ISU Skating Awards 2024: Winners revealed. GETTY IMAGES

After two months of voting, deliberation and suspense, with many deserving candidates, the day has finally come to announce the winners of the prestigious ISU Skating Awards 2024.

The "Most Valuable Skater" award goes to Ilia Malinin (USA), Hana Yoshida (Japan) shines as "Best Newcomer", Adam Siao Him Fa (France) stands out with the "Most Entertaining Programme" while Loena Hendrickx (Belgium) takes the "Best Costume" prize.

In the "Best Choreographer" and "Best Coach" categories, Benoît Richaud and Mie Hamada were honoured for their exceptional work. Brian Orser (Canada) received the "Lifetime Achievement" Award in recognition of his career. Deanna Stellato-Dudek (Canada) received the “Special Achievement” Award for her remarkable comeback to competition after a 16-year retirement. 

Held during an exciting Art on Ice show in Zurich, Switzerland, the 2024 ISU Skating Awards were presented live in front of an audience and simultaneously streamed live on the Skating ISU YouTube channel for the second time, following a successful inaugural live event in 2023 and two online editions in 2020 and 2021. 

Hosted by the renowned sports reporter and TV presenter Elma Smit, who this year teamed up with four-time World Figure Skating Champion and legend Kurt Browning, the ceremony was a unique combination of backstage studio filming, exclusive interviews and on-ice prize-giving with the winning skaters performing during the Art on Ice show (or online for those not in attendance). 

Viewers had the unique opportunity to witness not only exceptional musical and figure skating performances, but also glamorous and emotional moments as the skaters received their ISU Skating trophies.

Most Valuable Skater 

Honours the individual skater, pair or dance couple who has promoted figure skating through a successful competitive season, generating (social) media attention and engagement in 2023 (GP 2022 accepted). 

Ilia Malinin (USA) was nominated alongside reigning World champion Kaori Sakamoto and Shoma Uno (both Japan). At just 19 years of age, Ilia Malinin has quickly become one of the world's most popular skaters, winning numerous titles first at junior level and now at senior international competitions. 

USA's Ilia Malinin is the 2023 Most Valuable Figure Skater. GETTY IMAGES
USA's Ilia Malinin is the 2023 Most Valuable Figure Skater. GETTY IMAGES

Grand Prix Final Champion in 2023 and World Bronze Medallist in 2023, Malinin made figure skating history as the first and only skater to successfully land a quadruple axel in competition (2022). With an impressive Instagram following of 127,000, the "Quad God" captivates fans around the world. 

Beyond his achievements on the ice, Ilia relentlessly pushes the boundaries of the sport, leaving an indelible mark on the international skating community.

Best Newcomer 

Recognises a young talented individual skater, pair or dance couple who will be competing very successfully for the first time at ISU senior level events in 2023 (GP 2022 accepted). 

Shortlisted in the "Best Newcomer" category alongside fellow finalists Nina Pinzarrone (Belgium) and Kimmy Repond (Switzerland), the 18-year-old Hana Yoshida won the award for demonstrating her prowess this season after an outstanding transition from the junior level. 

Japan's Hana Yoshida has been named
Japan's Hana Yoshida has been named "Best Newcomer" of 2023. GETTY IMAGES

The Japanese skater scored a remarkable victory at the ISU Grand Prix Cup of China and further added to her success with a bronze medal at the ISU Grand Prix Final - a remarkable rise from her sixth place at the Junior Final just a year ago. Hana has a triple axel in her arsenal, a testament to her technical prowess and continued growth in the competitive figure skating arena.

Most Entertaining Programme 

Awarded to the individual skater, pair or couple for their choice of music selection, expression, creativity, contemporary interpretation, originality and overall performance presented for the first time in 2023 (GP 2022 accepted). 

Adam Siao Him Fa's (France) breathtaking Free Dance programme, created in close collaboration with choreographer Benoît Richaud, demonstrated his constant quest for innovation. 

France's Adam Siao Him Fa had the most entertaining programme in 2023. GETTY IMAGES
France's Adam Siao Him Fa had the most entertaining programme in 2023. GETTY IMAGES

The creative exploration for this season's Free Skating resulted in a compelling narrative - the story of a man trying to write his diary, experiencing moments of despair when things don't work out, and ultimately finding a way to overcome obstacles. The duo's commitment to storytelling and uniqueness lends a compelling and dynamic quality to the resulting performance. 

The other nominees were Kevin Aymoz (FRA) for his Free Skating program to "Bolero" and Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson (Great Britain) for their "Rocky" Free Dance program to "Gonna Fly Now" and "Eye of the Tiger".

Best Costume 

Honours the individual skater, pair or dance couple presenting a costume for the first time in 2023 (GP 2022 accepted) that reflects creativity, fashion, style and originality. 

Having already been nominated for Best Costume in 2023, Loena Hendrickx wins this year's award, underlining her consistent originality in artistic expression. This season, Loena and her team have chosen an upbeat disco music style for their Free Dance programme with 'Break My Soul' (The Queens Remix) by Beyoncé and Madonna. 

Hendrickx, her coach and brother Jorik and choreographer Adam Solya scoured the internet for costume ideas. The result is a striking black and silver ensemble that perfectly complements the energy of Loena's performance. Also nominated were designer Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA) for their Free Dance costume and Korea's Haein Lee for her short programme costume (designed by Yu Mi Kim).

Best Choreographer 

Honours the choreographic work of a choreographer who has successfully inspired one or more singles and/or pairs and/or dance couples. The work must have premiered in 2023 (GP 2022 accepted). 

This year, Benoît Richaud (France) was shortlisted for the second time in the "Best Choreographer" category, and finally won the award in recognition of his outstanding work and contributions in the field. A former competitive ice dancer, Benoît first returned to the sport first as a coach and quickly rose to prominence as a choreographer. 

France's Benoit Richaud, best choreographer in 2023. ISU
France's Benoit Richaud, best choreographer in 2023. ISU

Famous for his distinctive and thought-provoking choreography, the France's has created captivating programmes for skaters such as Adam Siao Him Fa (France), Nina Pinzarrone (Belgium), Donovan Carrillo (Mexico), Loicia Demougeot / Theo Le Mercier (France) and many more during the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons. The other choreographers nominated were Shae-Lynn Bourne (Canada) and Stéphane Lambiel (Switzerland).

Best Coach 

An award for a coach who has worked professionally and efficiently in 2023 (GP 2022 accepted) with one or more individual skaters and/or pairs and/or pairs figure skating couples, achieving outstanding results. 

Nominated alongside Stéphane Lambiel (Switzerland) and Sonoko Nakano, Mie Hamada (both Japan), a former competitive figure skater who turned to coaching after completing her career and studies, was honoured with the "Best Coach" award. 

Currently based at the Kinoshita Academy in Uji, Japan, she has built a reputation for developing top talent. Among her notable students are ISU Junior World champion Mao Shimada (Japan), ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medallist Hana Yoshida (Japan) and the newly crowned 2024 ISU Four Continents champion Mone Chiba (also Japan). Hamada's dedication and expertise continue to shape the future of figure skating through her coaching efforts.

Lifetime Achievement Award 

Popular two-time Olympic figure skating silver medallist and prolific coach Brian Orser (Canada) is an outstanding athlete, performer and coach who has pushed the boundaries of the sport and left a lasting impact on generations of figure skaters. Brian won his first national novice title at the age of 16 and made the triple axel his signature move at a time when few skaters were incorporating it into their routines.   

His rise to prominence included a bronze medal at the 1983 World Championships, setting the stage for his first Olympic appearance in 1984, where he won a silver medal. Brian went on to win a further silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games, cementing his status as one of the sport's greats. His illustrious career also included a World Championship title in 1987 and a total of five World medals (four silver and one bronze). 

After the 1987/88 Olympic season, Brian transitioned to a show career and performed in shows and other events for almost 20 years before concentrating on coaching in Toronto. He quickly established himself as a renowned coach, guiding Yuna Kim (Korea) and Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) to Olympic gold medals and demonstrating his ability to develop champions. 

His coaching skills continued to shine as he mentored stars such as Javier Fernandez (Spain), Jason Brown (USA) and Boyang Jin (China). In recognition of his outstanding contribution, Brian Orser will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2024.

Special Achievement Award 

Honours an individual skater, pair or couple who makes history by successfully performing a new / special / unique element or move, or who achieves something extraordinary at an ISU event in 2023 (GP 2022 accepted) and pushes the boundaries of the sport. 

Deanna Stellato-Dudek's (Canada) figure skating journey is a story of resilience, embracing both the brevity and unpredictability of the sport. At just 15, she won the silver medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships, only to retire less than a year later with a hip injury. She transitioned to a non-skating life, holding down a regular job and getting married. 

However, 16 years after her World Junior success, she made a remarkable comeback as a pairs skater. She first teamed up with Nathan Bartholomay to compete for the USA in 2016, and in 2019 she found a new partner in Maxime Deschamps (Canada). Having just turned 40, Deanna has amassed a wealth of titles since her comeback, including two-time Canadian champion, an ISU Grand Prix Final and ISU Four Continents champion, and a three-time ISU Grand Prix champion. 

In recognition of her extraordinary determination, groundbreaking influence and role as an inspiration to all, Deanna Stellato-Dudek will receive the 2024 ISU "Special Achievement" award.