Ambitious, pugnacious, and critical, Yuri seems like a total arrogant dick at first… and, okay, he is. He has incredible talent, but more than that, he's worked hard and given up a lot to get to where he is, which is two-time junior Grand Prix Final and World champion, thanks very much. He has no problem looking up to those he believes are the best at what they do, but if they fall off the pedestal, they fall hard, and Yuri doesn't forgive easily. The best has always been expected of him, and so he expects the best of everyone else. Loudly. Thanks to his mean streak, he's fond of name-calling, and does not suffer those he thinks to be fools lightly.
There is a kinder gentler side to him, though it's mostly untapped except when with his grandfather. If not for Nikolai Plisetsky (and perhaps to a lesser degree, Yuri's coach, Yakov Feltsman), Yuri wouldn't know what it was to be loved and cared for. He hasn't really articulated that in his mind, but it looms large. He hasn't the slightest idea how to make friends (and doesn't feel the lack of it—he's too focused), but if and when he does, he's unerringly loyal and dauntingly intense. Also jealous. Yuri doesn't do anything by half-measures, and that includes devotion.
Due to his largely independent adolescence and childhood, Yuri thinks he's a lot older than he is and often has to be reminded that he's still a kid.
Yuri is a shifter with a single form: that of an adolescent (for now) amur tiger. When in tiger form he has the agility, strength, and senses of a tiger, but can still understand human language—even if he can't talk back. When in human form he retains the sense of smell to a certain extent, but otherwise he's just a normal—if extremely athletic—guy.
The main issue is that Yuri can't control his shifting, so even though he thinks it's super cool, he tries not to do it. When he shifts into tiger form, he usually can't get completely back, leaving him with a tail and tiger-ears. Oftentimes, especially when he's under stress (which is literally all the time), the tail and ears will simply sprout without him noticing. Or, even worse, they sprout when he's on the ice and completely throw off his sense of balance.
Ice skating (obviously), dance (especially ballet), mouthing off.
Fashion (v. punk rock kitty), music, winter sports in general, his phone, video games, cats.
Yuri was born to very young parents, Irina and Alexei Plisetsky, in Moscow. Irina was a TV idol, and pregnancy and motherhood got in the way, and Alexei died in a car accident when Yuri was still a baby. As a result, Yuri was shuffled off to Alexei's father Nikolai, who happily raised him from a very early age.
By the time Yuri was 6 years old, he was already good at dancing and skating, but did it for fun. Nikolai had a fondness for traditional dance, ballet, and music, and Yuri picked up on that quickly. For a very short time, he dreamed of being a hockey player, but by the time he was scouted by the national skating team at age 9, he knew his destiny was to be the best ice skater not just in Russia, but in the world. Nikolai couldn't have been prouder, though he effectively lost his grandson to the junior training camp that summer.
Determined to do himself and his grandfather proud (and, okay, maybe to show his mother that he didn't need her around to be the best—far better than she ever could be), Yuri threw himself into his training. Dance and flexibility came easily to him, much easier than most of his peers, which didn't escape his ever-sharp notice. With what was to become his trademark determination, Yuri quickly exceled in all areas of cross-training, and skating became his life.
When Coach Yakov Feltsman suggested that Yuri move to St. Petersburg to train full time, Nikolai was supportive—though in truth he didn't really have a choice. Yuri lived full time at the training facility and only spent the odd vacation with Nikolai. Everything else was work, work, work… and the occasional trolling of his teammates, in particular team stars Mila and Viktor, who gained sort of surrogate older sibling status. (And, even if Yuri would never have admitted it, they became his idols.)
Soon, Yuri began winning every competition he entered and gained the nickname "The Russian Punk" for his dismissive treatment of the press (though NEVER his fans, who styled themselves "Yuri's Angels") and general attitude on and off the ice. For the last two years, Yuri's won gold at the Junior level Grand Prix Final and Worlds. The only problem was that the moment he stepped off the podium last year, he sprouted cat ears and a tail. He'd been having some issues with his body reacting strangely to things before that, but he just thought it was his body changing naturally as he grew older. This, however, was humiliating.
Not least because "Yuri's Angels" all started wearing cat ears because his hat was pulled off while he was on his way to the airport, and of course someone got pictures… and thought he was wearing a cat headband.
Yuri wouldn't tell anyone but Nikolai about these alarming developments, but once he accidentally shifted all the way into a tiger, scaring the shit out of Nikolai. He suggested Yuri ask Yakov for help. And Yakov knew Charles Xavier. And so, here Yuri is, pissed off and occasionally donning cat ears in his trademark blond locks. He's supposed to be training for his first senior GPF competition this year, and Yakov (and Viktor, which is a whole other story) are still in St. Petersburg.