Skating - The Grand Prix Series Finals, France

The Grand Prix Final (season 2016-17) opened in Marseille last year, organised by the International Skating Union, otherwise known as the ISU. Two weeks before, the last participants were congratulated from the last stop—Sapporo, Japan, the NHK Trophy. Therefore six top figure skating athletes around the world gathered together for the final battle: Patrick Chan (Weiqun Chan), Canada; Javier Fernandez, Spain; Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan; Nathan Chen (Wei Chen), USA; Shoma Uno, Japan; Adam Rippon, USA. They all carry the faith of their country and the ambition of gaining the gold medal.

All of the skaters have been on top of the world: Javier Fernandez (two times World Championship gold medalist), Yuzuru Hanyu (Sochi Olympic Men's Champion), Shoma Uno (2014-15 Junior Grand Prix Finals champion), Adam Rippon (2007-08 Junior Grand Prix Finals Champion), Patrick Chan (two times Grand Prix Finals gold medalist), and Nathan Chen (2015-16 Junior Grand Prix Finals Champion).

Not only in their junior skating career, they're all eager to sit on top in the senior group. For two of the skaters, it's not been long since they were moved to the senior group; the two of them are excellent skaters in their countries also in the world: Nathan Chen and Shoma Uno.

As some professional skaters state, that as the skills of jumping evolves over time, more and more ways of improving is provided for the new generation of skaters, they are able to do more complexed jumps and step sequences and spins.

"It's a battle of quads." They said.

Last year, the world's first quadruple Loop (4lo) was accomplished by the 22-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu, representing Japan. Furthermore the first quadruple Flip (4F) was jumped by Shoma Uno, also representing Japan.

From Japan, the first Asian to win the gold medal of Men's in the Winter Olympics, Yuzuru Hanyu; he was only 19 when he went to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In my opinion, Hanyu's gift in figure skating cannot be denied, so can't the efforts he's put into the sport he loves. Hanyu's suppleness allows him to do some moves that not many men can do, or cannot do in such perfection as women, for example, the Ina Bauer.

Patrick Chan, representing Canada, is also one of the most famous skaters in the world. He's not only twice the champion of the Grand Prix Final, he is too the silver medalist in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. At least three kinds of quadruple jumps he knows, and any of them could help he to climb higher than the other participants. He certainly has the strength to put pressure on the others.

Javier Fernandez, representing Spain—the most well-known skater in Spain—trains with the same coach as Hanyu in Canada: Brian Orser. His power in jumping and the complicated ways of structuring his step sequences could really oppose a threat. Fernandez's way of effecting the audience with his performance really stands out in the athletes. Plus he and Patrick are the oldest of all, which means they will have more experience.

The young athlete from Japan, Shoma Uno, aged 19, is another well-trained athlete aiming for the gold medal. He has shown unlimited space for development, and the potential to be a brilliant skater. He was the first skater to successfully land a 4f in an international competition. In addition, he is currently the record-holder for the highest junior short program.

From the USA, is the 17 years old, Nathan Chen. He holds the top score for America (282.85) in international figure skating competitions, and he is the only skater who had landed both the quad Lutz and quad Flip jumps in competitions. Like Shoma, his improvement in the future cannot be estimated.

Also from the USA—Adam Rippon, comparing to all the other athletes above, he might not so well-known, but he is quite a talented skater. He is the champion of the Four Continents (2010), U.S national champion (2016), won the World Junior Championships twice (2008 & 2009).

They all performed fantastically, unfortunately, a winner had to be decided. Yuzuru Hanyu, this time was his forth time in a roll standing on top of the podium of the Grand Prix. With a total score of 293.90, first in short program (SP), third in long/free program (FP), won the gold medal with not a single concern. For his total score was 10.05 points in front of the silver medalist—Nathan Chen. After Nathan, was Shoma Uno, he has won two times the bronze medal in the senior group. Maybe one day, he could beat Hanyu, for his free program was second, just behind Nathan Chen, and forth in short program, after Patrick (3rd), Javier(2nd) and Yuzuru (1st).

Who knows? We can only hope the best luck for them in the up coming season: the World Championships. But we are always looking for great performances from these guys.

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