Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lysacek and friends host "An Evening of Hope"

For years Evan Lysacek has been involved with helping others through benefit shows and appearances. But his latest charitable effort was a little more personal to Lysacek. That's because An Evening of Hope was a show he co-organized as a benefit for the Stephanie Joseph Memorial Fund, along with Make-a-Wish Foundation of Illinois. Lysacek grew up with Joseph in their hometown of Naperville, Ill. Joseph, an accomplished youth figure skater, died of a rare form of cancer in February. "We actually started skating on our roller blades on my driveway before we were even good at skating on the ice," Lysacek said. "We'd just goof around all the time. She was the type of person that loved to give back to the community. We wanted to continue that passion of hers through this memorial fund." The fund's board of directors -- which includes Lysacek's mother, Tanya -- came up with An Evening of Hope, which drew more than 2,000 people Saturday night to the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, Ill., just up the road from Naperville. It brought together some of the world's top skaters, as well as some talented local skaters for the two-hour-plus show. Among the headlining stars were Kimmie Meissner, Jeffrey Buttle, Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto.
The cast also included Rena Inoue and John Baldwin, Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Jennifer Robinson, Ryan Bradley and Dan Hollander. Susie Wynne, who also knew Joseph, served as the evening's emcee. "When I wrote them a letter and told them what this organization meant to me, and what the show is benefiting, these are the people who were the most excited about it," Lysacek said, adding the skaters donated their time. "We had a real natural decision process for who the cast would be."

Full article.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

From 'Hopeless Case' to Top Junior Contenders

Moscow, September 2008. Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze are on the ice in the "Blue Bird" club in the north of the Russian capital, performing their junior short program under the watchful eyes of coach Natalia Pavlova. They land a side by side double Lutz and a double twist, but then Iliushechkina takes a hard fall on the throw triple loop. Pavlova switches the music off and the skaters come to the boards.

"It had to go wrong, the way your position was on the take-off. Let's start again with the twist," said Pavlova, as she switches the music back on. On the next try, Iliushechkina hits a beautiful throw triple loop, but Pavlova is not yet pleased. "Why were you holding your leg so long? We don't have enough music for that," the coach explains.

Iliushechkina and Maisuradze were training hard in preparation for a busy season. It paid off. The reigning World Junior silver medalists, who are only competing in their second season together, easily won gold at their first Junior Grand Prix (JGP) event last week in Ostrava, Czech Repulic.

Full article.

ISU JGP Madrid Cup - Results

  1. Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA) 179.40 pts
  2. Artur Gachinksi (RUS) 172.88 pts
  3. Tatsuki Machida (JPN) 158.97 pts
  4. Javier Fernandez (ESP) 157.18 pts
  5. Mark Vaillant (FRA) 156.50 pts
  1. Kristine Musademba (USA) 127.64 pts
  2. Becky Bereswill (USA) 127.27 pts
  3. Kanako Murakami (JPN) 126.87 pts
  4. Ksenia Makarova (RUS) 122.89 pts
  5. Rebecka Emanuelsson (SWE) 119.89 pts
Ice Dance
  1. Ekaterina Riazanova & Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) 167.80 pts
  2. Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (USA) 163.56 pts
  3. Anastasia Vykhodtseva & Alexei Shumski (UKR) 146.31 pts
  4. Alexandra Paul & Jason Cheperdak (CAN) 138.85 pts

Saturday, September 27, 2008

2008 Nebelhorn Trophy - Results

  1. Nobunari Oda (JPN) 224.67 pts
  2. Michal Brezina (CZE) 220.29 pts
  3. Yannick Ponsero (FRA) 197.71 pts
  4. Tomáš Verner (CZE) 197.38 pts
  5. Anton Kovalevski (UKR) 179.92 pts
  1. Alissa Czisny (USA) 168.28 pts
  2. Laura Lespitö (FIN) 154.21 pts
  3. Akiko Suzuki (JPN) 146.93 pts
  4. Elena Glebova (EST) 131.63 pts
  5. Jenna McCorkell (GBR) 128.67 pts
  1. Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy (GER) 183.22 pts
  2. Maria Mukhortova & Maxim Trankov (RUS) 168.80 pts
  3. Tatiana Volosozhar & Stanislav Morozov (UKR) 156.08 pts
  4. Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett (USA) 149.55 pts
Ice Dance
  1. Emily Samuelson & Evan Bates (USA) 176.15 pts
  2. Alexandra Zaretski & Roman Zaretski (ISR) 168.59 pts
  3. Jane Summersett & Todd Gilles (USA) 163.53 pts
  4. Andrea Chong & Guillame Gfeller (CAN) 151.42 pts

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

JGP Spain could see repeats from France

The fifth event of the 2008 International Skating Union Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Series will take place Sept. 25-28 in Madrid, Spain. The event, which will be held at the Dreams Center, known as Palacio de Hielo de Madrid, begins Thursday with the ladies and men's short programs.

One hundred and twelve athletes from 42 countries will compete in Spain in three disciplines: ladies, men's and ice dancing. Pairs will not be skated, as only four of the eight JGP events will include a pairs competition.

The JGP Series, now in its 12th season, consists of eight international events in a cumulative, point-scoring format. Approximately 400 athletes representing more than 35 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the eight scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top eight point-earners in each of the disciplines qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final, Dec. 11-14, in Seoul, South Korea.

Full article.

Meissner Makes Her Move

It looked, for a while, like an ordinary figure skating training session. Several young women executed jumps, rehearsed footwork and stole sips from water bottles as their coaches stood rinkside at Incredible Ice.
But then former world champion Kimmie Meissner fell hard attempting a jump and bungled two others during a run-through of the short program that she plans to unveil next month at Skate America, the season-opening international event.
Suddenly, renowned coach Richard Callaghan, who has been tutoring Meissner in this affluent South Florida community for just over six months, burst from the coaching box and skated across the ice. Retired skater Todd Eldredge, a six-time national champion and longtime Callaghan student who has become his coaching sidekick, followed.
With a mix of words, body language and skating maneuvers, Callaghan and Eldredge dissected Meissner's program and performance, immersing themselves in a tiny piece of what has become an exhaustive joint project to revive her career.
A celebrated 16-year-old world champion just over two years ago, Meissner saw her season crumble last winter, bottoming out in January with a mistake-laden seventh-place finish at the U.S. championships. That drove her from her home in Bel Air, Md., and Pam Gregory, her coach of five years, to this rink in a palm tree-shrouded suburb just east of the Florida Everglades.
Only after a section of choreography had been redone, and Meissner had nailed four clean double axels, did Callaghan retreat to the coaching box, and normalcy seemed to return. Or was the mid-workout flurry on the ice normal?

Full article.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Star-studded field for Nebelhorn Trophy

The international season for senior skaters gets off to a star-studded beginning this week at the 2008 Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany. The lineup contains a slew of world and European medalists, including the reigning world pairs champions and the European ladies champion.
The competition will be held Sept. 25-27 at the Eissportzentrum Oberstdorf, with official practice taking place Wednesday, Sept. 24. The compulsory and original dances and the men's and pairs short programs will be skated Thursday, followed by the ladies short program and men's and pairs free skates on Friday. The event wraps up Saturday with the ladies free skate and free dance.

Italy's Carolina Kostner is the defending ladies champion of this event, and favored to hand-in a repeat performance. Kostner is fresh off a breakthrough 2007-08 season, where she won bronze at the 2007 Grand Prix Final, captured her second consecutive European championship and took the silver at the world championships.
Her main challenger figures to be Finland's Laura Lepisto, who won the bronze medal at the 2008 European Championships as well as at the 2007 Nebelhorn Trophy.
Other skaters contending for a spot on the podium are Na-Young Kim of Korea (fourth at the 2008 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships ), Brit Jenna McCorkell (eighth at the 2008 European Championships), German Annette Dytrt (career-best 12th at the 2008 ISU World Figure Skating Championships), Japan's Akiko Suzuki (gold medalist at the 2007 World University Games, Golden Spin of Zagreb and AEGON Challenge Cup) and American Alissa Czisny (2007 U.S. bronze medalist).

The men's competition in Oberstdorf promises to be fierce. Reigning European champion Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic and 2007 European bronze medalist Kevin van de Perren of Belgium should each bring home a medal of some color. The wild card in the field, and the skater whose performance will likely be most scrutinized, is Japan's Nobunari Oda, who sat out all of last season because of suspension and personal problems. As Oda showed in winning the 2006 Four Continents Championships and earning the bronze at the 2006 Grand Prix Final, he can compete with anyone in the world when he wants to.
The hottest skater coming into the competition is Verner's countryman, Michal Brezina, who won both of his Junior Grand Prix assignments this fall by substantial margins. He is also the reigning Nebelhorn Trophy champ. Also capable of landing on the podium are 2005 world junior silver medalist Yannick Ponsero of France and 2004 world junior champion Andrei Griazev of Russia.

Thirteen of the pairs teams in Oberstdorf are likely skating for second place. That's because Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy will take the ice in a tune-up for what should be another banner Grand Prix Series. Savchenko and Szolkowy went 6-for-7 last season, winning every event they entered except the Cup of Russia, where they placed second.
Taking aim at the reigning world, European and Grand Prix Final champions are Russia's Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov, the 2008 European silver medalists; Ukranians Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov, the fourth-place finishers at the 2007 World Championships; and Russians Ekaterina Sheremetieva and Mikhail Kuznetsov, the 2007 JGP Final silver medalists.

Ice Dancing
The ice dancing field in Oberstdorf lacks star power and, thus, should be fairly wide open. Israelis Alexandra Zaretski and Roman Zaretski are the most accomplished team on the roster, with a ninth-place finish at last year's world championships to their credit. Americans Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates are the reigning world junior champs. Russians Julia Zlobina and Alexei Zitnikov qualified for the JGP Final two seasons ago. Czech skaters Kamila Hajkova and David Vincour have two seasons of Grand Prix Series experience under their belts. Jane Summersett and Todd Gilles cleaned up at this summer's Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships and may be ready to make a name for themselves on the international scene.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

ISU JGP Czech Skate - Results

  1. Alexander Johnson (USA) 187.58 pts
  2. Ivan Bariev (RUS) 187.47 pts
  3. Akio Sasaki (JPN) 167.57 pts
  4. Keegan Messing (USA) 160.36 pts
  5. Stanislav Kovalev (RUS) 159.83 pts
  1. Yukiko Fujisawa (JPN) 148.25 pts
  2. Angela Maxwell (USA) 136.59 pts
  3. Stefania Berton (ITA) 134.90 pts
  4. Shoko Ishikawa (JPN) 133.54 pts
  5. Sandy Hoffmann (GER) 123.52 pts
  1. Lubov Iliushechkina & Nodari Maisuradze (RUS) 139.28 pts
  2. Sabina Imaikina & Andrei Novoselov (RUS) 127.01 pts
  3. Ksenia Ozerova & Alexander Enbert (RUS) 122.68 pts
  4. Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir (USA) 120.51 pts
Ice Dance
  1. Piper Gilles & Zachary Donohue (USA) 159.30 pts
  2. Marina Antipova & Artem Kudashev (RUS) 149.97 pts
  3. Karen Routhier & Eric Saucke-Lacelle (CAN) 149.83 pts
  4. Lucie Mysliveckova & Matej Novak (CZE) 149.70 pts

Wagner Takes New Approach to Stay at the Top

The ladies' podium at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships was perhaps the most difficult to stand on in the history of the event. Each medalist attempted a triple-triple combination in both the short and long programs, but only one was age-eligible to compete at the World Championships in Sweden. Ashley Wagner, who was 16 at the time, won the bronze medal at her first try at the senior level at the national championships.
Wagner, who won silver at the 2006-07 Junior Grand Prix Final, began last season with an impressive debut on the senior Grand Prix circuit. She placed fifth at Skate Canada, and then followed up with a bronze at Trophée Eric Bompard two weeks later.
But after the high of making the World Team, Wagner quickly came back down to earth with a disappointing placement at the Four Continents Championships. Suddenly, Wagner was not receiving full credit for her jumps, often being penalized for using the the wrong take-off edge on her Lutz jump.
"I was sixteen years old and at the World Championships," gushed Wagner. "It was such an incredible feeling, and I was honored to represent my country. I wasn't happy with my placement, but that was only because I knew I had the potential to place better than I did."

Full article.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Susanna Rahkamo is still an innovator

As ice dancers, Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko from Finland, made their way up the competitive ranks they became known as innovators. At a time where their sport was largely known for its "protocol judging," they managed to climb from 20th place at the 1987 World Figure Skating Championships to the silver medal in 1995 (winning gold at Europeans). They did it by presenting creative programs, which they further expanded during a five-year professional career. At the ISU Congress earlier this year, the Congress ratified a new compulsory dance called the Finnstep, based on the quickstep original dance Rahkamo and Kokko performed during their final competitive season. So it seems fitting that eight years after skating their final performances, Rahkamo is still immersed in the world of originality as a business consultant. She is a leadership consultant with a firm called Pertec, leading workshops in creativity and innovation.

Full article.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Injury may keep Lambiel out of Skate Canada

Two-time world figure skating champion Stéphane Lambiel is currently injured and his participation at Skate Canada in Ottawa in November is in doubt.

Skate Canada was to have been Lambiel's first Grand Prix event of the season.

The Swiss skater sustained an injury to the abductor muscle of his left leg during the world figure skating championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he finished fifth behind Jeffrey Buttle and underwent physiotheraphy.

Buttle's first competition of the season was to have been Skate Canada as well, but he announced his retirement from Olympic eligible competition last week.

Lambiel, who is also the Olympic silver medalist, had switched coaches for this season and was training in the United States with Galina Zmievskaia, who also coaches world bronze medalist Johnny Weir. However, as the pace of his training increased, Lambiel felt pain in his leg and returned to Europe for treatment. He is now being treated by a team of German sports specialists, according to his official website.

The doctors recommended a few weeks rest before he starts training again.

Full article.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Skate Canada’s National Team comes together in Vancouver

With less than 18 months to go before the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, members of the Skate Canada Senior National Team trained on the Olympic ice surface this past week. The camp, which ran from September 10-13 in Vancouver, B.C. at the Pacific Coliseum, was a joint effort between Skate Canada and Own the Podium’s Home Field Advantage Program.

Twenty-one members of Skate Canada’s National Team who will compete on the upcoming Grand Prix Series attended the camp, which gave them a competitive simulation in the 2010 Winter Olympic venue. They were joined by newly-retired World Champion Jeffrey Buttle.

It was another step in preparing athletes for the next two competitive seasons, and also building the notable team spirit that exists among Canadian skaters. Many of the team members had not seen each other since the last camp that was held in June in Toronto, Ont. The team and Skate Canada executives attended a reception Wednesday evening hosted by new sponsor T-fal. T-fal is the designated official cookware and small appliance partner of Skate Canada events and the Skate Canada National Team.

Full article.

Foy Finds Success with Blum in Berlin

Ashley Foy and Benjamin Blum were both born in the northeastern United States, but now compete in ice dancing for Germany. They finished 13th at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships last season and will compete in senior dance in the coming season.

Foy, who was born in Hartford, Connecticut, began skating when she was five years old. "I was living in Simsbury and both of my older sisters were skating," Foy stated. "I saw Oksana Baiul skating when I went to the rink with my mother and sisters and kind of forced my mother to let me skate too. I skated singles until I was 12 but I really wanted to try pairs and didn't like jumping much!"

"I skated pairs from ten through 13 because I enjoyed skating with a partner more than just skating by myself," she continued. "I got as high as winning North Atlantic Regionals and placing 14th at the 2002 Junior Nationals with Craig Ratteree. When I was 12, I started dance while I was in between pair partners, and I did both pairs and dance for a year."

Full article.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gorshkova and Butikov are Ready for New Challenges

The reigning World Junior bronze medalists, Kristina Gorshkova and Vitali Butikov, are part of a group of young and promising Russian ice dancing teams and will make their senior debut this season. Although the Russians originally had hoped for more than the bronze at Junior Worlds this past March, it was in fact an accomplishment after all they went through last year.

Around the end of June 2007, Butikov broke his left ankle while playing soccer during an off-ice training camp in Sochi in the south of Russia. On July 3, their coach Tatiana Kuzmina was killed in a tragic car accident in Moscow along with her 13-year-old daughter, Alexandra.

"It was a shock. It was so unexpected," Gorshkova said of the loss of their coach. "Elena Anatolievna (Tchaikovskaia) pulled us out of this. She found a new coach for us, Ksenia Gennadievna Rumiantseva and Petr Viatcheslavovitch (Durnev). After Vitalik broke his foot and went back on the ice for the first time, I thought, 'we won't be able to go to any competitions, not to the (Junior) Grand Prix, nothing'. We had very little time, and we didn't have (new) programs or any practices of compulsory dances."

Full article.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

ISU JGP Mexico Cup - Results

  1. Richard Dornbush (USA) 186.70 pts
  2. Elladj Balde (CAN) 162.16 pts
  3. Gongming Cheng (CHN) 159.53 pts
  4. Andrew Gonzales (USA) 158.00 pts
  5. Nan Song (CHN) 147.80 pts
  1. Amanda Robbs (USA) 139.44 pts
  2. Alexe Gilles (USA) 136.46 pts
  3. Min-Jung Kwak (KOR) 117.42 pts
  4. Cecylia Witkowski (CAN) 109.78 pts
  5. Ayane Nakamura (JPN) 108.10 pts
  1. Ksenia Krasilnikova & Konstantin Bezmaternikh (RUS) 132.84 pts
  2. Ekaterina Sheremetieva & Mikhail Kuznetsov (RUS) 131.94 pts
  3. Anastasia Martiusheva & Alexei Rogonov (RUS) 131.78 pts
  4. Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran (JPN) 120.12 pts
Ice Dance
  1. Madison Hubbell & Keiffer Hubbell (USA) 167.57 pts
  2. Kharis Ralph & Asher Hill (CAN) 150.31 pts
  3. Valeria Zenkova & Valerie Sinitsin (RUS) 143.20 pts
  4. Sara Bailey & Kyle Herring (USA) 141.13 pts

Figure skating spotlight on Patrick Chan

With Jeffrey Buttle headed to the pro ranks, Toronto's Patrick Chan is suddenly feeling the expectation of an entire nation.

"I just have to take responsibility and be more responsible," Chan told reporters Thursday in Vancouver, site of the ISU Four Continents from Feb. 2-8, 2009.

"I have to be a role model, like he [Buttle] was."

Buttle, the reigning world champion, retired Wednesday from competitive figure skating, leaving Chan as Canada's top medal contender in men's singles just 17 months shy of the Vancouver Olympics.

"He is a huge up-and-coming star for Canada," Buttle said. "We're going to see great things from him, as well as the other guys."

Full article.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Morozov is hard at work in Hackensack

It was a rainy, dark and dreary Saturday afternoon as Hurricane Hanna made its way up the East Coast. Yet despite the storm, the atmosphere at the Ice House in Hackensack, N.J., located near the center of the gritty city, was bright as some of the world's top competitors performed under the watchful eye of their coach, Nikolai Morozov.
Morozov, who is only 32 years old, is regarded as one of the best coaches in figure skating today. In recent years, he has played the principal role in helping quite of number of contenders medal at world and Olympic events, not to mention Senior and Junior Grand Prix, the world junior championships and national competitions. His stable of students has included 2002 Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion Alexei Yagudin; 2006 Olympic gold medalist and 2004 world champion Shizuka Arakawa; 2006 Olympic silver medalist and U.S. champion Sasha Cohen; 2007 world champion Miki Ando; 2007 world champion Brian Joubert; 2003 world champion ice dancers Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz; 2008 world junior champion Adam Rippon; and Daisuke Murakami, among others.

Full article.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Canada's Buttle retires as world figure skating champ

Jeffrey Buttle, Canada's reigning world figure skating champion, announced his retirement from amateur competition today, but said he would remain a part of the skating scene in Canada for 2010 when the winter Olympics come to Vancouver.

"After such a momentous win (in March at the world championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in March), I started looking at everything I accomplished in skating, and in coming to this decision, I had to make sure I was satisfied with everything I did," said Buttle, 26, a native of Smooth Rock Falls, Ont.

Buttle, who made the announcement at a press conference this morning at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, actually made up his mind earlier after talking to several skaters and his family. But he decided to take the summer and train as if he was going to continue competing for Canada, so he could be 100 per cent certain of his decision.

Full article.

Another article from Skate Canada here.

JGP Series heads to Mexico for third event

The United States will look to pad its lead in the 2008 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series medal count this week in Mexico City. American skaters have won seven medals (four gold) in the season's first two events, with the Czech Republic earning three, and Russia and Canada claiming two apiece.

U.S. skaters are the favorites in the ladies and ice dancing events at the JGP Mexico. Two Russian teams and a Chinese duo look to battle it out for pairs supremacy, while the men's competition could go any number of ways.

Full article.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

ISU JGP Merano - Results

  1. Michal Brezina (CZE) 192.48 pts
  2. Curran Oi (USA) 165.38 pts
  3. Alexander Nikolaev (RUS) 161.59 pts
  4. Nikita Mikhailov (RUS) 159.28 pts
  5. Yuzura Hanyu (JPN) 146.68 pts
  1. Melissa Bulanhagui (USA) 127.25 pts
  2. Rumi Suizu (JPN) 121.97 pts
  3. Sarah Hecken (GER) 118.65 pts
  4. Brittney Rizo (USA) 117.19 pts
  5. Alexandra Rout (NZL) 116.97 pts
Ice Dance
  1. Madison Chock & Greg Zuerlein (USA) 156.52 pts
  2. Ekaterina Riazanova & Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) 149.42 pts
  3. Lorenza Alessandrini & Simone Vaturi (ITA) 142.01 pts
  4. Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon (CAN) 141.41 pts
  5. Isabella Cannuscio & Ian Lorello (USA) 137.65 pts

Krasilnikova and Bezmaternikh Strive for Next Level

Pair skating has a long standing tradition in Russia, and unlike in many other countries, young skaters switch early from singles to pairs. One example are Ksenia Krasilnikova and Konstantin Bezmaternikh, who are, at 17 and 20-years-old, experienced pair skaters. They are the current Junior World and Junior Grand Prix Final Champions.

"When I was four, we moved (from Krasnoiarsk) to Perm and my mother put me into figure skating when I was five," recalled Krasilnikova, who turned to pair skating at the age of 10. "I'm from Perm, meaning that I always lived there," said Bezmaternikh. "When I was three and a half years old, my parents put me on skates, and they took me to figure skating classes when I was four years old. I skated under my first coach until I was six and then I switched to another coach until I was nine. When I was ten, I went to the Tiukovs (pair skating coaches), or rather they took me."

Full article.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ice dancers Wester and Barantsev ready to go

The weather report Wednesday was showing rain, and ice dancers Jennifer Wester and Daniil Barantsev were deciding whether to drive from Detroit to Ardmore, Pa., that night or Thursday morning. Once in Pennsylvania, they'll be showing off their original dance and free dance for the 2008-09 season at a monitoring competition. Although Wester didn't think she'd finish sewing her free dance dress in time, she was eager to show the new programs to the judges. "We're happy right now. We're definitely pushing to get back to the skating we wanted to show everybody two years ago," said Wester, who is finally healed from a knee injury she suffered shortly before the 2007 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the surgery that followed.

Full article.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happy, healthy Kim hopes for big season

Training at Toronto's Cricket Skating & Curling Club -- some 6,500 miles from her hometown in Gunpo, South Korea -- agrees with Yu-Na Kim. When she skates at Lotte World, a recreation complex in Seoul billed as the largest indoor amusement park in the world, the teenager is disadvantaged by her own fame. A national hero, she must weave around dozens of youngsters she inspired to don skates and often pause to sign autographs. "The rink where she trains in Seoul is in an amusement park, and it's a super-duper-sized rink, way bigger than Olympic size," said Kim's coach, two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser. "And there are all these rides going around and a lot of people taking interest, so we have to skate to the middle of the ice and have our little chats."

Full article.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Second JGP event this weekend in Italy

The second event of the 2008 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (JGP) Series takes place Sept. 3-7 in Merano, Italy. The event will be held at the Meranarena - Via Palade 74, beginning Thursday, Sept. 4 with the compulsory dance and the ladies and men's short programs. Official practice will take place Wednesday. Eight athletes will represent the United States at the event in three disciplines: ladies, men's and ice dancing. A pairs competition will be held at four of the eight JGP events during the season. The JGP Series, now in its 12th season, consists of eight international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 400 athletes representing more than 35 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the eight scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top eight point-earners in each of the disciplines qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final Dec. 11-14 in Seoul, South Korea.

Full article.

Ice dancers Dubreuil, Lauzon marry in Montreal

Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon got married in Montreal last weekend. The Canadian ice dance pair was joined by family and fellow skaters for the special occasion.

While already one of Canada's most-loved pairs on the ice, Dubreuil and Lauzon took the next step in their lives together, off the ice, when they were married this past weekend at the Auberge St. Gabriel in Old Montreal.

Dubreuil and Lauzon were joined by many of their friends from the cast of the Canadian and U.S. Stars on Ice shows for the special day, including Brian Orser, Jeffrey Buttle, David Pelletier, Jennifer Robinson, Joannie Rochette, Jessice Dubé, Bryce Davison, Sasha Cohen, Michael Weiss and more.

"This was obviously a day that Patrice and I have looked forward to, and it was very special to be able to share it with our friends and family in Montreal," said Dubreuil, who wore a gown designed by Canadian Ines Di Santo. "We are very excited about this new chapter in our lives together and very much appreciate all the well wishes we have received from everyone."

Full article.