Akiko Suzuki was a top junior competitor in Japan in the early part of the decade before some personal struggles started to get in the way of her career. She was known as a breathtaking artistic skater, and her fans hoped that she would make a return to competition.
A brave comeback in 2006 led to an outstanding 2007-08 season, in which she won Golden Spin of Zagreb and the Winter Universiade championship. Her stunning fifth-place finish at Japan's competitive national championships led to her inclusion on the national 'A' team for 2008-09. Akiko was assigned the prestigious NHK Trophy as her Grand Prix event for that season. Making the most of her national team ticket, Akiko won the Finlandia Trophy, took silver at NHK to complete a Japanese sweep of the ladies' medals, and finished an incredible fourth at the All-Japan championships. She was named the alternate for World Championship team and competed at the Four Continents Championship in Vancouver. The 2009-10 Olympic season was a big one for all Japanese skaters, and Akiko came through with a win at Cup of China and second-place finishes at the All-Japan and the Four Continents. Akiko realized her dream of making the Olympic team and powered her way to an eighth place finish in Vancouver.
Akiko enjoyed a successful 2010-11, winning silver medals in her Grand Prix events. A fourth-place finish at the All-Japan, however, kept her out of the World Championships. Akiko rebounded in the 2011-12 season, winning gold at the NHK Trophy, silver at the Grand Prix Final in Québec City and bronze at the World Championships in Nice, France. Her perseverance and commitment to the sport have brought her far, and no doubt will serve her well in the future.