Yasuo Kawamura

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameYasuo•Kawamura
Used nameYasuo•Kawamura
Original name河村•泰男
Born7 May 1908 in Ogoto, Ōtsu, Shiga (JPN)
Died13 October 1997 in Sapporo, Hokkaido (JPN)
AffiliationsShenyang, Manchuria
NOC Japan


Born in the Shiga prefecture, Yasuo Kawamura moved to Korea and later to Manchuria with his family. There, he started speed skating in winter, and cycling and athletics in summer. In 1931, Kawamura was a member of the first Japanese team in international championships and competed in the European and World Championships in Stockholm and Helsinki, respectively. Later, he was selected for the Japanese team at the 1932 and 1936 Winter Olympics. In Lake Placid, he set two national records: in the 1,500 m and the 5,000 m. During his trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, he also competed at the European Championships in Oslo. His only national title came in 1933 in the 1,500 m.

After the end of World War II, the family returned to Japan. In the following years, Kawamura worked in sports management and as a sports journalist in various regions. Amongst others, he was involved in the organization of the 1954 World Speed Skating Championships in Sapporo and served as the Japanese team coach one year later at the World’s in Moskva. During his time in Hakodate, he developed a new method to construct skating rinks in the winter seasons. Kawamura was also a pioneer, popularizing the sport of curling in the 1960s. In 1970, he joined the organizing committee for the Sapporo Winter Olympics and went on to serve as a competition official. Kawamura’s last official commitment was managing the skating competition committee of the 1st Winter Asian Games held in Sapporo in 1985. In his mid-60s he started running marathons until an old age.

Personal Bests: 500 – 45.8 (1936); 1500 – 2:28.2 (1936); 5000 – 9:22.6 (1932); 10000 – 19:52.5 (1935).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) JPN Yasuo Kawamura
500 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h1 r1/2
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 4 h3 r1/2
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 7 h2 r1/2
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) AC h2 r1/2
1936 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) JPN Yasuo Kawamura
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 28