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Who is Javier Fernandez?

Olympics: Figure Skating-Men Free Skating
USA TODAY Sports

Who is Javier Fernandez?

Get to know Spanish figure skater Javier Fernandez and his major accomplishments before he competes at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Javier Fernandez finished fourth at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and since then has won two world championship gold medals. Though he is from Spain, he trains in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Figure skating beginnings

Fernandez was born on April 15, 1991 in Madrid, Spain. He started skating at age 6, and, at the time, the entire country only had 14 skating rinks. Since Fernandez has had success, Spain has constructed new facilities, nearly doubling the number of rinks in the country.

Major competitions/ medals

Fernandez has competed at two Olympic Games: He finished 14th in Vancouver and fourth in Sochi.

He has won two world championship titles, in 2015 and 2016. He has also won five straight European titles, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Records held

Fernandez has been Spain’s first figure skater to reach many milestones, including:

  • Win a world championship title (2015)
  • Win a medal at an ISU championships (gold at the 2013 European Championships)
  • Win a medal at any Grand Prix event (silver at 2011 Skate Canada)
  • Qualify for the Grand Prix Final
  • Win a medal at the Grand Prix Final (bronze in 2011)

Signature

Fernandez often loses his skates before competition, but it doesn’t faze him. Prior to winning gold at the 2013 European Championships, his skates were lost in transit. The pair he wore at the 2014 Olympics were so old, they were bound together at the top with duct tape. Before the 2017 World Championships, his skates got lost again! He was in Helsinki, Finland, but his skates were in Oslo, Norway. He told media that it wasn’t a big deal because he didn’t have a practiced scheduled that day anyway.

Fernandez is a fan-favorite: Audiences often hold signs that read “Vamos Javi!” His music choices are part of his charm, too. Fernandez has skated to music from “The Barber of Seville,” “Guys and Dolls” by Frank Sinatra, and an Elvis Presley medley over the past few seasons.\

Top quotes

“I get to watch him and just want to be like him. It makes me hungry and work harder.” – Training partner Gabrielle Daleman of Canada

“I think he sort of surprises himself. He’s got such a good sense of balance now and he does have a great sense of choreography. He embraces every program. He’s extremely versatile when it comes to the serious, he can do fun, he can do the Spanish piece. Frank Sinatra.” – Coach Brian Orser, a two-time Olympic silver medalist from Canada

Brian Orser’s week at Worlds with skaters Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez

Brian Orser coaches world champions Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and Javier Fernandez from Spain

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Olympic experience

Fernandez finished 14th at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Fernandez was the first figure skater to represent Spain at the Olympics since Dario Villalba in 1956.

At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Fernandez finished fourth. He was Spain’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony.

Outside the rink

When he’s not skating, Fernandez enjoys playing video games and other sports, such as tennis and soccer. He is a huge fan of Real Madrid and has made friends with some of the players over the years.

Fernandez released his autobiography, titled “Bailando el hielo,” in the fall of 2016.

Social media

Twitter: @JavierFernandez

Instagram: @JavierFernandezSkater

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