Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Beauty of Sport, Part Three: Figure skater Midori Ito

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. :-)

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