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Multitasking Ge ready for last world championships

Uzbekistani competitor laments loss of 'all-around performance' in skating
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Misha Ge has never been afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, a quality that has endeared him to figure skating fans worldwide. -Getty Images

Misha Ge, who is known not only for his performances on the ice but as a choreographer for several of his peers, recently announced that this competitive season will most likely be his last. The news came as a surprise, as the Uzbekistani skater is in the midst of one of the most successful seasons of his career.

Icenetwork talked with Ge about his decision to retire, the most memorable moments of his career, his choreography work and his plans for the future.

Icenetwork: You surprised fans when you announced after Four Continents that you may finish your career this season. Tell us about this unexpected decision.

Misha Ge: No, it wasn't an unexpected decision. I, together with my team and family, carefully thought about it for quite a long time. And yes, it might be my last season in competitive sport.

Icenetwork: What moved you to announce it during the season instead of at the end of it?

Ge: Well, I just don't want to fans and friends around the world to be shocked by the last-minute announcement. That's why I decided to share the news earlier.

Icenetwork: As I know, you wanted very much to perform at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. Is there any chance that you will change your decision to retire?

Ge: Sometimes not all things in life go the way we want them to, and sometimes to get one thing you have to give up on another thing.

Icenetwork: Looking back on your skating career as a whole, what are the brightest moments for you?

Ge: Probably competing at the 2014 Olympic Games and at the 2015 Shanghai worlds.

Icenetwork: This season we see another wave of increased difficulty in men's skating. As a skater with a very artistic approach, do you have an opinion on the direction in which the sport is moving?

Ge: I think the way men's figure skating had grown both technically and in terms of the difficulty level is truly amazing. The kids nowadays have shown amazing progress in such a short period of time, and it is great. But sometimes it would be very much desirable to see more of an "all-around performance," with a high artistic level. However, that is becoming more difficult to achieve it these days. By chasing one thing, sometimes you start losing another.

Icenetwork: You did a lot of very successful choreography this season. Which of the programs you designed are you especially proud of and why?

Ge: I would prefer to take it as gratitude rather than having a sense of pride about it. As I, myself, am an active competitor and, at the same time, am able to do choreography for amazing skaters like Gracie Gold, Anna Pogorilaya, Elena Radionova, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, Alexander Petrov, Artur Dmitriev and Kevin Reynolds, I'm truly thankful for this opportunity, and for the skaters and their coaches having trust in me.

Icenetwork: Maybe next season we will see you fully immersed in this role as a choreographer?

Ge: Yes, it might be so. I've been working part time in the role of choreographer for a few years, but in recent years I've taken on that role on closer to a full-time basis.

Icenetwork: What are other life roads are you considering for the future?

Ge: To be a multitasking person. The main thing I will focus on is choreography, but also I will spend more time on education in dance, choreography and art.

I'm planning to work as a manager and organizer of different skating events and shows as well. Plus, I want to help the Chinese skating team in its preparation of young talent for the 2022 Olympics. And I will also consider doing other work in the entertainment field.

Icenetwork: You became one of the most beloved skaters in the world despite not being a "quad king" or "record breaker." What advice would you give to those skaters who see figure skating first and foremost as a form of art?

Ge: My suggestion to them would be short but clear: Do it from your full heart, be truly yourself and be unique.