Midori Ito became a heroine in the world of Japanese sports.
In 1981, as a young girl, she became the first female figure skater to land a triple/triple jump combination. Seven years later, at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, she became the first woman to land seven triple jumps in a free program and land a triple axel in competition. In 1989, when she turned twenty, she was the ladies' world figure skating champion.
She competed at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. A heavy favorite for the ladies' figure skating Olympic gold medal that year, she ended up taking silver, behind Japanese-American skater Kristi Yamaguchi (an earlier honoree on this blog). Coming in second hardly interfered with her lore, though, and she has remained a figure skating legend in Japan . . . a national treasure, in fact. :-)