Though figure skating is often only seen in mainstream media during the Winter Olympics, it has recently resurfaced in anticipation of one of the most elite competitions in the skating world: the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix. The Grand Prix consists of six competitions which decide the top six competitors or teams that make the Grand Prix Final, to be held this year from December 6-9. With the final six having been chosen for each event, the Final is starting to take shape as the big-name competition of the year.
The four events of the Grand Prix are usually dominated by countries such as Russia and Japan, with 2018 being no exception. Notably, in the Men’s Short Program, Nathan Chen (USA) and Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) both have competed in multiple Olympic Games and have made it into the Final. In the Women’s Short Program, Japan and Russia swept all six finalist spots, with Alina Zagitova (Russia) placing first.
The Pair’s Short Program saw France’s (Vanessa James/Morgan Ciprés) duo take the first slot and also saw China, Italy, and Russia move into the Final. Lastly, the Ice Dance competition found the USA in the top six twice, with the first-place pair, Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue, being from the USA as well.
Overall, the 2018 ISU Grand Prix Final is stacked with Olympians and world-stage skaters, making for a competition full of talent and skill.