Kyoko Ina - Life and Career

Life and Career

Ina was born in Tokyo, Japan, but raised in New York. She started skating at the age of 4, at the rink at Rockefeller Center. Ina skated singles and pairs for Japan in the Junior ranks, but eventually decided to compete solely for the United States.

Her first American partnership was with Jason Dungjen from 1991 to 1998, under the coaching of Peter Burrows and Marylynn Gelderman in Monsey, New York. They placed 4th at the 1998 Winter Olympics but withdrew from the 1998 World Championships after an accident during a practice session – while practicising a triple twist, Ina's arm hit Dungjen's forehead, fracturing the browbone above his right eye. Their partnership ended following that season.

Ina teamed up with John Zimmerman. Initially, they were coached by Peter Burrows and Mary Lynn Gelderman in Monsey, New York and they also commuted to Stamford, Connecticut to work with Tamara Moskvina. They later trained under Mosvkina and Igor Moskvin in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Ina and Zimmerman are able to capitalize on their height difference and perform various difficult lifts. They won three U.S. Championships and competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics. They won the bronze medal at the 2002 World Figure Skating Championships.

Ina had not yet turned professional when, on July 18, 2002, the USADA chose to perform an out-of-competition doping test on her. The agent came to her home for an unscheduled test at 10:30 at night. Ina stated that she could not produce the urine sample because she had already prepared to go to sleep. Ina was led to believe by the agent that the test could be rescheduled for the following day, but she was later charged with refusing to take a doping test. She was suspended by the USADA because of this and faced fines. Despite what had been reported, Ina never faced suspension from the International Skating Union because the refused test was a national out of competition test. Ina's case was further complicated because it was not clear at the time if she had or had not officially retired from competition at the time of the attempted test. Ina eventually filed a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but later withdrew it. In the end, Ina accepted a two-year sanction from the USADA.

Ina and Zimmerman skated with the Stars on Ice tour for many years. In 2010, Ina competed in the second season of the Canadian reality competition Battle of the Blades partnered with retired NHL player Kelly Chase.

Ina coaches in New Jersey.

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