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Nao Kodaira

Japan

SportSpeed Skating
FederationIDSSJPN22605198601
NOCJapan
Born26 May 1986 in  Nagano
GenderWomen
ResidenceNagano, JPN
OccupationAthlete
LanguagesDutch, Japanese
Higher educationEducation - Shinshu University: Matsumoto, JPN
Personal Bests
EventRecordDateLocation 
Personal Bests
  Event RecordDateLocation 
    500m 36.50 08 Dec 2017 Salt Lake City, UT  
    1000m 1:12.09 10 Dec 2017 Salt Lake City, UT  
    1500m 1:55.40 19 Feb 2011 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 6 Laps   1    
World Single Distances Championships
Event  
World Single Distances Championships
    2 x 500m     1  
    500m 1      
    1000m   1    
World Sprint Championships
Event  
World Sprint Championships
    Overall 1      
Social Media
Social Media
www.ai-hosp.or.jp/cloverlink/blog/  
instagram.com/nao.kodaira/  
twitter.com/nao_kodaira  
Sport Specific Information
Sport Specific Information
Club / TeamAizawa Hospital: Japan  
Reason for choosing this sportShe was influenced by her sisters.  
Name of coachMasahiro Yuki [personal], JPN, from 2005  
When and where did you begin this sport?She first tried the sport in 1989 in Chino, Japan.  
General Interest
General Interest
Hero / IdolCanadian speed skater Cindy Klassen. (Athlete, 23 Nov 2018)  
Memorable sporting achievementWinning gold in the 500m at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (Athlete, 23 Nov 2018)  
Sporting philosophy / motto"Altijd blijven lachen." [Always keep smiling] (Athlete, 23 Nov 2018)  
Most influential person in careerCanadian speed skater Cindy Klassen. (Athlete, 23 Nov 2018)  
HobbiesStudying Dutch, photography, cooking. (skatingjapan.or.jp, 12 Sep 2018)  
InjuriesShe damaged a ligament in her leg 15 months before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. (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 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.jpa, 08 Jun 2018)

In 2016 she was presented with an Excellence Award by the JOC. (nikkansports.com, 09 Jun 2017)

In 2014 she was given a Special Achievement Award by the JOC. (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 informationHISTORIC ACHIEVEMENTS
She became the first woman representing Japan 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, 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, 19 Mar 2018; OIS, 18 Feb 2018)

TRAINING OVERSEAS
She trained in the Netherlands in both 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 Holland. 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)
 
Championships results
Year Competition Event Rank  
Championships results
    2016/2017 World Single Distances Championships 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Sprint Championships Overall1  
    2018 Olympic Games 500m1  
    2010 Olympic Games Team Pursuit 6 Laps2  
    2016/2017 World Single Distances Championships 1000m2  
    2018 Olympic Games 1000m2  
    2014/2015 World Single Distances Championships 2 x 500m3  
    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  
    2010/2011 World Single Distances Championships 2 x 500m8  
    2015/2016 World Sprint Championships Overall8  
    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  
    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 500m1  
    2014/2015 World Cup 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Berlin Qualification Combination Sprint1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Heerenveen 1000m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Heerenveen Team Sprint1  
    2015/2016 World Cup Calgary, AB Team Sprint1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Stavanger 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Stavanger 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Harbin 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Cup Tomakomai 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Cup Obihiro 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Cup Obihiro 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Cup Heerenveen 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Heerenveen 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Heerenveen 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Cup Tomakomai 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Berlin 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Salt Lake City, UT 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Salt Lake City, UT 1000m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Berlin 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Stavanger 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Nagano 500m1  
    2016/2017 World Cup Harbin 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Stavanger 1000m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Stavanger 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Heerenveen 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Calgary, AB 500m1  
    2017/2018 World Cup Salt Lake City, UT 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Cup Tomakomai 1000m1  
    2014/2015 World Cup Seoul 500m1  
    2018/2019 World Cup Obihiro Team Sprint2  
    2015/2016 World Cup Heerenveen Team Sprint2  
    2009/2010 World Cup Berlin 1000m2  
    2014/2015 World Cup Obihiro 500m2  
    2016/2017 World Cup Stavanger 1000m2  
    2011/2012 World Cup Salt Lake City, UT 500m2  
    2016/2017 World Cup Nagano 1000m2  
    2016/2017 World Cup Berlin 1000m2  
    2012/2013 World Cup Nagano 500m2  
    2014/2015 World Cup Obihiro 500m2  
    2014/2015 World Cup Heerenveen 500m2  
    2014/2015 World Cup Heerenveen 500m2  
    2014/2015 World Cup Seoul 500m2  
    2010/2011 World Cup Obihiro 1000m2  
    2010/2011 World Cup Obihiro 1000m2  
    2017/2018 World Cup Overall3  
    2006/2007 World Cup Nagano 1000m3  
    2009/2010 World Cup Heerenveen Team Pursuit 6 Laps3  
    2015/2016 World Cup Salt Lake City, UT Team Sprint3  
    2016/2017 World Cup Harbin 1000m3  
    2014/2015 World Cup Erfurt 500m3  
    2012/2013 World Cup Heerenveen 500m3  
    2009/2010 World Cup Berlin 500m3  
    2013/2014 World Cup Astana 500m3  
    2018/2019 World Cup Obihiro 1000m3  
    2013/2014 World Cup Heerenveen 500m3  
    2012/2013 World Cup Harbin 500m3  
    2010/2011 World Cup Changchun 500m3  
    2009/2010 World Cup Salt Lake City, UT 1000m3  
    2011/2012 World Cup Astana 500m3  
    2010/2011 World Cup Changchun 1000m3  
    2012/2013 World Cup Nagano 500m3  
    2010/2011 World Cup Heerenveen 500m3  
    2014/2015 World Cup Berlin 500m3  
    2016/2017 World Cup Overall4  
    2017/2018 World Cup 500m4  
    2016/2017 World Cup 1000m4  
    2010/2011 World Cup 1000m4  
    2010/2011 World Cup 500m5  
    2017/2018 World Cup 1000m6  
    2011/2012 World Cup 500m6  
    2009/2010 World Cup 500m6  
    2012/2013 World Cup 500m7  
    2014/2015 World Cup Overall8  
    2009/2010 World Cup 1000m8  
    2013/2014 World Cup 1000m9  
    2014/2015 World Cup 1000m10  
    2006/2007 World Cup 1000m10  
    2015/2016 World Cup 500m11  
    2006/2007 World Cup 500m12  
    2013/2014 World Cup Overall14  
    2012/2013 World Cup 1000m14  
    2011/2012 World Cup 1000m14  
    2009/2010 World Cup 1500m17  
    2015/2016 World Cup 1000m19  
    2011/2012 World Cup Overall18  
    2007/2008 World Cup 500m22  
    2012/2013 World Cup Overall22  
    2014/2015 World Cup 1500m23  
    2007/2008 World Cup 1000m23  
    2011/2012 World Cup 1500m24  
    2006/2007 World Cup 100m24  
    2008/2009 World Cup 500m24  
    2016/2017 World Cup 1500m27  
    2017/2018 World Cup 1500m27  
    2008/2009 World Cup 1000m30  
    2010/2011 World Cup 1500m30  
    2013/2014 World Cup 1500m32  
    2007/2008 World Cup 100m32  
    2008/2009 World Cup 100m34  
    2012/2013 World Cup 1500m40