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John Baldwin, Jr. (born October 18, 1973 in Dallas, Texasmarker) is an Americanmarker figure skater. With partner Rena Inoue, he is a two-time U.S. national champion. Inoue and Baldwin are the first skaters to perform a throw triple axel in competition.

Personal life

Baldwin comes from a family of skaters. His father, John Baldwin Sr, competed as a single skater in the 1960s. His brother Don Baldwin competed in singles as well.

Baldwin proposed to his skating partner Rena Inoue in January 2008.

Career

John Baldwin originally competed in both singles and pairs. With partner Tristan Colell, he competed at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Baldwin was a veteran single skater, having competed at every national championship from his win at the novice level in 1987 through 2000. His best finish at Nationals as a senior was 9th in 1995.

His father, who was a skating coach, arranged a tryout between Baldwin and Rena Inoue, a Japanese skater living in America. Inoue and Baldwin tried out and agreed to form the partnership. They began competing together in 2000.

They placed 11th at the 2001 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The following season, they won the pewter medal at the 2002 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. They were sent to the 2002 Four Continents Championships, their first international competition together, and placed 7th.

In the 2002-2003 season, they competed on the Grand Prix. Returning to Nationals, they won the bronze medal. They withdrew from the 2003 Four Continents Championships, but placed 10th at the 2003 World Figure Skating Championships.

In the 2003-2004 season, they improved on their Grand Prix results and won their first national title. They placed 4th at the 2004 Four Continents Championships and repeated their 10th place finish at the 2004 World Figure Skating Championships.

In the 2004-2005 season, they medaled for the first time on the Grand Prix and qualified for the Grand Prix Final, where they placed 6th. They won the silver medal at the 2005 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and placed 11th at the 2005 World Figure Skating Championships.

In the 2005-2006 season, Inoue and Baldwin medaled on the Grand Prix. At the 2006 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Inoue and Baldwin became the first pair to successfully perform a throw triple Axel in competition. They went on to the 2006 Four Continents Championships, which they won. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, they made Olympic and international history when they landed the throw triple axel for the first time in international competition. They placed 7th overall. At the 2006 World Figure Skating Championships, they placed 4th.

Inoue and Baldwin on the podium at the 2006 Skate America.
In the 2006-2007 season, Inoue and Baldwin won the gold medal at the 2006 Skate America after winning the short program and placing second in the free skate. They won the silver medal at 2006 Skate Canada International the next week; and then won the silver at 2006 Trophee Eric Bompard one week later. They qualified for the Grand Prix Final. At the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, they won the silver medal. They placed 8th at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships.

In the 2007-2008 season, Inoue and Baldwin sat out the Grand Prix series, choosing to skate in shows instead. Returning to competition at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, they won the silver medal. While they were taking their bows following their free skate, Baldwin proposed marriage to Rena on the ice and she accepted. Inoue and Baldwin competed at the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships, where they placed 10th.

Inoue and Baldwin were assigned to the 2008 Skate America, where they placed 5th, and the 2008 NHK Trophy, where they won the silver medal, for the 2008-2009 Grand Prix Season.

Competitive highlights

Pairs career

(with Inoue)

Event 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
Winter Olympic Games 7th
World Championships 10th 10th 11th 4th 8th 10th
Four Continents 7th 4th 1st 3rd 4th 7th
U.S. Championships 11th 4th 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd
Grand Prix Final 6th 4th
Trophee Eric Bompard 4th 2nd 4th
NHK Trophy 4th 4th 2nd 3rd
Skate America 3rd 2nd 1st 5th
Skate Canada International 2nd
Bofrost Cup 5th
Cup of China 5th
Cup of Russia 5th


(with Colell)

Event 1990-1991 1991-1992
World Junior Championships 9th
U.S. Championships 8th J.


  • J = Junior level


Singles career

Event 86-87 87-88 88-89 89-90 90-91 91-92 92-93 93-94 94-95 95-96 96-97 97-98 98-99 99-00
World Junior Championships 3rd
U.S. Championships 1st N. 3rd J. 3rd J. 2nd J. 3rd J. 6th J. 13th 9th 11th 13th 12th 13th 15th
U.S. Championships (figures) 1st



  • N = Novice level; J = Junior level


References

  1. After their skate, the answer is yes - Los Angeles Times
  2. Olympic Skaters Get Engaged on Ice
  3. Baldwin wins Inoue's heart with proposal


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