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Nao Kodaira

Japan

SportSpeed Skating
FederationIDSSJPN22605198601
NOCJapan
Born26 May 1986 in  Chino
GenderWomen
Higher educationEducation - Shinshu University: Matsumoto, JPN
LanguagesDutch, Japanese
Personal Bests
EventRecordDateLocation 
Personal Bests
  Event RecordDateLocation 
    500m 36.39 16 Mar 2019 Calgary  
    1000m 1:11.77 09 Mar 2019 Salt Lake City, UT  
    1500m 1:52.67 05 Dec 2021 Salt Lake City, UT  
    3000m 4:21.53 22 Oct 2010 Nagano  
Main Achievements
 
Main Achievements
Olympic Games
Event  
Olympic Games
    500m 1      
    1000m   1    
    Team Pursuit   1    
World Single Distances Championships
Event  
World Single Distances Championships
    2 x 500m     1  
    500m 2 1    
    1000m   1 1  
World Sprint Championships
Event  
World Sprint Championships
    Overall 2 1    
General Interest
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievementWinning gold in the 500m at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (Athlete, 23 Nov 2018)  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Reason for choosing this sportShe was encouraged to take up the sport by her sisters.  
General Interest
General Interest
Hero / IdolCanadian speed skater Cindy Klassen. (Athlete, 21 Nov 2019)  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?She first tried the sport in 1989 at age three in Chino, Japan.  
General Interest
General Interest
Sporting philosophy / motto"I want to enjoy skating. Gold, silver or bronze, that doesn't matter." (isu.org, 12 Nov 2021)  
Most influential person in careerCanadian speed skater Cindy Klassen. (Athlete, 21 Nov 2019)  
Social Media
Social Media
www.ai-hosp.or.jp/cloverlink/blog/  
instagram.com/nao.kodaira/  
General Interest
General Interest
HobbiesStudying Dutch, photography, cooking, walking. (skatingjapan.or.jp, 09 Nov 2021)  
InjuriesShe has been persistently troubled by backache. (isu.org, 12 Nov 2021)

She suffered from discomfort in her left hip joint throughout the 2020/21 season. (nbs-tv.co.jp, 04 Oct 2021; shimintimes.co.jp, 05 Oct 2021)

She damaged a ligament in her leg 15 months before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. (shueisha.co.jp, 17 Jan 2014)

She severely sprained her left ankle in grade nine of middle school. (shueisha.co.jp, 17 Jan 2014)
 
Awards and honoursIn 2019 she was elected as one of the Japanese Olympic Committee [JOC] Symbol Athletes. The same year, she received the Big Sports Award at the 53rd Asahi TV Big Sports Awards in Japan. (jiji.com, 16 Apr 2019; joc.or.jp, 24 Jan 2019; Asahi TV YouTube channel, 15 Jan 2019)

In 2018, along with Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, she was presented with the People's Honour Award by the prime minister of Japan. (sanspo.com, 19 Feb 2018)

In 2018 she received a number of honours, including the Matsumoto Citizen Honorary Award, the Chino Special Citizen Honorary Award, the Nagano Prefecture Citizen Honorary Award, and the Special Award of the Mayor of Nagano. (city.matsumoto.nagano.jp, 16 May 2018; sankei.com, 04 Apr 2018, 02 Mar 2018, 21 Feb 2018)

She was flag bearer for Japan at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (OIS, 25 Feb 2018)

In 2017 she was given the Best Athlete Award at the annual Japanese Olympic Committee [JOC] Awards. (joc.or.jp, 08 Jun 2018)

In 2016 she was presented with an Excellence Award by the Japanese Olympic Committee [JOC]. In 2014 she had been given a Special Achievement Award by the JOC. (nikkansports.com, 09 Jun 2017; joc.or.jp, 12 Jun 2015)

In 2010 she was presented with the Chino Citizen Honorary Award in Japan. (nagano-np.co.jp, 31 Jul 2010)
 
NicknamesBoze Kat ['Angry Cat' in Dutch]. (Twitter profile, 18 Sep 2018; news.yahoo.co.jp, 07 Feb 2017)  
Other informationRETIREMENT
She announced her retirement from competitive speed skating in April 2022. (nikkansports.com, 13 Apr 2022)

VOLUNTEER WORK
In 2020 she worked as a volunteer at Yamadaino Orchards in Nagano, Japan, after the apple farm was affected by a typhoon the previous year. She also wore a red racing suit decorated with an apple design at the 2020 All Japan Single Distances Championships in Nagano in a show of support for the relief efforts in the region. "Through the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, I was cheered up by a lot of fans, but I also learned from them that I wanted to become a person who can cheer others up. Through the volunteer work, I gained the courage that I couldn't get in my daily life or during training. I want to express the value of sports beyond the gold medal at the [2018] Olympics." (Instagram profile, 20 Jun 2020, 26 Oct 2020; nikkei.com, 22 Oct 2020; TV Tokyo Sports YouTube channel, 06 Nov 2020; asahi.com, 24 Oct 2020)

OLYMPIC HONOUR
In 2018 the Chino Sports Park International Skating Center in her hometown of Chino, Japan, was renamed the Nao Ice Oval in recognition of her achievements in the sport. (city.chino.lg.jp, 03 Dec 2018; navi.chinotabi.jp, 2019)

TRAINING OVERSEAS
She trained in the Netherlands in 2014 and 2015 under the guidance of Dutch speed skater Marianne Timmer. "I was just curious as to what was waiting for me [in the Netherlands]. I simply thought I'd like to take the best of both Japan and the Netherlands. There is a limit to what you can be given by others but there is no limit to what you can discover for yourself." (kyodonews.net, 02 Feb 2018; sankei.com, 21 Aug 2017; news.yahoo.co.jp, 07 Feb 2017; nikkan-gendai.com, 24 Oct 2016)
 
Social Media
Social Media
twitter.com/nao_kodaira  
General Interest
General Interest
MilestonesShe became the first female Japanese athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in speed skating by triumphing in the 500m at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Her victory, at age 31 years and 268 days, also made her the oldest Japanese athlete to have won a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games, breaking the record previously held by ski jumper Masahiko Harada, who placed first in the men's team event in 1998 at age 29. (SportsDeskOnline, 07 Jan 2020; OIS, 18 Feb 2018)  
Championships results
Year Competition Event Rank  
Championships results
    2016/2017 World Single Distances Championships 500m1  
    2019/2020 World Single Distances Championships 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Sprint Championships Overall1  
    2018 Olympic Games 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Sprint Championships Overall1  
    2010 Olympic Games Team Pursuit 6 Laps2  
    2016/2017 World Single Distances Championships 1000m2  
    2019/2020 World Sprint Championships Overall2  
    2018/2019 World Single Distances Championships 500m2  
    2018 Olympic Games 1000m2  
    2014/2015 World Single Distances Championships 2 x 500m3  
    2018/2019 World Single Distances Championships 1000m3  
    2009/2010 World Sprint Championships Overall4  
    2013/2014 World Sprint Championships Overall5  
    2010 Olympic Games 1500m5  
    2010/2011 World Sprint Championships Overall5  
    2010 Olympic Games 1000m5  
    2014 Olympic Games 2 x 500m5  
    2018 Olympic Games 1500m6  
    2015/2016 World Single Distances Championships 2 x 500m6  
    2012/2013 World Single Distances Championships 500m6  
    2019/2020 World Single Distances Championships 1000m6  
    2010/2011 World Single Distances Championships 2 x 500m8  
    2015/2016 World Sprint Championships Overall8  
    2019/2020 World Single Distances Championships 1500m9  
    2022 Olympic Games 1000m10  
    2014/2015 World Single Distances Championships 1000m11  
    2007/2008 World Single Distances Championships 1000m12  
    2011/2012 World Single Distances Championships 1000m12  
    2010 Olympic Games 2 x 500m12  
    2011/2012 World Sprint Championships Overall13  
    2014 Olympic Games 1000m13  
    2006/2007 World Single Distances Championships 1000m13  
    2012/2013 World Single Distances Championships 1000m16  
    2010/2011 World Single Distances Championships 1000m16  
    2022 Olympic Games 500m17  
    2011/2012 World Single Distances Championships 2 x 500m18  
    2017/2018 World Sprint Championships Overall20  
    2012/2013 World Sprint Championships Overall22  
    2014/2015 World Sprint Championships Overall27  
World Cups
Year Competition Event Rank  
World Cups
    2016/2017 World Cup Classification 500m1  
    2014/2015 World Cup Classification 500m1  
    2019/2020 World Cup Classification 500m1  
    2016/2017 Berlin Qualification Combination Sprint1  
    2017/2018 Heerenveen 1000m1  
    2016/2017 Heerenveen Team Sprint1  
    2015/2016 Calgary, AB Team Sprint1  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 500m1  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 500m1  
    2016/2017 Stavanger 500m1  
    2016/2017 Stavanger 500m1  
    2016/2017 Harbin 500m1  
    2018/2019 Tomakomai 500m1  
    2021/2022 Stavanger 500m1  
    2019/2020 Calgary, AB 500m1  
    2018/2019 Obihiro 500m1  
    2018/2019 Hamar 500m1  
    2018/2019 Obihiro 500m1  
    2019/2020 Calgary, AB 1000m1  
    2018/2019 Heerenveen 500m1  
    2017/2018 Heerenveen 500m1  
    2016/2017 Heerenveen 500m1  
    2018/2019 Tomakomai 500m1  
    2017/2018 Salt Lake City, UT 500m1  
    2017/2018 Salt Lake City, UT 1000m1  
    2016/2017 Berlin 500m1  
    2016/2017 Berlin 500m1  
    2017/2018 Heerenveen 500m1  
    2017/2018 Calgary, AB 500m1  
    2017/2018 Salt Lake City, UT 500m1  
    2017/2018 Stavanger 1000m1  
    2017/2018 Stavanger 500m1  
    2017/2018 Stavanger 500m1  
    2016/2017 Harbin 500m1  
    2016/2017 Nagano 500m1  
    2019/2020 Nagano 500m1  
    2018/2019 Tomakomai 1000m1  
    2019/2020 Tomaszˇw Mazowiecki 500m1  
    2021/2022 Calgary, AB 1000m1  
    2014/2015 Seoul 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Cup Classification 500m2  
    2021/2022 World Cup Classification 500m2  
    2019/2020 World Cup Classification 1000m2  
    2018/2019 Obihiro Team Sprint2  
    2015/2016 Heerenveen Team Sprint2  
    2009/2010 Berlin 1000m2  
    2014/2015 Obihiro 500m2  
    2016/2017 Stavanger 1000m2  
    2019/2020 Heerenveen 500m2  
    2021/2022 Calgary, AB 500m2  
    2021/2022 Calgary, AB 500m2  
    2021/2022 Tomaszˇw Mazowiecki 500m2  
    2011/2012 Salt Lake City, UT 500m2  
    2021/2022 Stavanger 500m2  
    2016/2017 Nagano 1000m2  
    2012/2013 Nagano 500m2  
    2016/2017 Berlin 1000m2  
    2014/2015 Obihiro 500m2  
    2014/2015 Heerenveen 500m2  
    2014/2015 Heerenveen 500m2  
    2018/2019 Hamar 1000m2  
    2014/2015 Seoul 500m2  
    2010/2011 Obihiro 1000m2  
    2010/2011 Obihiro 1000m2  
    2017/2018 World Cup Classification Overall3  
    2018/2019 World Cup Classification 1000m3  
    2021/2022 World Cup Classification 1000m3  
    2006/2007 Nagano 1000m3  
    2009/2010 Heerenveen Team Pursuit 6 Laps3  
    2015/2016 Salt Lake City, UT Team Sprint3  
    2018/2019 Salt Lake City, UT 1000m3  
    2019/2020 Heerenveen 500m3  
    2016/2017 Harbin 1000m3  
    2021/2022 Heerenveen 500m3  
    2014/2015 Erfurt 500m3  
    2009/2010 Berlin 500m3  
    2012/2013 Heerenveen 500m3  
    2013/2014 Astana 500m3  
    2018/2019 Obihiro 1000m3  
    2021/2022 Tomaszˇw Mazowiecki 1000m3  
    2013/2014 Heerenveen 500m3  
    2021/2022 Stavanger 1000m3  
    2012/2013 Harbin 500m3  
    2019/2020 Nagano 500m3  
    2010/2011 Changchun 500m3  
    2019/2020 Nur-Sultan 500m3  
    2019/2020 Minsk 500m3  
    2011/2012 Astana 500m3  
    2009/2010 Salt Lake City, UT 1000m3  
    2010/2011 Changchun 1000m3  
    2021/2022 Tomaszˇw Mazowiecki 500m3  
    2012/2013 Nagano 500m3  
    2010/2011 Heerenveen 500m3  
    2014/2015 Berlin 500m3  
    2016/2017 World Cup Classification Overall4  
    2017/2018 World Cup Classification 500m4  
    2016/2017 World Cup Classification 1000m4  
    2010/2011 World Cup Classification 1000m4  
    2010/2011 World Cup Classification 500m5  
    2017/2018 World Cup Classification 1000m6  
    2011/2012 World Cup Classification 500m6  
    2009/2010 World Cup Classification 500m6  
    2012/2013 World Cup Classification 500m7  
    2014/2015 World Cup Classification Overall8  
    2009/2010 World Cup Classification 1000m8  
    2013/2014 World Cup Classification 1000m9  
    2014/2015 World Cup Classification 1000m10  
    2006/2007 World Cup Classification 1000m10  
    2015/2016 World Cup Classification 500m11  
    2006/2007 World Cup Classification 500m12  
    2013/2014 World Cup Classification Overall14  
    2012/2013 World Cup Classification 1000m14  
    2011/2012 World Cup Classification 1000m14  
    2019/2020 World Cup Classification 1500m15  
    2009/2010 World Cup Classification 1500m17  
    2015/2016 World Cup Classification 1000m19  
    2011/2012 World Cup Classification Overall18  
    2007/2008 World Cup Classification 500m22  
    2012/2013 World Cup Classification Overall22  
    2014/2015 World Cup Classification 1500m23  
    2007/2008 World Cup Classification 1000m23  
    2011/2012 World Cup Classification 1500m24  
    2006/2007 World Cup Classification 100m24  
    2008/2009 World Cup Classification 500m24  
    2016/2017 World Cup Classification 1500m27  
    2017/2018 World Cup Classification 1500m27  
    2008/2009 World Cup Classification 1000m30  
    2010/2011 World Cup Classification 1500m30  
    2013/2014 World Cup Classification 1500m32  
    2007/2008 World Cup Classification 100m32  
    2021/2022 World Cup Classification 1500m34  
    2008/2009 World Cup Classification 100m34  
    2012/2013 World Cup Classification 1500m40