Taiki Morii Wins Downhill Silver (Sitting), “Four Events Left to Get Gold” / PyeongChang Paralympics
Taiki Morii (LW11) won a silver medal in the men's alpine skiing Downhill event (sitting), the same high-speed event in which women's skier Momoka Muraoka won a medal. Morii's goal for the Paralympic Games was "to get a Paralympic gold medal, the only medal I still do not have." He showed some disappointment in getting the silver, but was smiling at the ceremony—this makes him a medalist at four consecutive Paralympic Games.
Morii was the second skier in the men's sit-skiing event and finished with a time of 1:25.75. This time was surpassed by eighth skier Andrew Kurka (U.S.) at 1:24.11.
When asked about getting the silver medal at the interviewing area, Morii gave the honest comment, "It is disappointing."
"I messed up at the most important point (where I had to accelerate). I was not able to gain speed on the gentle slope, so I was really anxious for the rest of the run."
Morii also praised Kurka's outstanding performance, saying, "Even without my mistake, I would not have been able to beat that time difference (of 1.64 seconds)."
Silver medalist Morii (left) © Getty Images Sport
Morii was the gold medalist of the same event at the pre-Games held in PyeongChang last year.
A disappointing silver, yet—
"That said, I am relieved to at least get a medal."
After the Sochi Paralympics, Morii changed jobs to Toyota Motor Corporation where he developed a new sit-ski and boot cover designed to minimize air resistance. He has a strong support team behind him, with access to the company's wind tunnel testing facilities and engineers. The supporting engineers were waiting at the finish area, and the first thing he did was let them know about the medal.
"After I made my mistake, I kept telling myself, 'I still have the fastest sit-ski than anyone else.'"
Although he was one step short of the gold, the multi-talented athlete still has more opportunities to get that coveted medal.
"I intend to ski aggressively at the remaining four races and get that beautiful gold medal." We look forward to watching Morii achieve his greatest dream.
From left: Taiki Morii (silver), Andrew Kurka (U.S., gold), Corey Peters (New Zealand, bronze) © Getty Images Sport
text by Asuka Senaga