YUHEI Sekino has two younger brothers and one sister. His youngest brother, Ryusuke, was born on 1 October 2018 at Nagano Children's Hospital, and was called the 'smallest baby boy in the world', weighing just 258 grams. When Ryusuke was released from hospital, Yuhei remarked on camera that 'he may be the smallest baby in the world, but he's also the most radiant'.
Yuhei on the other hand, has been aiming for a gold medal in alpine skiing since he was in elementary school.
He is also cheering on athletes aiming to participate in the Olympic Summer Games. He hopes they win a lot of gold medals. He sees being able to participate as a torchbearer as a way to be involved, even if only on a small scale.
Please tell us about the time when your younger brother Ryusuke was born. How did you feel about your younger brother being called the 'smallest baby boy in the world'?
When he was born, I saw Ryusuke wrapped in a small cloth. At the time I thought he was 'really small'. I was struck by the wonder of life. Six months after that when he was released from hospital he was called the 'world's smallest', and I thought he had the 'strongest vitality in the world'. Right from the time he was born I thought he was amazing.
Tell us what you find attractive about alpine skiing. What are you doing to become No.1 in the world?
From my first experience of alpine skiing right through to today, I have always thought that feeling the wind rushing by is really exhilarating, and it is one of the things that I have always loved. Each day during practice, I listen attentively to my coach, always giving my best effort during training.
Tell us about the attractions of your hometown of Nagano, which has also hosted the Olympic Games before. What do you like about it?
I love the way that everyone in the prefecture, no matter what age they are, gets on well with each other. And being able to enjoy the great outdoors under a perfectly clear sky gives me a feeling of freedom and space.
How did you feel when it was announced that you had been selected as a torchbearer? What were the reactions of your brothers and sister?
I remember that I was really surprised to have been selected. When I think about it, I know that it is really all thanks to Ryusuke, my family and the people of the area. My brothers and sister were all really happy and said, 'give it your best, brother!'.
As a torchbearer running to represent your brothers and sister, tell us what you are excited about?
As a representative of my brothers and sister, including Ryusuke, and a representative of the people of the area who raised me, I am determined to make my 200 metres something special which I can treasure for the rest of my life. Each step of my run will remind me of how thankful I am.