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Yukio Kasaya passed away

Apr 26, 2024·Ski Jumping
Photo : Kyodo / Kyodo News Images
Photo : Kyodo / Kyodo News Images

Ski jumping legend Yukio Kasaya passed away.

At the age of 80, ski jumping legend Yukio Kasaya passed away on April 23 in Sapporo (JPN) after a long illness. Kasaya was an Olympic ski jumping champion and world champion.
Yukio Kasaya celebrated his greatest successes as a ski jumper in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The story that will always be remembered with the name Kasaya is the 1971/72 Four Hills Tournament.
Kasaya won the first three competitions in Innsbruck, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf (in that order at the time) and had not only the overall tour victory but also the first "Tournament Grand Slam" in his sights.
However, due to the preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games in Sapporo, the entire Japanese team left together before the tour final in Bischofshofen to prepare for the Olympic Games at home.

This was both bitter and successful for Kasaya, as the training camp paid off.
The then 29-year-old then succeeded on the normal hill in Sapporo, Kasaya won the gold medal and became a national hero. Second place (Akitsugu Konto) and third place (Meiji Aochi) also went to the Japanese team in the Olympic competition.

And with his victory, Kasaya also became world champion from the normal hill at the same time, as the 1972 World Championships were held at the same time as the Olympic Games.

Yukio Kasaya was a member of the FIS Ski Jumping Committee from 2001 to 2008.

“This is sad and a great loss for the ski jumping family.
Yukio Kasaya has been one of the legendary Olympic Champions in our discipline. The historical victory in the home soil 1972 was a milestone in the Japanese Ski Jumping tradition.

But the incredible story with the Four Hills 1971/72 when he was close to be the first winner of all four competitions is even more dramatic and incredible and create around him a magic scenario," commented FIS Race-Director Sandro Pertile.

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