There’s a new U.S. men’s figure skating champion and he calls Vienna, Virginia, home. But you won’t see him out at the Fairfax County bars celebrating. He’s only in high school.
Sunday’s champion is 18-year-old Ilia Malinin — a jumping machine who also goes by the “Quadg0d,” his Instagram username, is known for his transcendent quadruple jumps.
He represents the Washington Figure Skating Club and trains at the Skate Quest in Reston. Malinin is the only skater in history to cleanly land a quad axle in competition, meaning a four and a half spin jump.
The first jump he attempted during his final free skate in San Jose, California’s SAP Center on Sunday was a quad axle but he failed to land it.
Watch Malinin’s final skate below.
The Marshall High School senior battled back through the rest of his routine doing doubles instead of two planned quads midway through his program, then completed a triple Lutz-triple axel-triple toe loop sequence and a one-handed cartwheel to end the skate and capture gold.
“This wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” Malinin told The Associated Press. “There’s always ups and downs, and you just have to get over it and move on for the next thing.”
Jason Brown a former U.S. National Champion and second place finisher this year commended Malinin on his performance.
“I first just want to tip my hat off to Ilia,” he said, turning to face Malinin. “All I can say is just keep it up, because it’s incredible, and the way that you’re pushing the sport is incredible.”
This latest victory takes the young man one step closer to the Olympics in Milano Cortina in 2026.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.