Highlights of the ISU Grand Prix Final 2021 Men’s and Women’s Singles Event


Katie Park

    The most anticipated event of the senior-level figure skaters of the year is the ISU Grand Prix Final. The Grand Prix Final Series lasts from October 22 to December 12, 2021. Before competing in the Grand Prix Final, the skaters must maintain a minimum score relating to their category– singles (men and women), pairs, and ice dance– at international events to qualify. In addition to maintaining a minimum score, skaters must gain points and participate in two out of the six Grand Prix series competitions: Skate America (USA), Skate Canada (Canada), Cup of China (China), NHK Trophy (Japan), Internationaux de France (France), and the Rostelecom Cup (Russia). However, this year, the Cup of China was canceled due to strict COVID-19 restrictions and was replaced with the Gran Premio d’Italia which took place in Turin, Italy. The final of the Grand Prix switches destinations every year and takes place in Osaka, Japan this year. However, due to COVID-19, the finale has been canceled for the second time this year, leaving the audience and competitors in disarray. 

    After the Men’s Singles Event in Russia for the Rostelecom Cup, the final rankings leave Yuma Kagiyama (Japan) in the lead with 30 points (Italy 15; France 15), Shoma Uno (Japan) in second place with 28 points (USA 13; Japan 15), and Vincent Zhou (USA) in third place with 28 points as well (USA 15, Japan 13). These three men qualify for the Grand Prix Final along with Nathan Chen (USA), Mikhail Kolyada (Russia), and Jason Brown (USA). Unexpectedly, three-time World Champion, Nathan Chen of USA, did not make it in the top three. Known for his extravagant amount of quadruple jumps during his programs, his performances during the Grand Prix series did not go accordingly.

     For the Women’s Singles Event, Russian figure skaters dominated the ice. In the lead is Kamila Valieva with a total of 30 points (Canada 15, Russia 15), in second place is Anna Shcherbakova also with a total of 30 points (Italy 15, France 15), and in third place is Elizaveta Tuktamysheva with a total of 26 points (Canada 13, Russia 13). Along with these powerhouse Russian skaters, Kaori Sakamoto (Japan), Maiia Khromykh (Russia), and Alena Kostornaia (Russia) qualified for the Grand Prix Final. During the Rostelecom Cup, Kamila Valieva, who is only 15-years-old, broke the world record for highest female figure skater with a score of 272.71. Valieva and many other female skaters set the bar incredibly high for the future of figure skating. However, the true champions of the Grand Prix Final 2021 remain a mystery as the event is canceled. For now, the athletes will concentrate on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.