Jessica Wang
February 12, 2018 3:29 pm

With the men’s and women’s halfpipe snowboarding competition underway tonight, American favorites Shaun White and Chloe Kim are bound to make a splash—or whatever the frozen equivalent is of a splash. However, viewers should keep their eyes peeled for Japanese snowboarder Ayumu Hirano, a lesser known athlete who just might give Olympic legend Shaun White a run for the gold.

At just 19, Hirano has already made halfpipe history by becoming the first rider to achieve a back-to-back double cork 1440s at the X Games, winning X Games gold. And in 2016, Ayumu became the first Japanese athlete to win an X Games when he took home the gold at the X Games in Oslo. Hirano is clearly a force to be reckoned with, as commentators have speculated the Murakami native to be the next Shaun White.

So, with such historical achievements under his belt, how much is Ayumu Hirano’s net worth?

Searches into the rabbit hole of the interwebs provided no concrete answer. And while many would presume that a source like Pro Snowboarders Association of Asia would provide a mere estimate, it did not and instead included tidbits of Hirano’s blood type (Type O, if you were wondering).

Despite Hirano’s net worth being as up in the air as his halfpipes, USA Today offered insights on just how much Olympic athletes make. According to the report, National Olympic Committees pay their athletes bonuses when they medal; the Japanese Olympic Committee awards gold medalists 5 million yen ($49.9K in U.S. dollars), silver medalists 2 million yen ($20K), and bronze medalists 1 million yen ($10K). Hirano won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. And, since Hirano has done various competitions at the X Games, the teen is also ranking in prize money. Prize money is reportedly less than $1 million, but these competitions provide media exposure and can open doors to sponsor opportunities. Judging from Hirano’s Instagram, the Japanese snowboarder appears to have sponsors in the bag. 

Tune into the women’s halfpipe final at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET and the men’s halfpipe qualifying at 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET tonight on NBC.

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