International Figure Skating

International Figure Skating March/April 2018

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

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2 minuti
olympic challenges

Attending the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea was an adventure in many ways. Staying warm in the bone-chilling cold that greeted us the first few days of February was challenging, even for those who hailed from countries that experience very cold winters. Thankfully the weather warmed up a little, which made being outside a much more pleasant experience. The figure skating venue, which was awash in a sea of various shades of purple, was warm and comfortable. It was, however, disappointing to see many empty seats for the finals, despite claims by organizers that all figure skating events had been sold out in advance. Those empty seats are likely a reflection of ticket prices that have hit a level not too many people are willing, or can afford, to pay. However, the people…

5 minuti
expectations versus olympic reality

“I was thinking the right things. It just wasn’t clicking together.”—Nathan Chen There was likely no one who headed into the Olympic Winter Games with higher expectations hanging over them than Nathan Chen of the U.S. His victory at the Grand Prix Final in December made it reasonable to expect that the 18-year-old could claim a medal in PyeongChang. Making the Olympic team had been a dream for a long time Chen said. “Definitely one I have now checked off my to-do list.” After earning a bronze in the Team event he was hungry to earn one of his own in the men’s singles. “I want to get another Olympic medal,” he said before the men’s short. “That is what has been motivating me and hopefully, I will be able to do that.” Prior…

3 minuti
twirling into a new era

It has been a long and sometimes uncertain road for Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford the past four years. But weathering the lows that came with the highs and sticking with it paid off in the end for the Canadian duo, who closed out an eight-year competitive pairs partnership on the highest note of their career in PyeongChang. A gold medal in the Team Event and bronze in the pairs competition — it was more than either dared to dream about in the seasons leading up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. “You get to a low point when you don’t know if you’re ever going to get back to where you were,” Radford said. “But last summer, we started dreaming those big dreams again.” Though they medaled at every event they competed at this…

4 minuti
living up to his own hype

He was a controversial choice for the 2018 U.S. Olympic team after finishing fourth at nationals, but Adam Rippon rose above the criticism, lived up to his own hype — as opposed to those who attempted to live up to hype from outside sources — and came through when it mattered in PyeongChang. Third in the Team Event free skate, which helped the U.S. earn the bronze medal, Rippon finished 10 in the individual competition. “Three clean programs here at the Olympic Games and to finish in the top 10 in the individual, and have a bronze medal … you know, that bronze is worth its weight in gold,” Rippon said. “To finally step on Olympic ice felt absolutely incredible. Definitely worth the 28-year wait. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I wanted…

2 minuti
leaving on his own terms

“I am the happiest I have ever been in my skating career.”—Patrick Chan When Canada’s Patrick Chan returned to the competitive arena in 2015, he discovered a very different environment than the one he stepped away from following the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Figure skating had undergone a major quad revolution during his absence and it did not take Chan long to realize he would have to raise his own technical level to have any hope of competing against the young stars who now ruled the top levels of the sport. Though Chan was initially enthusiastic, his ardour slowly evaporated when he found himself in the middle of the pack instead of leading it. By the time the Olympic season rolled around, he had resigned himself to the fact that he could not master…

2 minuti
making history

Malaysia’s Julian Zhi Jie Yee not only made his own Olympic debut in PyeongChang, he also made history as his nation’s first athlete to ever compete at an Olympic Winter Games. Yee, who arrived in South Korea on Feb. 6, was given the honor of being an Olympic torch-bearer. “There were a lot of activities going on and it was easy to get distracted,” he said. But as the competition got closer, he blocked everything out to stay focused on what he came to do. “My coaches, I and my team all said, ‘OK, let’s put everything aside and focus on the competition.” The 20-year-old, who trains in Barrie, Canada, with Michael Hopfes and Doug Leigh, placed 25th in the short program, narrowly missing the cut for the free. But his sense of…