Today, 47 members of Japanese national team arrived in Moscow to take part in the 2015 Winter Deaflympics in Kanty-Mansiysk and Magnitogorsk, Russia between March 28 and April 5.
Twenty two Japanese athletes with a hearing impairment will compete in four sports: alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling and snowboard. Snowboarder Ryoko Hanasima has been chosen as a flag bearer for the event.
Japan is aiming to claim five medals in total, in order to break the four medal record (3 gold, 1 bronze) at the 2007 Winter Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, the United States. The 2011 Games was cancelled, due to the financial failure by the Slovakian Organizing Committee.
Japan’s chef de mission Yosuke Oda said that he hopes to increase the awareness for deaf sports in Japan through athletes’ remarkable performances at the Games.
344 deaf athletes from 27 countries will participate at the event. They will contest in 31 events from five sports (alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, snowboard, and ice hockey). The biggest team is the host nation, Russia with 76 athletes. Meanwhile, Mongolia, Slovenia, Armenia and Estonia will send only one athlete to represent each country.