San Diego

North County Married Couple Knows How Olympian Skating Couples Feel

“Just soak in everything. Be proud. Not many people can get to that," Rena Inoue said, when asked if she had any advice for the Olympian couples.

One local married couple knows exactly what Alexa and Chris Knierim and other Olympian couples are going through in the skating pairs competition.

John Baldwin and Rena Inoue from North County are not only two-time national champions in figure skating pairs. They are also Olympians that competed in the 2006 Torino Games.

“We miss it, absolutely,” Baldwin told NBC 7. “We miss how exciting it was, and to share that moment with each other.”

Baldwin and Inoue married after the Torino Games and now live near Escondido. The couple has two young children, ages 6 and 2. Baldwin runs Baldwin Auto Sales with his brother and father.

“It’s such a different life we have now,” said Inoue. “We wouldn’t trade it with anything else.”

Not too long ago, the pair said they spent their entire lives worrying and thinking about skating. But now, they are more focused on watching their daughters grow up.

Still, they remember their competition days fondly as they watch and root for the Knierims in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

“They have technically an excellent program,” Baldwin said.

Inoue said her favorite memory of the Olympics was walking in the Opening Ceremony.

When asked if she had any words of wisdom for the Knieirims, she replied with the following: “Just soak in everything. Be proud. Not many people can get to that.”

Contact Us