Spotlight on Goldman Sachs Olympians: Yoshihide Fukuhara
As nations around the world unite to compete for the top spot in the Rio 2016 Olympics, we are celebrating Olympic athletes across Goldman Sachs in a new Q&A series. Seven employees will share their journeys, memories and stories from the games and how the experience has shaped their perspectives today. Keep visiting the careers blog for new profiles over the next few weeks.
Yoshihide Fukuharu works as a Shiatsu masseur in the Tokyo fitness center. He competed for Japan in the Blind Marathon and 10,000-Meter Race at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. Here, Yoshihide shares the training required to compete in the Paralympics and overcoming challenges and setbacks.
Q: Describe the training and commitment that Paralympic-level performance requires. What type of preparation and sacrifice did your training demand?
Yoshihide: I had to run at least 20,000 [meters] in total every day – morning, lunch time or night – whenever I could find time. I need to have a guide to run, and it was often difficult to arrange a guide when I had time to run. There wasn’t a field where I could practice when the weather was bad, so I used stairs in the office to train.
Q: Please share any setbacks or challenges you experienced on your path to the Paralympics. How did these impact you and how did you manage them?
Yoshihide: [I was] financially challenged in the lead up to the Paralympics because of limited government support, so I had to find guides by myself or look for volunteers. I also had a newborn and a two-year-old child to look after and needed to work, so I struggled to find the time to practice. To manage all I had on my list, I could sleep only a couple of hours every day for two years – it was the toughest time in my life.
Q: How did your experience of pursuing excellence in your sport shape your outlook overall? How does your Paralympic experience continue to influence your perspective today?
Yoshihide: I became more patient and started appreciating everything I was given, which made me think about how to be kinder and more forgiving to others. I also learned not to give up on things easily.
Q: What is your favorite memory from participating in the Paralympics?
Yoshihide: It was an overwhelming experience when I ran the 10,000-meter event. I still remember the stadium, which was full of people who were really enthusiastic, cheering for the runners – I had runner’s high for the first time in my life. I’m still a member of the Japan Paralympic Marathon team, so I’ve been sharing my experience and the things I learned with younger generations and that helps me remember my own participation.