Once upon a time, there was a young boy in Spain who followed his older sister into figure skating. Nobody could ever imagine what would come out of that as figure skating hardly even existed in Spain. It was a recreational sport, a kind of fun, maybe even weird hobby in the sunny country. And yet, thanks to his talent and hard work, the boy named Javier Fernandez rose to the very top in figure skating and became an inspiration for many young skaters from all over the world.
Chinese Pair Skating stars Wenjing Sui/Cong Han had a short season, but they proved once more that they are the Pair to beat right now by taking gold at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. The charismatic duo has experience with comebacks and they did it one more time this season.
French Figure Skating has a long tradition of successful Men. Brian Joubert dominated the scene for a decade, collecting ten consecutive medals at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2002 to 2011 as well as a World title and World medals. 2011 European Champion and two-time European medalist Florent Amodio is another popular French skater. Now Kevin Aymoz hopes to follow into their footsteps. The 21-year-old looks back at a successful season highlighted by a fourth-place finish at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in January.
Canadian ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje are looking back at a distinguished career with three World medals and multiple other medals and titles and they are still major players in the game as they proved by taking the silver medal at the recent ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019.
USA’s Tomoki Hiwatashi has been competing on the international Junior circuit since fall 2015 and has had some ups and downs. However, the 19-year-old ended his junior career on the highest possible note by taking the title at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2019 in Zagreb, Croatia.
Italy’s Daniel Grassl skated into the spotlight this season by finishing sixth in his debut at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in January. Now the cheerful 16-year-old debuts at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships this week in Zagreb (CRO) and hopes to continue his ascent this season.
Elizabet Tursynbaeva just skated into history at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019 in Anaheim (USA) earlier this year, becoming the first female figure skater from Kazakhstan to step on an ISU Championship podium when she won the silver medal.
When U.S. ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates had to withdraw from their Grand Prix events last fall as Madison was recovering slowly from ankle surgery, they were just happy to be able to return to competition in January this year.
Finnish skater Viveca Lindfors has been on the rise this season and topped it off by taking the bronze medal at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk (BLR) in January. It was the first ISU Championship medal for a Finnish figure skater since Kiira Korpi had won silver at Europeans in 2012.
Mexico for sure is not a figure skating hotspot. However, there is a young skater from Mexico, who quickly becomes a crowd favorite wherever he shows up. Most recently at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Anaheim (USA), Donovan Carrillo once more was very popular with the fans and someone even threw him giant sombrero on the ice.
World Champion Nathan Chen (USA), 19, loves jumping and is known as the new “quad king” as he became the first skater to perform five quadruple jumps in one program, but he has proven that his skating is more than just jumps. The three-time U.S. Champion has developed his performance skills and his two new programs this season showcase this very well.
This post-Olympic season has been a whirlwind for Korea’s Junhwan Cha. The 17-year-old up-and-coming skater made the podium in each event he entered so far.
Rika Kihira, 16, made a splash this season. The Japanese teenager is skating to “Beautiful Storm” in her Free Skating, and she took the senior level by storm, too, taking gold at her two ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.
Russian Ice Dancers Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin have taken the next step in their career this season.
When French Pair skaters Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres claimed their first medal at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 last March, a dream had come true for them. This bronze medal marked the end of a roller coaster season with highs and lows for the popular French team – and it motivated them to continue, since they had thought of retiring from competing after the Olympic season. It turned out to be the right decision.