Japanese ski jumper best known for his 1994 Winter Olympics meltdown, and his subsequent gold medal at the 1996 Olympics.
His jump at the 1994 Olympics came up just 98 meters shy of winning him and Japan the gold.
He was appointed Ambassador to the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2006.
He married Eiko Harada after the 1994 Olympics.
He and Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann have both taken home the gold medal at the Olympic Games.