The plan is simple for Figure Skater Satoko Miyahara as she eyes up the most important season of her already glittering career: go out and enjoy every moment.
The USA may be one of the world’s biggest sporting superpowers, but when it comes to Short Track Speed Skating, they are still outsiders. USA athletes have won just two Short Track Speed Skating silver medals at the past two Olympic Winter Games. However, a new generation is hoping to change all that. And it is their excellent female skaters in particular, including Kristen Santos, Maame Biney and Corinne Stoddard, who are leading the charge.
In Focus is back for a brand new season! Kicked off by the biggest stars of tomorrow, with the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Courchevel 1 (FRA), In Focus will offer some of the best pictures of the events. Check out the ones from this weekend.
The USA celebrated a gold medal sweep as the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating series 2021/22 got underway with the first event in Courchevel (FRA) over the weekend. Ilia Malinin, Lindsay Thorngren and Katarina Wolfkostin/Jeffrey Chen topped the podium in what was the first ISU Junior Grand Prix event since August 2019, as the series had to be cancelled in the past season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For all winners, it was their first gold medal on the junior circuit.
Lake Placid seemed to have forgotten its Speed Skating heritage over the past two decades, but the home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games commits to its roots with a complete overhaul of its famous Olympic Oval. The local Adirondack Speedskating Club hopes to open its new facility in December 2021.
Italy’s Daniel Grassl had a few ups and downs in the past season and now prepares to enter outer space in the Olympic year.
Sweden may be a winter sports powerhouse when it comes to Alpine skiing, ice hockey, cross-country, biathlon and curling – but its Short Track Speed Skating team is so little that it’s barely there. “We are a very small group,” admits Erika Lindgren, 21, one of Scandinavia’s most promising racers. “We never have much opportunity to skate at home because it isn’t a big sport here, we have to fight for ice time. I’ve trained in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland and Latvia in the past. We have some other good skaters, like Fabrice Dufberg and Jacob Janssen, but I’m not sure what their training plans are at the moment.”
The Junior skaters are back! The World’s best up and coming young skaters will have the opportunity to compete at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2021/22. The series is back after it had to be cancelled in the past season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ISU was informed of the cancellation of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating – Cup of China, that was scheduled to take place from November 4-7, 2021 in Chongqing (CHN).
You can see quite a few bi-national Ice Dance and Pair Skating couples in the world of Figure Skating, however, Russian Ice Dancers Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro probably set the record when it comes to a multi-national background: Tiffani is originally British, then first moved to France to train and compete before coming to Russia. Jonathan’s mother is Russian and his father is Portuguese, but he was born in Australia as his parents were working there. He then moved with his family to Russia to pursue his skating career. So that makes five countries: Russia, Great Britain, France, Australia and Portugal. “I think with the two of us combined you don't get more nationalities,” Zagorski joked. “If you count backgrounds, you've got also Polish and Irish.”
For Dutch Speed Skater Thomas Krol, the days and weeks in the ISU Speed Skating bubble have flown by. Krol skated to ISU European Speed Skating Sprint gold in the first week, then picked up World Cup medals to finish off with the ISU World Speed Skating title on the 1500m. Krol, who aims to become a pilot in later life, also spent his time working on his future career. "I brought my computer with my flight simulator gear, so I can practice a bit," he said.
As the eyes of the world turn from Tokyo 2020 towards the ice and snow of Beijing 2022, there is no one better qualified than Clara Hughes (CAN) to sum up just what it is that makes the Olympic Games so enduringly special. Clara shares her wisdom and story on The Ice Skating Podcast.
Former Short Track Speed Skater Eddy Alvarez joined a highly selective group on August 7, 2021 at Tokyo 2020. He was a crucial member of the USA team that won the silver medal in men’s baseball, losing to Japan in the final.
Like most Skaters, Jason Brown (USA) looks back at a strange and challenging season, but now he is gearing up for an exciting Olympic year. “As skaters and athletes we are just so used to the schedule and the predictability of the routine of what we do”, the 26-year-old said.