Figure Skating

Retired ice dancer Chris Reed dies of heart attack at age 30

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Former ice dancer Chris Reed, who represented Japan for more than a decade, died on Saturday of a heart attack in Detroit, according to a published report. He was 30.

Yahoo Japan was the first media outlet to report his death. The Japan Skating Federation confirmed Reed’s death in an announcement on Tuesday.

“I am absolutely stunned by the sad news,” Akihisa Nagashima, the JSF president, said in a statement. “I would like to offer my deepest appreciation to Chris Reed for his contribution to Japanese ice dancing over the years and extend condolences to his family.

“May Mr. Reed rest in peace.”

Reed was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. For most of his skating career, he competed with his older sister, Cathy. They began skating together when she was 7 and he was 5.

“Our mom loved the sport of ice skating,” Reed told The Japan Times in December 2007. “She never skated, but she loved watching it. We just kept skating for fun and entering local competitions.”

They captured the novice ice dancing title at the 2006 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The next year, they began representing Japan, their mother’s homeland.

From the 2007-08 season to the 2014-15 campaign, the Reeds collected seven ice dance titles at the Japan Championships during their successful partnership.

The Reed siblings placed 14th at the 2010 Vancouver Games and 21st at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. They also finished fifth at the NHK Trophy in the 2012-13 season and fifth at Skate America the next season. They earned a silver at the 2011 Asian Winter Games. Cathy Reed retired in 2015.

After she retired, Reed started a partnership with Kana Muramoto for the 2015-16 season. They also experienced some success on the global stage.

In 2018, Reed and Muramoto became the first Asian ice dancers to claim a medal in an ISU Championship event, placing third at the Four Continents in Taipei. They hauled in three Japan Championships titles in their three seasons together and finished 15th at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Reed announced his retirement on Dec. 31, 2019.

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