It’s finally here! After a full season of nervously watching our favorite skaters through the spaces between our fingers (unless your favorite never falls/is Evgenia Medvedeva), they (uh, most of them,) have converged in Helsinki for the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships! Of note is obviously reigning world champ Medvedeva, 2010 Olympic champions Virtue/Moir, Nathan “maybe-I’ll-add-a-sixth-quad-to-my-free” Chen, and Sui/Han returning from injury. Two-time consecutive reigning champions Duhamel/Radford, Javier Fernandez, and Papdakis/Cizeron have mountains to climb before repeating as gold medalists, but we said that last year, too, before all three put down some of the best performances of their careers (360 days later and I’m still giggling from when Javi charmingly pointed at the stands in my general direction during his free skate).
Thanks to these judges for returning to The Judges’ Table for Worlds 2017!
Amanda P. (@storyologist_ap) | The Storyologist
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Wanted to learn to skate for years, but didn’t have the time, money, and courage all at the same time til a couple years ago; now I sloooowly work my way through the skills in between multiple jobs, grad school, and, you know, life. I’ve watching skating all my life, and in recent years have particularly gravitated towards ice dance.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Everyone keeps saying Mao’s Olympic FS, so I’m going to go for the lower ranks and say Hawayek/Baker’s 2015 US Nationals FD.
Erin (@Erinsk8) | On Stage and Screen
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I skated competitively for 10 years, worked as a coach, and now I continue to follow the sport obsessively. I attended Worlds 2016 in Boston this year and it was pretty much the best experience ever.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? The one that immediately comes to mind is Belbin and Agosto at the 2010 Olympics. They should have been third.
Margaret D. | Tumblr
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan, if any. Like a lot of people, I became a figure skating fan during the whole Nancy/Tanya saga before the 1994 Olympics. Never been on the ice myself — ha, I would fall right on my butt the second I stepped on it! — but I just absolutely fell in love with the combination of art and athleticism and knew I would be a lifelong fan.
Favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years: When it comes to the whole Sochi thing, I have no real opinion of who should have won ladies’ gold and thought a case could be made for all the medalists, but I do think that Mao Asada should have at least won the free skate.
Sam S. (@szabothebaby)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. Been a fan of the sport since 1997 and have taken some basic skating classes (I have a mean forward swizzle lol). Also I’m a professional dancer in New York which definitely informs the way I watch skating.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Mirai’s short at 2014 Nationals.
Sean Z. (@enderstar)
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I have been a figure skating fan for over 10 years and also a part-time sports writer specializing in figure skating from China. Though not a skater myself, I am very interested in the technical side of the sport. I have also covered several ISU events including GP China, GPF and FCC. Ice dance is my favorite category and probably the most fabulous thing on this planet.
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Yuna Kim’s free skate at Sochi. Though given over 140 points, in my opinion, this routine is the Mount Everest of ladies’ single skating in terms of artistry, choreography, transitions, interpretation and the overall concept. Its hidden difficulty is unbelievable. So its PCS given at Sochi should have been so much higher, especially comparing to the PCS some other skaters received that night.
Tiffany (@TiffLangston) | Tiffany Langston
Tell us a little about your experiences with figure skating or as a fan. I met Paul Wylie at #Worlds2016. Really, my life is complete at this moment. Everything else is bonus. Seriously, I’ve been a skating fan since I watched his Olympic long program in 1992 (I feel so old). Took a bit of a break for a couple of years, came back strong around 2008 (the Evan/Johnny drama was everything) and have enjoyed every minute of being able to communicate with other figure skating fans through social media. (My IRL friends just don’t seem to get it.)
What’s your favorite grossly underscored skate of the last five years? Mao Asada’s 2014 Olympic LP.