International Figure Skating

International Figure Skating June 2021

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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2 min
a worlds to remember

There There were so many reasons to celebrate the World Championships this year. The fact that the competition even took place seemed somewhat of a miracle after all the cancelations that happened throughout the skating season. With everything we have all been dealing with the past year, it was wonderful to finally have a positive distraction from everyday life. Despite the lack of training time and preparation that many skaters had to deal with, almost everyone brought their A games to Stockholm and it was a pleasure to watch, from the early flights to the last. I cheered for everyone. It was so inspiring to see skaters once again doing what they love to do — competing at the highest level. The International Skating Union (ISU) had strict protocols in place and only…

3 min
disappointing finish

Japan’s Rika Kihira was expected to be one of the only ladies on the planet with the technical skills required to challenge the Russian skaters in Stockholm and bring home Japan’s first ladies World title in seven years. That seemed a real possibility after the short program, where—despite earning a q (landed on the quarter) for the triple Axel and the triple toe on the back end of the triple flip combination — Kihira sat in second, just 1.92 points behind Russia’s Anna Shcherbakova. “I really love this music (“The Fire Within” by Jennifer Thomas) and I wanted to express the beauty of life — the beauty and dignity of life being born — through this program. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to show that kind of expression today, and I’m sorry that…

2 min
unexpected success

For China’s Han Yan, competing at the 2021 World Championships was akin to making a comeback. The last time the popular skater contested a global event was in Boston in 2016, where he finished 26th in the short program and failed to make the cut for the free skate. Yan stepped away from the sport and at one point announced his retirement. He returned to competition at the Cup of China in November 2019. Expectations were not high for Yan in Stockholm, but the element of surprise at Worlds is never to be understated. Yan, one of two Chinese men competing, qualified 13th in the short ahead of teammate Boyang Jin, the 2016 and 2017 World bronze medalist, who finished in a distant 19th place. “I made a little mistake today, but for…

2 min
skate of a lifetime

Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx missed the entire 2019-2020 season due to back and ankle injuries. Scheduled to open this season at Nebelhorn Trophy back in September, she withdrew on the eve of the competition. A month later, Hendrickx won the Budapest Trophy and in late February captured her second Challenge Cup title in the Netherlands. While Hendrickx performed well at both those competitions, she took it to a new level at the 2021 World Championships. Sitting in 10th place after falling on the flip in the short program, the 21-year-old brought the house down with an error-free long program that earned positive Grades of Execution (GOEs) across the board for every element. Hendrickx, who is co-coached by her brother Jorik Hendrickx, finished fifth overall, ahead of all three Japanese and the two Korean…

3 min
learning curves

When Skate Canada selected Madeline Schizas for its 2021 World team, some were skeptical. With only one small senior international competition under her belt (the 2020 Challenge Cup, where she placed third), it seemed a risky move to send an inexperienced skater to a Championship where Olympic berths were on the line. But Schizas had earned that right. Despite finishing third at the 2020 Canadian Championships, she was overlooked by Skate Canada for the subsequent World Junior Championships and the Youth Olympic Games. Undeterred, Schizas trained harder than ever before, mastering the triple Lutz during an off-season that was overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic. With all skating events cancelled in Canada in 2020, Schizas had just one opportunity to compete all year — virtually at the Skate Canada Challenge in January 2021, an…

1 min
short but not sweet

The American skating fraternity had high hopes for the trio of men chosen to represent the country at this year’s World Championships. Each of them entered the competition with the goal of earning three places for the U.S. at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. While that plan worked out for two of the skaters, Vincent Zhou found himself watching from the sidelines after a subpar short program performance left him in 25th place and out of the running to contest the free. Zhou made mistakes on all three jumping passes; falling on a downgraded quad Lutz attempt at the beginning of the program, under-rotating the quad Salchow; earning a q (landed on the quarter) for the second jump of the combination, and falling on a triple Axel, which also received a q. All…