Who is Marin Honda?
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.
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.
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.
Honda was the youngest-ever athlete named to the Japanese national team, which allowed the Japanese Skating Federation to fund her training costs.
"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.
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.
Learn more about your favorite figure skaters:
Adam Rippon | Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim | Ashley Wagner | Jason Brown | Karen Chen | Madison Chock and Evan Bates | Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue | Maia and Alex Shibutani | Mariah Bell | Mirai Nagasu | Nathan Chen | Polina Edmunds | Vincent Zhou
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Canada | Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, France | Yevgenia Medvedeva, Russia | Carolina Kostner, Italy | Gabrielle Daleman, Canada | Kaetlyn Osmond, Canada | Marin Honda, Japan | Satoko Miyahara, Japan | Patrick Chan, Canada | Javier Fernandez, Spain | Jin Boyang, China | Shoma Uno, Japan | Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan | Tatiana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov, Russia | Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Canada | Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, Germany | Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, China