International Figure Skating April 2020

International Figure Skating is globally recognized for its comprehensive, coverage complemented by fabulous photography and sophisticated design.

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6 Numeri

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1 min
from the editor

With the 2020 World Championships just weeks away, one thing is certain — there are no defined frontrunners in three of the four disciplines, and that those who want to claim the titles in Montréal will truly have to fight for them. At every level — international, Championship and domestic — this season has been a rollercoaster ride for skaters and fans. But, in my book, that will make for a very exciting week at the upcoming World Championships. On the men’s side, Nathan Chen has not lost a competition in two years, and many expect he will continue that golden run at Worlds. However, the top two Japanese men, Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno, will both be gunning for gold in Montréal. At the European Championships, a rising Russian pairs duo defeated…

4 min
yuzuru hanyu completes the grand slam

South Korea was a lucky place for Yuzuru Hanyu in 2018, and almost two years to the day since he captured his second Olympic crown, he was back — this time in the hunt for a title that had thus far eluded him. Hanyu arrived at the 2020 Four Continents Championships in Seoul in early February, armed with two tried and trusted programs (Chopin’s “Ballade No. 1” and Shigeru Umebayashi’s “Seimei”), two new costumes, but just one goal. The programs, which took him to Olympic gold at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, were initially dedicated to two of his idols, Evgeni Plushenko and Johnny Weir. This time, Hanyu said, he was skating them for himself. With the Four Continents title the only one missing from Hanyu’s vast collection, the 25-year-old stated…

8 min
shines in the international spotlight

She could not have written a better script for her debut on the senior circuit this season. Though no one knew it at the time, when Alena Kostornaia scored a runaway victory at Finlandia Trophy in early October, it was a sign of things to come A decisive win in her debut on the senior Grand Prix circuit at Internationaux de France was followed by a third consecutive victory at NHK Trophy three weeks later. Kostornaia closed out 2019 by claiming the Grand Prix Final crown in Torino, Italy. The 16-year-old opened 2020 with a second-place finish at the Russian Championships in late December, and a month later led a Russian sweep of the ladies podium at the European Championships in Graz, Austria. What made all of this so surprising is that this season has…

7 min

With the 2022 Olympic Winter Games just two years away, it is now a game of strategy for the top skating nations in the world. The results of the 2020 World Championships will determine the number of skaters each country can field to Worlds in 2021, the competition where berths are set for the 2022 Games. In order to earn as many places as possible this year, some nations did not assign the winners or, in a couple of cases, the medalists, but selected those that have the greatest potential to. The 2020 Canadian Champion-ships left no doubt that Skate Canada needs to rebuild and to do so as quickly as possible. With many of the past champions absent from the rosters, the podiums had a very different look this year. One…

7 min

The highly anticipated All Japan Championships, which took place in Tokyo in late December, held a number of surprises in the singles disciplines. While a trio of teenage ladies overtook the veterans to claim the podium steps, it was Shoma Uno who caused the upset of the competition with his victory over Yuzuru Hanyu in the men’s event. With five ladies in the hunt for a podium finish and a trip to the 2020 World Championships on the line, the atmosphere inside Yoyogi Stadium was intense. Though many stumbled and crumbled under the pressure, Rika Kihira, Wakaba Higuchi and the talented young junior, Tomoe Kawabata, rose to the occasion. Kihira set the pace, winning the short program by a 3.87-point margin over Satoko Miyahara, with Kaori Sakamoto skating into third place. But challenges in the…

8 min

The Russian Championships are an annual highlight around the globe. No other figure skating nation boasts the depth of talent in all disciplines, and fans worldwide tune in to watch this competition every year. As expected, the ladies provided their own “Game of Thrones” episode, a cut-throat competition with only three survivors that made the team for Europeans and Worlds. Though there are many more talented skaters that are competitive at the international level and who, in any other nation, would receive multiple international assignments. Not so in Russia. The 2020 Championships took place in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia for the first time. The Platinum Arena, a new facility built for the 2019 Winter Universiade seats 7,500 people. The motto of the Universiade was “Real Winter” — and real winter it was, with heavy…