Ilia Malinin (USA) poses during the 2022 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Lake Placid (USA) @Robin Ritoss Photography
ISU World Junior Figure Skating Champion Ilia Malinin (USA) jumped into sports history by landing the first quadruple Axel in competition at the U.S. International Classic in Lake Placid (USA) on September 14, 2022.
The 17-year-old added the last missing jump to the quad arsenal – now all of the Figure Skating jumps Axel, Lutz, flip, loop, Salchow and toeloop have been performed as quadruples in an official ISU sanctioned competition. As the Axel is the only jump with a forward take-off, a quadruple has actually four and a half revolutions.
Malinin, who calls himself “quad God” on Instagram for a reason, performed the historical jump as the opening element in his winning Free Skating at the event in Lake Placid – the host city of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.
“It felt really good,” Malinin said about the quad Axel. “When I'm practicing it, it’s pretty easy for me to figure out how to get the right timing and everything to have it be a good attempt. To do it in competition is a different story because you have nerves and pressure that can get in the way of that. So I have to treat it like I'm at home and it feels pretty good.”
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Champion started working seriously on the quad Axel earlier this year. “I had an idea for trying it for a little while now. March or April was when I really started to work on the technique and try to improve it … [Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN] definitely inspired me to try it here,” he explained.
Two-time Olympic Champion Hanyu attempted the quadruple Axel at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, but missed. The first – and only other skater – to have tried a quad Axel in competition is Artur Dmitriev jr (RUS/USA).
Malinin is coached by his parents, Olympic Figure Skaters Tatiana Malinina and Roman Skorniakov, who represented Uzbekistan internationally. Tatiana Malinina won the inaugural ISU Four Continents Championships in 1999 and is the most successful Uzbek Figure Skater to date. Malinin also is working with well-known coach Rafael Arutiunian.