Ito in 1989
|Born||August 13, 1969|
|Height||1.45 m (4 ft 9 in)|
|Former coach||Machiko Yamada|
|Olympic medal record|
|Women's figure skating|
|Competitor for Japan|
Midori Ito or Midori Itō (伊藤みどり Itō Midori?, born August 13, 1969 in Nagoya) is a Japanese former figure skater. She is the 1989 World champion and the 1992 Olympic silver medalist. She is the first woman to land a triple/triple jump combination and a triple axel in competition. At the 1988 Calgary Olympics, she became the first woman to land seven triple jumps in a free program.
Ito started skating at age four at a rink in Nagoya and approached Machiko Yamada, who would become her coach throughout her career, on the same day. She landed her first triple jump at age 8. She went to live with her coach after her parents' divorce when she was 10.
Ito made her first appearance at a major international competition at the 1981 World Junior Championships. She placed 20th in the compulsory figures but won the free skate with a triple loop, a triple salchow, and two triple toe loop combinations. She finished 8th in the overall standings. At this event, the 11-year-old Ito was only 3'11" tall and weighed 53 pounds. She was nicknamed the "Jumping Flea" due to her diminutive size and powerful jumps.
At the 1982 World Junior Championships, Ito won both the short program and free skating, but again weak compulsory figures kept her off the podium, in 6th place overall. Her free skate at this event included a triple flip and a triple toe loop/triple toe loop combination, and she landed a triple lutz in the exhibition.
Ito did not compete at the 1983 World Junior event, which took place in December 1982, after having sustained a broken ankle earlier that year. In the fall of 1983, she made her senior international debut at the Ennia Challenge Cup in the Netherlands, a competition that featured the short program and free skating only, without compulsory figures. She finished second to Katarina Witt, who went on to win the Olympic title a few months later. Ito's free skate included six triple jumps—flip, lutz, loop, salchow, and two toe loops—and she also completed a double loop/triple loop combination in the short program. At the 1984 World Junior Championships, she won both the short and free programs but finished third overall due to a low placement in the compulsory figures. Ito also competed at the 1984 World Championships, where she finished 7th.
Ito won her first national championship in the 1985 season, but was unable to compete at that year's World Championships after again breaking her ankle.
Ito placed 5th at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. In Calgary, she performed a double loop-triple loop in the short program, and seven triples in the free: Lutz, flip, double axel-half loop- triple salchow, loop, triple toe-triple toe, and salchow. She received 7 "5.9" marks for technical merit, despite skating before the final flight. She became the first woman to land seven triples in a free program. Later that same year, she perfected the triple Axel, which she had been working on since her early teens, and landed it at a regional competition in the Aichi prefecture. She became the first woman to land it in international competition at the 1988 NHK Trophy. She then repeated the feat at 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.
During the start of the 1989–1990 season, Ito made history again at the 1989 NHK Trophy competition, where she received a rare 6.0 technical/6.0 artistic score from the Hungarian judge, and again landed seven triples, including the triple axel. At the 1990 World Championships, Ito was 10th after the compulsory figures but placed first in both the short and long programs and won the silver medal, second to Jill Trenary. Compulsory figures were eliminated from competitions following that season. Ito commented: "In training, I spend about two-thirds of my time on the figures. So I will sort of miss them as part of my life. But I will not miss them in the actual event." In June 1990, she was invited to meet Emperor Akihito.
Ito had chronically sore knees due to her jumps. In February 1991, she underwent surgery to remove two glandular cysts in her throat and was in the hospital for 18 days. In March, at the 1991 World Championships, Ito collided with France's Laetitia Hubert during a practice session – her hip and the top of her foot were bruised. In the short program, she placed her jump combination too close to the corner of the rink and fell into the opening in the boards for the television camera but was back on the ice within seconds. She finished 4th at the event.
At the 1991 Grand Prix International de Paris – a pre-Olympic event in Albertville – Ito beat Kristi Yamaguchi by completing a triple axel and five other triple jumps in her free skate. During the warm-up before the free skate, she landed a triple Axel/triple toe loop jump combination, which has still not been equaled by any other female skater.
At the 1992 Winter Olympics, Ito placed 4th in the short program. Her long program began with a failed triple Axel but Ito attempted it again at 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 performed much the same jump content as the top male skaters of the time. She was the first ladies' skater to perform a triple/triple jump combination and the first to perform the triple axel. In March 1990, Jill Trenary said, "I was in awe of how high she jumps." In 1990, Scott Hamilton said "it will be 50 years before we see anything like Midori Ito again," and Toller Cranston, the same year, noted that "she is beyond 6.0."
Ito returned to competitive figure skating in 2011. She competed at the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition and placed second in her category, Ladies' Masters Elite II. Ito repeated her second place finish the following year. In 2013, on her third year competing at the ISU Adult Figure Skating Championship, she took the title with a 12 points margin over the second place.
|Season||Short program||Free skating||Exhibition|
|Int. de Paris||1st|
Records and achievements
- 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) (1983).
- First woman to land five different triple jumps in competition (1983).
- First woman to land a triple Axel in competition (1988).
- First and only woman to land six different triple jumps in competition (1989).
- First woman to land a triple Axel in the Olympics (1992).
- Inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame (2003).
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)|
- 伊藤みどりのフィギュアスケート・ライフ努力編 (2006) – ASIN B000O77KHK
- 伊藤みどりのフィギュアスケート・ライフ人生編 (2007) – ASIN B000OI1BXS
- 伊藤みどりのフィギュアスケート・ライフ (2007) – ASIN B000SB2ZT0
- タイム・パッセージ―時間旅行（1993）- ISBN 978-4-314-10081-6
- 伊藤みどり物語 (1992) – ISBN 978-4-87208-036-0
- 氷上の宝石―伊藤みどり写真集 (1993) – ISBN 978-4-317-80036-2
- Janofsky, Michael (March 7, 1990). "Soaring Slam-Dunk Leaper on Ice". The New York Times.
- "1981 Jr. World's Report", Skating magazine, March 1981
- "1982 Junior World Championships", Skating magazine, March 1982
- "Ennia Challenge Cup", Skating magazine, January 1984
- Skating magazine, April 1984
- Flade, Tatjana (September 18, 2011). "Midori Ito Returns to Competition". IFS Magazine. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
- Janofsky, Michael (March 16, 1991). "Ito Survives Hard Knocks and Gains 3d Place". The New York Times.
- Janofsky, Michael (March 12, 1991). "A Triple Axel With Rippling Effects". The New York Times.
- Flade, Tatjana (August 17, 2011). "Adult Skaters Embrace Lifelong Passion". IFS Magazine. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
- Adult 2011 Masters Elite II Free Skating scores
- Composed by students studying at Yamaha Music Schools.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Midori Ito.|
- Green – Midori Ito Official Blog (Japanese)
- Midori Ito fan site, including extensive biography and pictures
Haakon Magnus, Crown Prince of Norway
|Final Winter Olympic Torchbearer
1980 USA Men's Ice Hockey Team