Who is Ayumo Hirano?
Ayumu Hirano was born in 1998. He is a Japanese competitive snowboarder. Hirano won a silver medal in the super pipe in 2013 Winter X Games XVI at the young age of 14, thereby becoming the youngest medalist in X games history. He also won silver medals in the half-pipe at both the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Born and raised in a small city named Murakami, Hirano was no stranger to snow. His city was in Niigata Prefecture which is a rather snowy area in Japan. His name Ayumo meaning 'Walk the Dream' was given to him by his mom. She always wished him to become a person who would know the joy of pursuing his dream and also have the perseverance to make it come true.
Hirano's father was a surfer who had ventured into a surf shop later but settled with opening a skating park later on. His father hoped that his son would become a surfer but his son did not enjoy the sport much.
Ayumo Hirano developed an interest in skateboarding after following the footsteps of his elder brother, Eiju. Hirano soon started with skateboarding and later started snowboarding at the age of 5. Hirano revealed in an interview, that he cannot even recall how he got into the sport as he was too young and felt that he got into quite naturally.
He became one among the skateboarding team "e-Yume Kids" at Nihonkai Skate Park and joined skateboarding competitions. There was no half-pipe next to his residence and many times, his father would drive him down to Yokone ski resort in Yamagata prefecture, where there was the first official permanent half-pipe in Japan. Burton, one of the leading snowboarding brands, has been sponsoring Hirano since he was a 4th grader.
Hirano's first met huge international snowboarding success at the Burton Us Junior Open in March of 2011. He was just 12 years old and not even allowed to enter the open division of the event when his brother placed 7th and his mentor Kazuhiro Kokubo won a gold medal.
He did drop into the pipe later as a poacher and wowed the audience with his ride with grand amplitude. In 2012, he got an invitation to the Burton High Fives, an open event held in New Zealand to win the gold medal at the young age of 13. He was later invited to participate at the 2013 Winter X Games XVI in Colorado which was also snowboarding's largest non-Olympic Stage. He won silver in the super pipe behind Shaun White, who explained: "The Japanese rider who got second is 14 years old. It's amazing!"
Hirano continued on with a first place at the Burton European Open, a second place at the Burton US Open and a third place at the Oakley Arctic Challenge, becoming the 2012/2013 Halfpipe World Tour Champion and also the youngest medalist in X Games history. In the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, he won the silver medal.
Hirano again took the silver in the half pipe at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang with Shaun White of the U.S. taking the gold medal again and Scotty James of Australia garnering the bronze medal.
Ayumo Hirano has a typical and unique technique which has been his patent style since he started snowboarding. He takes a goofy stance with his right foot forward, and manages to use his precise technique, timing and fearlessness attitude which allows him a greater vertical positioning in taking off from the lips of the pipe, granting him extraordinary amplitude in the air while also making his tricks look effortless and time-stopping.
Hirano's regards his mentor and his parents as his greatest influence. Kokubo, his mentor, is a Japanese two-time US open winner in the half pipe. Hirano said in an interview, "The environment has dramatically changed after I first went to the US. I met Kazu (Kokubo) and Carl (Harris), and it made it possible for me to join Mt. Hood summer camp, and to compete in New Zealand. It gave me the experience in different pipes and I got to see the leading riders ride. I came to understand what world class means and knew what I needed to improve." Kokubo has been mentoring Hirano since 2011, and was also assigned as the official technical coach for the Japanese national snowboarder team in 2013.
Among Hirano's other coaches are Ben Boyd and Elijah Teter at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
Hirano's father has had the motto of "Personality comes first. The most essential is the most important"… throughout his parenting and running his kids' skateboarding team.
Net worth of the snowboarder
The net worth of the snowboarder is currently under review.
Ayumo Hirano is available on Instagram @ayumohirano1129. It’s her official page on Instagram and he uploads a lot of his photos from his competitions here.