It’s nearly time for the greatest figure skaters in the world to gather again for the ISU Grand Prix, and that means SBS’s Summer of Skating will be presenting extended highlights from the season.
It all begins in October with the opening leg of the ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix. The season launches in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with Skate America, followed by events in Canada, France, Japan, Russia and China before they head to Marseilles in December for the Grand Prix Final.
But that’s not all! The 2017 European Championships will be held in the Ostrava in the Czech Republic in January, followed by the 2017 ISU Figure Skating World Championships in Helsinki. Here are some of the highlights we can look forward to.
1. The rivalries are heating up
Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu and Spain’s Javier Fernández are both friends and training mates, but that doesn’t mean they don’t bring it on when there’s a title at stake. The men’s singles events will see the pair pushing themselves to the limit, trying feats never before attempted in competition. Fernández will no doubt be hoping to claim the title from world record holder Hanyu.
2. A nation cheers on Brendan Kerry
Local boy Brendan Kerry has trained his heart out at Macquarie Ice Rink, and he’s ready to show what he can do on the world stage this year. The four-time Australian national champion took gold at the Gardena Spring Trophy in April, and we’re all cheering for him to bring that top form to the ISU Grand Prix.
3. Evgenia Medvedeva looks set to dominate once again
The 16-year-old Russian star skated past everyone in the 2015/2016 season, picking up the following accolades: 2016 World Champion, 2016 European Champion, 2015 Grand Prix Final Champion and 2016 Russian National Champion. Can Medvedeva hold on to all those trophies, or will the competition rise up to the standard she has set?
4. The Ice Dance competition will dazzle
Later in the season, the Trophée de France will showcase the very best in figure skating, including the ever-popular ice dancing. French partners and back-to-back World Champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron will be debuting their new routine, which will definitely be worth the wait after they withdrew from the Team Challenge Cup in April due to Papadakis’ mononucleosis.
5. Stolbova and Klimov plan their comeback
This dynamic duo were plagued by bad luck at the start of the year, having to bow out of the 2016 Russian Championships after Ksenia Stolbova had an allergic reaction to a therapeutic massage a week before the nationals, and withdraw from the 2016 European Championships after Fedor Klimov hurt his shoulder in training. They’ll definitely need to bring their best if they want to get that famous momentum going again.
SBS Television’s “Summer of Skating” will feature extended highlights every Saturday afternoon from October 29 2016 till mid-April 2017, including live coverage of the ISU Figure Skating World Championships in April.