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Yukari Nakano

中野 友加里


Age: 30

Height: 156 cm (5'1½")

Birthplace: Konan City 


Major Titles:

2009 Winter Universiade champion

2007 Asian Winter Games champion

2005 NHK Trophy champion


Photos

Competitive History


Skate Canada 2007 Interview

Skate Detroit 2006 Interview

Skate Detroit Interview Photos

Yukari Nakano

2010 JAPAN SKATES HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE

yukari nakanoYukari was born on August 25, 1985 in Konan City.  She started to skate at the Waseda University Skating Club in 1991, in Aichi.  Her technical prowess was identified at an early age and she moved up the ranks quickly, thanks in no small part to her attempts to perfect the elusive triple Axel. 

Yukari’s breakthrough year was 2000-01, in which she won the Japanese junior championship and finished an impressive fourth at the World Junior Championship.  She followed up these tremendous achievements the following season, where she was a strong fifth at the Japanese senior championships and won the World Junior silver medal.  In 2002-03, she debuted on the senior Grand Prix circuit and landed an historic triple Axel at Skate America in Spokane, Washington, becoming the first female skater to perform the difficult jump in competition since countrywoman Midori Ito at the 1992 Winter Olympics.  She capped off this successful year with a bronze medal at the Four Continents.

After this impressive debut, Yukari fyukari nakanoocused more on her artistry, in addition to maintaining her jumping prowess. Her musical choices have always been varied; she has skated to a concert piece by Gounod in her short program and to a Beatles medley in her free skate!  Coached by the famous Nobuo Sato at the Shin Yokohama Skate Center, she continued to compete on the senior Grand Prix circuit and was a regular competitor at the prestigious Four Continents events.  She was also an Asian Winter Games bronze medalist.

Following a couple of comparatively disappointing seasons, Yukari sprung back to prominence in 2005-06 with a brilliant year.  Added as a late entry to Japan's Grand Prix roster, she began with a surprise bronze medal at Skate Canada and followed up with a historic win at the NHK Trophy in Osaka.  She continued with an impressive bronze at the Grand Prix Final in Tokyo and a strong fifth-place showing at the always-competitive All-Japan championships.  This dream season took a disappointing turn, however, when she was left off Japan's Olympic team and was named to the Four Continents and Worlds team instead.  Making the most of it, Yukari skated to a silver medal at the 4CC and a fifth-place finish at Worlds in a performance many thought worthy of a medal.  Yukari spoke of her disappointment at being left off the Olympic team in her exclusive interview with Japan Skates in July 2006.

Yukari proved that 2005-06 was no fluke as she solidified her standing as one of Japan's top three lady skaters at each of the next two All-Japan championships.  She also performed strongly at the World championships in both years.  Many thought that her fourth-place performance at the yukari nakanoGoteborg Worlds in 2008 should have easily earned her a medal.  Still, Yukari took it all in stride.

In the 2008-09 season, Yukari skated strongly for the most part, but her fifth-place finish at the All-Japan Championships ensured that she missed the World Championships in Los Angeles.  A university student, Yukari was not sure that she wanted to continue to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.  However, she decided in the fall of 2007 that she would continue.  She broke this news to the skating community in Japan Skates' interview with her at the 2007 Skate Canada International.  Yukari's obvious goal for the 2009-10 season was to qualify for the Olympic team, an honour denied her in 2006.  She performed well in the Grand Prix series and won the bronze medal at the All-Japan Championships, but was left off the team again.  Offered instead a berth at the World Championships, Yukari elected to retire from competitive skating.  She thus became the fourth member of Japan Skates' Hall of Fame,

Yukari is a well-rounded young lady away from the skating rink.  Among her hobbies are playing the piano, knitting, jazz dancing, and, of course, shopping.  Whatever she continues on to, Japan Skates will be cheering her every step of the way.