Yuri on Ice characters vs Real Life Top Skaters
So I watched the first two episodes of Yuri!!! on Ice and if we skating fans already speculated on which skater each character was based on, the show kinda disproved us on some points.
So this is a post mostly aimed at the anime fans who will probably be irremediably dragged into the figure skating fandom because of this anime.
Physically, the characters may look like some skaters but personality wise they can differ massively. After two episodes it’s still early to completely know a character, and there’s much more who are coming, but I think we can already draw some parallels between some skaters and the characters.
One big important point though : I was very glad to discover that no character felt like any actual skaters. The writing staff really created original characters and if some skaters might have served as inspiration, it is very obvious that they are, in some ways, their “own person”.
So let’s start with the comparisons et divergences.
1/ Victor Nikiforov.
Victor was the easiest to spot because there is only one skater who left a very distinctive print in the world of figure skating and is unanimously called “The Legend” whether you like him or not.
Meet Evgeni Plushenko.
Evgeni Plushenko is a russian figure skater, notorious for landing quad-triple combination jumps, for having a very personnal haircut, fast feet, great showmanship and performances skills and one of the biggest charisma on ice you might ever see. He’s now over 30, and pretty much broken everywhere (especially his back) which forced him to withdraw from the single event of the last Olympic in Sochi.
He’s incredibly big in Russia. Like he’s a star. He skated too in the background of the russian participant in the Eurovision few years back (and they won that time). Some said the Sochi Olympics were held thanks to him.
On the ice he can (and could) do pretty much everything. His trademark was his Biellman spiral and spin, which inspired a lot of competiting male skaters to do (Hanyu, Kolyada, Martinez, and a gazillion more) the same as it is a rare move from male skaters but very common for female ones.
Simply put, Plushenko is a Legend if not The Legend of male figure skating. Ask any aspiring skaters which their models are and at one point they will all cite Plushenko as one of them.
Some notable program of his : (you can also just type his name on youtube and watch everything)
The Legendary Program aka Sex Bomb (yes) watch it so you’ll understand the bath scene. It was his exhibition for the 2000-2001 season where he won his first world title.
His LP program during the single men even in Torino Olympics Games 2006 where he finally got his gold medal.
Viktor is the most obvious one, but he is also clearly a “fictitious” character because for now, nobody has made and landed perfectly the crazy program that we saw of him and that Yuri replicated.
In terms of personality, Viktor and Evgeni have this very “hard” underneath personality when it comes to skating and they tell it like it is. Plushenko (also called Plushy) also loves Japan and comes every year to do ice shows and never miss a chance to put on a yukata. Plushy was also known for surprising the audience.
Where they differ :
Plushenko didn’t “retire” because he got stuck artistically (like it’s implied with Viktor) but mostly because after such a long career his body is pretty much broken everywhere, especially his back (he has now metal bars in it). And yet he never officially retired and each new season we wonder if he’s going to try to come back. Plushy is also very supportive of young skaters and love the quads escalation that is happening in the men’s field.
He’s also married with a child, which is a big difference with Viktor :p
Personality wise, I think Viktor is much more outgoing than Evgeni and also much more touchy-feely.
I’ll do the two Yuris in another post