2023 ISU World Figure Skating Championships Preview: Men's Individual
by Brendan Rourke
Ilia Malinin competes in the men's free skate during the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 9, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rounding out the 18 Team USA athletes competing at the 2023 ISU World Figure Skating Championships are three talented men who will be competing as individuals. Highlighting the group is teenage phenom Ilia Malinin, who has earned every bit of his "quad god" nickname so far. Additionally, veteran skater Jason Brown is returning to worlds after rediscovering his competitive drive this past year. Brown is aiming to bring his own unique flair to the competitions, knowing the younger athletes could potentially score higher on their jumps. Capping off the trio is Andrew Torgashev, who battled back from a recent injury to make his world championship debut.
Ilia Malinin waves to the crowd after finishing a performance at the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 27, 2023 in San Jose, California.
Excitement is about for Ilia Malinin to take center stage at worlds this year. The rightful owner of the nickname "quad god" has shown the ability to take home some hardware while in Japan. In October, the teenager became the first and only skater to land a quadruple axel in competition, a jump that includes 4.5 rotations. Since then, he's been a solid performer on the senior stage, and hasn't shied away from showing his swagger. But, this will be his toughest competition and biggest spotlight yet.
Ilia Malinin competes at the Grand Prix of Espoo on Nov. 27, 2022 in Espoo, Finland.
Malinin hit the first quad axel in competition at the 2022 CS U.S. Classic. American figure skater Adam Rippon called it the "craziest thing I've seen anyone do on the ice." The judges awarded the jump with a grade of execution of 1.0.
2022 CS U.S. Classic: 1st Place overall
2022 Skate America: 1st Place overall (became the young Skate America champion in the event's history)
2022 Grand Prix Final: 3rd Place overall (Bronze medal)
2023 U.S. Championships: 1st Place (Gold medal)
Jason Brown waves to the crowd after competing in the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 27, 2023 in San Jose, California.
Longtime fan-favorite Jason Brown, the charismatic skater who won bronze in the men's team event at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, will be back at worlds this year for the first time since 2021. The California-born skater has wowed fans with his unique program components ever since his "Riverdance" performance from the 2014 U.S. championships went viral. While Brown may not have the jumps the young skaters have, he will certainly bring one of the most technical skates to the ice when he takes center stage. He'll certainly soak in this comeback moment while adding his charm to all of his appearances.
Jason Brown skates in the men's short program during the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 27, 2023 in San Jose, California.
Brown won his bronze medal at just 19-years-old. At the 2015 U.S. Championships, he scored the second-highest points in the event's history, winning his first U.S. title. At the Beijing Games, he scored a personal-best 97.24 points in his short program, and finished in sixth place overall.
Japan Open: 5th Place
2023 U.S. Championships: 2nd Place (Silver medal)
Andrew Torgashev waves to the crowd after his free skate performance at the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 29, 2023 in San Jose, California.
Andrew Torgashev is the third and final skater representing the U.S. at worlds this year. The 21-year-old began skating in junior events during the 2014-15 season and has gradually improved with experience despite battling a few injuries. By his own account, he was expecting a top-10 finish at the 2023 U.S. Championships after qualifying for the event. However, he surprised himself after posting the top score in the free skate portion over Ilia Malinin and Jason Brown. He placed third overall, earning the bronze medal and a chance to shine at worlds for the first time.
Andrew Torgashev competes in the men's free skate during the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 29, 2023 in San Jose, California.
Torgashev began learning to skate in 2006, and won back-to-back titles at the Philadelphia Summer International in 2018 and 2019.
2023 U.S. Championships: 3rd Place overall (Bronze medal, first in free skate, fifth in short program)
2023 International Challenge Cup: 5th Place
Brendan Rourke is a Digital Media Assistant for the USOPC. Previously, he spent three years writing for the NBA's Indiana Pacers, and is a graduate of IUPUI's Sports Capital Journalism Program.