Mr. Simon/ Mrs. Pickel
Social Studies/ Language Arts
May 20, 2013
Shizuka Arakawa was born on December 29, 1981 in Shinagwa, Tokyo, Japan. Shizuka grew up in Sendia, Miyagi and is the only child of Koichi and Sachi Arakawa. Shizuka was named after Shizuka Gozen or as some people say Lady Shizuka; a very famous person in Japanese history and literature. Shizuka Arakawa is known because she was the first Japanese figure skater to win a gold medal for Japan “I never expected that I would be the first one to win a medal for Japan, so I didn't feel that pressure. But I'm very happy that I'm the one who won it. “(http://figureskating.wikia.com/wiki/Shizuka_Arakawa). She also was the second Japanese woman to ever medal for Japan in figure skating, she was the second Japanese women to win a gold medal for Japan at the winter Olympic, Olympic champion in 2006 for ladies single figure skating and she was the 2004 world champion.
When Shizuka was five years old she started to like ice skating and began training at a skate school called Chibikko Skate School. “When she went to the ice rink and saw the kids with the cute costumes. She thought “I want to wear that pretty costumes”, she landed her first triple solchow when she was eight years, and called “Child Genius” (Shizuka-Arakawa.com) Also when she was seven she started ballet lessons. Still at the age of seven Shizuka started to train with Hiroshi Nagakubo a former Olympian pair skater that competed at the winter Olympics in 1972. Shizuka started to compete in national skating competitions for Japan in 1994. 1994 through 1996 Shizuka was given the title All Japan Figure athlete. Shizuka moved up ranks very quickly and was the first skater to win three junior national titles in-a-row. In 1998 and 1999 Shizuka was the Japanese senior national champion. When Shizuka was 16 years old she went to the 1998 winter Olympics in Nagano and placed thirteenth overall. During that time she was also ranked second for figure skating in Japan. Shizuka placed second at Japans national championships, and because of that she was not on the 2002 Japanese Winter Olympic team.
2002 through 2003 Shizuka won the Winter Universiade and the Asian Winter Games. She also “earned her second consecutive silver medal at the Four Continents Championships. She took the bronze at the NHK Trophy, and placed fifth at the Cup of Russia. She qualified for the ISU Grand Prix Final, where she finished fourth. She later placed third at the Japanese Nationals, marking her fifth medal from this meet, with two gold’s and two silvers from previous seasons.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arakaw`a_Shizuka). In 2004 Shizuka was going to retire but won the world championships for figure skating in Dortmund, Germany and decided she was not ready. At the 2005 world championships Shizuka only placed ninth place, but she didn’t give up there instead she used her failure as inspiration and also decided to