Imagen
Momoka Muraoka

Momoka Muraoka

Alpine Skiing | Athletics
1
2
2

Muraoka is Japan’s top female sit-skier, with multiple Asia Cup podiums across speed and technical events from the last three seasons.

In 2015, she made her mark on the international scene with her first World Championships podiums alongside the likes of multiple Paralympic and Worlds medallists, Austria’s Claudia Loesch and Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber.

Diagnosed with transverse myelitis at the age of four, Muraoka has also showed her prowess on the World Cup circuit with a handful of top three finishes as she continues to improve season-on-season.

The teenager was a T54 para-athlete with several podium finishes from national Championships until she decided to swap her racing wheelchair for a sit-ski during 2012-13.

However Muraoka has not entirely turned her back on her track career, stating that she aims to win a medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and go on to represent her country at Tokyo 2020.

Her quest for PyeongChang 2018 gained momentum in 2015-16 when she won the women's giant slalom sitting World Cup globe, as well as finishing second in super-G. Muraoka finished third in the overall women's sitting World Cup.

Her recent performances have placed her in a great position to win her first world titles when she skis at the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired

Further personal information

Occupation
Athlete, Office Worker, Student
Languages
Japanese
Higher education
Sports Science - Waseda University: Tokyo, JPN

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up skiing at age nine at primary school, and began to pursue Para alpine skiing in 2011 in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Why this sport?
She initially focused on Para athletics but gradually became discouraged by her results. She was inspired to begin Para alpine skiing after a friend from athletics invited her to a skiing event. She decided to pursue competitive Para athletics again ahead of the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Club / Team
Toyota : Japan
Name of coach
Saori Ishii [alpine skiing, national], JPN

General interest

Nicknames
Momochi, Momo-chan (parasapo.tokyo, 07 Oct 2021)
Hobbies
Reading, watching anime. (toyotatimes.jp, 18 May 2021)
Most influential person in career
Japanese Para alpine skiers Taiki Morii and Hiroshi Nojima. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
Japanese Para alpine skier Taiki Morii. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Injuries
In January 2022 she suffered a ligament injury to her right elbow during training. She resumed training the following month. (hokkoku.co.jp, 16 Feb 2022; nhk.or.jp, 28 Jan 2022)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I feel like I show my aggression. That's the style I try to ski." (OIS, 06 Mar 2022)
Awards and honours
She received the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the government of Japan in 2018. (toyotatimes.jp, 18 May 2021)

In 2018 she was presented with the Tokyo-to Honorary Award and the Tokyo-to Citizen Sports Grand Award in Japan. (sports-tokyo.info, 01 Jun 2018)

In 2018 she received the Fukaya Citizen Honorary Award in Japan. (tokyo-np.co.jp, 29 Jun 2018)

She was flag bearer for Japan at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (paralympic.org, 27 Feb 2018)
Other sports
She has represented Japan in both Para alpine skiing and Para athletics. She competed in alpine skiing at the 2014 and 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, winning five medals [one gold] in 2018, and received an LW10-2 classification for the 2021/22 season. Competing in athletics at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, she finished sixth in the women's T54 100m. (IPC, 08 Mar 2022; SportsDeskOnline, 18 Oct 2021)
Milestones
She became the first athlete representing Japan to win four career gold medals at the Paralympic Winter Games when she triumphed in the women's sitting giant slalom event at the 2022 Games in Beijing. (SportsDeskOnline, 11 Mar 2022)

She became the first athlete representing Japan to win five medals at a single edition of the Paralympic Winter Games when she claimed one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. (SportsDeskOnline, 11 Mar 2022)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (yomiuri.co.jp, 16 Feb 2022)
Impairment
She was diagnosed with transverse myelitis at age four. The condition causes inflammation of the spinal cord. (Athlete, 26 Feb 2014; paraphoto.org, 26 Jan 2014)
Other information
ATHLETICS AND SKIING
She was involved in Para athletics before she switched her focus to Para alpine skiing. After the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang she decided she wanted to pursue competitive Para athletics again, with the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo approaching. "At first my attitude was one of being slightly envious that the Paralympic Games would be held in Japan. As I had focused all my energies on Pyeongchang 2018, I didn't have any strong feelings for Tokyo 2020. However, after Pyeongchang 2018 was over, I started to feel that I wanted to try athletics again, something I had done as a child, and if there was even the slightest possibility I could compete [in Tokyo], then I wanted to give it a try. I thought that it was the right time to do it as there were no [skiing] world championships and Paralympic Winter Games between 2019 and 2020. I became aware of myself as an athlete after devoting myself to Para athletics for a year. I had been worried, but I enjoyed the 2020 Paralympics because I was able to achieve the dream in athletics that I had when I was little. I had no regrets. I felt refreshed." (nikkansports.com, 05 Sep 2021, 14 Jun 2020; toyotatimes.jp, 18 May 2021; SPORTS BIZ Official YouTube channel, 17 Jun 2020; sportrait-web.com, 29 Jan 2020)

LEADER
She was appointed captain of the Japanese team at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. (hokkoku.co.jp, 16 Feb 2022)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She has studied for a doctoral degree in sports science at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. (nikkansports.com, 14 Jun 2020; waseda.jp, 17 Sep 2021)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Super-G Sitting Final Round 2014-03-10 9999
Women's Slalom Sitting Final Round 2014-03-12 9
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final Round 2014-03-16 5
2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships Panorama (Panorama, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2015-03-04 2
Women's Super-G Sitting Race 1 2015-03-05 9999
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2015-03-07 4
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2015-03-08 3
Women's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2015-03-10 4
2017 IPC Alpine skiing World Championships Tarvisio, ITA (Tarvisio, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2017-01-25 3
Women's Super-G Sitting Race 1 2017-01-26 3
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2017-01-28 4
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2017-01-30 3
Women's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2017-01-31 4
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Final 2018-03-10 2
Women's Super-G Sitting Final 2018-03-11 3
Women's Super Combined Sitting Final 2018-03-13 3
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final 2018-03-14 1
Women's Slalom Sitting Final 2018-03-18 2
Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships (Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea, Slovenia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2019-01-22 1
Women's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2019-01-24 3
Women's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2019-01-30 3
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2019-01-31 1
Women's Super-G Sitting Race 1 (from SC) 2019-01-31 2