Team Aurora, an initiative created by Hitachi Solutions Japan, is a group of employees who have gone on to achieve to date 10 medals at the Paralympics, since 2004. This blog is an exclusive interview with Kozo Kubo, a Paralympian specialising in 5000m wheelchair racing.
Here at Hitachi Solutions, we proudly support a variety of initiatives, a huge achievement we wish to recognise is that of team ‘AURORA’. In November 2004, Hitachi Solutions established a ski team for athletes with disabilities, AURORA. This incredible team won Paralympic medals within the Nordic ski categories five times in a row at the Winter Paralympic Games (2006 Torino, 2010 Vancouver, 2014 Sochi, 2018 in Pyeongchang, and 2022 in Beijing). Eager to find out more, an exclusive interview has been conducted with one of the team’s members, Kozo Kubo.
“I joined Hitachi Solutions Japan in 2008 (almost 15 years ago). I am now an athlete in Hitachi Solutions’ Paralympic sports team AURORA, specialising in 5000m wheelchair racing. I participated as part of the team in the Rio Paralympics 2016 and Tokyo Paralympics 2021. I also won a bronze medal in the Biathlon competition in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic. At 18, I was involved in a car accident. During the time I was in hospital I was watching the Paralympics on television, and this is where my passion first started.
Working for Hitachi Solutions has supported my passion and enabled me to achieve both my sporting and career goals. Hitachi Solutions provide AURORA with an environment for our training, allowing us to work towards upcoming events. The team is symbolic of the corporate values here at Hitachi Solutions.
A strong company culture means employees and athletes have a strong relationship; with employees coming to watch and support at events outside of the workplace. Athletes have now won an incredible 10 medals since the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Torino. The continued support from the business allows us to fulfil our sporting dreams of winning and becoming the best in the world, which is what I am motivated towards achieving.
As well as this, Hitachi Solutions support our professional career through this inclusivity and disability initiative. This allows me to feel responsible for my mission and achieve results for myself.
The one piece of advice I always follow is ‘victory over oneself’. I believe that you can achieve what you want by winning over yourself, not by winning over the opponent. This is what keeps me motivated and focused on my own future ambitions. I want to prove that in the future you can still grow as an athlete over 40. I would also like to find and teach next-generation Paralympians who will be the future of para-sports.”
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