Though her competitive career began over a decade ago, success on the senior international stage has been a long time coming for Japan’s Akiko Suzuki.
Back in 2001 she won a bronze medal at the Junior Grand Prix Final and seemed headed for success. But the following year an eating disorder changed everything. Suzuki lost so much weight she was unable to jump, and another year would pass before she regained the weight she had lost.
In 2004 she bounced back, inspired by Shizuka Arakawa’s win at the World Championships that year.
Originally published in August 2012