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.
The current season marked a breakthrough for Italian Ice Dancers Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri. The amicable couple from Milan has been close to the podium at the Grand Prix events in the past few years, but this season they claimed their first medals, silver at Skate America and another silver at the Helsinki Grand Prix. They went on to take the bronze in what was their debut at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.
Today, Brian Orser might be one of the best coaches in the World, working out of the Toronto Cricket Club with stars such as Yuzuru Hanyu, Evgenia Medvedeva, Jason Brown, Gabrielle Daleman and Javier Fernandez.
When you have a passion, it doesn’t matter where you come from and where you have to go. You follow your dream even if it means you have to leave your home and move to a foreign country which language you don’t speak and that has a very different culture. And when you share your passion with someone, it can become love.