Our Reactions to the 2024 ISU Awards and Art on Ice Event
The ISU Awards were handed out for the fourth time on Sunday, February 11th during one of the first Art on Ice performances of 2024 — and the show was certainly a spectacle.
Co-hosted by skating legend, Kurt Browning, and sports presenter and influencer, Elma Smit, the award show was intertwined with performances from elite skaters and musical acts performing as part of Art on Ice — a show that happens yearly in Switzerland, and is known for bold and unique shows that ignite the imagination.
While some of the awards are a bit vague in terms of how those in the category qualify and the methods used for voting a little confusing, we’re always here for celebrating the skaters themselves. It was a delight to see Adam Siao Him Fa, Hana Yoshida, Loena Hendrickx, and Ilia Malinin all take home some hardware.
The highlight of the awards had to be the Special Achievement honor given to Deanna Stelatto-Dudek in honor of all she has achieved during her unprecedented 2-part competitive career spanning over 2 decades. It was obvious how much this acknowledgment meant to Deanna, which was wonderful to see her receive.
The streamed version of the Art on Ice performances were a bit disjointed to watch — with quite of bit of the skating being missed due to the cameras often focusing on the musical performances more than the skaters.
At some point, we’d love to see this award show move away from its partnership with Art on Ice and shift to the end of the season — perhaps directly following the World Championships (at the gala?). It seems like that may make these awards feel a bit more authentic and exciting.
2022 Olympic Team Medals
In other ISU news, we discuss the recent decision in the Kamila Valieva case, and how the ISU has stood their ground after making what seems to be a mathematical error in redistributing points for the Olympic Team medals. With Valieva being disqualified for 4 years as of December of 2021, her scores from the 2022 Olympic Team event and 2022 Europeans have been scratched.
While in the Europeans that means every woman moves up one spot, the points earned in the Team competition got far more harried and now leaves the US with gold, Japan with silver, and Russia with bronze. If the ISU had followed previous precedent and what has been their own rules, it seems Canada would be in the bronze position — and with that in mind, Canada has since filed a case to dispute the ISU’s decision.
Gracie Gold’s Memoir
Lastly, like many of you, we were quick to grab a copy of US figure skating champion, Gracie Gold’s, new member — Outofshapeworthlessloser. The title certainly gives you a preview of the tone of the book, but the contents definitely dig deep into the heart of what needs to change in figure skating.
From her difficult family life to massively unreasonable expectations of a teenager from varying coaches, officials, and judges, to her near-tragic meltdown prior to the 2018 Olympic Games, this book is unapologetically vulnerable.
Our hope is that is brings more empathy for, and awareness to, what elite skaters go through — and the need for improvements from those who support them.
0:00 — Intro
0:42 — Call for Q&A Questions
2:17 — Art on Ice and the ISU Awards
4:29 — Most Valuable Skater
10:42 — Most Entertaining Program
14:46 — Best Newcomer
16:40 — Best Costume
20:56 — Best Coach
23:10 — Best Choreographer
24:22 — Special Achievement Award
28:27 — Lifetime Achievement Award
29:41 — Art on Ice Reactions
38:00 — Olympic Medal Situation
46:11 — Gracie Gold Book
54:00 — Wrap-Up