April 7, 2015
Harada Noboru, gold medalist
The 18th Winter Deaflympics took place at Khanty-Mansiysk, Magnitogorsk in Russia on March 28 - April 5, the first time ever in eight years.
From 27 countries around the world, 344 athletes (251 men and 93 women) gathered and competed.
Japan dispatched its national team of total 48 persons (22 athletes and 26 officials/staff). The athletes did their best in winter sports items, wining five medals (three gold, one silver and bronze each), and achieving a goal of getting 5 medals.
Harada Noboru, 38, a Tochigi Prefecture native, who got two gold medals, performed a great achievement of three straight victories by snowboard parallel giant slalom. He was praised and looked up to as "samurai of a snowboard" by the Russian Deaf sports fan.
Also Hanashima Ryoko, 35, a Kanagawa Prefecture native, was the second gold medalist for a snowboard half pipe women. She served as a flag bearer for the Japan Team at the opening ceremony.
Winter Deaflympics official website (English):