The IFS August 2021 issue highlights the final event of the season, the 2021 World Team Trophy. Enthusiasm and national pride were in abundance in Osaka as many skaters from the top-six countries battled it out. For some, this was the first and last competition of their season. With team captain Elizaveta Tuktamysheva at the helm, Team Russia captured the title for the first time.
They were not expecting too many opportunities to come their way during the 2020-2021 season. In a year when few expected any major competitions to take place, and with many convinced the season would be canceled entirely, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, like so many other skaters, remained hopeful that would not be the case. That positive mindset laid the foundation for how their season would ultimately play out.
Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier sat and watched the rest of the world go by in the first half of the 2020-2021 season. But the lack of competition experience proved to be no issue for the Canadian ice dancers at the 2021 World Championships where, in their season debut, Gilles and Poirier danced into second place in the free and finished third overall, capturing their first global medal in eight appearances.
Tamara Moskvina celebrates her 80th birthday on June 26, but age has never factored into how she lives her life. Though she still dons her skates almost every day to work with her students, this will be the final Olympic quad for the renowned coach who plans to step away from fulltime coaching at the end of this Olympic cycle.
It was a season like no other for Spanish ice dancers Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin. Following a three-month lockdown in Moscow, where they are based, Hurtado suffered a serious shoulder injury just weeks after returning to training in July. The subsequent surgery and rehabilitation kept her off the ice until December. During that downtime, Khaliavin and his wife welcomed their first child, a son.
Keegan Messing was the only Canadian skater who went into the 2021 World Championships with any actual competition experience last season. The only Canadian man in the field, Messing was under a lot of pressure to pull off a top-10 finish and capture two berths for his nation at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. He achieved that goal with a seventh-place finish in Stockholm.