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The end of an era in figure skating and the rise of a new dawn

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Today, Feb. 22 figure skaters took to Olympic ice for the final time for the Olympic Figure Skating Gala. The best skaters in the world and the figure skating medalists came together for this extraordinary event.

It is without a doubt one of the most momentous occasions due mainly to the amount of beloved and notable figure skaters that will now be retiring. For many of these skaters it was their final Olympic Games, with this being their final season. After years and years of watching these skaters compete, it is time for their final farewell.

So who will we no longer be competing? The infamous Yuna Kim has officially announced her retirement, but will be a delegate for the Olympic Games in South Korea in 2018.

Some of the top Japanese skaters will be hanging up their skates as well. Japan has given the world such amazing skaters over the past several years. Daisuke Takahashi, Nobunari Oda, Mao Asada and Akiko Suzuki will certainly be missed. Their skating has truly impacted the sport and they will not be soon forgotten.

In ice dance, Canadian sweethearts, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, have made The Olympic Games their final competitive event. They will be retiring with a gold from the 2010 Olympic Games and a silver from the team event along with another silver for the ice dance event. They have truly poured out their lives and hearts to us throughout the years and ice dance will not be the same without them.

During these Olympic Games, Evgeny Plushenko announced for the second time his official retirement, but it looks like this time it will be permanent. At least we all got to see him skate one last time during the team event on Russian ice.

The list of those retiring continues on: Ice dancers Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, pair skaters Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, American Jeremy Abbott, France’s Brian Jourbert and the legendary Chinese pair Qing Pang and Jian Tong. What these skaters brought to the ice was something so special and it will always be remembered.

The future is still unclear for a few skaters who are debating about retirement. For Patrick Chan, Meryl Davis and Charlie White and most likely Carolina Kostner, it may mark the end of the road for them as well. It is unknown if these skaters will continue to compete.

This Olympic Games has marked an end of an era within figure skating and yet we were able to see the flame beginning to burn on a fresh, younger generation of skaters. We received a glimpse into the future while watching gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova, Julia Lipnitskaia, Polina Edmunds, Gracie Gold, Denis Ten, Yuzuru Hanyu, Jason Brown, not to mention the remarkable young skaters in ice dancing and pair skating.

With these Olympic Games closing out a generation of phenomenal skaters, one can only imagine which new faces and skaters will emerge and take to the ice at the 2018 Olympic Games. Hopefully these young skaters, can learn from the greatness of the past and keep the sport moving forward.

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