With snow-capped mountains on one side and the Black Sea on the other, the Grand Prix Final played out amongst the palm trees in the southern Russian city of Sochi.
Heading into the competition it was anyone’s guess who would claim the top prize in a strong field of men that included four Japanese skaters, a Canadian and a Spaniard.
To the delight of many, it was Daisuke Takahashi who took the lead in the short program. His upbeat performance to a rock ‘n’ roll medley and “The Stroll” ignited the crowd.
The Japanese superstar said landing the quad for the first time in competition this season was the highlight for him. “Accuracy in my quads improved after my injury, but I (still) lack confidence,” he explained.
Originally published in February 2013