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Who is Ayumu Hirano?

Ayumu Hirano
FIS

Who is Ayumu Hirano?

Already the youngest snowboarder to win an Olympic medal, Ayumu Hirano's propsects remain bright

Name: Ayumu Hirano
Country: Japan
Age: 19
Sport: Snowboarding
Discipline: Halfpipe
Stance: Goofy

Accolades

  • 2014 Olympic halfpipe silver medalist
  • 2-time X Games halfpipe medalist (1 gold, 1 silver)

Olympic experience
Hirano won a silver medal for men's halfpipe in his Olympic debut at Sochi 2014. He was just 15 years old.



Ayumu Hirano, Iouri Podladtchikov, Taku Hiraoka on Olympic podium

Ayumu Hirano (far left) became snowboarding's youngest Olympic medalist in 2014. Credit: Guy Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports

Olympic outlook
Hirano will enter PyeongChang with a strong shot at landing on the podium again, and victory is within the realm of possibility as well. Shaun White and Scotty James will likely be the top favorites, but Hirano won't be far behind.

Olympic records
At the Sochi Games in 2014, Hirano (then 15 years old) became the youngest snowboarder to win an Olympic medal and the youngest snowboarder to ever compete for Japan at the Winter Olympics.

Signature
When Hirano first burst onto the scene as a 14-year-old, the most impressive component of his runs was the amplitude being generated by such a small rider. That ability to boost out of the pipe, which nearly rivals the heights achieved by Shaun White, remains a staple of Hirano's riding. The first hit of his runs tends to be massive, and he has often used it to either showcase his remarkable style or to throw his most difficult trick. A strong technical snowboarder, Hirano was one of the first to land the cab double cork 1440, making him the full package for a halfpipe rider.

History-making moments
In January 2018, just weeks before the PyeongChang Olympics, Hirano became the first rider to ever land back-to-back double cork 1440s in a halfpipe competition. That combo helped earn him the X Games gold medal.

Snowboard beginnings
Because their father owns a surf shop and a skatepark, action sports were a natural part of life growing up for Hirano and his older brother, Eiju. When he was 4 years old, Hirano first tried snowboarding when he followed his brother to the mountain; within a few years, he was entering contests. Hirano started gaining attention when he placed 13th at the 2011 Burton U.S. Open as a 12-year-old. At 14, he made his X Games debut and won a silver medal.

Since Sochi
Hirano has continued to be a podium contender in halfpipe. His best season came in 2015/16, when he had strong results at Dew Tour (2nd), the Laax Open (1st) and X Games Oslo (1st). The X Games victory was the first of his career.

2016/17 season recap
Hirano competed sparingly during the most recent season, with appearances at X Games (9th) and the Burton U.S. Open (7th). The contest season ended with him taking a brutal crash during one of his runs at the Burton Open.

Off the snow
Ever since he was young, Hirano has spent much time at the skatepark his father owns in their hometown of Murakami, Japan. Skating the vert ramp has provided a good form of cross-training, as many as the skills needed for vert skating, such as pumping to generate power out of the ramp, translate well to the halfpipe.

Social media
Instagram: @ayumuhirano1129
Twitter: @AyumuB
Facebook: @ayumuhirano

Snowboarding

Get to know the stars of snowboarding.

Halfpipe:

Kelly Clark (USA) | Ben Ferguson (USA) | Ayumu Hirano (JPN) | Scotty James (AUS) | Chase Josey (USA) | Chloe Kim (USA) | Maddie Mastro (USA) | Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) |
Shaun White (USA)

Slopestyle/Big Air:

Jamie Anderson (USA) | Chris Corning (USA) |
Anna Gasser (AUT) | Red Gerard (USA) | Marcus Kleveland (NOR) | Hailey Langland (USA) | Julia Marino (USA) | Mark McMorris (CAN) | Silje Norendal (NOR) | Spencer O'Brien (CAN) | Max Parrot (CAN) | Stale Sandbech (NOR)

Boardercross:

Lindsey Jacobellis (USA) | Eva Samkova (CZE)

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