Ode to skating, ode to Carolina Kostner

This week in Moscow, Carolina Kostner enters the 14th Europeans of her career – she made her senior debut in Malmö, Sweden, in 2003, skating to “Variations on the Canon in D” by George Winston.

A beautiful, generous musical journey followed – through Itzhak Perlman, Rolf Løvland, Vanessa-Mae, Celine Dion, Sergei Prokofiev, Ennio Morricone, Antonio Vivaldi, John Williams, The Doors, Antonín Dvořák, Tango Lorca, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Giovanni Allevi, Frédéric Chopin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Gino d’Auri, Claude Debussy, Dmitri Shostakovich, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Georges Bizet, Jeff Buckley, John Morris, Giuseppe Tartini, Maurice Ravel, Björk, Franz Schubert, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Eva Cassidy, Jules Massenet, George Gershwin, Gaetano Donizetti, Tomaso Albinoni, Kitaro, John Bonham –, short and long programs, exhibition numbers, and some of us are lucky to remember them all.

…as we will surely remember what might be Carolina’s swan song: in her fourth Olympic season, she’s accompanied again by the voice of Celine Dion (“Ne me quitte pas”), in her SP, and enchanted Debussy in both the free and exhibition: “Prélude à l’Après-Midi d’un Faune” & “Clair de lune”.

And these three exquisite miniatures might just be the best she’s ever skated, the best she’s ever been.


Natasha Ponarina’s pictures – taken three months ago in Moscow, at 2017 Rostelecom Cup – are our tribute to Carolina on the week of Europeans. Because we at Inside Skating have never hidden our admiration for this incredibly gifted lady, whose career all these years has been the very definition of her love for skating.

A feast for the eyes, featuring one of skating’s most iconic characters.

“Ne me quitte pas”: on October 20, in Megasport Arena, Carolina Kostner graced us all with a moving performance, more like a warm blanket to cover your heart with.

The real end of Carolina’s SP in Moscow: the handshake with Mr. Mishin

Interlude: Smiling Carolina in between the short program and the free

As for her free skate, it’s subtle, it’s refined, it’s beautiful – it’s Carolina’s embodiment of a faun: she’s skating to Debussy’s “Prélude à l’Après-Midi d’un Faune” seven years after using this piece of music for the first time in her long program.

Time has passed, Carolina has matured – and now we see her coming back to Debussy for a program that resembles more a work of art, a painting, a play even, reminding everyone of the iconic gestures of the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.

And it was silver for Carolina Kostner in Moscow, at 2017 Rostelecom Cup, her first Grand Prix event this season. Which so happens to be her fourth Olympic season.

Embracing Evgenia Medvedeva, the gold medalist

Carolina, Evgenia, Wakaba Higuchi – the medalists in Moscow (October 2017)

And then there’s that: Carolina becoming one with the music while skating maybe the most precious exhibition number of her career. Choreographed by friend & admirer Stéphane Lambiel to „Clair de lune” by Debussy, this program truly highlights her beauty, musicality. It was first skated during Ice Legends in Geneva, in the spring of 2016 – but, coming back to competitive stage, she kept it as an exhibition program and, more and more, made it her own.

Is it as if Carolina’s version of „Clair de lune” encapsulates the very essence of her skating.

A girl under the moonlight.


Carolina Kostner: “I can search for my own best version, and then that’s my gift”

Carolina Kostner’s comeback: the heart, the joy, the journey