the return of the elegant gentleman

After several decades as one of the most sought after figure skating coaches in the world, Yakov Feltsman decides to quietly retire. Most of his students have retired from professional figure skating as well, and the only one left is the most recent men’s Grand Prix winner, 20-year-old Yuri Plisetsky. There’s a great clamour as several coaches rush to offer him their services, each of them trying to outdo the others. He turns them all down, saying that he already has a new coach. He refuses to reveal who. 

The figure skating world is left to contemplate who this mysterious figure is for several months. Then, the Cup of China arrives, and Yuri Plisetsky shows up accompanied by an elegant older gentleman with long silvery hair in a loose braid down his back. He’s wearing an expensive black suit, and a simple gold wedding band glinting on his ring finger.

The figure skating world explodes with excitement as, after a three year absence where he essentially disappeared off the face of the Earth, Victor Nikiforov returns to his beloved sport.

An even bigger surprise comes the next day, when a petite Asian man watches Plisetsky’s short program alongside Nikiforov - Katsuki Yuuri, three-time Grand Prix gold medalist, who had retired three years prior.

Plisetsky, usually so gruff and unfriendly, greets him with a soft smile and a friendly embrace, addressing him as “onii-san”.

(When Katsuki later teasingly refers to him as “lapushka”, he gets a not-so-soft punch in the arm.)