Any such event always has a political connotation to a certain extent, since it allows you to extremely competently and far-sightedly distribute “earrings to all sisters”, without leaving anyone offended.
The current “Ice Oscar”, as the ISU award was unofficially called at the suggestion of its ideologist Ari Zakarian, was no exception, but raised a number of questions.
The ceremony actually began from the end - the announcement of nominees in categories that were perceived as somewhat more secondary in terms of importance than “Most Valuable Skater” or “Coach of the Year”.
American Isabeau Levito was recognized as a rookie of 2022.
It is still not very clear why Ilya Malinin was not included in the number of nominees.
All ISU explanations on this matter do not hold water: in the Olympic season, the guy honestly qualified for the US team, becoming the second in the national championship (the fact that he was not there, let it remain on the conscience of the American Figure Skating Federation and the US NOC), the first in world performed and at the same time a brilliant quadruple axel.
Well, what is the advantage of Levito in this comparison?
The only logical explanation would be the burning desire of the ISU to perpetuate Malinin's quad axel in some cooler way.
For example, by presenting Ilya with the prize "For Special Achievements", which was done.
Is it fair?
But it absolutely made sense to allow the same number of applicants to the final vote in this category as in other nominations.
For example, it is difficult to add to the company to the pioneer Alexander Trusov with five quads performed in the Olympic final, and the two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanya, who ended his career and whose achievements and merits in figure skating (the same quad Axel, albeit not very successfully landed at the Olympics) is difficult overestimate.
If Malinin had won the victory in this trio anyway, she would have looked much more honorable.
Now, the nomination of the young American does not seem entirely indisputable.
Because from a sporting point of view, the quadruple axel is just a tool to achieve the goal.
Just like any other jump.
So far, Igor has not won anything serious with this toolkit.
Well, except for the victory in the US championship over Jason Brown.
In addition, it would be right to withdraw only one nomination from the voting - “For Lifetime Achievement”.
There are enough people in the world of figure skating whose merits are indisputable.
Although personally I would not start with athletes, but with coaches.
For a banal reason: life's achievement is a life sacrificed to one's cause.
And not several years, even if an incredibly successful career, like the current award winner Katarina Witt or Kurt Browning in 2020.
Hanyu was nominated in two categories (“Best Costume” and “Best Program”), but lost in both cases, and it doesn’t fit too well in my head at all.
It's not even about the curtsy to the Japanese sponsors, whose reaction the ISU had to calculate in advance.
It's just that a figure of this magnitude, as well as such a unique career, should have received public recognition, no matter how you look at the situation.
To some extent, the absence of Yuzuru among the winners could be explained by the fact that three years ago at the first ISU Skating Awards in Montreal, he already received one of the main prizes, but this version is easily shattered.
In both Montreal and Zurich, Shae-Lynn Bourne was named the best choreographer, Gabriela Papadakis and Guillaume Sizeron received the statuette for the best program, and Madison Chalk and Evan Bates won the best costume category.
The choice of Patrice Lauzon as the best coach of the year according to the ISU is also rather ambiguous.
It's not even that Rafael Harutyunyan, who by the way is most directly related to both Chen's Olympic gold and Malinin's quadruple axel, deserved the victory to a greater extent.
All the results of the Montreal dance school are the result of the collaboration of at least three specialists who have been working together for many years: Lauzon himself, his ex-partner and wife Marie-France Dubreuil, and Romain Agenauer.
To single out one person in this bunch is about how to recognize Papadakis as the athlete of the year, leaving Sizeron with nothing.
The latter, like Nathan Chen in the Most Valuable Skater nomination, I would call the undisputed winners in the category of the best programs.
Rhythm dance in the style of Waacking (or in a later interpretation - Vogue) is perhaps the most striking and significant of everything that has happened in the world of ice dancing over the past four years of the Olympics.
It would be as ridiculous not to immortalize him with a special prize as to leave Hanyu without awards.
But, you see, such a number of absurdities within the framework of one evening would not look too decent.
As for the level of the show as a whole, it, despite the very professional and well-oiled management of Art On Ice, left a feeling of some kind of ill-conceived, scenario sketched on the knee.
This is surprising, because the ISU Skating Awards first took place in 2020.
It took quite a long time to bring the television format to the ideal.
The organizers did not even bother to gather all the nominees within the framework of the event.
And by this they themselves lowered the grandiose idea to the level of an ordinary show.
One of many, even if the hall is full.