A Letter from Akira Sasaki

English Version

Dear World Cup Skiers and Fans:

As you may know, we experienced the biggest Earthquake and Tsunami ever recorded in the 500 years of record-keeping in Japan.

Tohoku — a popular Japanese ski area that hosted the World Championships in 1993 in Shizukuishi Morioka — is one of the areas suffering the most. I grew up skiing there as a little boy and many of my friends are skiers and love to watch World Cup Skiing.

I would like to ask you guys to send them courage and a lot of positive energy. This will encourage the victims in this area as well as the rest of the country that is supporting them through this disaster in a recovery process that will take a long time.

Any money raised by us, the World Cup family, will be a great inspiration  for skiers in Tohoku and the rest of Japan who are suffering at the moment.

As the events unfolded and for many days after, I watched the news and images from my apartment in Innsbruck, and was very emotional. I shed many tears. In talking to my family and friends back home who were unscathed at the moment, we all feared possible aftershocks and resulting tsunami that may in hit them in the end.

My sense of helplessness for days began to give way, however, when I heard that Kazuko Ikeda, Julia Mancuso, Chemmy Alcott and friends were mobilizing to help the victims. I now realize I can do something other than be in despair: I can actually DO SOMETHING.

I love my country, Japan and I promise, I will send your positive energy and financial support to the places and organizations that I believe need it most. Japan will recover and return to health and prosperity.

I have heard that some of you may donate a portion of your prize money from Finals and I am so grateful for any and all help.

with respect to my World Cup brothers and sisters,
Akira Sasaki

Japanese Version

皆へ
今回はこのような災害を僕達の国、日本を襲いました。
この地震、津波は日本が観測を始めてから500年で史上もっとも大きな物でした。
今回大きく被災した地域は東北。
東北エリアはスキーが盛んな地域です。僕地震も小さな頃からこのエリアのスキー場で滑りました。
仲間も沢山居ます。もちろんワールドカップを見てる被災者も多い地域でもあります。
今回皆さんにお願いしたいのは、どうか皆さんの励まし勇気で僕達の国日本へパワーを送って欲しいと言う事です。
皆さんがくれるパワーは被災者はもちろん、これから長期に渡り被災者、被災地を支えて行かなければならない
僕達のモチベーションにもなります。

自分の話しをすれば毎日毎日日本の情報をテレビやネットでチェックをしていて
丸2日間寝れませんでした。何度も涙を流してしまい、自分の家族、仲間の所に次来るのでは無いかと言う
恐怖と毎日向き合っていました。心が折れそうにもなりました。

しかし今回こう言った話しをカズコさんからジュリアやアクセルを筆頭に皆さんにお願いするにあたり
こんなでは駄目だと強く気付かされました。

僕はこの日本と言う国が大好きです。
必ず皆さんからのパワーを被災者、被災地へ確実に伝えます。
必ず素晴らしい日本に戻ります!

ワールドカップで共に戦うブラザー、シスターにRespect.
佐々木 明

2 Comments

  1. Hiro Nitro says:

    I am totally with you guys.
    I as one of skiers and one who is working for the sports industry, I donate the money in order to encourage the people in needs, with expressing tons of appreciations toward all your actions.
    I know WE CAN DO SOMETHING!!

  2. Mai says:

    Please Do Know that you’re already encouraging lots lots lots of people who couldn’t enjoy skiing because of disease or personal matters, including me; they cannot have chances to be back to skiing still now and I think we’re facing the reality in Japan, a small country. But we, people who love skiing, snow and Japan, do know your thoughtful actions are great contagious and WILL bear a lot of fruits which move so many people in more ways than one.

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