Famous People in Japan

Satoya Tae

Date of Birth June 12, 1976
Place of Birth Sapporo, Hokkaido

Tae Satoya is a Japanese free style skier. She is 22 years old, a student of Hokkaido Tokai University.

When she was 4 years old, she began to ski on her father's recommendation. She became good enough to ski on uneven snow when she was 5 years old. When she was 12 years old she began to ski free style, moguls at first. When she participated in her first All Japan Tournament, she was 14 years old, and she won her first championship. She kept the championship for 6 years. She took first place in the FIS North America Cup of free style ski, Mogul, and she took 25th place in the World Cup's final in 1993. In 1994 she participated in the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammele. She took 11th place which was the highest place ever for the All Japan Women's Ski Team. The same year she participated in the World Junior Tournament she won the Tournament. In 1997 she was ranked in 7th place in the World Cup Ranking. It meant that she became a real ace.

This year the Olympic Games were held in Nagano. She took part in the Games. She was aming at a gold medal, because her father died last July. He was also her coach. He told her while he was in hospital, to do her best in Nagano. She aimed seriously at a gold medal at that time. She took 11th place in a preliminary match. In the finals she started very fast, showed us good a "twister and spread eagle" on her first try. She kept skiing steadily, but very fast. On her second try she completed a "cossack" only, which was great. After that she kept her pace and reached the finish line with great encouragement and expectation. She got 25.06 points. She took 1st place. Nobody placed higher. The last skier from Canada was a higher ranked skier than Tae Satoya. The moment her points were put up, Tae Satoya and Aiko Uemura, who is also Japanese free style skier and took 7th place, embraced each other and cheered. She was crying but smiling. At that time in her left pocket there was a picture of her father, and on her left ear there was a bright earring which was a her 21th birthday present from her father. Her dream and her father's dream, a gold medal in the Olympic Games, came true. She said that she would drink some sake which her father kept for that day and went back quickly to Hokkaido after the Games.

References: ASAHI special number of Nagano Olimpic Game

Reported by: Yamamoto Yuji
Data verified by: Keisuke Yamashita
Date of Report: July 1998

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