"I just became a father and I don't know right or left. I couldn't do anything this week."


"I may be disappointed because of my father's disqualification and athlete's disqualification."



Akito Watabe of Ski Nordic Combined.


I made a decision in May when my second child was born.


It is a balance between "childcare" and "competition".


What is the new way of life that Watanabe is trying to show while searching for himself, who looks back on himself as a "machine" who has devoted himself to the competition for nearly 20 years.

"Machine" decision

Akito Watabe of Ski Nordic Combined is 34 years old.


He made his first Olympic appearance in high school and won silver medals at the 2014 Sochi Games and the 2018 Pyeongchang Games for the second time in a row.

In addition, at this year's Beijing Games, he won two bronze medals, both group and individual.

It was the first time in 28 years for Japan to win a medal in this group.



Such a Japanese ace once talked about herself, who had been earnestly aiming for the top of the world.



(Akito Watabe)


"The Olympics and competitive life so far have been like machines.


 Machines just to produce results and prove their abilities."

Watanabe makes a certain decision.


I was pushed back by the birth of my second child in May.


Although there are athletes who give birth and continue to compete, I thought that there are few male athletes who are able to balance the competition while carefully raising their children.



“Why don't you aim to achieve results in competitions while reducing the amount of time you spend on competitions while raising children?”

It was something I had been thinking about since the first person was born.



(Akito Watabe)


"Because I have devoted myself to 100% competition, I have a desire to see a different path when I have a child. My challenge is to do only 100% competition." I think it will be possible to continue to be an athlete even if there is no environment. If there is hope for various athletes who will have children in the future ... "If you can achieve



results as an athlete while raising children, while working I wondered if it would be possible to continue the competition, have to work on care, and show new forms to athletes with various restrictions.

While sharing with my new dad's child-rearing wife ...

Watanabe has two children, the eldest son, Yuzuru, who is 1 year and 7 months old, and the second son, Kaisou, who was just born in May.

Her wife, Yurie (former skier, 33 years old), has also participated in the Olympics and understands the situation of top athletes.

Watanabe decided to work on childcare with his wife, but he will participate in international competitions from November, when the ski season is in full swing, to March next year.

I have to leave my house to fight around Europe.


During this period, I will be supported by my wife's parents who are farming.



I spend the summer training in Europe every year, but I stopped doing this.


Overseas expeditions during this period are important not only to avoid the harsh heat of Japan, but also to get the latest information on competitions where the rules may change every year.


Even so, I am working to increase the length of my stay in Japan as much as possible so that I do not become a so-called “one-operated” childcare worker.

Watanabe, a new dad, talked with his wife and started raising children while sharing the burden.


The second son is his wife and the eldest son is Watanabe.


However, when his wife gave birth and experienced a life alone with her eldest son, she ran into the first wall.

The eldest son was curious about various things, and the refrigerator in his favorite kitchen was left open.


In addition, all the dishes are taken out of the cupboard.


It didn't go as expected, and I couldn't handle the practice menu I made in advance.



(Akito Watabe)


"Until now, for example, when I wanted to practice this, I was able to calculate back at my own timing, but now I have to move at the timing of my child. Plus what to do I don't know. I have no choice but to sew a gap and train while I can't really read the time. I have a lot of anxiety about whether it will be a fighting performance. ”



Because it is difficult to increase the amount of practice, I concentrate more on one training than ever. , I am looking for a way to efficiently build my body as an athlete by scheduling it flexibly.

[One day with Watanabe]

(□ for childcare, ■ for training, etc.)


□ 5: 30-


Wake up by the eldest son.


Making breakfast for the whole family.


Preparation for the eldest son's nursery school (writing diapers, changing clothes, changing clothes, etc.).


□ 7: 30-


Morning stretch (while the child clings).


□ 8: 30-


Send to the nursery school by car.


■ From 9:00 to


the pool.

Head to training.


■ 11: 00-


Move to a nearby park and run.


■ Around 12:00


・ Lunch (precious time to concentrate on meals slowly)


□ Around 14:00


Prepare dinner before picking up the nursery school (prepare in advance so as not to be disturbed by the eldest son who likes the kitchen).


□ 16: 00-


Meet at the nursery school.

After that, "refill" and park again. (* Points for sleeping).

□ 17: 30-


Make dinner, feed rice, work on a computer.


□ Around 20: 30-


Let me sleep (I may fall asleep together)

“Don't forget to enjoy whatever happens”

We have no idea if we can finish this season safely.


Still, I have just begun to move forward.


I am positively struggling with a strong determination, "I want to take the lead in showing that there is a way like me."

(Akito Watabe)


"I just became a father, and I decided to continue as an athlete, and I don't know right or left. I have no precedent or experience of what to do now. It seems that I couldn't do anything this week, and I'm wondering how to use it next time as a reflection. I'm worried about what will happen when my child grows up. I don't want to forget it. "



And the words I said after interviewing one day struggling to raise children were impressive.



(Akito Watabe)


"I'm still putting a burden on my family, and I'm only showing what I'm doing very much in the shooting, and there are parts of my father's disqualification and part of my athlete's disqualification. There are some disappointments. I want to grow as a person while thanking my family for understanding them. ”



Child-rearing methods and forms vary from family to family.


It was the same for male athletes with children to have troubles and seek out.


Watanabe dared to take on the challenge of balancing childcare and competition, which he began to speak out.


From now on, it may become "one athlete's way of life" and the shape may be gradually revealed.

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