First and foremost, I know next to nothing when it comes to figure skating as a sport. I don’t know the technical rules, the difference between a salchow or a lutz, but I do know what a Biellmann spin is and that Yuzuru Hanyu has a really, really good version and I die every time I see it.

Yuzuru Hanyu Biellmann spin
just look at that slope!

While my history with figure skating begins at watching Ice Princess back in my childhood, it kind of gets kick-started into another life during my year abroad in Japan; their love for Yuzuru Hanyu and their pride for him as a national athlete was clear to me, even as a clueless gaijin. And so three years later, I find myself keeping an eye on the figure skating world like an amateur fan.

LiberaTarts Live-Tweets #Saitama2019

My day began when I woke up in a panic at 8:05am Spanish time, thinking that I might miss the start of the Men’s Singles events in the Worlds Figure Skating Championship, hosted in Saitama, Japan this 2019. With the way that timezones work and my confusion still in realizing that I am an hour ahead of London’s time zone, my body – without my outright thinking about it – went jerked upright like a newly alive Frankenstein’s monster.

I spent a good chunk of an hour looking for a way to watch BBC iPlayer’s live stream of the event, but ended up finding this extremely useful post instead. I somehow ended up watching an unblocked Russian Eurosport stream (whatever that means!) and thoroughly enjoying myself for up until the early afternoon.

In all honesty, I wanted to catch the finals mainly because of Japanese skaters Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno, but Korea’s Junhwan Cha caught my eye! He was just so graceful on the ice, and I would like to see more of him in future competitions.

And let’s not forget the other skaters! The music choices that the others had had me giggling from sheer joy. From musical soundtracks from Grease to Queen classics and AC/DC… Obviously, these people love what they do and while they’re not technically the best they certainly have fun doing what they love best – it is something everyone should strive to do in life, to be honest.

When the anticipated event happened, however, my joy in watching these skaters have fun on the ice retreated and was taken over by my fear. I hold Yuzuru’s skating close to my heart and it physically hurt to hear that he popped his quadruple salchow during his short program last Thursday. A quick online search told me that Yuzuru Hanyu had the tendency to make up lost points in the free skate, which was why I was so eager to catch everything live.

But as it turns out, his admirable efforts was not enough to beat Nathan Chen’s combined score. Not that second place is a bad place to be! You go, Glen Coco!! Four for you!

To summarise:

World Figure Skating Championships: Men’s Singles Free Skate | March 23, 2019


  1. I panic-searched for a livestream first thing after I woke up
  2. I realised I needed to learn more Russian than привет and спасибо if I want to continue being a fan of figure skating – all the good streams had Russian commentary and no English subtitles!
  3. I used my relatively dead Twitter account to live-tweet #Saitama2019, and
  4. Yuzuru Hanyu is still Number 1 in my heart (。♥‿♥。)

Over to you guys: Is anyone a fan of competitive figure skating? I would love to know more about it, so do feel free to comment and share your information! But please be nice about it – I don’t like it when people bash other competitors for the benefit of their favourites. That’s just bad sportsmanship.

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