In times of joint training ventures and big national teams, this race board lady moved on to pastures new by doing her own thing, in many different ways.
In 2006, Tomoka Takeuchi decided to try something new. The Japanese parallel snowboarding team wasn't as successful as the athlete from Asahikawa Hokkaido was hoping for. As a result, Takeuchi, who was – back then – 23 years old decided to quit training with her fellow countrywomen and started to cooperate with the Swiss National Parallel team.
"They were very effective and as a result were able to celebrate a lot of triumphs," recalls the three-time Olympian.
Looking back, it was the right move as over the following years, Takeuchi learned a lot and improved even more which finally cumulated in four podium results in 2009 as well as the third rank of the 2009 World Cup standings.
Since 2011 the carving specialist has her own team including her private coach Felix Stadler, a former racer himself and successful coach of the Austrian National Team as well as a physio and wax tech, not to forget the support of the Japanese Federation and varying sponsors.
But this move paid off. In the 2013 winter season, the fastest Japanese on the World Cup circuit clinched her career's first World Cup win in Carezza, Italy, on her 29th birthday.
Takeuchi became the first-ever female Japanese snowboarder to win a medal at the Winter Olympics when she earned silver in parallel giant slalom in Sochi in her fourth Olympic appearance.
- 2014 Sochi Olympics (PGS) - silver
- 2010 Vancouver Olympics (PGS) - 13th
- 2006 Vancouver Olympcis (PGS) - 9th
- 2002 Salt Lake Olympics (PGS) - 22nd