Donovan Carrillo Skating for Personal Bests and Another Olympic Shot

Mexican skater Donovan Carrillo aims for a top finish at the World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal. His goal: improve on his season's best and pave the way towards the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Donovan Carrillo Skating for Personal Bests and Another Olympic Shot
Donovan Carrillo, a blur of focused energy, practices at the World Championships in Montreal. Credit: CONADE

Donovan Carrillo steps onto the gleaming ice of the Montreal arena, the blades of his skates hissing like excited whispers. This is his stage, the 2024 World Figure Skating Championships – a battle unlike any other, a whirlwind of sequined grace and steely athleticism. The air crackles with tension, but for the young Mexican skater, there's also a thrill in it, the familiar jolt of adrenaline that fuels his art as much as his legs do.

Donovan didn't always have rinks like this. No, his story began in the sweltering heat of Jalisco, Mexico. He learned to dance on the ice before he could even dream of wearing blades. His parents, both physical education teachers, saw in their son something special. A kinetic energy, an artist's yearning for expression, perhaps even a touch of stubborn whimsy that would become his trademark.

So they took a gamble, uprooting their lives to León where a modest rink offered a frozen canvas to an unlikely prodigy. It wasn't the grand, gleaming Olympic stages one might imagine for a budding champion, but it was his. He carved up that sheet of ice with relentless determination, sweat mingling with the chill air, dreams taking shape with every spin and jump.

He's come a long way since then. In 2022, Donovan Carrillo painted his name across the global figure skating landscape, becoming the first Mexican to reach a Winter Olympics final. And it wasn't just his skill; it was Donovan himself that captured hearts. He exudes an infectious, joyful intensity, a reminder that beyond world rankings, there's a reason we chase these impossible dreams. He skates not just to win, but to express, to share a slice of himself with the world.

Montreal is another milestone on his journey. His goal: to surpass his season's best, crack the top spots. It's a lofty challenge. The best of the best from fifty countries are here, each hungry, each honed to gleaming perfection. But Donovan, with the support of Mexico's National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports, with unwavering coaches at his side, isn't here to merely compete. He's here to improve, to paint an even more vivid masterpiece on the ice.

The short program awaits. It's his first canvas, a chance to lay down a flawless foundation for the free program's grand dance. The top 24 will progress, and Donovan aims to be among them. His last World Championships, in 2021, saw him clinch 20th place, that coveted Olympic ticket. Montreal is about surpassing himself.

Donovan Carrillo is, undoubtedly, one to watch. And it's not just his placement in the rankings that matters. He's already proven himself a champion of something else – the tenacity, the heart, the willingness to take a love of sport and transform it into an art form in a country without a frozen legacy.

His season will finish here in Montreal, but his journey isn't even close to over. Donovan's eye is already on the prize: Milan-Cortina 2026. Another Winter Olympics, another chance to paint his heart on the frozen stage, to inspire. If his trajectory is any indication, that second Olympic dance is likely to be an even more breathtaking performance.