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Midori Ito
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Midori Ito

Midori Ito (伊藤みどり, born August 13, 1969) is a former Japanese figure skater. She was the first Asian world champion in the sport.

Born in Nagoya, Ito started skating at age 5. She won her first national championship in 1985, having already participated in the World Championships one year earlier. She placed 5th at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. The following year, she became the first woman to land a triple axel in a major competition, when competing at the World Championships. Her performance earned her the gold medal, the first in the sport for an Asian competitor.

She did not retain her title in the following two years (second in 1990, fourth in 1991), but still was one of the favourites for the Olympic title at the 1992 Winter Olympics. Japanese-American Kristi Yamaguchi won the gold in Albertville, with Ito taking the silver. She turned professional afterwards, retiring from skating in 1996.

During the opening ceremonies of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Ito had the honour of lighting the Olympic Flame in the stadium.

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