Once upon a time, there was a young boy in Spain who followed his older sister into figure skating. Nobody could ever imagine what would come out of that as figure skating hardly even existed in Spain. It was a recreational sport, a kind of fun, maybe even weird hobby in the sunny country. And yet, thanks to his talent and hard work, the boy named Javier Fernandez rose to the very top in figure skating and became an inspiration for many young skaters from all over the world.
Two-time Olympic Champion Sang-Hwa Lee (KOR) has announced her retirement from Speed Skating at an emotional press conference in Seoul on May 16, 2019. The 30-year-old Korean sprinter suffered from a persistent chronic knee injury, which has been hampering her for years already. With 36.36 seconds Lee is the current world record holder in the ladies' 500m.
In the almost 10 years since Apolo Anton Ohno hung up his skates, the USA’s most decorated winter Olympian of all time has founded businesses, acted, hosted TV game shows, commentated, danced and much, much more. But even so, the eight-time Short Track Speed Skating Olympic medal winner openly admits that life off the track has been just as much of a challenge as on it.
They once called her „socialism’s prettiest face“: Katarina Witt of Germany. The two-time Olympic Champion dominated the figure skating scene in the 80s, always accompanied by her legendary coach Jutta Müller, or as she is respectfully referred to “Frau Müller” (Mrs. Müller).
With four men in the top ten of the 500m in the 2018-2019 final ISU World Cup Speed Skating classification, Japan retuned as a powerhouse in international men's sprinting.
From the very start of the 2018/19 season, Suzanne Schulting’s form looked ominous for her opponents. Having won a gold medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the Dutch skater’s confidence levels were at their absolute peak. And after a summer in which she had trained “unbelievably hard”, she’d never looked physically sharper.
The International Skating Union (ISU) has set the dates for the Single & Pair, Ice Dance and Synchronized Skating Competitions 2019/20. Another exciting season is underway, with a novelty for Synchronized Skating.
Success and failure are close to each other in any sport and these ups and downs make sports so exciting. Figure skating is no exception. Skaters rallied back after a failure in the Short Program or come back strong following injury or taking a break in this past season.
The Challenger Series Synchronized Skating will consist of up to five (5) International Competitions linked together, giving adequate opportunities for many Teams to compete at the international level and earn World Standing Points. Additionally, it will allow Teams and Officials to prepare for competing at the ISU Championships.
Patrick Roest (NED) was crowned ISU World Allround Speed Skating Champion in Amsterdam in March 2018, with nine-time champion Sven Kramer (NED) finishing fourth. Had the pupil definitely beaten his master? The Dutch team mates crossed swords over the ISU European and the ISU World Allround Speed Skating title again in the 2018/19 season.
For Steven Dubois’ entire athletic life, he’s been chasing someone’s tail. The boy from Terrebonne, near Montreal, took up Short Track Speed Skating at the age of 11 – far later than most of his contemporaries – and has been playing catch-up, very enthusiastically, ever since.
In each season, new faces emerge on the scene and skaters are making a breakthrough. The exciting 2018/19 season was no exception. Let’s have a look at some of the newcomers.
Nao Kodaira (JPN) started the 2018/19 Speed Skating season as the lady to beat in the 500m, but Vanessa Herzog (AUT) was up for the challenge. The Japanese sprint queen won the first four 500m races of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating season on home soil in Obihiro and Tomakomai, with her Austrian challenger coming second in all four races. Kodaira and Herzog were gearing up for a season long fascinating battle in the shortest distance.
A new Olympic cycle started with the 2018/19 season and it is always a fresh starting point for many skaters. It is time to push the limits and to try new and different things.
Lara van Ruijven didn’t think she was going to have a great 2018/19 Short Track season. In fact, she feared it might be a disaster.