A year older and wiser, “QuadGod” Malinin descends on Saitama

Not every athlete will walk into the interview room at the World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama wearing a hat with their nickname “QuadGod” in Japanese.

But then again, not every figure skater is 18-year-old Ilya Malinin, who in his short adult career has already redefined what is possible in a sport that has seen almost all barriers come down over the past decade.

After an impressive 2022, when he set junior world records in both the short program and free skate, as well as taking bronze in the ISU Grand Prix Final – not to mention being the first skater to land the once-mythical quadruple Axel in competition – anticipation is growing as the American prepares to compete in the World Championships for the second time.

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