Ayuko ItoTEDxHamamatsu 2018 Speaker
Short track speed skater
Born in Hamamatsu City in 1986, lives in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.
She is a speed skater who participated in the Olympic Games three times, Vancouver in 2010, Sochi in 2014 and PyeongChang in 2018.
She started skating when she was in second grade of elementary school. Her father took her to a skating school for the first time. After that, she met Mr. Hideto Takiguchi who is a former Japanese representative skater from Hamamatsu City, who introduced her short track speed skating. When she was in second grade of junior high school, she participated in the Japan Championship. Since she was a child, she wanted to be praised by people around, and had a dream to participate in the Olympic Games at any kinds of skating events. She had chosen short track speed skating and set a goal to take part in the Olympic Games.
Since her hometown, Hamamatsu, is too warm to practice for winter sports, her father drove her to the skate rink in neighboring Aichi Prefecture three times a week and she kept practicing hard. After graduating from high school, she joined Toyota Motor Corporation. Although she had once retired after participated in the Sochi Olympics in 2014, she realized her renewed love for skating after experienced the supporting staff. She won the first place of the All-Japan Championship in 2016 and made a comeback. She also won the second place of 500-meter race at the Winter Asian Games in 2017 and participated in the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018.
Her favorite food is fish. Her hobbies are traveling, watching sports games, etc. She has been appointed as “Yaramaika Taishi”, an ambassador of friendship who promotes the charm of Hamamatsu City both inside and outside since 2010.
What I Gained Through Persistent Efforts