The new art is a big deal
First of all, this official art is absolutely stunning.
But I couldn’t help but notice the white skates. And yes, I can see that tights are covering them, so the real colour of the actual skate can’t really be seen, but this also represents so much.
Figure skating is a pretty homophobic and sexist sport. Particularly in the time when young Viktor would have been skating. Girls were meant to be flouncy and pretty and graceful (which is partially why Surya Bonaly had such a hard time and ended up doing the illegal backflip - it’s a really interesting story), and men athletic and manly.
A huge point of this is that women have to wear white skates, and men have to wear black skates. So, young Viktor, who canonically says he used to play off his androgynous appearance, is wearing ‘white skates’, ladies skates, probably, I think, to make a point. We know from the extra information in one of the BD releases that he doesn’t have a particularly good relationship with the ISU, so maybe this is partly why. It’s pretty damn rebellious against the patriarchy for him to be doing this.
And perhaps this is reaching, but…
Look at the two crowns. In his younger self, the flowers are smaller and are white like his skates, symbolising innocence and purity. But in his older self, with short hair and black skates, the flowers are golden and taller, representing his victory. We can also see a difference in the colouring of his clothing, his younger self with warm colours, and his older self with cold colours, blue, representing sadness. His colour’s been stripped away from his soul, and finds itself in his crown, in his success.
I see a powerful message here, about a boy who tried to beat the system but tragically became a part of it once he started winning.
Or maybe it’s just a really cute art… who knows… But with the amount of symbolism within the anime, some lowkey message put here intentionally like this wouldn’t be too far out of the realms of possibility.