The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) showcase the stars of tomorrow and quite a few successful Figure Skaters from the first two editions of the event in 2012 and 2016 rose to prominence.
Innsbruck, the 1976 Olympic host city, welcomed the inaugural Winter YOG in January 2012. Looking at the results from back then, two names catch your attention right away: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) and Adelina Sotnikova (RUS). Tuktamysheva beat her close rival Sotnikova in this event and the two of them went on to have a successful career. In 2014, Adelina Sotnikova became the first female Olympic Figure Skating Champion from Russia when she won on home ice in Sochi. She is now performing mostly in shows. Tuktamysheva did not participate in Olympic Games yet. With the tough competition inside Russia, she did not qualify. However, the skater from St. Petersburg won the European and World title in 2015, becoming the first Russian Ladies World Champion in ten years. She also is known for her triple Axel. Tuktamysheva, who claimed two bronze medals on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit this season, continues to push the limits. Recently a video of her landing a quadruple toeloop in practice, circulated on the web.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Another prominent competitor from 2012 is Shoma Uno (JPN). He went on to earn silver at the Olympic Games in 2018 as well as silver at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 and 2018. Uno is credited for having performed the first quadruple flip in competition. 2012 YOG gold medalist Han Yan (CHN) has won medals at the ISU Four Continents Championships and ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. After sitting out the post-Olympic season, he celebrated a comeback this fall by taking silver at the ISU Grand Prix Shiseido Cup of China in November.
Shoma Uno (JPN) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Pair skaters Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN) won gold in Innsbruck, but they split up in 2016. Jin continues his career with Cheng Peng and the duo collected medals at the ISU Four Continents Championships as well as at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and Final this season as well as in the past season. Yu competed at the Olympic Winter Games 2018 with her new partner Hao Zhang.
Almost four years ago, the second Winter YOG were held in Lillehammer (NOR) in February 2016. Lillehammer is another Olympic city that had hosted the Winter Games in 1994. Most of the skaters from there are still active and quite a few have seen a lot of success since then. Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ) was not on the podium in 2016 in Lillehammer, but she became the first female Figure Skater from Kazakhstan to win a medal at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships when she finished second in 2019. She also is the 2019 ISU Four Continents silver medalist. 2016 YOG silver medalist Maria Sotskova (RUS) won several medals at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and silver at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in 2017. Dmitri Aliev (RUS), who earned the bronze in Lillehammer, went on to take silver at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2018 as well as medals on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series this season.
Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN) 2019@International Skating Union (ISU)
2016 YOG Champion Sota Yamamoto (JPN) was handicapped by injuries, but is back competing. YOG silver medalist Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) has finished in the top ten at the ISU European and World Figure Skating Championships. Ice Dancers Majorie Lajoie/Zachary Lagha (CAN) did not make the podium in Norway, but they are the 2019 ISU World Junior Ice Dance Champions. YOG 2016 bronze medalists Anastasia Skoptcova/Kirill Aleshin (RUS) won the Junior World Ice Dance title in 2018. Anastasia Shpilevaya/Grigory Smirnov (RUS), who were the Champions in 2016, continue to compete at the international level.
Majorie Lajoie/Zachary Lagha (CAN) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Now the next #YouthOlympics are coming up in #Lausanne2020 and will take place from January 9-22, 2020. A new generation of young and talented skaters is waiting to be discovered and is starting their Youth Olympic journey that might lead them to the very top.
All Figure Skating competitions will be live streamed on ISU.ORG.
For more information please visit the Olympic Channel.