Rena Inoue

Rena Inoue (井上 怜奈, Inoue Rena, born October 17, 1976) is a Japanese-born American pair skater. With partner John Baldwin, she is the 2004 and 2006 U.S. National Champion. Inoue previously competed for Japan as both a single skater and pair skater. Inoue and Baldwin are the first skaters to perform a throw triple Axel in competition.

Rena Inoue
2009 Trophée Éric Bompard Pairs - Rena INOUE - John BALDWIN - 6486a.jpg
Rena Inoue and John Baldwin
Personal information
Country represented United States
Former country(ies) represented Japan
Born (1976-10-17) October 17, 1976 (age 43)
Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan
ResidenceSanta Monica, California, U.S.
Height1.49 m (4 ft 11 in)
PartnerJohn Baldwin
Former partnerTomoaki Koyama (JPN)
Former coachJenni Meno
Todd Sand
Philipp Mills
Peter Oppegard
Oksana Grishuk
Jill Watson
Former choreographerOksana Grishuk
Philipp Mills
Skating clubAll Year FSC
Began skating1980
ISU personal best scores
Combined total183.17
2006 Worlds
Short program61.73
2007 Four Continents
Free skate122.27
2006 Worlds

Personal lifeEdit

Rena Inoue was born in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan. She moved to the United States in 1996 at the urging of her father, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. In 1998, Inoue was diagnosed with cancer. It was detected early, and after six months of chemotherapy, she was cancer-free.

Inoue graduated from Waseda University in 1999 with a degree in education.[1] She became a U.S. citizen in 2005.[1] Inoue became engaged to be married to skating partner John Baldwin in January 2008.[2] They had a daughter in November 2011.[3]


Competing for JapanEdit

Rena Inoue began skating at age four. She competed in the disciplines of single skating and pair skating in Japan. As a single skater, Inoue is the 1994 Japanese silver medalist and 1998 bronze medalist. She represented Japan at the 1994 Winter Olympics in singles and placed 18th. She competed for Japan in singles through 1999.

As a pair skater, Inoue competed with Tomoaki Koyama. They were the 1991 and 1992 Japanese national champions. They represented Japan at the 1992 Winter Olympics and placed 14th.

Competing for the United StatesEdit

While living in the United States, Inoue was paired with John Baldwin by his father, a coach. Inoue and Baldwin tried out and agreed to form the partnership. They began competing together in 2000.[4]

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

In the 2002–2003 season, Inoue / Baldwin competed on the Grand Prix circuit for the first time. Returning to Nationals, they won the bronze medal. They withdrew from the 2003 Four Continents, but placed 10th at the 2003 World 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 and repeated their 10th-place finish at the 2004 World Championships.

In the 2004–2005 season, they medalled 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 Championships.

In the 2005–2006 season, Inoue / Baldwin medalled on the Grand Prix. At the 2006 U.S. Championships, Inoue and Baldwin became the first pair to successfully perform a throw triple Axel in competition.[5] They went on to the 2006 Four Continents, 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 / Baldwin on the podium at the 2006 Skate America.

In the 2006–2007 season, Inoue / 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 Trophée Eric Bompard one week later. They qualified for the Grand Prix Final. While in Saint Petersburg for that competition, Baldwin was abducted, assaulted and robbed,[6] though he and Inoue were still able to compete, and finished fourth. At the 2007 U.S. Championships, they won the silver medal. They placed 8th at the 2007 World Championships.

In the 2007–2008 season, Inoue / Baldwin sat out the Grand Prix series, choosing to skate in shows instead. Returning to competition at the 2008 U.S. Championships, they won the silver medal. While they were taking their bows following their free skate, Baldwin proposed marriage to Inoue on the ice and she accepted.[2][7][8] Inoue / Baldwin competed at the 2008 World Championships, where they placed 10th.

Inoue / Baldwin were 5th at the 2008 Skate America and won the silver medal at the 2008 NHK Trophy.


(with Baldwin)

Season Short program Free skating
  • Tango de los Exilados
    by Walter Taieb and Vanessa Mae
  • Concert for Piano No. 1
    by Peter I. Tchaikovski
  • Illumination
    by Secret Garden
  • Pompei
    by E. S. Posthumous
  • Pompei
    by E. S. Posthumous
  • The Soul of Spain
  • Selection
    by Giacomo Puccini
  • Selection
    by Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Bird of Fire
    Orchestra: Salsoul
  • Selection
    by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  • Murder at the Cotton Club
    by Erik Ekstrand Ensemble
  • Wonders of the New World
    by Elton John
  • Pearl Harbor
    by Hans Zimmer
  • Carmen
    by Doc Severenson
    London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Brazil
    by Michael Kamen
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London
  • Millenium
  • Brazil

Competitive highlightsEdit

GP: Champions Series / Grand Prix

Pairs career with John Baldwin for the United StatesEdit

Event 00–01 01–02 02–03 03–04 04–05 05–06 06–07 07–08 08–09 09–10
Olympics 7th
Worlds 10th 10th 11th 4th 8th 10th
Four Continents 7th 4th 1st 3rd 4th 7th
GP Final 6th 4th
GP Bofrost Cup 5th
GP Bompard 4th 2nd 4th
GP Cup of China 5th
GP Cup of Russia 5th
GP NHK Trophy 4th 4th 2nd 3rd
GP Skate America 3rd 2nd 1st 5th
GP Skate Canada 2nd
U.S. Champ. 11th 4th 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd

Singles career for JapanEdit

Event 90–91 91–92 92–93 93–94 94–95 95–96 96–97 97–98 98–99
Olympics 18th
Worlds 13th
GP Cup of Russia 10th
GP Nations Cup 7th
GP Skate America 8th
GP Skate Canada 9th
Nations Cup 3rd
NHK Trophy 11th 8th
Universiade 2nd
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 14th 5th
Japan Champ. 2nd 12th 5th 6th 3rd WD
Japan Jr. Champ. 1st 2nd 1st 2nd
WD = Withdrew

Pairs career with Koyama for JapanEdit

Event 1987–88 1988–89 1989–90 1990–91 1991–92
Winter Olympics 14th
World Championships 15th
International de Paris 7th
NHK Trophy 7th
International: Junior
World Junior Championships 7th
Japan Championships 1st 1st
Japan Junior 1st 1st


  1. ^ a b "Athlete bio: Rena Inoue". United States Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Elliott, Helene (February 2, 2008). "After their skate, the answer is yes". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Kempf, Susanne (2006). "Baldwin: Rena is my idol". Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  5. ^ Mihoces, Gary (January 26, 2006). "A first in pairs skating?". USA Today.
  6. ^ Elliott, Helene (January 23, 2007). "Mugging leaves Baldwin recovering but still shaken". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  7. ^ Benet, Lorenzo; Eldred, Sheila (January 28, 2008). "Olympic Skaters Get Engaged on Ice".
  8. ^ Zeigler, Mark (January 27, 2008). "Baldwin wins Inoue's heart with proposal". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  9. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2009/2010". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Rena Inoue / John Baldwin". IceNetwork. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013.
  11. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on July 11, 2009.
  12. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2007/2008". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 27, 2008.
  13. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2006/2007". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 26, 2007.
  14. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2005/2006". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 27, 2006.
  15. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2004/2005". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 4, 2005.
  16. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2003/2004". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004.
  17. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2002/2003". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on August 4, 2003.
  18. ^ "Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN: 2001/2002". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on January 28, 2002.
  19. ^ a b "Competition Results: Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN". International Skating Union.

External linksEdit