Who is Shoma Uno?
Shoma Uno is the 2017 World Championships silver medalist, second only to countryman and 2014 Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu. Uno was also the 2015 world junior champion.
Figure skating beginnings
Uno was born December 17, 1997 and began skating at age 5, when he tagged along with his dad to the rink. Growing up, Uno shared the ice and spent time training with the recently-retired Kanako Murakami, 2010 world junior champion who finished in 12th place at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. The pair played games during practice to better their spins and challenge each other, something Uno attributes to his rapid progress.
Major competitions/ medals
Uno debuted on the senior ranks during the 2015-16 season, where he won medals at both of his Grand Prix assignments. He qualified for the exclusive Grand Prix Final and took home a bronze medal. Later on in the season, he won his second consecutive silver medal at the Japanese national championships. He was selected to compete at the Four Continents Championships, where he placed fourth, and the world championships, where he finished seventh overall.
The pre-Olympic season was Uno’s biggest yet. He again won medals at both of his Grand Prix assignments and repeated as the Grand Prix Final bronze medalist. But with Hanyu withdrawn from the national championships with the flu, the door was left open for Uno to take the title. Uno won gold at nationals handily, by a margin of nearly 30 points.
Uno next competed at the Four Continents Championships, which were held in the same venue that will host Olympic figure skating during the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. He landed on the podium with a bronze medal. A week later, he competed and won gold at the Asian Winter Games. To close the season, Uno won a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships.
Uno won two medals at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. He won a gold medal in the team event and, individually, came away with a silver medal.
During his last season in the junior ranks, he won medals at both of his Junior Grand Prix assignments, allowing him to qualify for the 2014-15 Junior Grand Prix Final. He won the title there, and went on to become world junior champion in 2015.
Uno set personal-best scores at the 2017 World Championships for short program, free skate, and total overall scores.
Uno and Hanyu are often painted as rivals, but Uno admits that he prefers the underdog role – especially because he sees Hanyu as a “total package” skater (skating skills plus artistry). He told a Japanese magazine in June 2017 that it’s fun being in the chasing position because it takes the weight off his shoulders. Even though he wants to win, he explains, the person that people are always chasing is under a lot of pressure.
He admires Hanyu and says that his presence offers Uno a lot of motivation.
He also looks up to 2010 World Champion Daisuke Takahashi of Japan in addition to several of his current competitors. He says that Spaniard Javier Fernandez’ skating flows without breaks and always includes a story; American Jason Brown’s movements are so pretty; and Patrick Chan of Canada brings great skating skills.
One of Uno's signature moves is his cantilever. Other skaters have even asked Uno to teach them how to do it!
Uno would make his Olympic debut in PyeongChang.
Outside the rink
Uno likes to play golf and video games, especially games on his phone.
He used to dislike including jogging as part of his pre-competition warm up, but once he started listening to music while jogging, he found he doesn’t mind it as much. What is he listening to? He doesn’t know the names of the songs!