Sparkle Quality: Midori Ito

Whenever I need some cheering up, I turn to Midori Ito. Midori was a lady who was way beyond her time and it’s truly too bad that she got buried in the compulsory figures (which don’t exist anymore) or else she would’ve won more medals. Midori may not have had the extension and she had a pretty horrible wrap in her jumps but she jumped just as high, if not higher than the men of her time. To put this in perspective, the major competitors of the men’s competition during her era of skating include Victor Petrenko, Scott Hamilton, Brian Orser and Boitano and Kurt Browning. Midori was the first lady to land a triple axel in competition, including the Olympics.

Even during her youth, it was very clear that Midori was very, very talented. Midori was 11 years old here and finished 8th in this competition but she only did so because she was 20th after the first compulsory.

Fast forward 3 years… (Look at that double loop-triple loop combination!)

Midori is just full of surprises. Double tano-armed double flip and that double axel with her arms on her sides! Perhaps Midori’s best quality is just how infectious her happiness is. Her smile and her expressions of joy just bring a smile to your face.

Remember this moment of figure skating history, this is the first time a lady landed a triple axel at the World championships. She barely hung on but she did a perfect 3A at the NHK trophy earlier on in the season. Take that Patrick Chan!

And the infamous accident… (I think the rink just wasn’t big enough to contain her amazingness.)

There was also that other unfortunate incident with the French hot mess called Surya Bonaly who did an illegal backflip in practice to psych Midori out. Sadly it worked and as a result, I will begrudge Bonaly for the rest of my life. I love how another legendary fierce bitch extraordinaire (Katarina Witt) calls Surya out for that.

I think I’ll end this post on a high note. Her 1990 Worlds LP was just pure fabulousness. Just look at how high she jumps! The camera had to tilt upwards to get her!


~The Rinkside Cafe


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