46. Kanako Murakami JPN
2016-17 Japan Nationals free skate
The last few seasons have not been kind to Kanako Murakami, once expected to be a shining star in ladies figure skating for Japan. In 2010, she and Yuzuru Hanyu took both the singles World junior titles, and she got as high as fourth at the World Championships (2013).
But she was never able to overcome her free skate deficiencies later on in her Olympic-eligible career, in particular in the lack of a true lutz and chronically underrotated jumps. But she brought her best to the Japan Championships this season with this emotional performance. It was vintage Kanako, showing the passion that has attracted so many loyal fans to her.
And what a way to end a career. It may not have been her highest scoring skate, but it was definitely the performance of her life.