Ilia Malinin, a 17-year-old junior at George C. Marshall High School in Idylwood, is serving as the first alternate for the men’s singles team at the Olympic Games this month.
The placement is an honor itself, but with sports continuing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a higher than usual chance that Malinin could compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, which will kick off with the opening ceremony at 6 a.m. tomorrow (Friday).
“As an alternate this year, anyone at any time could test positive, so you just have to be ready to go,” Malinin told Fairfax County Public Schools for a blog post.
Malinin’s parents both competed in the Olympics and had illustrious careers in singles figure skating.
His mother, Tatiana Malinina, finished eighth at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan while representing Uzbekistan. His father, Roman Skorniakov, also represented Uzbekistan at the 1998 Games and again in 2002 in Salt Lake City. He finished 19th each time.
Last month, Malinin won second place at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, earning him a silver medal. But U.S. Figure Skating chose Jason Brown, Nathan Chen, and Vincent Zhou for the men’s singles team, a controversial decision that left many heartbroken.
Team selections can include subjective factors, though, and the committee looks at multiple competitions of skaters.
REMEMBER THE NAME.
17-year-old Ilia Malinin wins the silver medal! 🥈@USFigureSkating x #ToyotaUSChamps22 pic.twitter.com/4Ozi00Hbak
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) January 9, 2022
The Games run through Feb. 20 with primetime TV coverage on NBC. Live-streamed events will be available through the network’s Peacock streaming service, among other options.
The ice skating schedule has the men’s singles program starting tomorrow with the medal event on Feb. 10.
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