Yuka Sato : biography
is a Japanese figure skater. She is the 1994 World Champion, the 1990 World Junior Champion and the 1993 & 1994 Japanese national champion. She placed 7th at the 1992 Winter Olympics and 5th at the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Yuka Sato was born in Tokyo. Both of her parents are former skaters. Her father, Nobuo Sato, competed at the 1960 Winter Olympics and 1964 Winter Olympics while her mother, Kumiko Okawa, competed in the 1964 Winter Olympics and 1968 Winter Olympics.
In addition to being coached by her parents, Sato also worked with coach Peter Dunfield.
Sato is a graduate of Hosei University.
Sato is credited as a stunt performer in the 2007 figure skating comedy motion picture Blades of Glory.
She married fellow figure skater Jason Dungjen in 1999.
In the 1988–1989 season, Yuka Sato won the Japan Junior Figure Skating Championships to qualify for the 1989 World Figure Skating Championships, where she placed 10th. She also qualified for the 1989 Japan Figure Skating Championships, where she won the bronze medal behind Midori Ito and Junko Yaginuma.
In the 1989–1990 season, Sato again won the Japan Jr. Championships to qualify for the World Junior Championships. Sato won the 1990 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. She won the silver medal at the Japanese Championships that season and qualified for the 1990 World Figure Skating Championships, where she placed 14th.
In the 1990–1991 season, Sato placed 5th at the 1990 NHK Trophy and at the 1990 Nations Cup.
In the 1991–1992 season, Sato won the bronze medal at the 1991 Skate America. She won her second silver medal at the Japanese Championships to qualify for the 1992 Winter Olympics and the 1992 World Figure Skating Championships. She placed 7th at the Olympics and 8th at the World Championships.
In the 1992–1993 season, Sato won the 1992 Skate America, beating Nancy Kerrigan and Chen Lu. She won the silver medal at the 1992 NHK Trophy and won the Prague Skate. She won her first of two Japanese national titles that season and qualified for the 1993 World Figure Skating Championships, where she placed 4th.
In the 1993–1994 season, Sato won the bronze medal at the 1993 NHK Trophy and placed 6th at the pre-Olympic Piruetten competition in Norway. She won her second Japanese national title that season to qualify for the 1994 Winter Olympics and the 1994 World Figure Skating Championships. At the Olympics, she popped an intended triple lutz jump in the short program and placed 7th in that segment of the competition. She completed six triple jumps in the free skate to place 5th overall.
All of the Olympic medalists withdrew from the 1994 World Figure Skating Championships, which were held in Japan. She placed first after the technical program, with Surya Bonaly and Tanja Szewczenko in second and third, respectively. In the free skate, she was beaten by Bonaly 8–1 in the technical mark but won the presentation mark 8–1, and she won the title by a 5–4 vote between the judges.
Following her win at the 1994 World Championships, Sato retired from amateur skating and began touring professionally. She performed in many shows and toured with Stars on Ice. She married Jason Dungjen and began touring with him as a pair skater professionally. As a professional skater, she won the 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2002 World Professional Figure Skating Championships and placed second at that competition in 1996 and 1998.
Sato works as a sports commentator for Japanese television. She worked for NHK during the 2006 Winter Olympics and commentated on the broadcast of Shizuka Arakawa’s winning performance.
Sato works as a coach and choreographer at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Among her choreography clients is Takahiko Kozuka. In collaboration with her husband, she began coaching Jeremy Abbott in May 2009 and Alissa Czisny in May 2010.
|Winter Olympic Games||7th||5th|
|World Junior Championships||10th||1st|
|Japanese Jr. Championships||1st||1st|
|Skate Canada International||4th||7th|