Bilingual Skating Coach
• Young Miki Kikuta has determined her career as a skating coach offering her bilingual skills for Japanese language speakers. Kikuta said, “Ice skating is popular in Chicagoland, and there are many ice rinks. Parents who have been transferred from Japan often bring their children, and say that they want their children to enjoy ice skating here. Skate fees are more affordable here, and rinks are close to their homes.”
• Kikuta started ice skating at the age
of five. He parents happened to take her a rink, and immediately she was
absorbed in it, so her parents put her in a course.
• When she was 10, skater Fumie Suguri, who later got the fourth place at the Torino Olympics, stayed with the Kikuta family. Suguri was working with Coach Oleg Vasiliev, so Kikuta began to learn from him.
• Kikuta took part in many competitions
and shows. One of her memorable competitions was the regional qualifier
in Tokyo block. She won the first place and advanced to the All Japan
Competition when she was in the fifth grade.
• Kikuta’s unforgettable memory was participating
in the National Championship as one of two junior representatives from
Fukuoka Prefecture. Kikuta was born in Chicago, but moved to Fukuoka with
her mother and sister when she was a junior-high student.
• The Championship was held at Kushiro
in Hokkaido. It was her first visit to Kushiro, so she looked forward
to going there.
• As a skating coach, she said, “I’m most delighted when mothers of my students frankly talk with me and ask me for consultations. I’m Japanese, so they have no language barrier, and they trust me. I want to be not only a good coach, but also a good adviser. I can tell them about location of rinks and available teachers in a certain Prefecture, so they don’t have to worry about it when they return to Japan. I want to help them, and no other coaches in Chicago can do this.”
• The full story is available in Chicago Shimpo’s October 10th issue