnline, 31 Dec 2020)
He became the first snowboarder representing Japan to win a medal at the Paralympic Winter Games when he claimed bronze in men's SB-LL2 snowboard cross at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. He went on to become the first snowboarder representing Japan to win gold at the Paralympic Winter Games, when he triumphed in the men's SB-LL2 banked slalom in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 03 Jan 2019;, 27 Dec 2018)
Famous relatives
His older brother Domu and his older sister Melo Imai both competed in snowboard [halfpipe] at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin. (, 14 Jun 2016;, 28 Apr 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 13 Feb 2006)
To represent Japan in high jump at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and also to compete at the Olympic Games. (, 19 Jul 2018;, 09 Jul 2018;, 06 Nov 2018)
He has paralysis in his left knee as a result of damaged nerves in the lower part of his leg. He sustained the injury in 2013 during a trampolining session. (, 14 Jun 2016;, 08 Jan 2015)
Other information
In March 2018 he announced his retirement from Para snowboard during a live broadcast of Japanese programme 'Heart Net' following the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, where he won a gold medal. At the time he announced that he wanted to take up a summer sport and attempt to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. "I chose Para athletics because I thought that this sport could make my ultimate dream, which is competing at the Olympic Games, come true." (, 02 Jan 2020;, 07 Jun 2019;, 06 Nov 2018;, 29 Jul 2018;, 19 Jul 2018;, 09 Jul 2018; YouTube channel, 27 Mar 2018)

At age four he took part in a snowboarding demonstration event at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. (, 14 Jun 2016)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
6 2019 High Jump T64 1.84
World Championships - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
5 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
3 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:08.40
Paralympic Games - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
3 2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
1 2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 48.68
World Cup Finals - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
3 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
1 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
1 2017/2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:06.11
1 2017/2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:11.04