Asian Figure Skaters
Photos from www.skate.org/chen/
Chen Lu was born on November 24, 1976. She started skating when she 4. Chen Lu goes by the nickname of Lulu. Lulu’s coaches are Li Minzhu, Frank Carroll, and Carlo Fassi.
Besides being China’s first world champion, Chen Lu’s major contribution to figure skating was in helping develop skating programs in her country. Her success inspired others to skate and China now has many great skaters.
Chen Lu married another figure skater named Denis Petrov in 2005. She is now the skating director of a new rink in Shenzhen, China. They both also coach.
Midori Ito was born on August 13,1969 in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. Midori Ito learned how to skate when she was 4 and was competing by the age of 6. Her parents divorced when she was 10 and went to live with her skating coach, Machiko Yamada.
At the age of 12 Midori was at the Junior World Competition, and made history by becoming the first woman to complete a triple/triple combination jump in competition. She became known as “Tsunami Girl” and “The Japanese Jumping Bean”.
In 1988, Midori graduated from high school, and in November 1988, she again made history by becoming the first woman to land a triple Axel jump in competition. She went to the 1988 Olympics, but did not land a triple Axel and finished 5th. The following year in 1989, Midori earned a gold medal at the World Championships, becoming the first Asian skater to become a figure skating World Champion. During the years of 1989-1992 she won nine gold medals and two silvers out of 12 competitions.
Midori was favored to win the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics, skating against American skater Kristi Yamaguchi. She planned her famous triple Axel in one of her routines and fell. She landed a second triple Axel, becoming the first woman to land one in the Olympics, and skated well enough to win the silver medal. Even though she won a silver medal, she apologized to her country for not winning the gold.
Another time she jumped right into the camera pit at the edge of the rink and came out smiling as though nothing happened and finished her routine placing in 4th. This upbeat personality, along with her jumping ability is what made Midori so famous and popular.
Midori retired from competitive skating, but she still skates in ice shows in Japan, and helps with commentary in skating competitions. She also helps her former coach with her students, and coaches a Japanese national figure skating team. In March 2004, Midori was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
Shizuka Arakawa was born on December 29, 1981 in Tokyo, Japan. She competed in her first Olympics in 1998, and won her first Olympic gold medal in 2006 at Torino, Italy. She became the first person from Japan to ever win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating.
Shizuka started skating when she was five years old, and landed her first triple jump at age 8. She started skating because she thought the skating costumes were pretty.
Shizuka worked hard, and trained in both Japan and the United States. She is an excellent jumper, and is known for her difficult triple-triple combination jumps. In the 2006 Olympics, she showed that she was also a very artistic skater.
Some other achievements include winning the NHK Trophy in 2004, and winning the World Championships in Dortmund, Germany in 2004. She was also the two-time Japanese National champion.
When she is not skating, Shizuka likes to listen to Japanese pop music, watch movies, cook and read.