Nathan Chen (USA/Most Valuable Skater), Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA/Most Entertaining Program), Isabeau Levito (USA/Best Newcomer), Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA/Best Costume) as well as Ilia Malinin (USA/Special Achievement) are the winning skaters of the ISU Skating Awards 2023. The Best Coach Award went to Patrice Lauzon (CAN) while Shae-Lynn Bourne (CAN) received the award for the best choreographer. Two-time Olympic Champion and figure skating icon Katarina Witt (GER) was selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Benefitting from a revisited concept and format, the 2023 ISU Skating Awards edition was filmed for the first time in front of a live audience and simultaneously live-streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. Equally unique is the fact that the ISU Skating Awards was integrated into one special Art on Ice show giving rise to an entirely new set-up, atmosphere and experience. The 2023 ISU Skating Awards’ delivered an exceptional show combining performances by musical acts, professional dancers and renowned Figure Skaters. Hosts Johnny Weir and Elma Smit revealed the winners during a spectacular show of Art on Ice in Zurich (SUI) on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
Most Valuable Skater: Nathan Chen (USA)
Nathan Chen was in the short list with fellow Olympic Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron and Anna Shcherbakova (RUS). Three-time ISU World Figure Skating Champion, Chen has promoted Figure Skating in the USA and worldwide with his unique achievements and engages hundreds of thousands of people. At the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the American struck gold with over 20 points to spare. He set the technical bar higher and higher, becoming the first Skater to perform five quads in a Free Skating program and he still holds the highest score in the Short Program, Free Skating and in the total score.
Most Entertaining Program: Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron (FRA)
Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron earned the award for their very special Rhythm Dance of the 2021/22 season to “Made To Love” and “U Move, I Move”. In this program, the five-time ISU World Figure Skating Champions in Ice Dance, and their team of coaches and choreographers brought whacking, a contemporary dance style, to the ice. This dance was new, it was different, it was entertaining. Papadakis/ Cizeron received the ISU Skating Award for the Most Entertaining Performance for the second time – in 2020 they got the prize for their Rhythm Dance of the 2019/20 season to “Fame”.
The other nominees were Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) with his Short Program to “Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso” and Donovan Carrillo (MEX) with his Short Program to “Black Magic Woman” and “Shake It”.
Best Newcomer: Isabeau Levito (USA)
Isabeau Levito skated off with the prize. In her senior debut in the 2022/23 season, the 15-year-old claimed silver in her two ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events as well as in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. She went on to take her first National title at the senior level.
The other finalists in this category were Niina Petrokina (EST) and Rinka Watanabe (JPN).
Best Costume: Madison Chock / Evan Bates (USA)
Madison Chock/Evan Bates were awarded the prize for their costumes of their Free Dance “Astronaut meets Alien” of the 2021/22 season. Chock herself had designed these unique outfits and Mathieu Caron and Jaquelin Larin worked on this dress to make her vision come to life. Chock turned to nature and deep-sea creatures for inspiration as they have their own alien-like qualities. For her partner’s costume, she wanted to create a futuristic astronaut suit that evokes bravery and patriotism. Chock/Bates won for the second time in the category “Best Costume”. In 2020, they received the ISU Skating Award for their “Egyptian Snake Dance” costume.
Also nominated were Yuzuru Hanyu’s Short Program costume of the 2021/22 season (designer: Satomi Ito) and Loena Hendrickx’ (BEL) Free Skating costume 2021/22 (designer: Natalia Komar).
Best Coach: Patrice Lauzon
Two-time ISU World silver medalist Patrice Lauzon was nominated alongside Rafael Arutyunyan and Stéphane Lambiel. Together with his wife and skating partner Marie-France Dubreuil, Lauzon founded the Ice Academy of Montreal which grew into the leading Ice Dance school in the World. At the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, 11 couples that Lauzon and his team coach competed and six of them placed in the top ten including gold medalists Papadakis/Cizeron and bronze medalists Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA).
Best Choreographer: Shae-Lynn Bourne
World Ice Dance Champion Shae-Lynn Bourne repeated as Best Choreographer. She
has crafted programs for Chen, Hanyu, Jun-Hwan Cha (KOR), Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier (USA) and Malinin as well as for many other Skaters.
The other nominated choreographers were Marie-France Dubreuil (CAN) and Benoît Richaud (FRA).
Lifetime Achievement Award: Katarina Witt (GER)
Figure Skating icon Katarina Witt (GER) received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The one and only Katarina Witt is well known beyond the sport even 29 years since her last competitive performance. As an athlete, a performer and a personality the two-time Olympic Champion has shaped the sport of figure skating and influenced generations of Skaters. The German star collected a total of four World titles 1984-1988 and six consecutive European titles 1983-1988. Witt turned to show skating then and made headlines again when she returned to competitive skating for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games where she placed a respectable seventh. She mesmerized crowds all over the world with her expressive and captivating performances. Witt is most famous for her “Carmen” program from 1988, but many other programs were memorable as well such as “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” (1994), “West Side Story” (1987), “Broadway Medley” (1988).
Special Achievement Award: Ilia Malinin (USA)
This award was introduced for the first time this year to honor a Single Skater or Pair or Ice Dance Couple who makes history by successfully performing a new / special / unique element or move or achieves something extraordinary at an ISU Event in 2022 (GP 2021 accepted) and pushes the boundaries of the sport. Ilia Malinin was chosen as the recipient. The American belongs to the athletes that are pushing the limits and opening new doors. At just 17 years of age he wrote sports history when he became the first and so far only figure skater in the world to successfully perform a quadruple Axel in autumn 2022 at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic.
The 2023 edition of the Awards honored the careers and performances of outstanding Figure Skaters and the work of Coaches and Choreographers for the 2022 calendar year which includes the ISU Championships (European, Four Continents and World Championships 2022), the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2022 (individual events and Final).
From December 15 to 31, 2022, the public and media had the opportunity to vote for their favorite Skaters, Coaches and Choreographers from the long list of 2023 ISU Skating Awards candidates. After the ISU announced the three nominees in each Awards category (see here). Six former Figure Skating Champions Eric Radford (CAN), Kiira Korpi (FIN), Surya Bonaly (FRA), Miki Ando (JPN), Christopher Dean (GBR) and Todd Eldredge (USA) composed the Jury that had the final say and voted for the winner.
Check out the winners of the 2020 ISU Skating Awards as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award winners from 2021 here.
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