Athletes Supported by Toyota Carry “Start Your Impossible” Movement and reach for Gold at PyeongChang 2018
More than 50 athletes from 20 countries supported by Toyota will compete at the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games
TOYOTA CITY, Japan (Feb 7, 2018) — As a Worldwide Olympic Partner and a Worldwide Paralympic Partner, the true challenge for Toyota and its President and CEO Akio Toyoda is to stimulate the 80-year-old company by reinforcing its core values and inspiring its 370,000 employees worldwide to help create a society where mobility is an opportunity for people to achieve their dreams. Sports are the ideal endeavour to do just that, especially with an event that unites across the globe.
“I have a profound respect for sports, which have a unique power to offer hope and purpose and inspire us all to never give up,” said Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. “It is exciting to watch athletes from all over the world compete on a level playing field, where anything can happen. This concept, when carried over to society, means a place where everyone can participate and contribute, where people turn their weaknesses into strengths with optimism and a fighting spirit – and a strong and determined desire to improve and be better.”
At PyeongChang 2018, Toyota, its affiliates, or distributors around the world will support more than 50 athletes competing from 20 countries in events on the ice, in the snow, or sliding down tracks. Among them are Toyota employees who have been able to continue training and practicing at the highest level while working at the company in Japan.
- Taiki Morii (Japan, Para alpine skiing) decided to started sit-skiing after watching the Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano in 1998 while in the hospital following an accident. He has earned four medals from his participation in four prior Paralympic Winter Games. Riding his chair-ski that uses Toyota technology, he will ski for a gold medal at PyeongChang 2018.
- Ayuko Ito (Japan, women’s short track speed skating) is competing in her third Olympic Winter Games, after appearing in Sochi (2014) and Vancouver (2010). She is an employee of the Toyota Short Track Speed Skate Team.
- Sumire Kikuchi (Japan, women’s short track speed skating) will experience her first Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. She competed in the 2018 All Japanese national championships and won the Ladies’ 500-meter final in December. Kikuchi is a member of the Toyota Short Track Speed Skate Team.
- Hiroki Yokoyama (Japan, men’s short track speed skating) is another newcomer to the Olympic Winter Games. Yokoyama competed in the 2018 All Japanese national championships and won the Mens’ 1,500-meter final in December. He is also a member of the Toyota Short Track Speed Skate Team.
- Shoma Uno (Japan, men’s figure skating) is having his first debut at the Olympic Winter Games at PyeongChang 2018. In December 2017, Uno captured silver at two separate events, one at the Four Continents Championships, and the other the All-Japan National Championships.
- Satoru Terao (International Skating Union technical committee member) has attended and experienced four Olympic Winter Games previously as a medal hopeful and contender in speed skating. He will use his years of experience to provide support for the technical operations this year at PyeongChang 2018. Terao is a supervisor of the Toyota Short Track Speed Skate Team.
Additionally, Toyota has built relationships with athletes around the world in various disciplines. In selecting Team Toyota athletes, the company, its affiliates and distributors around the world looked for individuals that best reflect Toyota’s core values: be caring; be a natural challenger; represent the kaizen spirit; have a love of learning and be curious; be honest with strong work ethic; be a team player; be accountable; be humble and thankful; and respect others.
Some of them shared their personal story at the Toyota Mobility Summit in Athens, held last October for the first time. Others are featured in a video series that is part of the company’s global corporate initiative, “Start Your Impossible.” New videos and television commercials will be introduced to a global audience during the events of PyeongChang 2018.
- Andrea Eskau (Germany, Para cross-country skiing and biathlon), a hand-biker and Para-biathlon and cross-country skier who has won three gold medals in the Paralympic Games and received another gold medal at the Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. Eskau competes with technologies developed by Toyota Motorsports GmbH in Cologne, Germany.
- Eva Samkova (Czech Republic, snowboard) began snowboarding when she was six years old. She originally participated in freestyle events, but after a series of injuries, she found boarder cross to be a better fit. Samkova is the only athlete from the Czech Republic to ever win an Olympic medal in any snowboarding event. If she is able to defend her Olympic title at PyeongChang 2018, she will be the first woman from any country to win multiple gold medals in snowboard.
- Seun Adigun (Nigeria, bobsleigh) competed in the 100-meter hurdles in the Olympic Games London 2012. In 2016, she formed the Nigerian bobsleigh team and will compete in the two-woman bobsleigh competitions during the Winter Olympics.
- Belle Brockoff (Australia, snowboard) will be appearing in and representing Australia at her second Olympic Winter Games. Previously, she represented Australia at Sochi 2014. She took up snowboarding from the age of three and will compete at PyeongChang 2018.
- Isabel Clark Ribeiro (Brazil, snowboard) is a veteran snowboarder, and one of the few South American representatives at the Olympic Winter Games. She represented Brazil previously, first at Turin 2006 and again at Vancouver 2010, where she was Brazil’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony. At PyeongChang 2018, Ribeiro will be competing in the snowboard cross event.
- Carle Brenneman (Canada, snowboard) will compete in her first Olympic Winter Games , in the snowboard cross event.
- Jane Channell (Canada, bobsleigh skeleton) will represent Canada for the first time at the Olympic Winter Games. She started the sport of skeleton in 2011.
- Chloe Trespeuch (France, snowboard cross) won the bronze medal in the snowboard cross event at Sochi 2014. She is chasing her dream of a gold medal at PyeongChang 2018.
- Lindsey Jacobellis (USA, snowboard) is a three-time U.S. Olympian and five-time World Champion, capturing the silver medal in snowboard cross at the Olympic Winter Games in Turin. In addition to an Olympic Medal, Jacobellis also holds the record for the most gold medals (ten) won at the Winter X Games by a female.
- Hailey Langland (USA, snowboard) became the youngest snowboarder to compete at the X Games in 2017, earning a gold medal at the debut of women’s big air. Langland looks to make her Olympic Winter Games debut at PyeongChang 2018.
- Mitch Gourley (Australia, Para alpine skiing) has previously competed in two Paralympic Winter Games, at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, as a Para alpine skier. He has been named as one of the captains of the Australian Winter Paralympic Team at PyeongChang 2018.
- Han Min Su (Korea, Para ice hockey) will be at his third Paralympic Winter Games. Previously, he was the flag bearer for South Korea at Vancouver 2010.
- Arly Velasquez (Mexico, Para alpine skiing) is a veteran Paralympic Winter Games athlete and is one of the top skiers in the world, previously competing at Sochi 2014. He dreams of and is chasing the first Winter Olympic medal for Mexico.
- Menna Fitzpatrick (Great Britain, Para alpine skiing) will be competing for the first time in the Paralympic Winter Games. Fitzpatrick is visually impaired and skis with her guide Jennifer Kehoe.
Below are athletes supported by Toyota, its affiliates, or its distributors around the world, who are either competing or are expected to compete at PyeongChang 2018:
|Mitch Gourley||Australia||Para alpine skiing|
|Sebastian De Buck||Belgium||snowboard|
|Isabel Clark Ribeiro||Brazil||snowboard|
|Eva Samkova||Czech Republic||snowboard|
|Daniel Jorgensen||Denmark||Para snowboard|
|Elena Rigas||Denmark||speed skating|
|Matti Suur-Hamari||Finland||Para snowboard|
|Alexis Contin||France||speed skating|
|Benjamin Daviet||France||Para biathlon, Para cross country skiing|
|Jason Lamy-Chappuis||France||Nordic combined|
|Maxime Montaggioni||France||Para snowboard|
|Andrea Eskau||Germany||Para biathlon|
|Moritz Muller||Germany||ice hockey|
|Anna Cappellini||Italy||figure skating (ice dance pair)|
|Arianna Fontana||Italy||short track speed skating|
|Luca Lanotte||Italy||figure skating (ice dance pair)|
|Tori Seduti||Italy||Para ice hockey|
|Ayuko Ito||Japan||short track speed skating|
|Hiroki Yokoyama||Japan||short track speed skating|
|Sumire Kikuchi||Japan||short track speed skating|
|Shoma Uno||Japan||figure skating|
|Taiki Morii||Japan||Para alpine skiing|
|Alexandr Gerlits||Kazakhstan||Para cross country|
|Anna Shevchenko||Kazakhstan||cross country skiing|
|Denis Kuzin||Kazakhstan||speed skating|
|Kairat Kanafin||Kazakhstan||Para biathlon|
|Zhanbota Aldabergenova||Kazakhstan||freestyle skiing – aerial|
|Zhanyl Baltabayeva||Kazakhstan||Para cross country skiing|
|Han Min Su||Korea||Para ice hockey|
|Evgeniy Timofeev||Kyrgyzstan||alpine skiing|
|Arly Velasquez||Mexico||Para alpine skiing|
|Chris Vos||Netherlands||Para snowboard|
|Ireen Wüst||Netherlands||speed skating|
|Suzanne Schulting||Netherlands||short track speed skating|
|Daniel Andre Tande||Norway||ski jumping|
|Johannes Høsflot Klæbo||Norway||cross country skiing|
|Menna Fitzpatrick||UK||Para alpine skiing|
|Gus Kenworthy||USA||freestyle skiing|
|J.R. Celski||USA||short track speed skating|
|Rico Roman||USA||Para ice hockey|
|Oksana Masters||USA||Para cross country skiing, Para biathlon|
|Stephanie Jallen||USA||paralympic alpine skiing|
|Danielle & Rob Umstead||USA||paralympic alpine skiing|
|Amy Purdy||USA||paralympic snowboarding|
|Evan Strong||USA||paralympic snowboarding|
|Ted Ligety||USA||alpine skiing|
|Torin Yater-Wallace||USA||freestyle skiing|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is the global mobility company that introduced the Prius hybrid-electric car in 1997 and the first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, Mirai, in 2014. Headquartered in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota has been making cars since 1937. Today, Toyota proudly employs 370,000 employees in communities around the world. Together, they build around 10 million vehicles per year in 29 countries, from mainstream cars and premium vehicles to mini-vehicles and commercial trucks, and sell them in more than 170 countries under the brands Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino. For more information, please visit www.toyota-global.com.