Here Are Our Top 5 Highlights From the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships
The 2021 ISU World Figure Skating Championships took place last week in Stockholm, Sweden, and while there weren't any fans in attendance, there was still much excitement to watch as we gear up for winter sports at the 2022 Olympics (yes, it's coming up fast!). Russian 16-year-old Anna Shcherbakova took home the singles title for the women, and Nathan Chen from the United States came out on top in men's figure skating yet again. Pairs and ice dance athletes also showed up on the ice in full glide. Ahead, check out our top five moments from the championship event.
5. Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov Win Pairs Title in Their Worlds Debut
Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov won the pairs division in their worlds debut as seniors (they were 2019 world champions as juniors). The Figure Skating Federation of Russia (FSR) skaters performed a free skate to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Are the Champions," which you can watch in full here.
According to Olympic Channel, this is the first time a pair have won in their debut since 1986. Mishina said she was glad they were able to win the competition with programs developed by her favorite choreographer. Sui Wenjing and Han Cong from China, who won in 2017 and 2019 and were Olympic silver medalists in 2018, came in second, and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii, also Russians, came in third.
4. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue Take Silver in Ice Dancing With Burlesque Routine
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue from the US came in second place in the ice dance category, and their free skate, seen in full above, was set to songs from the movie Burlesque starring Christina Aguilera and Cher. The two showcased this rhythm dance at nationals earlier this year. Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov came out on top at worlds, and Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier took bronze.
It was the third straight medal at worlds for Hubbell and Donohue; they won a silver medal in 2018 and a bronze in 2019 (the 2020 championships were canceled due to COVID-19).
3. Alexandra Trusova Makes Worlds History With Her Free-Skate Quads
Russian 16-year-old Alexandra Trusova, representing the FSR, finished in third place in the singles competition at worlds, and she attempted five quad jumps in her free skate. She landed two, which is more than any woman ever in world championships history, according to NBC Sports and The Guardian. (According to Olympic Channel, she landed three, though the outlet may be referring to one of the quads that she technically landed but didn't land correctly. Regardless, she's the first woman to land multiple quads at the world championships.) She was in 12th place after the short program — what a comeback!
Russia's Elizaveta Tuktamysheva won silver. It was Tuktamysheva's first worlds in six years; she took home the title in her last worlds appearance in 2015.
2. Nathan Chen Wins His Third Consecutive World Championship
Nathan Chen rose to victory after his free skate, outscoring Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, who was in the lead following the short program. Hanyu ended up finishing in third, and Yuma Kagiyama, also from Japan, placed second. This is Chen's third consecutive world title, and he landed a whopping five quad jumps in his free skate. (Plus, get this: he hasn't lost a competition since he finished fifth at the Olympics in 2018, according to Olympic Channel.) Watch his free program here.
"I wouldn't necessarily say this was my best free program ever, but it's definitely one that I'll remember forever," Chen said. "I was in a position where, in theory, I can come back, but realistically I know these guys are going to lay down [strong programs]."
1. Anna Shcherbakova Wins 2021 World Championship at Just 16
Anna Shcherbakova turned 17 on Sunday, and before she did, she won the title in her senior worlds debut. "Honestly I really don't know what to say now because after my performance I really tried to do my best and fight for every element," the three-time Russian national champion stated after her free skate. "I'm not satisfied with my performance, but I'm so, so happy that I'm first. It was my goal. It was a real fight for me."