Ex-Olympic snowboarder Melo Imai to make porn debut

AV label Muteki will release
AV label Muteki will release “Snow Drop,” the porn debut of ex-Olympic snowboarder Melo Imai, in May

TOKYO (TR) – Former Olympic snowboarder Melo Imai is set to make her adult video (AV) debut in May, the latest twist in the athlete’s tumultuous life.

On May 1, popular AV label Muteki will release “Snow Drop,” whose promotional material describes the 29-year-old as having an “athletic body made of steel, one that has been trained to a world-class level –– and now, she’s finally opened up to sex.”

In recent years, Muteki has issued the debuts of a number of stars with varying backgrounds — including gravure idol Shoko Takahashi, entertainer Anri Sakaguchi and idol Yua Mikami — and Imai is not the first athlete; in 2015, the label released the first DVD for a synchronized swimmer.

A native of Osaka, Imai represented Japan in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy as a half-pipe snowboarder, but lost during qualifying. She later married, gave birth and divorced before embarking on a career as a television personality. She also released an autobiography and appeared in a number of nude photography collections.

“Just barely famous”

Following the announcement of the Muteki release on March 31, netizens gave the news a frosty reception, particularly considering Imai was introduced as “just barely famous” on a TBS program that aired in December 2016.

At a time when media coverage of the snowboarder has been dwindling, persons on social media questioned “just how much demand there is” and whether the debut was “five years too late.” One person on Twitter even said, “Who would buy it?”

Raped at 17

Imai was recognized as Japan’s youngest professional snowboarder when she was 12. In 2004, she won the All-Japan Ski Championship Tournament Snowboard Competition. Her last major title came in 2008, when she took the Takasago Cup.

Past interviews reveal that a difficult upbringing could have played a role in the rise and fall of her once-promising career. One year ago, she told evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai that she was raped when she was 17, an incident that she discusses at length in her autobiography, published in 2012.

“I was raised by a very strict father until I was 17,” she told the paper. “I was forbidden from any sort of behavior that was girly, like wearing a skirt or putting on makeup. I just wanted to get out of that life, so I’d dress up pretty and work as a bar hostess bar.”

“I have no regrets”

Imai also admitted to working as a prostitute, saying she took up work at a “delivery health” service in Osaka. “There was a time of youthful recklessness when I became a call-girl because I needed money, but everything besides that, I wanted to do on my own volition,” Imai said. “I have no regrets with the way my life has turned out, and I’m not ashamed of it either.”

When speaking with Gendai, she indicated that becoming a snowboarding coach or working in fashion could be appealing options in her future.

“Right now, I feel like I want to do a variety of such things, one at a time, and hope my experiences will be useful for other people,” Imai said. “I get messages every day from single mothers and women who went through the kinds of things I did. It would be nice if I can encourage people like that from now on.”

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