Atsuko Tanaka is an Olympic ski jumper from Calgary. She competed in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, while also winning gold in the 2005 & 2008 Continental Cup as well as silver in the 2006 Junior World Championships. (CanFund, pp. 3)
She set a precedent as one of the first female ski jumpers to compete in the Olympics when the IOC announced in April 2011 that a female event would be included in the Sochi programme. It marked momentous occasion for Tanaka. For whom, the dream of competing in the Olympics was ever present since she was a ten year old child.
Tanaka credits her family and friends as one of the contributing factors to her Olympic dream and her success as a ski jumper, calling them the “…biggest supports for all athletes.” (CBC, 5:50) In fact, ski jumping is a family sport for the Tanaka household. “Her father had been a ski jumper when he was younger and because of that her brother was put into the sport” (COC, pp. 6)
Her favorite part of ski jumping is the adrenaline and incredible heights that the athletes reach. Today, she continues to compete in global competitions.