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The annual release of the Grand Prix assignments by the ISU traditionally signals the start of the new skating campaign. It came last Friday, so the Olympic season has officially begun.

With Yuzuru Hanyu being both the defending Olympic and world champion, Shoma Uno having finished a close second behind Hanyu at last season’s worlds, and the likes of junior star Marin Honda joining the senior ranks, the sense of anticipation for the Olympic year is already palpable in Japan.

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