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Midori Ito

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MidoriIto

Midori Ito is a former Japanese Figure skater. She is the 1989 World Champion and the 1992 Olympic silver medalist. In 1988, she became the first woman to land a triple axel in competition.

BiographyEdit

Born in Nagoya, Ito started skating at age 5. Midori landed her first triple jump at age 8. She won her first national championship in 1985, having already participated in the World Championships one year earlier. She placed 5th at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. Later that same year, she perfected the triple Axel which she had been working on since her early teens and she became the first woman to land a triple axel in competition, when competing at a regional competition in the Aichi prefecture. She would repeat this feat at both the 1988 NHK international later that fall, and then the World Championships in 1989. Her win at the 1989 World Championships was the first world title in the sport for an Asian competitor. She received five 6.0s for technical merit. She did not retain her world title in the following two years (second in 1990, fourth in 1991) primarily due to uncharacteristic errors in the execution of her program.

At the pre-Olympic event in Albertville in the fall of 1991, she beat rival Kristi Yamaguchi by completing a triple-axel and five other triple jumps in her free skate. During the warm-up before the long programme at the 1991 Trophée Lalique, she landed a triple Axel/triple toe loop jump combination, which has still not been equalled by any other female skater.

Ito was one of the favorites for the Olympic title at the 1992 Olympic Games. After a troubled Olympic short program and encountering problems landing a triple-axel during the week, she was in fourth place and needed a solid long program in order to win a medal. Her long program began with a failed triple Axel; in order to win a spot on the podium, Ito added another one to the end of her program and landed it successfully, becoming the first woman to land one in the Olympics. Ito won the silver medal, and apologized to her country for not winning the gold. She turned professional afterwards, bringing the triple Axel for the first time to the professional ranks, and performed with ice shows in Japan. Ito briefly returned to competitive skating in the 1995-1996 season, but without her former success.

During the peak of her career, Ito was an immensely powerful skater, performing much the same jump content as the top male skaters of the time. In addition to being the first female skater to perform the triple axel jump, some years earlier she was also the first to perform a triple/triple jump combination. Ito's energetic skating style did not always find favor with the judges. Later in her career, in trying to adopt a softer and more stereotypically "feminine" style, Ito seemed to lose much of the natural joy that had characterized her earlier skating. Ito also struggled with Compulsory figures before they were eliminated in competition after the 1990 season, and in coping with the attention of the Japanese press following her World Championship win.

During the opening ceremonies of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Ito had the honor of lighting the Olympic Flame in the stadium.

Competitive highlightsEdit

Event/Season 1979-80 1980-81 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 1987-88 1988-89 1989-90 1990-91 1991-92 1995-96
Winter Olympics - - - - - - - - 5th - - - 2nd -
World Championships - - - - 7th - 11th 8th 6th 1st 2nd 4th - 7th
World Junior Championships - 8th 6th - 3rd - - - - - - - - -
Japan 3rd - - - 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Japan 1st - - 1st - - - - - - - - - -
Skate America - - - - - - - - - 2nd - 2nd - -
Skate Canada - - - - - 1st - - - - - - - -
Trophée Lalique - - - - - - - - - - - - 1st -
NHK Trophy - - - - 3rd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st -

ProgramsEdit

Season Short Program Free Skating Exhibition
1995-96 The Firebird
by Igor Stravinsky
Cinderella (Prokofiev)
by Sergei Prokofiev
Nessun dorma
by Giacomo Puccini
1991-92 Tango Jalousie
by Jacob Gade
Espana Cani
by Pascual Marquina Narro
Piano Concerto No. 1
by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Piano Concerto No. 1
Piano Concerto No. 2
by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Rhythm of the Rain
by The Cascades
Singin' in the Rain
by Nacio Herb Brown
Over the Rainbow
by Harold Arlen
On My Own
by Claude-Michel Schonberg
1990-91 Warsaw Concerto
by Richard Addinsell
Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor"
by Ludwig van Beethoven
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Variation XVIII
by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Finlandia
by Jean Sibelius
Rhythm of the Rain
by The Cascades
Singin' in the Rain
by Nacio Herb Brown
Over the Rainbow
by Harold Arlen
On My Own
by Claude-Michel Schonberg
1989-90 Anvil Chorus
by Giuseppe Verdi
arranged by Jerry Gray (arranger)
Memories of You
by Eubie Blake
Scheherazade
by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Yotei no Matsuri
by Yasuhiro Sakurada
Mission: Impossible
by Lalo Schifrin
On My Own
by Claude-Michel Schonberg
1988-89 Fantastic Tango[1]
by Shinji Wakita
A Classical Rock
by Frank Mills
Concerto No.1 for Piano
by Frank Mills
Somewhere Out There
by James Horner
Conga (song)
by Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine
1987-88 Yotei no Matsuri[1]
by Yasuhiro Sakurada
Le Corsaire Pas de Deux Adagio
by Riccardo Drigo
Grand Pas Classique Coda
by Daniel Auber
Paquita Adagio/Coda
by Ludwig Minkus
Time Passage
by Seiko Matsuda
Aramis'78 Image album
by Akiko Yano
Sweet Dreamer[1]
by Yoko Takarada
1986-87 Nine to Five soundtrack
by Charles Fox (composer)
Magical City[1]
by Mika Yamashita
Aramis'78 Image album
by Akiko Yano
1985-86 Tyrolean fairy Magical City[1]
by Mika Yamashita
1984-85 Sweet Dreamer[1]
by Yoko Takarada
Ice Paradice[1]
by Tokiko Tsunoda
Sweet Dreamer[1]
by Yoko Takarada

Records and achievementsEdit

AmateurEdit

  • World Champion (1989).
  • First woman to land a triple-triple jump combination (1981).
  • First woman to land a double loop-triple loop combination (in the short program) (1984).
  • First woman to land five major jumps in competition (1984).
  • First woman to land a triple Axel in competition (1988).
  • First woman to land six major jumps in competition (1989).
  • First woman to land a triple Axel in the Olympics (1992).

AwardsEdit

  • Inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame (2003).

Triple axelEdit

Ito landed 18 triple axels in competition.

1988-89 Aichi Prefecture Championships (LP)
Japanese Free Skating Championships (LP)
NHK Trophy (LP)
Japan Figure Skating Championships (LP)
World Championships (LP)
1989-90 NHK Trophy (LP)
World Championships (LP)
1990-91 East Japan Championships (LP)
NHK Trophy (LP)
Japan Figure Skating Championships (LP)
1991-92 East Japan Championships (LP)
Trophee Lalique (LP)
NHK Trophy (SP(combination with double toe loop), LP(combination with double toe loop))
Japan Figure Skating Championships (SP(combination with double toe loop), LP)
Winter Olympics (LP)
1995-96 Japan Figure Skating Championships (LP)

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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