Johnny Weir previews determine skating season on new ‘Chasing Gold’ episode

The season after the Olympics at all times brings modifications in determine skating, however this can be unprecedented within the skilled period.

The Grand Prix Collection, the game’s top-level circuit, opens subsequent week with Skate America and an abundance of recent faces to focus on.

NBC Sports activities analyst Johnny Weir set the stage in an interview for “Chasing Gold,” NBC Sports activities’ month-to-month Olympic and Paralympic present. The episode debuts Sunday at 12 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com/dwell and the NBC Sports activities app and is obtainable on Peacock beginning Monday.

Not one of the reigning Olympic gold medalists are presently competing.

Nathan Chen is on an indefinite, maybe everlasting, break whereas he resumes courses at Yale. French ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron are sitting out a minimum of this complete season. China’s pairs champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong didn’t enter any Grand Prix occasion. Anna Shcherbakova, the ladies’s gold medalist, is from Russia, a nation banned indefinitely as a result of battle in Ukraine.

Enter Ilia Malinin, the 17-year-old world junior champion from Virginia. Malinin, the son of Uzbek Olympic skaters, final month grew to become the primary individual to land a quadruple Axel in competitors. The Axel is the toughest soar as a result of it’s the just one with a ahead takeoff, including an additional half-revolution. All the different quad jumps had beforehand been executed.

“It’s simply out of this world,” Weir mentioned of Malinin’s new soar. “I by no means thought in my lifetime I’d see anyone do a quad Axel.”

Malinin will look to observe the identical blueprint as Chen, constructing on his arsenal of quads with artistry main as much as the 2026 Winter Video games in Italy.

Malinin headlines the Skate America males’s discipline. The ladies’s discipline additionally consists of the reigning world junior champion: 15-year-old Isabeau Levito of New Jersey.

Levito was third on the U.S. Championships in January however too younger for the Olympics. That is her senior worldwide debut season.

“She skates as mild as a hummingbird,” Weir mentioned. “It’s nearly like she’s whispering when she performs, however her jumps are so robust.”

In April, Levito grew to become the primary U.S. lady to win a junior world title in 14 years. The final U.S. lady to win a senior world title was Kimmie Meissner in 2006.

“It actually has been a second [since] we’ve seen an American lady that may problem the remainder of the world,” Weir mentioned, “and I believe [Levito] can do it.”

The U.S. additionally boasts high returning groups in pairs (world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier) and ice dance (world bronze medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates), who’re additionally entered in Skate America.

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Johnny Weir previews determine skating season on new ‘Chasing Gold’ episode initially appeared on NBCSports.com