Valentina Marchei/Ondrej Hotarek ITA
2018 Olympics short program / free skate
They have been bubbling under for a few seasons now. After Valentina Marchei decided to pursue pairs following a singles career that spanned over a decade, she joined forces with Ondrej Hotarek and quickly became a pair to watch.
And though their elements had been solid, it wasn’t until the season before the Olympics where they really gelled as a pair. And whatever it was about the crowd, their own self-belief, and the incredible energy that they generated in PyeongChang, they had a career-defining competition at the competition that mattered most - the Olympic Games.
Also - one of the most effective pairs step sequences ever.
As Hotarek challenged Marchei to match him in pair skills, Marchei challenged Hotarek to bring his best self to the ice. And it all went better than they could’ve even imagined. Just inspiring.