Figure Skating made headlines during the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. The Skating Arena in Lausanne was sold out most days and the level of competition was outstanding.
The Russian powerhouse tallied the largest number of medals with 2 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze. Japan and Korea take home one gold medal each, while USA and Georgia fared well with 1 bronze medal each.
The Pairs lead the way in the Youth Olympic Games Lausanne2020 with their Short Program on January 10, 2020 and continued with the Free Skate on January 12.
Apollinariia Panfilova / Dmitry Rylov (RUS) at the Youth Olympic Games 2020©IOC
ISU World Junior Silver medallists Apollinariia Panfilova / Dmitry Rylov took a strong lead after the Short Program and continued their winning ways with a flawless Free Skate to “Third Person” soundtrack. Aperfectly executed Triple Twist Lift and Triple Loop Throw were just some of the highlights of their program scoring a total of 199.21 points. Although their ambition is to compete at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, they know that their job is not over. “We really enjoyed the atmosphere, but we have to work more to go to the senior Olympic Games,” Rylov said.
Their compatriots, ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2019 silver medallists Diana Mukhametzianova / Ilya Mironov, remained in second position to take silver, with a total score of 175.42, while Georgia’s Alina Butaeva / Luka Berulava stuck by their side in third place on the podium with a score of 157.29 points.
The talented young Men took center stage on January 10 with the Short Program and ended with the Free Skate on January 12.
Yuma Kagiyama (JPN) at the Youth Olympic Games 2020©IOC
Yuma Kagiyama, who won gold at the 2019 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Courchevel, rose up from fifth place after the Short Program to grab the Youth Olympic Games gold medal.
“I’m super happy and this gives me strong confidence moving towards future tournaments,” said Kagiyama. “Free Skating is my favorite [program], so I didn’t feel any pressure”. He performed two Quad Toeloops, one in a perfectly executed Double Toeloop combination, during his smooth Free Skate to Tucker soundtrack, which allowed him to score a total of 239.17 points.
Although ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2019 Silver medalist Andrei Mozalev (RUS), stepped on the ice as number one after his Short Program, he had to settle for the Silver. He performed the same Quad jumps as his rival, however, a fall on the Triple Axel cost him a few points. “I did a big mistake on my Axel, unfortunately, and then a small mistake after that, so I didn’t do everything I could to win,” said Mozalev. “But now I will work towards Beijing. This has been a good experience.” Andrei Mozalev scored 237.94 points in total.
His compatriot and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final bronze medalist Daniil Samsonov (RUS) took third place with a total of 215.21 points.
The Ladies took the ice on Saturday, January 11, for their Short Program and performed their Free Skate on Monday, January 13.
Young You (KOR) at the Youth Olympic Games 2020©IOC
A well-deserved win from Young You, after two perfectly executed programs that scored a total of 214 points, awarded Korea’s first Winter Youth Olympic Games medal. She began her Free Skate program to “Evita” soundtrack with an astonishing Triple Axel. “I think I did pretty good here even without getting to rest. I’m happy with the result today and I’m very thankful that my fans keep watching me and cheering me on,” she said.
Russia’s Kseniia Sinitsyna held on to her Short Program Silver medal after her Free Skate to Om Asa Toma and Dakini Movement IV, earning a total of 200.03. However, she was still a little disappointed after receiving a point deduction for a time violation and not executing her Triple Loop. “Everything was OK earlier during practice, and I thought I could do it. I don’t know why this happened. Silver is good, but I’m still a little disappointed,” Sinitsyna said.
Her compatriot, Anna Frolova, shared her feelings, after her Free Skate. “It’s just me, I didn’t do my best. I didn’t do all the jumps I wanted to do.” She explained after she fell on the Triple Flip and Double Axel-single Euler-Triple Salchow combination. However, her 187.72 points were enough to nod Mana Kawabe (JPN) off the podium and grab the Youth Olympic Games bronze medal.
After the Rhythm Dance on January 11, the Ice Dancers continued with the Free Dance on January 13.
Irina Khavronina / Dario Cirisano (RUS) at the Youth Olympic Games 2020©IOC
Irina Khavronina / Dario Cirisano (RUS) were in the lead after their Rhythm Dance and were intending to do even better for the Free Skate to La Strada Suite, which is exactly what they did. “Today, yes, we did better,” Khavronina said. “We showed more emotion. I did my twizzles better. I hope everyone enjoyed it.” Thanks to their great performance, they earned 164.63 points.
The runners-up Sofya Tyutyunina / Alexander Shustitskiy, also from Russia, tallied up 159.15 points. They were happy to experience the Youth Olympic Games. “It’s very special for us,” Tyutyunina said. “Today, before we even got to the arena, we were being asked for our autographs by the children. That was a lot of fun.”
Americans Katarina Wolfkostin / Jeffrey Chen came up from fifth position after their Rhythm Dance to take bronze from Canadians Natalie D’Alessandro / Bruce Waddell (CAN) after their Free Skate. The couple also commentated on their experience at the event. “It’s been a great experience going to the [Youth Olympic] Village and being surrounded by so many good athletes and competing here and having this super energetic crowd,” said Chen.
Mixed NOC Team Event
The Figure Skating Event concluded on January 15 with a Mixed NOC Team Event. The Olympic spirit is all about bringing people together and breaking down barriers and what better way to do so than with a Mixed NOC Team Event?
Team Courage, Team Focus and Team Vison at the Youth Olympic Games 2020©IOC
A maximum of eight mixed NOC teams consisting of one Man, one Lady, one Pairs couple and one Ice Dance couple per team were formed during the team captains’ meeting. The skaters were separated into groups of 5, according to their placement in the competition. The skaters of a group were then drawn with other level groups from different disciplines to ensure a balance between the teams. For more details, you can refer to the Section D. of the Qualification System – Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
After the Skater / Couple skated for their respective team, points were awarded to the team according to the place in each event: first place is awarded 8 points, second place 7 points, third place 6 points etc.
All teammates were rooting for their own in the Kiss and Cry as they performed. It was Team Courage, composed of Arlet Levandi (EST), Kseniia Sinisyna (RUS), Alina Butaeva / Luka Berulava (GEO) and Utana Yoshida / Shingo Nishiyama (JPN) that took the gold medal winning 24 points. “It feels a bit surreal” said Levandi. “When I got drawn for the Team Event I wasn’t sure if I was happy or not but now I know that it was worth it.”
Andrei Mozalev (RUS) and his Team Vision at the Youth Olympic Games 2020©IOC
Kate Wang (USA), who was part of Team Focus, with Yuma Kagiyama (JPN), Cate Fleming / Jedidah Isbell (USA) and Sofya Tyutyunina / Alexander Shustitskiy (RUS) shared that feeling of uncertainty. “At first I was really nervous, I was like do I want to do this? I don’t want to mess up and ruin my whole team but as I went on the ice I could see all my teammates there supporting me and I didn’t feel nervous anymore, so it felt really good.” Team Focus obtained a total of 22 points, taking the silver medal. “It feels great! I mean I went into this competition not knowing what to expect and what was going to happen so the fact that I got a medal here with all of my teammates supporting me was really amazing!“
Andrei Mozalev (RUS), Regina Schermann (HUN), Sofiia Nesterova / Artem Darenskyi (UKR) and Natalie D’Alessandro / Bruce Waddell (CAN) competed for Team Vision and won bronze with 18 points. Mozalev, who was the last of the team to skate, felt a little pressure. “It was really fun but it was a little difficult because I had to give it my best to get my team in a medal position” he said. “I’m very happy, I have one more medal and it’s a medal from the Youth Olympic Games so it means a lot to me!“