Vincent Zhou USA
2018 World Championships short program
The fall season was not how Vincent Zhou had hoped his Olympic season would start off. He and coach Tom Zakrasjek had been showing off his progress over the summer - new jumps, more mature choreography, everything pointed to a promising senior international debut. But his Grand Prix was riddled with falls, and he went into the second half of his season wondering where he belonged.
The US Championships was a turning point, much like it was last year, and he rediscovered his confidence - and with that, his consistency. A brilliant free skate at the Olympics sent him rocketing to a sixth-place finish in PyeongChang, and he took that experience into his first Worlds and capitalized on it with this short program.
Having had some struggles in practice with a back injury that he was nursing, Zhou put that all aside and skated this program at its finest, both technically and artistically. Though his free skate was disappointing, he will always have that short program as a highlight of his season - and it proved to him that he can be competitive with the best in the world.