Winning, Redefined

Some may see the Special Olympics World Games Competition as the ultimate goal, but for 28-year-old Kazushige ‘Kazu’ Takeuchi, it’s only part of his journey to overcome his limits, to excel and succeed.

300x200_Kazushige Takeuchi

Kazu (2nd from left) celebrates his 4th place win with his fellow teammates.
 

 

From Athens to Pyeongchang

Kazu’s mother brought him to Special Olympics Nippon when he was 13 years old, as she worried that Kazu was spending too much time indoors drawing and playing video games. He tried various sports in the beginning, and went to two World Games in 2003 (Ireland, Summer) and 2005 (Nagano, Winter) as an educational liaison and Global Youth Summit participant. For the past two years, his focus has been on athletics and cross country skiing.

In 2011, for the first time, Kazu was selected as an athlete in the Athens World Summer Games, competing in the 100m run, 4x100m relay and Long Jump, new categories that challenged his fitness. The training camps in Japan before the Games affected his confidence. He was used to running 50m on the local level. When training began, he did not have the stamina to sprint 100m. He compared himself with the other athletes, and felt he “cannot run like others do.” Nonetheless, Kazu carried on training, but travelled to Athens not expecting to win any medals.

But something happened when Kazu started competition there. Maybe it was the electrifying atmosphere in the stadium. Maybe it was seeing so many other athletes, united in the same purpose – to compete, to give their best. Maybe it was the camaraderie he enjoyed with his coach and teammates. Maybe it was the crowds, cheering the athletes on. It seemed to move Kazu, spur him to give it his all.

Competing in Athens was an eye opener for Kazu. At the long jump event, he saw other athletes jumping higher than he did. He realized there were better athletes than himself, on an international level. At the 100m run event, he narrowly missed out on the Bronze.

As he predicted, Kazu left Athens without a medal. But he broke all his personal best records.

For some, a medal equals “victory.” Kazu’s family and coaches expressed regret that he didn’t win a medal in Athens. But Kazu didn’t mind, responding cheerfully “I broke my own record. I am happy with it.” He promised himself: “I will train harder aiming at next World Games.”

Since his return, Kazu devoted himself to training, practicing freestyle in cross country skiing. His coach taught him how to roller ski so that he could practice without snow. They also worked on technique to correct Kazu’s form.

At the next 2013 World Winter Games, Kazu will compete in cross country skiing. This time, armed with training and the Athens experience, his goal is clear: “I am going to win a medal.”


Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

DONATE TODAY»

Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

LEARN MORE»

Follow Us

帮助我们多援助一名运动员

捐赠 »

在我们的 220 个全球办事处查找当地的活动并了解相关志愿者机会。

查找您附近的地点 »

Videos and Photos

鼓舞人心的年轻人一项以青少年为中心的特奥会项目已在印度启动和运行。查看幻灯片 »


Videos and Photos

到达山顶乞力马扎罗山是新加坡特奥运动员的试验场。查看幻灯片 »


Videos and Photos

Deon Namiseb他是一位演说家,并且是偶像级人物。 但最初在纳米比亚的日子里,却并非如此。了解详情 »


Videos and Photos

非常特别音乐有助于特奥会在世界范围内发挥影响。查看幻灯片 »


Videos and Photos

世界各地特奥会活动和人们的精彩照片。查看幻灯片 »


Videos and Photos

变革中的合作伙伴特奥会合作伙伴对我们的工作至关重要。查看幻灯片 »


Videos and Photos

夏季体育运动在夏季,我们的运动员可以跑步、跳跃、游泳并获得相应得分。查看幻灯片 »


Videos and Photos

体育的力量体育是一种改变运动员生活的强大方式。查看幻灯片 »


Videos and Photos

不同Barry Cairns 说,患有智力障碍的人士如何能够成为运动员。观看视频 »


Special Olympics Blog

Health Needs Need Closer Examination

"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."read more »

Posted on 2014-04-07 by Ryan

go to blog »


*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan