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Who is Marin Honda?

Figure Skating: U.S. International Figure Skating Classic
Jeffrey Swinger/ USA Today Sports

Who is Marin Honda?

Marin Honda is a Japanese figure skater and the 2016 world junior champion

Japan’s Marin Honda won the world junior title in 2016 and a silver medal at the event in 2017. Her first season as a senior could take her all the way to the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

Music this season:

  • Short program: "The Giving" by Michael W. Smith
  • Free skate: "Turandot" by Giacomo Puccini

Figure skating beginnings

Honda was born August 21, 2001 in Kyoto, Japan and is the third of five siblings. All of her siblings have figure skating experience, too.  

Honda learned to skate at age 2 and by age 11 had garnered national attention as the possible next leading lady in Japanese figure skating.


Major competitions/ medals

For the 2015-16 season, Honda competed as a junior. She earned a gold and a silver medal at her two Junior Grand Prix assignments, which qualified her for the elite Junior Grand Prix Final. She earned the bronze medal there. Honda competed in both the junior national championships (where she placed sixth) and the senior national championships (where she placed ninth) that year. She culminated her season with the world junior championship crown.

The next year, Honda won two silver medals on the Junior Grand Prix series, but had to pull out of the Final with an illness. She won a bronze medal at the junior national championships and placed fourth at senior nationals. At the world junior championships in 2017, she captured a silver medal.

Honda debuted as a senior for the 2017-18 Olympic season. Her first competition was the lower-level U.S. International Classic in Salt Lake City. She won the event handily, while six Japanese TV news crews and 10 Japanese newspapers stood rinkside to cover her debut.

She competed at two Grand Prix events throughout the fall: Skate Canada and Cup of China.


Breakout moment

Honda’s breakout moment on the global stage was winning the world junior title in 2016. But within Japan, she was a star long before that. In 2012, when she was only 11, Honda won a regional novice title and a national novice title. The following year, she placed fifth at the national junior championships.


Records held

Honda was the youngest-ever athlete named to the Japanese national team, which allowed the Japanese Skating Federation to fund her training costs.

Top quotes

"I think presentation is my biggest strength. I want to be a skater who can give a performance that the audience can enjoy." – Honda told IceNetwork in 2015

Her coach, Mie Hamada, says Honda is independent. “She likes to feel the music. She likes to perform. Marin is an artist.”

"She's really beautiful and elegant. She has a flow on the ice that's really amazing. Everything looks so effortless, like it's a piece of cake." – 2017 U.S. national champion Karen Chen, who took bronze behind Honda at the U.S. International Classic in September.


Olympic experience

PyeongChang 2018 would be Honda’s first Olympics.


Outside the rink

In her spare time, Honda dabbles in photography and also enjoys making pastries.

One of Honda’s younger sisters, Miyu, is a child actress in Japan. An agent discovered her while she was in kindergarten, and she’s starred in television dramas and has appeared in a music video.

Miyu isn’t the only Honda sister with acting experience, though; Marin recently appeared in a promotional video for the Japanese release of the latest installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.

Honda also has a growing list of professional sponsors, including a newspaper and an airline.


Social media

Twitter: @Marin_Honda      

Instagram: @Marin_Honda

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