Three Legends To Be Inducted Into World Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Midori Ito
Photo by J. Barry Mittan

(3/17/04) — Three figure skating legends will be inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame at the 2004 World Figure Skating Championships in Dortmund, Germany. The individuals are Midori Ito of Japan, Toller Cranston of Canada and Jutta Muller of Germany. The on-ice induction ceremony will occur on Thursday, March 25, at the World Championships to take place March 22-28.

As the first lady to land the triple Axel in an International Skating Union competition (the 1989 World Championships in Paris, France), Ito was renowned for her jumping ability. She rose to the top of the ranks in 1989 when she won the title of World champion. She later captured the 1990 World Championships silver medal, as well as the 1992 Olympic Winter Games silver medal. Ito was also the Japanese lady champion for eight consecutive years (1985-1992). During the 1998 Olympic Winter Games Ito held the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremonies. She has also been a commentator for the Olympic Winter Games for Japanese television.

Cranston was a six-time Canadian men's champion known for his innovative and artistic style, unique choreography and his ability as an outstanding free skater. He won the bronze medal at the 1974 World Figure Skating

Toller Cranston
Photo by Frank Heaney
Championships in Munich, Germany, and the gold medal in the men's event at the first-ever Skate Canada International in 1973. At the 1976 Olympic Winter Games he captured the bronze. He has been awarded a number of honors, including an induction into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1976, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1997.

Muller will be inducted as an individual who has made an impact on the sport of figure skating in a professional capacity. In her time she coached pupils to 58 medals in European, World and Olympic championships, including:

  • Gabi Seyfert: Olympic silver medalist 1968; World ladies champion 1969-70
  • Anette Poetzsch: World ladies champion 1978 & 1980; Olympic champion 1980
  • Katarina Witt: Olympic ladies champion 1984 & 1988; World champion 1984-85, 1987-88
  • Jan Hoffmann: World champion 1974 & 1980; Olympic silver medalist 1980
  • Evelyn Grossmann: European champion 1991
Jutta Muller with daughter Gabi Seyfert (two-time World ladies champion)
Muller is considered one of the most respected coaches in the sport.

This induction marks the second on-ice ceremony for the World Hall of Fame. The 2003 World Championships in Washington, D.C., held the first. Prior to 2003 the inductions were held at various off-ice locations.

“I'm absolutely thrilled that the local organizing committee in Dortmund has continued the tradition that we set last year,” said World Hall of Fame Committee Chair Lydia Paley-Hume. “This is a wonderful tribute to the diversity of talent that we've had in skating. It's really to the benefit of the sport to honor these great innovators.”

The World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame is the international repository for the sport of figure skating and is located in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Hall of Fame was established in 1976 to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of figure skating around the world. Nominees are inducted for outstanding performances as competitors, professional coaches and those with other significant accomplishments. To be considered, a competitive nominee must be retired from eligible skating for at least five years. For additional information call 719.635.5200 or visit the museum's web site at

Nominations for the World Hall of Fame are accepted from members of the skating community and the general public. Nominations may be made by letter. After nominations are received, formal ballots are circulated to the World Hall of Fame electors who make the final selection for induction. There are 23 international world electors composed of former champions, judges and skating officials. Election to the World Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors a skater can receive.

There are 72 individuals or couples currently in the World Hall of Fame. Ito, Cranston and Muller will bring the total to 75.

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