Four years ago at the Turin Games, Japanese figure skater Daisuke Takahashi wore Shizuka Arakawa’s gold medal around his neck as a prank at the athletes’ village. But he suddenly recalled a jinx of “being unable to win a gold medal if you put someone else’s around your neck,” and quickly took it off. That was when Takahashi set his bold target of winning Olympic gold.
No one doubted Takahashi would be a medal contender in Vancouver until he tore ligaments in his right knee in a training accident in October 2008.
Major knee surgery forced him to miss the entire 2008-2009 season, and Takahashi started practicing jumps only last June.
“When I was injured, I never thought I would be standing on this stage, so I am glad I have made it this far,” Takahashi said after winning bronze, the first-ever Olympic figure skating medal by a Japanese man.
Photo by: kamikazecactus