Dmitri Aliev RUS
2018 European Championships free skate
He had been a promising up-and-coming skater for a couple of years on the junior scene. Dmitri Aliev was one of those rare junior skaters who could combine strong technical ability with a musicality that was mature beyond his skating years. But inconsistency kept him from fully realizing his potential on the junior circuit.
But his senior debut last season was promising, with some strong skating in the fall and an all-important medal finish at Russian Nationals, which kept him in the conversation for the two spots on the Olympic team.
And it was at Europeans where he not only secured one of those Olympic spots, but he also did it in unexpected fashion, beating teammate and Russian champion Mikhail Kolyada in both phases of the competition to grab the silver. His free skate last season was a work of art, and it was at its very best here at Europeans.
Oh, and bonus - Aliev followed that up with a final group appearance at the Olympics thanks to this brilliant short program in PyeongChang.