Written by Jackie Wong of Rocker Skating

The main event is about to start. The 2024 ISU World Figure Skating Championships will take place this week in Montreal. If you’re looking for a quick download of the skaters to watch out for, you’re in the right place. If you’re looking for a quick download of everything else, check out my post on what I’m looking forward to in Montreal. Get ready for a lot of skating in the next few days. 


The pairs kick things off on Wednesday with their short programs. This season is shaping up to be like last season—we started wondering about the state of pair skating and we may end up being impressed about how they have pushed each other to improve the whole way. Among the storylines here will be Deanna Stellato-Dudek/Maxime Deschamps trying to win a World title at home, the continued return of reigning World champs Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara from injury, and the meteoric rise of two new pairs this season in Anastasia Metelkina/Luka Berulava and Minerva Hase/Nikita Volodin. 


The story of this season for the women has been one of good depth but major inconsistency. In Montreal this week, Kaori Sakamoto tries for a third consecutive World title, something that hasn’t been accomplished in 56 years. And Loena Hendrickx attempts to become the first Belgian singles skater ever to win Worlds. But perhaps more intriguingly, there are at least nine skaters who realistically have a chance to stand on the podium, and it will be hard to predict. 


Coming into Montreal, four men have separated themselves from the rest of the field this season. One has a quad axel (Ilia Malinin), one is accelerating in his comeback season (Yuma Kagiyama), one is hoping to become the first French man to win Worlds since 2007 (Adam Siao Him Fa), and the fourth is the two-time reigning champion (Shoma Uno). Barring some colossal surprise, the podium should consist of some permutation of these four skaters. But as it’s been for a number of years, the men’s event could be the field that combines depth with choreographic diversity the most. 


Another spot for the Canadians to shine—Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier have been bronze medalists twice at Worlds; could they strike gold at home? The entire podium from last year’s Worlds is back and all three dance teams are favoured again to be back on the podium this year. If that happens, it will be the second year in a row and the second year ever that the dance podium will be occupied by skaters who are all over 30. Madison Chock/Evan Bates are the reigning champs, with Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri defending their silver but hoping for more.