Ilia Malinin, an 18-year-old figure skater from Vienna, won the ISU Grand Prix Skate America title for the second year in a row this weekend, beating his personal best record.
Malinin performed a free skate to music from the TV show Succession, showing off moves like a triple Axel and four different quad jumps — a quad Lutz, quad Salchow, quad Lutz-Euler-triple Salchow, and a quad toe-triple toe. The free skate earned him a personal best score of 206.41 points.
Combined with his short program on the opening night, which scored him 104.6 points, he totaled 310.47 points, another personal record. He won the competition by over 30 points.
“I have no words. This was completely amazing experience for me. I wasn’t expecting to skate this well, especially with the pressure that I was facing. I was ready to stay on my feet and fight for everything,” Malinin said, according to Olympics.com, adding that he plans to use this for motivation through the rest of the season.
The skater lives in Vienna, trains in Reston, and recently began classes at George Mason University.
Moving Forward in the Skate World
He became known as the “Quad God” last September at the 2022 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, where he made history in the figure skating world by becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition.
He remains the only skater to have ever pulled off the move.
This weekend’s event, in Allen, Texas, was the first of six stops in the Grand Prix series before the Grand Prix Final in Beijing in December.
Moving forward, Malinin told Olympics.com that it is his goal to focus on the “second mark” of skating, which has to do with the presentation: artistry, timing, music, interpretation, and expression.
“It was a long, hard journey, but worth it to be at the level I am now,” Malinin told Northern Virginia Magazine last year. “I feel happy about where I am and will continue to improve. It took hard work and determination, going through so many skates and injuries, and something is always trying to hold me back. But I won’t let anything take me down, and I will keep trying and improving.”
Feature image of Ilia Malinin at the World Figure Skating Championships in France in March 2022, CAL Sport Media/Alamy Stock Photo
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