Germany’s dynamic ice dancing duo, Darya Grimm and Michail Savitskiy, entered the 2023 Cup of Austria as the undeniable favorites, marking the commencement of their 2023-24 Junior Grand Prix season. Their performance in Linz was nothing short of spectacular, clinching the gold medal with an impressive lead of nearly 10 points over their competitors.
Nonetheless, the journey leading up to this victorious moment was riddled with challenges. Savitskiy had recently battled illness, casting a cloud of uncertainty over their preparation. Adding to the complexity, the pair found themselves compelled to make a last-minute alteration to their Rhythm Dance music selection. This adjustment was prompted by doubts about whether their initially chosen piece adhered to the criteria of 80s music, a vital component of their routine.
The partnership of Grimm and Savitskiy was forged in 2019, and they debuted on the international circuit during the 2021-22 season. Last season, their exceptional performances secured their spots in the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Final after claiming first and second place finishes in their respective JGP events. However, they illness forced them to withdraw from the 2023 World Junior Figure Skating Champions, despite their impressive fifth-place finish at the 2022.
It’s worth noting that all four teams that outperformed Grimm and Savitskiy last year have moved up to the senior level. Consequently, the two-time national junior champions enter this season as prime contenders for medals at the JGP Final and the World Junior Championships.
Following their golden triumph in Linz, we had the opportunity to sit down with Grimm and Savitskiy to discuss their aspirations for the season and the specific technical aspects they honed in their training. During the interview, we delved into their fresh programs, the formation of their partnership, and gained insight into their shared sense of humor.
Both ice dancers are diligently juggling their academic pursuits alongside their demanding athletic careers. They candidly shared the challenges of balancing education with training and competition. This season carries immense significance, as it will ultimately determine their future trajectory. The decision lies between advancing to the senior ranks next year with hopes of securing a spot on the 2026 Olympic team or remaining at the junior level for another year, with an eye on the 2030 Games.
Adding a touch of intrigue to the narrative, Michail Savitskiy revealed his dream of transitioning into an ISU commentator role post-retirement from competitive skating. While he relished the experience of covering the Nebelhorn Trophy last season, he said that it would be impractical this year, given the preparations needed for their second Junior Grand Prix event in Gdansk, Poland.