The 2019 World Figure Skating Championships hit Japan

Canada eager to see how it will fare without superstars Chan, Osmond, Virtue and Moir
skating Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva will not be an easy skater to stop...though her fellow Russian Alina Zagitova often finds a way! (© Zhukovsky - Dreamstime.com)


This week—March 18 to 24—the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships will be held in Saitama, Japan. Outside of the Olympics, this is the greatest prize in the sport, so you can expect a who's who of blades on ice.

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Nathan Chen says that it's game on! (Getty Embed)

Quad jump powerhouse American Nathan Chen? Yep. Twin home soil terrors, Japan's Shoma Uno and Yuzuru Hanyu? For sure. The unstoppable Russian human magic tricks that are Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva? Yes, indeed.

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Alina Zagitova only got silver at the recent 2019 European Championships. She doesn't like only getting silver... (Getty Embed)

In short, this week will be full of world-famous skaters who have all earned reputations for stunning displays of grace and power. But if you're a fan of Canadian skating, this championship is noticeable for a different reason: its absences.

Changing of the guard

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They brought the house down in PyeongChang, but now Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are passing the torch. (Getty Embed)

For years, names like Patrick Chan, Meaghan Duhamel, Eric Radford, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have been Canadian figure skating, winning multiple world titles between them. Another top competitor, Katelyn Osmond is the defending champion of the women's singles title, having won the Worlds in 2018. When these four skaters led Canada's figure skating team into PyeongChang for last year's Winter Olympics, experts called it Canada's greatest-ever Olympic figure skating squad. (And they won the team category gold medal to back that up!)

But now it's 2019. Chan has retired. So have Duhamel and Radford. Virtue and Moir are busying putting together a tour for audiences across Canada. And Osmond is taking the entire season off. This means that it is up to a whole new collection of talent to carry the flag into Saitama.

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Like pairs skaters Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro.

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Ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje.

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Men's singles skater Keegan Messing...

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...and women's singles skater Gabrielle Daleman.

Are they up to the task?

Show us what you've got!

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Last year, Canada was on top of the figure skating world. (Getty Embed)

If you follow the sport, none of those names will be news to you. In fact, Daleman's terrific skate in the Olympics team event helped Canada capture that gold medal! The big difference now? None of these skaters will have these mentors around to lead the charge. But hey, Patrick Chan was once the young guy, peaking from behind the shadows of Elvis Stojko. Will this be the moment when a new figure skating star is born?

The competition will be stiffer than ever, but anything can happen on the ice!


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