2026 Olympic Team Event Qualifying Outlook | Golden Skate

2026 Olympic Team Event Qualifying Outlook

NaVi

Medalist
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
I want to start a little thought experiment thread on the topic of what countries could be in the running to qualify for the 2026 Olympic Team Event and what weaknesses they have and how they could address them.

Most of the teams on the edge of making the team event have a weakness in pairs and if they want to set a goal to make the team event they should soon think about what they can do in pairs. Technically a team only has to skate in 3 events. But even if a pair teams don't qualify for the Olympics by themselves they can perhaps help with getting some qualification points.

These documents lay out the qualification rules: https://www.isu.org/figure-skating/rules/fsk-communications/26711-isu-communication-2443/file https://isu.org/docman-documents-li...tion-systems-3/22994-figure-skating-v1-0/file

Oq52AoS.jpg

There is a points system to decide based on results across the disciplines to decide who qualifies for the team event. But the big thing is that the countries must qualify in 3 out of the 4 disciplines to qualify for the team event.

Those who qualified but are most likely to miss out next time:

Out of those that qualified for the 2022 Olympic Team Event(Canada, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, United States), IMO the three least likely to qualify again are probably Germany, Czech Republic, and Ukraine.

Germany - An advantage Germany has over a lot of other federations is that they have (had) multiple ok-to-good pairs while a lot of countries have none or one. I think Nicole Schott needs to keep skating(and be around her current level) for Germany to have a chance to make the team event. I think they'll have a dance team that qualifies for the Olympics.

Czech Republic - Michal Brezina retiring leaves a void. They have a couple men's skaters who score around 200 points which isn't going to be enough to qualify.

Zhuk/Bidar and (to a lesser extent) Eliska Brezinova can be kind of close to the qualifying edge but I think if they continued that they'd end up both qualifying. But I could easily see injury and/or bad skates taking them out of the Olympics.

Taschlerová/Taschler are a young dance team that's improved their standing(even with the Russians being in the event) from their first senior year. If they continue at their currently level they should probably qualify for the Olympics.

Ukraine - Ukraine would not have made the team event(and their pairs team would not have gone to the Olympics) if it were not for Shabotova and well she's gone. Technically I think(or I heard someone say) Shabotova can still skate for Ukraine it's just she won't be funded... but I highly doubt she's going back. But even if she did, It's also not inconceivable that she may not be able to qualify in 4 years. I can't see another Russian skater switching to Ukraine within the next couple Olympic cycles even if they have a parent from there(Maria Mazur who is coached by Plushenko has a father born in Ukraine).

I've seen a few novice skaters with potential from Ukraine but they won't be age eligible for the Olympics. Anastasiia Gozhva scored close to Shabotova at nationals but her international PB is far behind. Mariia Andriychuk I think was practicing quads at Europeans before she had to be pulled out(COVID I think), but she was 6th with a score of 130 at nationals. Olga Mikutina returning to skate for Ukraine is about the only substitute for Shabotova that would likely work. [EDIT] Actually, the Ukrainian Junior champion Kateryna Kononenko looks somewhat promising and 2025-26 looks like it would be her first senior season if the age requirement isn't raised. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx_s0iC9EjtfYnGRc9wVxTA

Ivan Shmuratko is pretty good but men is such an unpredictable discipline and it's not inconceivable that he would not qualify for the Olympics with a bad skate. It's also not inconceivable that Nazarova/Nikitin may not qualify if they stay(or are scored) at their current level. They currently have 2 developing pairs teams and there's a 3rd team from Ukraine who now skate for the United States(though I think it's very unlikely that they'd ever switch back to Ukraine).

For Ukraine to make the team event they need to fill in their gap in the women's event and try to get the best conditions for their skaters. Something like get Olga Mikutina and send everyone else to train in Canada.

Those who did not qualify for the team event in 2022 but could be in the running next time:

To start out with, I don't think either Austria or Great Britain (and the others on the list above I don't mention) will be able to be able to qualify in 3 different events by the next Olympics.

France - France is likely(or has a good chance) to have man and an ice dance team who will qualify for the Olympics but they are currently weak on women and pairs. I don't know what to say for what they should do, but I give them a better shot than Austria and Great Britain to qualify in 3 different events.

Estonia - Estonia actually has a couple skaters in both men and women who can qualify for the Olympics. They have an ice dance team that (though without the Russians) was able to make the free skate at Worlds. On the pairs front, Natalia Zabijako had to switch to Russia when her partner was not able to get Estonian citizenship so I think either looking for a Russian partner or whole pairs team is unlikely.

South Korea - They'll surely will have qualifiers in men and women and they have a promising ice dance team that is training in Montreal that I feel will qualify for the 2026 Olympics. That leaves pairs. They may be able to get more people to try out for pairs if they convince them that they have a good shot of going to the Olympics for the Team Event even if they don't make the cut for the pairs discipline itself.

Spain - They'll likely have an ice dance team qualify and their pairs team was 11th at the Olympics. If they're able to stay in that condition(and they may have to take time off pending the anti-doping case), then Spain would just need another qualifier from one of the single's disciplines. They do have a men's skaters who IMO is unlikely but could potentially qualify but Spain didn't even send entries for either the Junior or Senior World Championships in the women's event.

Teams that could be built up out of Russians switching countries:

Australia
- Australia has 2 pair teams with an male partner from Australia and a female partner from Russia and there is a good chance there will be at least one Olympic qualifier. Brendan Kerry can be off and on. Because of injury that kept him out of 2021 Worlds and a bad skate at Nebelhorn he barely qualified for the Olympics where he came in 17th place. Kailani Craine was the last qualifier for the Olympics and that's about representative for where she stands against her competitors.

Holly Harris/Jason Chan train in Montreal and seem right at the edge of being able to qualify for the Olympics.

Jonathan Guerreiro is an Australian citizen and if he and Tiffany Zahorski were to switch it would likely be a placement improvement over Harris/Chan.

Armenia - Garabedian/Proulx-Senecal qualified for the Olympics and train in Montreal so they have a pretty good chance to qualify again if they continue.

Adeliia Petrosian and Artur Danielian are both ethnic Armenians who could potentially switch. Danielian might just be on the edge of qualifying though.

Armenia IMO has the best shot of becoming the "next Georgia". I doubt it'll happen since I doubt Russia would ever release Petrosian. The Georgian federation also seems more organized.

This leaves some other post-Soviet countries where Russians have already transferred to but need pairs and ice dance teams:

Azerbaijan: They had Olympic qualifiers in both men and women.
Kazakhstan: Mikhail Shaidorov just won silver at Junior Worlds with a score that should qualify him for the Olympics... and that's without doing quads in the SP.
Belarus: They had Olympic qualifiers in both men and women. Can't see anyone switching to them if the reason for switching is to be allowed to skate since Russia's excluded.
 
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lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
I want to start a little thought experiment thread on the topic of what countries could be in the running to qualify for the 2026 Olympic Team Event and what weaknesses they have and how they could address them.

Most of the teams on the edge of making the team event have a weakness in pairs and if they want to set a goal to make the team event they should soon think about what they can do in pairs. Technically a team only has to skate in 3 events. But even if a pair teams don't qualify for the Olympics by themselves they can perhaps help with getting some qualification points.

These documents lay out the qualification rules: https://www.isu.org/figure-skating/rules/fsk-communications/26711-isu-communication-2443/file https://isu.org/docman-documents-li...tion-systems-3/22994-figure-skating-v1-0/file

Oq52AoS.jpg

There is a points system to decide based on results across the disciplines to decide who qualifies for the team event. But the big thing is that the countries must qualify in 3 out of the 4 disciplines to qualify for the team event.

Those who qualified but are most likely to miss out next time:

Out of those that qualified for the 2022 Olympic Team Event(Canada, China, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, United States), IMO the three least likely to qualify again are probably Germany, Czech Republic, and Ukraine.

Germany - An advantage Germany has over a lot of other federations is that they have (had) multiple ok-to-good pairs while a lot of countries have none or one. I think Nicole Schott needs to keep skating(and be around her current level) for Germany to have a chance to make the team event. I think they'll have a dance team that qualifies for the Olympics.

Czech Republic - Michal Brezina retiring leaves a void. They have a couple men's skaters who score around 200 points which isn't going to be enough to qualify.

Zhuk/Bidar and (to a lesser extent) Eliska Brezinova can be kind of close to the qualifying edge but I think if they continued that they'd end up both qualifying. But I could easily see injury and/or bad skates taking them out of the Olympics.

Taschlerová/Taschler are a young dance team that's improved their standing(even with the Russians being in the event) from their first senior year. If they continue at their currently level they should probably qualify for the Olympics.

Ukraine - Ukraine would not have made the team event(and their pairs team would not have gone to the Olympics) if it were not for Shabotova and well she's gone. Technically I think(or I heard someone say) Shabotova can still skate for Ukraine it's just she won't be funded... but I highly doubt she's going back. But even if she did, It's also not inconceivable that she may not be able to qualify in 4 years. I can't see another Russian skater switching to Ukraine within the next couple Olympic cycles even if they have a parent from there(Maria Mazur who is coached by Plushenko has a father born in Ukraine).

I've seen a few novice skaters with potential from Ukraine but they won't be age eligible for the Olympics. Anastasiia Gozhva scored close to Shabotova at nationals but her international PB is far behind. Mariia Andriychuk I think was practicing quads at Europeans before she had to be pulled out(COVID I think), but she was 6th with a score of 130 at nationals. Olga Mikutina returning to skate for Ukraine is about the only substitute for Shabotova that would likely work.

Ivan Shmuratko is pretty good but men is such an unpredictable discipline and it's not inconceivable that he would not qualify for the Olympics with a bad skate. It's also not inconceivable that Nazarova/Nikitin may not qualify if they stay(or are scored) at their current level. They currently have 2 developing pairs teams and there's a 3rd team from Ukraine who now skate for the United States(though I think it's very unlikely that they'd ever switch back to Ukraine).

For Ukraine to make the team event they need to fill in their gap in the women's event and try to get the best conditions for their skaters. Something like get Olga Mikutina and send everyone else to train in Canada.

Those who did not qualify for the team event in 2022 but could be in the running next time:

To start out with, I don't think either Austria or Great Britain (and the others on the list above I don't mention) will be able to be able to qualify in 3 different events by the next Olympics.

France - France is likely(or has a good chance) to have man and an ice dance team who will qualify for the Olympics but they are currently weak on women and pairs. I don't know what to say for what they should do, but I give them a better shot than Austria and Great Britain to qualify in 3 different events.

Estonia - Estonia actually has a couple skaters in both men and women who can qualify for the Olympics. They have an ice dance team that (though without the Russians) was able to make the free skate at Worlds. On the pairs front, Natalia Zabijako had to switch to Russia when her partner was not able to get Estonian citizenship so I think either looking for a Russian partner or whole pairs team is unlikely.

South Korea - They'll surely will have qualifiers in men and women and they have a promising ice dance team that is training in Montreal that I feel will qualify for the 2026 Olympics. That leaves pairs. They may be able to get more people to try out for pairs if they convince them that they have a good shot of going to the Olympics for the Team Event even if they don't make the cut for the pairs discipline itself.

Spain - They'll likely have an ice dance team qualify and their pairs team was 11th at the Olympics. If they're able to stay in that condition(and they may have to take time off pending the anti-doping case), then Spain would just need another qualifier from one of the single's disciplines. They do have a men's skaters who IMO is unlikely but could potentially qualify but Spain didn't even send entries for either the Junior or Senior World Championships in the women's event.

Teams that could be built up out of Russians switching countries:

Australia
- Australia has 2 pair teams with an male partner from Australia and a female partner from Russia and there is a good chance there will be at least one Olympic qualifier. Brendan Kerry can be off and on. Because of injury that kept him out of 2021 Worlds and a bad skate at Nebelhorn he barely qualified for the Olympics where he came in 17th place. Kailani Craine was the last qualifier for the Olympics and that's about representative for where she stands against her competitors.

Holly Harris/Jason Chan train in Montreal and seem right at the edge of being able to qualify for the Olympics.

Jonathan Guerreiro is an Australian citizen and if he and Tiffany Zahorski were to switch it would likely be a placement improvement over Harris/Chan.

Armenia - Garabedian/Proulx-Senecal qualified for the Olympics and train in Montreal so they have a pretty good chance to qualify again if they continue.

Adeliia Petrosian and Artur Danielian are both ethnic Armenians who could potentially switch. Danielian might just be on the edge of qualifying though.

Armenia IMO has the best shot of becoming the "next Georgia". I doubt it'll happen since I doubt Russia would ever release Petrosian. The Georgian federation also seems more organized.

This leaves some other post-Soviet countries where Russians have already transferred to but need pairs and ice dance teams:

Azerbaijan: They had Olympic qualifiers in both men and women.
Kazakhstan: Mikhail Shaidorov just won silver at Junior Worlds with a score that should qualify him for the Olympics... and that's without doing quads in the SP.
Belarus: They had Olympic qualifiers in both men and women. Can't see anyone switching to them if the reason for switching is to be allowed to skate since Russia's excluded.
Philippines. They have adopted Korovin, so that helps him with pairs, they have a promising woman, and a man. They need dance.
 

4everchan

Observer
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
Philippines would need to qualify their skaters. Edrian Celestino was their best man this year. He was sent to Nebelhorn = 18th place IIRC... Warsaw CUP =22nd.. . I am a huge fan of Edrian : he has nice skating skills and presence on the ice. However, without a triple axel, it's pretty hard to get a qualification. Were you thinking about someone else? Having the skaters is not always a guarantee of qualification. For the team event, skaters need to qualify for the Olympics in the individual event. The process does imply getting world TES minimums, then going to worlds, then making the free skate... (or alternatively making it through the last chance qualifier). So Philippines have a long way to go. This is exactly what happened to France when they did not qualify a woman and a pair teams at previous worlds/nebelhorn. So despite having a top notch dance team and good men, they couldn't participate. However, France to me, is the most likely team to comeback.

However, 4 years = very very long. I'd be willing to do this exercise in a couple of years. By then, we will know better about the situation in South Korea for instance (with pairs)... or even if some countries are still banned or not from competing ISU events and/or Olympics.
 
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Dreamer57

Medalist
Joined
May 20, 2018
I hope Korea and Estonia are able to develop pairs teams before the next Olympics. :)
Poland might also be able to qualify in future if they had a pair team.

I might add that from now it is more like 3 years, to qualify an olympic spot they need to be ready by 2025 worlds or Nebelhorn at the very latest.
 

lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
Philippines would need to qualify their skaters. Edrian Celestino was their best man this year. He was sent to Nebelhorn = 18th place IIRC... Warsaw CUP =22nd.. . I am a huge fan of Edrian : he has nice skating skills and presence on the ice. However, without a triple axel, it's pretty hard to get a qualification. Were you thinking about someone else? Having the skaters is not always a guarantee of qualification. For the team event, skaters need to qualify for the Olympics in the individual event. The process does imply getting world TES minimums, then going to worlds, then making the free skate... (or alternatively making it through the last chance qualifier). So Philippines have a long way to go. This is exactly what happened to France when they did not qualify a woman and a pair teams at previous worlds/nebelhorn. So despite having a top notch dance team and good men, they couldn't participate. However, France to me, is the most likely team to comeback.

However, 4 years = very very long. I'd be willing to do this exercise in a couple of years. By then, we will know better about the situation in South Korea for instance (with pairs)... or even if some countries are still banned or not from competing ISU events and/or Olympics.
I just really like the momentum for Philippines and hopeful. I really want a SEA team, not just NEA
 

4everchan

Observer
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Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
I just really like the momentum for Philippines and hopeful. I really want a SEA team, not just NEA
yup. I understand. A few years back they had a strong men's skater who even qualified for the Olympics...

Here is Michael Christian Martinez at Sochi

 

lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
yup. I understand. A few years back they had a strong men's skater who even qualified for the Olympics...

Here is Michael Christian Martinez at Sochi

Nice. Anyway, I wish them luck! Also ISU admitted Vietnam as well in the last Communication, so while they are not going to have a team, I am wondering if we are going to see Vietnamese skaters at JGP.
 

4everchan

Observer
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Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
Nice. Anyway, I wish them luck! Also ISU admitted Vietnam as well in the last Communication, so while they are not going to have a team, I am wondering if we are going to see Vietnamese skaters at JGP.
It is likely. There are many Vietnamese Canadians and Americans skaters (also French) who could represent Vietnam.
Some trivia for you : a while back, Maxime Billy-Fortin, a Haitian/Canadian skater tried to become the first skater to represent Haiti at the O Games. Unfortunately, Haiti was not a member of the ISU. For that, they needed to have several things, including an ice rink... It didn't materialize, maybe one day. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-skater-pushes-to-represent-haiti-1.903781
 

lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
It is likely. There are many Vietnamese Canadians and Americans skaters (also French) who could represent Vietnam.
Some trivia for you : a while back, Maxime Billy-Fortin, a Haitian/Canadian skater tried to become the first skater to represent Haiti at the O Games. Unfortunately, Haiti was not a member of the ISU. For that, they needed to have several things, including an ice rink... It didn't materialize, maybe one day. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-skater-pushes-to-represent-haiti-1.903781
I honestly don’t see Canada needing an overflow nation atm…
 

4everchan

Observer
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Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
I honestly don’t see Canada needing an overflow nation atm…
it's already happening though. Look at ice dance and how many canadians are skating for other countries. Even pairs. Many of the athletes concerned by this are not necessarily the ones who are at the top and that we follow extensively. For instance, our Montrealers who represent Armenia in ice dance were not very high on the food chain at all... yet, getting an Olympic berth has helped them extensively. I have no idea if that got them special funding, but they train at IAM and have produced very nice programs this year, enough to make it to the free dance and charm the fans. There are some ice dancers with Canadian passports representing (Armenia), Korea, New Zealand, Australia, even the UK. Of course, some Canadian skaters have even earned medals for other countries... for instance Tanith Belbin who was fast tracked to get USA nationality. I am sure there are more. Chloe Choinard and Olivia Boys-Eddy both skated with Livio Mayr in pairs for Austria. At one point, I was afraid that Conrad Orzel would skate for Poland, and there were talks that Aurora Cotop could skate for Romania.. not sure if those were rumours or not. Even if our fields are not as deep than we would like them to be, there are often better opportunities for skaters like Edrian Paul Celestino, Montreal based skater who is the National Champion of The Philippines. Gamez (Americano-Philipino combo), who now skates with Korovin, used to have a Canadian partner... So I can easily imagine that the many Montrealers with Vietnamese ties may be interested by that as well.

And of course, just recently, FBS (Laurence) and Lauriault-Le Gac represented Denmark and France respectively..... The two teams are skating for Canada now, but the switch back then, allowed them to develop in a less deep field in their respective European nations, and now they are contenders in Canada.
 
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Anna K.

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Country
Latvia
Some trivia for you : a while back, Maxime Billy-Fortin, a Haitian/Canadian skater tried to become the first skater to represent Haiti at the O Games. Unfortunately, Haiti was not a member of the ISU. For that, they needed to have several things, including an ice rink... It didn't materialize, maybe one day. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-skater-pushes-to-represent-haiti-1.903781
There are ice rinks on cruise ships. Technically, if to register such ship in Haiti, it would be a Haitian ice rink...

 

NaVi

Medalist
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
It is likely. There are many Vietnamese Canadians and Americans skaters (also French) who could represent Vietnam.
Some trivia for you : a while back, Maxime Billy-Fortin, a Haitian/Canadian skater tried to become the first skater to represent Haiti at the O Games. Unfortunately, Haiti was not a member of the ISU. For that, they needed to have several things, including an ice rink... It didn't materialize, maybe one day. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-skater-pushes-to-represent-haiti-1.903781
I don't know how accurate this is and it was a comment written in Russian that I read though google translate IIRC, but I remember someone saying they don't believe Azerbaijan should qualify as an ISU member because of the ice rink requirement.
 

4everchan

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Country
Martinique
I don't know how accurate this is and it was a comment written in Russian that I read though google translate IIRC, but I remember someone saying they don't believe Azerbaijan should qualify as an ISU member because of the ice rink requirement.
I wouldn't know... is there an active skater from there right now?
 

CrazyKittenLady

Rooting for Team Moskvich 💙
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Feb 2, 2019
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Austria
I wouldn't know... is there an active skater from there right now?
Yes, of course, Vladimir Litvintsev and Ekaterina Ryabova both represented Azerbaijan at the Olympics this year. They are also both imported Russians and continue to train in Russia.
I've also read the rumour of the non-existent rink in Azerbaijan which would indeed be against ISU regulations.
 

4everchan

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Martinique
Yes, of course, Vladimir Litvintsev and Ekaterina Ryabova both represented Azerbaijan at the Olympics this year. They are also both imported Russians and continue to train in Russia.
I've also read the rumour of the non-existent rink in Azerbaijan which would indeed be against ISU regulations.
:palmf: gosh... sometimes one gets so into a few skaters and forgets other ones ... now that you mention them, i admit that i haven't made a point of watching them. I am a bad figure skater fan.
 
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lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
I am kinda hoping Aliev could rep Azerbaijan with Litvintzev, but that’s just a pipe dream. Litvintzev is pretty unassuming but he has his moments. Both Ryabova and him get lowballed by the Azerbaijan judge for some complex reasons. But, I guess, if Azerbaijan gets a pair, they have very solid start.
 

4everchan

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Martinique
Yes, there are also ice dancers Kuznetsova and Kolosovskyi who came 29th at worlds this year.
The country has been a member since 1993, maybe there was a rink which has since closed down?
so if they have a relatively strong woman, a decent dance team and a man, they are a pairs away to have enough for a team... wow... we are back on track in this thread :)
 

4everchan

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I am kinda hoping Aliev could rep Azerbaijan with Litvintzev, but that’s just a pipe dream. Litvintzev is pretty unassuming but he has his moments. Both Ryabova and him get lowballed by the Azerbaijan judge for some complex reasons. But, I guess, if Azerbaijan gets a pair, they have very solid start.
Aliev :love2:
 
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