Lausanne, Switzerland

Are you ready for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games? The Ice Skating Podcast certainly is. In the run-up to – and during – the Games, we will be broadcasting five special editions of the pod. One is already out now, with more to follow on January 30, and then weekly during the action.

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To start off, we’ve lined up the best experts in all three fields of skating to give you a fascinating guide to what might unfold in the Chinese capital.

The current episode (which you can listen to here, or wherever you find your podcasts) rounds up all the action from the Figure Skaters who took part in the ISU European Championships and ISU Four Continents Championships over the last couple of weeks – securing spots for the Games, and honing their routines one last time ahead of the biggest skating month of their lives.

We’ve got an interview with Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx, who is making sure that the ROC’s quad squad will have some serious competition at Beijing. The level-headed skater from the Lowlands gives great insight into how to prepare for the Olympics.

There’s also a chat with Junhwan Cha from the Republic of Korea, who made history by winning the first gold medal for his country at an ISU Figure Skating Championship.

We then speak to Speed Skating great Douwe de Vries of the Netherlands, who offers an insightful and entertaining perspective on what might happen at the Ice Ribbon in Beijing over the next couple of weeks. Will it be all about his homeland once again, or can another nation get a look in? And what makes the likes of Ireen Wust so remarkable?

Next up is Nathalie Lambert, who won a Short Track Speed Skating gold medal 30 years ago at the Albertville 1992 Olympic Winter Games. Still involved in her favourite sport as a part of the ISU Technical Committee, there is nobody better to navigate us through the high-octane world of Short Track.

She discusses whether Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands can bring her recent dominance to China, or whether her rivals can find a way to beat her. And who might emerge as a hero in the men’s event, which has a wide open field? Nathalie also discusses why she thinks Beijing is ready to put on the best Short Track show ever.

Mark Hanretty is a much-loved Figure Skating commentator for the ISU – and his thoughts about what might occur at Beijing 2022 are well worth hearing.

Which of the ROC’s quad squad might take the women’s title? Will it be a Nathan Chen vs Yuzuru Hanyu clash in the men’s competition, or might someone else break their grip? Are Gabriella Papadakis and Guilleme Cizeron headed for their biggest ever career moment in the ice dance? And can the ROC win back the pairs title they consider national property?

Anna Shcherbakova, Kamila Valieva and Alexandra Trusova (RUS) European Figure Skating Championship 2022 Tallinn (EST) @ISU 1237750361

Quad Squat: Anna Shcherbakova, Kamila Valieva and Alexandra Trusova (RUS) celebrate during the 2022 European Figure Skating Championship in Tallinn (EST) @International Skating Union (ISU)

Talking about all things speed, meanwhile, is Valerie Maltais of Canada. She is uniquely placed: having headed to the previous three Olympic Winter Games as a Short Track racer, Valerie has switched to the longer form of Speed Skating – and is now an integral part of Canada’s women’s team pursuit side, who are well in the hunt for a gold medal.

Ivanie Blondin, Isabelle Weidemann and Valerie Maltais (CAN) 2021 ISU World Cup Speed Skating Tomaszow Mazowiecki (POL)@ISU 1353087570

Valerie Maltais, Ivanie Blondin, and Isabelle Weidemann (CAN) place first in the Women's Team Pursuit during the 2021 ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Calgary (CAN) @International Skating Union (ISU)

Valerie runs us through the favourites in both sports – from Irene Schouten to Nils van der Poel to Kim Boutin – and it’s the kind of knowledge you can only get from someone who lives and breathes sport. Tune in now!