Of course she could not be missing from our “Ladies in the Spotlight” list: COC overall runner-up Ayane Miyazaki. Get to know the Rena-winner from Japan a little bit better.
How did you get involved in Nordic Combined? What do you like most about this sport?
Ayane Miyazaki: My career started with Alpine Skiing and then I got into Ski Jumping. I started cross-country skiing as a part my of my ski jumping training and then decided to participate Nordic Combined competitions subsequently. No matter what the competition results, I feel such a sense of accomplishment after the end of the cross-country race. That’s what I like the most about Nordic Combined.
You had a fantastic first COC season in the last winter and were the main opponent of overall winner Stefaniya Nadymova. How disappointed were you that you were not able to win the overall title in the end?
Miyazaki: It was definitely a big shame that I could not pull off the very first overall title in Continental Cup but I was able find out what I need to work on and where my weak spots are. Although there were not many competitions held during 2017/2018 season, I was still able to pull off one victory and got on the podium in every single competition.
I also had the impression that Stefaniya Nadymova is very good at the Cross- Country part with well-planned strategies and tactics.
The future of Ladies’ Nordic Combined is taking shape more and more after the FIS Congress and Council approved of plans for a first Junior World Championship and World Championship event. How do you feel about these developments?
Miyazaki: Having more international competitions as well as being recognised as our own discipline of Ladies Nordic Combined on the higher level competitions such as World Championship and Olympic Games is absolutely inspiring and a driving force for me as I continue my competitive career.
So many people have already given me so much support as well as inspiration. I am very happy that Ladies Nordic Combined is getting recognised and I am looking forward to participate those competitions in the future. I am aiming to be the very first gold medalist at the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships.
Which venue do you like to compete at most?
Miyazaki: I like the venue of Hakuba the most as it is always maintained very well regardless of season.
Who are your role models?
Miyazaki: Although we do not have many much common points at this moment, I admire Akito Watabe very much. He is my role model and inspiration. I would like to become a strong athlete like Akito, being balanced in both Ski Jumping and Cross-Country.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Miyazaki: I like spending time and playing with with my dog and budgie as I can relax without thinking about competitions.