This past weekend, the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final took place in Nagoya, Japan. The skaters who competed were those who had amassed the most points during the six week Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.
While the Grand Prix doesn’t directly decide which skaters will compete in the Winter Olympics, the finals offered an exciting preview of the athletes we’ll likely see in Pyongchang.
Without offering up any Shining Through spoilers, we’ll just say that the International Series Finals are a difficult time for both Tabitha and Daniil.
The US had the strongest showing in men’s and ice dance. American Nathan Chen won gold, edging out Japan’s Shoma Uno and Mikhail Kolyada of Russia. Two other US men, Adam Rippon and Jason Brown, also skated in Nagoya. American ice dancers Alex and Maia Shibutani took bronze in their discipline, which also included Madison Chock and Evan Bates, and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.
My favorite ice dance performance was by Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizerone of France, who won gold. Their short dance, a rhumba and samba, to Ed Sheeran’s The Shape of You and Thinking Out Loud, was a lot of fun to watch and they looked as if they were having a great time performing it. But as loose and relaxed as they seemed, their moves were flawless. At it’s best, figure skating looks effortless. See what I mean, here:
Up next in the world of figure skating are the national competitions that will decide who competes in the Winter Olympics. Russia’s Nationals will take place Dec. 19-24, and should be interesting in light of the IOC’s decision to ban Russia from the Winter Olympics. However, Russian athletes who can prove they are clean to compete as part of a neutral delegation. US Nationals will take place Dec. 29 through January 7.
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