Are You an Athletes Wanting to Get Involved?
Any World Cup Skier — past or present — wishing to lend their voice to this project, please contact us or donate a portion of your prize money or any amount you wish to give.
Current Skiers Helping Japan Management
The management of this site as well as the Skiers Helping Japan Donation Fund is as follows:
Born September 26, 1981 in Hokkaido (the island situated in the North of Japan). Akira Sasaki began his racing career from the age of 16 when he joined the National Team. Following his championship win at Japan’s High School Tournament and FIS Series, he made his first world stage debut at the 2001 World Alpine Ski Championship in St.Anton, Austria and finished 19th in the World Cup slalom.
In the same year, he managed 6th place in the slalom race for the Junior World Championship. The year after, he participated in Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games in Utah, USA.
The Ski World Cup 2003 in Wengen, Switzerland was definitely a high point in Akira’s professional career when he finished 2nd in the slalom race after starting in 65th position. In the 2004 and 2005 World Cup Slalom racers, he finished overall 11th and 14th place respectively. In 2006, he participated in the Torino Winter Olympic Games in Italy and finished 2nd at the FIS World Cup slalom in Shigakogen, Japan. Akira is married to the former 3-times World Championship wrestler, Miyu Yamamoto.
Julia Mancuso splits her time between Squaw Valley, Hawaii and hotel rooms across the globe and in between has captured more Olympic medals than any other American woman with three. As a four-event athlete from the beginning Mancuso started World Cup racing and was a NorAm champion at 16, competed in the Olympics at 17, set a U.S. mark for Junior World Championships medals before she was out of her teens, and started her twenties by capturing two World Championships medals.
She followed up her 2006 Olympic gold in giant slalom by rocking to silver in both downhill and super combined in Vancouver. Coincidently, her downhill silver came nearly two years after her last World Cup podium, which was a third at Whistler followed by a season marred by back injuries. With the double silvers, she became the most successful female Olympic alpine skier in U.S. history.
Mancuso then carried the Olympic momentum back onto the World Cup podium with a super G third in Crans Montana, Switzerland directly before World Cup Finals signaling in a big way that she was back and ready to compete at the level which launched her into the World Cup elite at such a young age. She then backed it up with her record 11th U.S. Championship title just days after finishing third in an extreme skiing event in Verbier, Switzerland.
I started skiing as a toddler aged 18 months. Although initially purely on family holidays, my competitive urge was clear to be seen as I tried to ski and keep up with my older brothers.
It wasn’t until the age of 8 that I started to compete properly, and although at that stage the girls and boys were competing together, no boy was going to beat me! I started to dream about Olympic medals.
At the age of 11 I had a serious skiing accident, but far from deter me it focussed my mind onto skiing and away from the other sports I enjoyed. Aged 13 I won the World Children’s Championships in Germany and it was then that I, and those around me, realised that I had the talent to fulfil my dream.
Encouraged by my parents and directed by my mother Eve in particular, both individually and as part of the Surbiton High School Ski Team I dominated the National Schools Ski Championships for the next few years.
During the summer months, from the ages of 10 to 18, I travelled alone to New Zealand for their winter to ensure I was skiing as much as possible. This was incredibly exciting for me as not only did my skiing improve dramatically, I grew up as a person as well.
Whilst I was at school at Surbiton High, each year I was allowed from November to December to partake in a winter schooling/ski programme at Waterville Valley Academy in New Hampshire, USA.
I left Surbiton High in 2000 with four ‘A’ Levels at A grade. Since then I have been a professional ski racer, spending the winter travelling around racing World Cups leading a slightly nomadic life from the back of my Range Rover and the summer either in London or chasing the snow in the southern hemisphere
The last four years was huge learning curve – a journey with massive highs and lows. I have continued to move up the World Rankings finishing last season ranked 8th in the Supercombined, top 20 in SG and in the World’s top 30 in 3 disciplines. Having finally nudged into the exclusive elite of the World’s Top 10, I am hungrier than ever for the win. The last two Olympics i have achieved an impressive 11th place. I have one more chance – in 4 years, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. I know what it takes and i will do everything i can do to end my career as the best in the World!
Born in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, Kazuko grew up in the mountains and on skis since the age of 2. Diligent daily runs with her dad kept her in shape and ready for a ski career that took her from the national team to the World Cup stage and finally the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
As a fully sponsored athlete, Kazuko was able to take advantage of high-level training in the USA and Europe, where she worked with now world-renowned trainers, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physical therapists. Dangerous as it is, alpine skiing caused her many injuries, such as back pain, torn ACL, meniscus tears, broken tailbone, among others.
After her 17th place Olympic result, Kazuko retired from skiing one year later and began managing at a ski resort for an adaptive ski program. This is where she was first introduced to the true potential of the human body. Watching chair skiers, for instance, utilize and control their upper bodies in the most coordinated way and miraculously keeping up the pace with able-bodied skiers, she began questioning whether she herself failed to discover her own body potential during her career.