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NARITA Gurimu
Sport Freestyle Skiing, Para athletics, Para snowboard
NPC Japan   
GenderMen
Age25
Place of BirthOsaka, JPN
Height1.72 m
Weight 63 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL2
Further Personal Information
Residence
Tokyo, JPN
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, Japanese
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He first tried snowboarding at age one in Osaka, Japan, and began to pursue Para snowboard in 2016.
Why this sport?
He was encouraged to take up the sport seriously by his family.
Club / Team
Freee: Japan
Senior International Debut
Year
2016
Competing for
Japan
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Landgraaf, NED
General Interest
Nicknames
Grim (Athlete, 25 Apr 2017)
Hobbies
Skiing, wakeboarding. (Athlete, 25 Apr 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a gold medal at the 2016 National Championships in Japan. (Athlete, 25 Apr 2017)
Most influential person in career
His father. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Never give up." (Instagram profile, 05 Jan 2018)
Other sports
He competed in able-bodied freestyle skiing [halfpipe] at the 2013 World Championships in Oslo, Norway. He has also participated in able-bodied trampolining and Para athletics at national level in Japan. (asahi.com, 10 Jun 2017; headlines.yahoo.co.jp, 25 Feb 2017; SportsDeskOnline, 05 Mar 2013)
Famous relatives
His older brother Domu and his older sister Melo Imai both competed in snowboard [halfpipe] at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin. (hochi.co.jp, 14 Jun 2016; hochi.co.jp, 28 Apr 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 13 Feb 2006)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (paralympic.org, 19 Jul 2018)
Impairment
He has paralysis in his left knee as a result of damaged nerves in the lower part of his leg. He sustained the injury in 2013 during a trampolining session. (hochi.co.jp, 14 Jun 2016; daily.co.jp, 08 Jan 2015)
Other information
NATIONAL FIRST
He became the first snowboarder from Japan to win gold at the Paralympic Winter Games when he triumphed in the banked slalom SB-LL2 at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 03 Jan 2019; paralympic.org, 27 Dec 2018)

CHANGING SPORTS
He announced his retirement from Para snowboard following the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, where he won gold in banked slalom. However, he intends to take up a summer sport and attempt to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games, which are being held in Tokyo. "The qualification for Tokyo 2020 has already begun in many competitions. I have to decide quickly. Although [my sport] has not been decided yet, I am considering various competitions. I do not know yet whether it can be realised in Tokyo, but I want to aim [for it], as I think that there are only a few people in the world [who can compete in both the summer and winter Games]." (paralympic.org, 19 Jul 2018)

OLYMPIC EXPERIENCE
At age four he took part in a snowboarding demonstration event at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. (hochi.co.jp, 14 Jun 2016)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
5 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
3 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:08.40
Paralympic Games - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
3 2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
1 2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 48.68
World Cup Finals - Para snowboard
Rank Year Event Result
3 2016/2017 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
1 2016/2017 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired  
1 2017/2018 Snowboard Cross - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:06.11
1 2017/2018 Banked Slalom - Lower Limb 2 Impaired 1:11.04