Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Abbott taking new steps for new season

Jeremy Abbott is on the move these days.

The two-time and reigning U.S. champion drove to Toronto last week to choreograph his new free skate with David Wilson. He left for the weekend to skate in two shows in Sun Valley, flew back to Toronto to finish the choreography, and then drove back to his training base in Detroit. On Monday, he'll fly to Korea to skate in Yu-Na Kim's 2010 All That Skate Summer show on July 23, 24 and 25; he will debut his new short program in the show.

On the phone, from the road, Abbott discussed his new programs and choreography. He said that although he usually competes once during the summer, this year he will debut his free skate during Champs Camp in August. He is looking forward to competing at the NHK Trophy in Japan and the Rostelecom Cup in Russia this fall.

"Skating has been going well," he said. "My jumps are feeling great. I think the [Stars on Ice] tour did a lot for me and I'm excited to see how competition goes this year. Halfway through the tour, I stopped feeling nervous and I was able to have fun but still focus, which has always been a problem for me."

Abbott said that the music for his short program is "Viejos Aires," by Ensamble Nuevo Tango. The choreographer, Antonio Najarro, is a well-known Spanish flamenco dancer who has his own dance company. Najarro has been working with skaters since 2002, and he notably choreographed Stephane Lambiel's flamenco and tango programs in recent years. This season, he also choreographed Brian Joubert's short program. "

Antonio came to Detroit last year to work with Kaitlyn [Weaver] and Andrew [Poje] and I loved watching him work," Abbott said. "I wanted to do something very authentic this season, something strong and extroverted, to break out of my shell a little bit."

Najarro choreographed the program off-ice first. Abbott learned it on the floor, and then the two, working with Abbott's coach Yuka Sato, transferred it to the ice during a week-long choreography session.

"It was very difficult," Abbott said. "The music is a tango, but the movement is a mixture of tango, flamenco and contemporary. The posture and the movement are so foreign to me. That's been the biggest challenge, to get the movement comfortable for my body."

For his free skate, Abbott also wanted to move in a new direction. Sato wanted the program to have a storyline and revolve around a character, something Abbott says he hasn't done before.

"I'm doing two styles that are new to me and very uncomfortable! But I'm very excited to push myself to do something better," he said. "I always try to pick pieces that are really different from each other and from previous years."

Abbott has wanted to work with Wilson for some time, but said he hadn't previously had the chance to.

"We chose the music from the movie Life is Beautiful, he said. "It's one of my favorite movies ever. The character is goofy, and a little silly, and kind of cute, but he's put in this horrible situation and has to create an imaginary world for his son. David thought I could play this character really well, and he thought it reminded him of my personality a little bit."


full article.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rippon to get romantic in upcoming season

Before Adam Rippon left for the world championships last March, he had a chat on the phone with Ashley Wagner. She told him that the one thing she regretted about her first world championship experience was that she didn't enjoy herself.

"I knew no one would be expecting anything from me because I was the second alternate, so I just focused on doing a good job," Rippon said in a telephone interview this past weekend. "It wasn't perfect, but I felt really comfortable skating, and it was great to have that experience, especially heading into the season after the Olympics, when it's a whole new four years."

"I'm happy with the season I had last year, but I know where I need to grow as a skater. I feel like the more experience you have the more it helps, although you don't want to believe that when you're inexperienced. [Choreographer] David [Wilson] always calls me 'Angel Boy,' but I want to come across on the ice like a more mature skater, and I want my programs to reflect that. Whatever music I chose, I wanted to be more mature."

Rippon, the 2010 Four Continents champion, has chosen two familiar and beloved pieces of music for his competitive programs next season. He, Wilson and Sébastien Britten's choreographed his new short program last week to Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet; he says the program is about ninety percent finished.

"It's kind of funny that we chose it," said Rippon. "Brian [Orser, Rippon's coach] had brought up the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, and I was like, 'This is cool; I'll put it in the maybe pile!' Like, maybe never."

After considering several music possibilities, one morning Wilson suggested Tchaikovsky's music for the doomed lovers, and it clicked. Wilson also suggested a collaboration with choreographer Sebastian Britten.

"Sebastian was my first client, when I was very young and started choreographing," Wilson said. "I've been looking for opportunities to collaborate, and Sebastian has been particularly inspired by Adam's skating. After worlds, Sebastian emailed me his impressions of Adam's performances, and it was extremely in-depth and profound, and it really touched me. I felt like, you know what, I want to bring my worlds together."

"I've never done a full-on character piece," Rippon said. "I'm going to do my best to be Romeo, so I'm going to die at the end. A short program goes by so quickly, but this piece has all the emotions of a long program. I hope everybody likes it. I think it will be a really special program."

full article.

Ice Dance - Short Dance



From the ISU Communication 1621:

II. SHORT DANCE GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS - Season 2010/2011

1. Requirements and Restrictions

a) General

The Short Dance consists of choreography created by the skaters expressing designated dance rhythms and contains required elements including sequences or sections of the specified Pattern dance which are considered as required elements as well. (The number of sequences or sections of the Pattern dance is determined by the time relationship between the Pattern Dance part and the Creative part. The intention is to have approximately up to 1 minute of the program to be a Pattern dance part with the rest of the dance being creative).
The entire dance must reflect the character of the selected dance rhythm(s) and be translated to the ice by demonstrating technical skill with steps and movements along with flow and the use of edges.
The concept and choreography must produce the feeling of a unified dance.
The sequence(s) or sections of the specified Pattern Dance may be skated anywhere in the Short Dance and should be integrated into the composition of the dance so that there should not be the feeling that there are just rhythms put together without thought of how they fit together.
If more than one sequence of the Pattern dance is required, the sequences must be skated one after the other.

b) Duration of Short Dance

The duration of the Short Dance is two (2) minutes and 50 seconds (plus or minus 10 seconds). The time must be reckoned from the moment when one of the Couple begins to move or to skate until arriving at a complete stop at the end of the Short Dance.

c) Music

The music for the entire Short Dance (including music for specified Pattern Dance) is provided by the couple. Vocal music is permitted and can be used for any part of the dance. The music for the specified Pattern dance must be within the announced tempo range.
If the rhythm or range of tempo is incorrect it will be penalized.
For the Creative part, the music can be either the same rhythm as for specified Pattern Dance but the tune may be different. Or a couple may chose to skate in this part a different rhythm or rhythms than the specified Pattern dance, but in this case the additional rhythm(s) must be chosen from the group of rhythms announced for the season (see below). Only music with a rhythmic beat may be used and the couples must skate primarily to the rhythmic beat. The musical introduction to the Short Dance may be without beat or melody for a maximum of 10
seconds.

d) Pattern

The pattern of the specified Pattern dance must be in accordance with Rule 608 paragraph 1 b) and with the description, chart and diagram of this dance.
The pattern of the Creative part must proceed in a generally constant direction (either clockwise or anti-clockwise) and must not cross the long axis of the ice surface except once at each end of the rink not more than 20 meters from the barrier (unless specified in Communication). Loops in either direction are permitted provided that they do not cross the center axis.

e) All steps, turns, rotations and changes of hold are permitted provided that they are appropriate to the rhythm. Difficult, original, varied and intricate footwork is required for both skaters. Hops and jumps of not more than one full (1) rotation are permitted. Jumps of 1 rotation may not be performed simultaneously and are not permitted at all in any step sequence. Kneeling or sliding on two knees or sitting on the ice is not permitted (if this happens it will be considered as a fall and the appropriate deduction will be applied). Touching the ice with hand(s) is/are not permitted.

f) Partners must not separate except to change dance hold, to perform the not-touching step sequence or the permitted full stop. Separations at the beginning and/or end of the program may be up to 10 seconds in duration without restrictions on distance of the separations.

g) There are no restrictions on dance holds. Skating in Hand-in-Hand hold with full extended arms is permitted only if in the character of the rhythm chosen but must not be used excessively.

h) After the clock is started with the first movement, the couple must not remain in one place (even if doing brief extra stops which are permitted) for longer than 10 seconds. During the program two (2) full stops (maximum duration up to 5 seconds each) are permitted. Any choreography appropriate to the music selection (including a separation of not more than 2 arms length apart) may be included.

i) Required Elements:
The composition of the Short Dance in the season 2010/2011 will contain 5 Required Elements in total:
– 2 Required Elements in the Pattern Dance part:
Junior - 2 sequence of the Viennese Waltz performed one after the other will be considered as two Required Elements (see paragraph 2 below);
Senior -1 sequence of the Golden Waltz is divided into 2 sections and each of these sections is considered as one of the two Required Elements (see paragraph 2 below); and
– 3 Required Elements in the Creative part (Short Lift, Midline Not-touching Step Sequence and Set of Sequential Twizzles) – see paragraph 3 below.
Each Sequence of the Viennese Waltz and each Section of the Golden Waltz will have a Base Value and will
be given a Level by the Technical Panel.

2. Pattern Dance part:

a) JUNIOR
The Pattern Dance to be skated is Viennese Waltz (51-53 measures of 3 beats per minute) – 2 full sequences of the dance must be performed.
The Viennese Waltz may be skated anywhere in the Short Dance but it must be started with step #1 and skated toward the Judges (the step #1 of the dance must be skated on the left side from the Judges position). Two full sequences of the dance must be performed one after the other.
Four (4) “Key points” in each sequence of the Viennese Waltz will be assessed by the Technical Panel to evaluate the Level of the whole sequence as ONE unit and Judges will give one GOE for the whole sequence.
The following “Key Points” will be taken into consideration by the Technical Panel to establish the Level of each sequence of the Viennese Waltz (see Calling Specification for details):
1st Sequence:
I. Man’s steps 9-10 - Man’s Closed Choctaw (ClCho)
II. Lady’s steps 10-11 - Lady’s Open Mohawk (OpMo)
III. Man’s &Lady’s steps 19-20
IV. Man’s &Lady’s steps 23-24
2nd Sequence:
I. Man’s &Lady’s steps 4-5
II. Man’s steps 9-10 - Man’s Closed Choctaw (Cl Cho):
III. Lady’s steps 10-11 - Lady’s Open Mohawk (OpMo):
IV. Man’s &Lady’s steps 23-24

b) SENIOR
The specified Pattern Dance to be skated is Golden Waltz (61-63 measures of 3 beats per minute) – 1 full sequence of the dance must be performed.
The sequence of the Golden Waltz is divided into two (2) sections (Section 1 - steps 1-22 and Section 2 - steps 23- 47) which will be considered as two (2) Required Elements. Each Section of the dance will have a Base Value.
The Golden Waltz may be skated anywhere in the Short Dance and it may be started either with Section 1 (starting with step # 1) followed by Section 2 or with Section 2 (starting with step #23) followed by Section 1 but in any case one full sequence of the dance must be performed.
No matter which Section (1 or 2) of the Golden Waltz will be started first, the dance must be skated with step number 1 on the right side opposite the Judges.
Four (4) “Key points” are determined for each Section of the Golden Waltz. These “Key points” will be assessed by the Technical Panel to evaluate the Level of each of these Sections as ONE unit and Judges will give a GOE also for each of these Sections.
The following “Key points” will be taken into consideration by the Technical Panel to establish the Level of each section of the Golden Waltz (see Calling Specification for details):
Section 1:
I. Man’s &Lady’s steps 1-4 (“Walk-around” 3-turns):
II. Man’s step 15 (xb-LFI-opMo)
III. Lady’s step 15 (xb-LFI-Br)
IV. Lady’s step 21 (“Shoot the Duck” and side by side LFI Three Turn)
Section 2:
I. Man’s steps 26a-26c (RBO 3-Turn, Pivot, RFI-LBI SprE, RFIRk)
II. Lady’s step 30 b (Twizzles + layback position)
III. Man’s &Lady’s steps 34-35 (RFI SwOpCho - LBO)
IV. Man’s & Lady’s steps 39-40 (XB-LFI OpCho – RBO)

3. Creative Part - Junior and Senior
The choreography of the Creative part may be to the same rhythm as the specified Pattern Dance (Waltz) or to one or two of the rhythms chosen from the following rhythms:
Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango.
The following three (3) required elements must be included:
One (1) Short Lift but no more than two (2)
A couple may choose to skate either one or two lifts but the first performed lift only will be identified and considered in determining the level of difficulty. Any type of lift may be used for the second lift and it may be performed without any requirements for the Level of difficulty provided that its duration is within permitted 6 seconds and it is not illegal. The second Lift will be considered by the Judges in marking the Choreography.
However, if a third Lift is performed, it will be considered by the Technical Panel as an Extra Element.
One (1) Midline Not Touching Step Sequence (NOT incorporating the Sequential Twizzles)
The Not Touching Step Sequence must incorporate mirror and/or matching footwork. Both partners may cross each other’s tracing(s) and may switch from matching footwork to mirror and vice versa. The partners should remain as close together as possible, but they must not touch. The distance between the skaters should generally not be more than 2 arms length apart.
One (1) Set of Sequential Twizzles
The Set of Twizzles (two twizzles skated simultaneously with up to one step in between twizzles). The Set of Twizzles may be skated anywhere in the program except in the required “Non-touching Step Sequence ”.

NOTE: The DANCE SPIN is not included in the list of Required Elements for the Short Dance season 2010/2011.

Nevertheless, a Spinning movement skated by the couple together in any hold around common axis on one foot (or two feet) with any number of rotations is permitted. A couple may choose to use this movement as part of their choreography. The Technical Panel will ignore these movements and the judges will not consider these movements as the permitted stops.

Note: These Required Elements may be skated anywhere in the Creative part and may be used as the “linking movements” between Creative and Pattern parts of the dance. But only the first performed Required Element will be taken into consideration by the Technical Panel.

Note: Any other dance elements suitable for the rhythm are permitted but the composition should be predominant with dance steps and turns.

Note: Because the dance should be choreographed as an integrated program, and not 2 separate parts, the Pattern Dance part can be placed anywhere in the program: the beginning, the middle, or the end. A dance that begins with the Pattern Dance part, and then simply changes to the Creative part, will be considered choreographically inferior to a program which
integrates the 2 parts together in a seamless way.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Johnny Weir Takes a Year Off...Official Statement



Three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir released the following statement regarding sitting out the 2010-11 competitive skating season:

My dearest fans,

I would like to officially announce that I am withdrawing my name from the 2010-2011 competitive season. My decision comes after months of weighing the pros and cons of competing this season, and I have decided that I need a year to explore and reinvent myself as an athlete and artist.

There are many projects that I'm currently working on and that I want to devote my time to, including my single, "Dirty Love," my fashion line, "Be Unique," and my quarter-century memoirs to be published with Gallery Books. I'm also working on the second season of my hit reality TV series, and of course skating in shows around the world and producing my own skating spectacular.

I want to thank so many people: My mom, Patti; my coaches, Galina Yakovlevna Zmievskaya, Viktor Vassilievich Petrenko, and Nina Leonidovna Petrenko; my choreographer, David Wilson; my agent, Tara Modlin, and Fireworks Sports Marketing; and my friends, family, and most of all my fans. I skated for my fans this season, and I was able to skate because of them. They gave me inspiration every day in practice and helped in so many ways to get me back to the Olympics for the second time. I am forever in your debt.

The main reason for my decision is to have more time to reinvent my skating. I want to create a new skating image for myself so that when I return to competitive skating, I can perform in a way that is both unique and inspiring. I say all of this in hopes that I will return as a competitor for the 2011-2012 season.

At twenty-six years old, I have been competing at the highest level of the sport since 2000. Training and competing have been my only way of life for the past thirteen years. While it has been a magical journey, I feel that a brief hiatus will be truly beneficial to my skating and my future.

Although I'm taking a break from competitive skating, I still hope to be on the ice as often as possible, training and performing for my many fans around the world. I have even selected music for my next competitive programs and am already dreaming up costumes.

While my eyes are currently focused on many different projects, my brain will never forget about the Sochi Olympics in 2014. It would be a dream for me to compete in an Olympic Games in Russia, and I think one thing my fans know about me is that I don't give up on a dream easily.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me. I hope to be performing for you very soon. I believe this is the right step for me to make in my career at this time, and I am very proud of everything I have accomplished so far in my life as a figure skater.

Thank you.
-Johnny Weir


icenetwork.com

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McLaughlin, Brubaker announce end of partnership

Pairs skaters Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker, two-time (2008-09) U.S. champions and the 2007 world junior champions, announced today that they have decided to end their partnership after four years together.

McLaughlin plans to take a year off from competitive skating to focus on her schoolwork, while Brubaker will continue skating and begin the search for a new partner.

"My goal has always been to win world and Olympic medals; I still plan on working toward that goal and look forward to new challenges," Brubaker said.

"Rockne and I have had an amazing career together, and I can't thank him enough for that," McLaughlin said. "Right now I feel like I need to devote time to school as well as other interests -- photography, art, dance -- and spend some time away from skating competitively."

Partnering in 2006, McLaughlin and Brubaker won every event they entered in their first season together, including the 2006 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and the 2007 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

In the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, the team claimed two U.S. titles and medaled at all four of its assignments in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, winning three silvers and a bronze.

McLaughlin and Brubaker left Colorado Springs and their coach of three years, Dalilah Sappenfield, in early 2009 to train with John Nicks in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Last season saw the team take home a bronze from the 2009 Rostelecom Cup, place fourth at 2009 Cancer.Net Skate America and come in fifth at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash. They capped their career together with a silver-medal win at the 2010 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Jeonju, Republic of Korea.

"Keauna and I have had a wonderful career together, and it has been a great experience," Brubaker said. "I wish her all the best and feel truly honored to have worked with her."

"We'd like to thank our families, fans and sponsors," McLaughlin and Brubaker said. "Last season was tough to get through, and we couldn't have done it without their support."


icenetwork.com

Hann-McCurdy, Coreno retire from competitive skating

After seven years of skating together, ice dancers Allie Hann-McCurdy and Michael Coreno have decided to take a new direction in their skating careers. Hann-McCurdy and Coreno have hung up their competitive skates and will now use their experiences to coach skaters in Ottawa at the Gloucester Skating Club.

Hann-McCurdy and Coreno are looking forward to enjoying life after years of competitive skating. "We would like to share all the knowledge and experiences we have gained in the seven years we have skated together with younger skaters and have decided to do this through coaching and volunteering. We feel this way we can help give back and thank those who made our journey possible"

The 2006 Canadian junior champions, 2008 senior bronze medalists and national team members closed off the 2009-2010 season with a silver medal at the 2010 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Korea. They also finished fifth at the 2010 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

"Allie and Mike have been great representatives for Canada at the many events they competed in. It was exciting to see them earn a spot on the Canadian team and compete at the 2008 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden," said Mike Slipchuk, Director High Performance. "We are glad to see that they will continue to stay involved with skating and we wish them the best of luck."

Their trainer Dylan Harries of Body Rock Fitness also commented on their transition from competitive skating.

"It is a sad day, because I believe Mike and Allie were at the stage of their skating career where they were both letting the creative side of their skating shine through. But on the other side, it is a day of celebrating new beginnings. It has been a pleasure and honor to work with them over the past eight years as their physical and mental trainer. Mike and Allie's hard work ethic on and off the ice and also their true love for the sport makes them role models for young skaters across the country. I wish them both all the best in their future endeavors,"

Hann-McCurdy has been accepted to Carleton University and will start school in the fall, and Coreno will continue his studies at Athabasca University online. Combined with their NCCP Level 1 and their Can-Fit Pro Personal Trainer Certification they will both begin coaching careers at the Gloucester Skating Club.


full article.

Belbin, Agosto retire from competitive skating

Ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, the 2006 Olympic silver medalists and five-time U.S. champions, announced today their retirement from competitive skating after more than a decade of international competition.

"We have accomplished and surpassed so many of our goals, from participating in two Olympic Games to pushing ourselves and developing our skills in this sport we love so much," Belbin said. "We feel we can move on from our competitive careers without regret."

Belbin and Agosto are four-time world medalists, winning silver in 2005 and 2009 and taking the bronze in 2006 and 2007. From 2004-08, they won a record-tying five consecutive U.S. titles.

"The world of skating has given us so much, the most valuable of which being the friendships and 'family' we have developed over the years," Agosto said. "As we move forward with new career paths and ambitions, we will forever take with us these cherished relationships and the life lessons skating have taught us."

Belbin and Agosto trained with Igor Shpilband and Marina Zoueva in Canton, Mich., from 1998-2008. In 2008, the team moved its training base to the IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston, Pa., to train under 1980 Olympic champions Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov.

Their final competitive season saw the team win gold at 2009 Cancer.Net Skate America and at the Cup of China. Their silver-medal finish at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships helped earn them a trip to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, where they finished fourth.

"We would like to thank our coaches, family, friends, fans and U.S. Figure Skating for their endless support throughout our journey," Belbin said.

The team recently completed the 2010 Smucker's Stars on Ice tour and plans on continuing to skate together professionally.

"Giving back to this sport and everyone who has supported us will remain a top priority for us far beyond our time on the ice," Belbin said.


icenetwork.com

Sunday, June 13, 2010

2010/2011 ISU Grand Prix Series - Entries Skate America, Cup of Russia and TEB

Skate America
Portland, Oregon, USA
12-14 November


Men
  • Viktor PFEIFER (AUT)
  • Kevin VAN DER PERREN (BEL)
  • Shawn SAWYER (CAN)
  • Nan SONG (CHN)
  • Daisuke MURAKAMI (JPN)
  • Nobunari ODA (JPN)
  • Daisuke TAKAHASHI (JPN)
  • Denis TEN (KAZ)
  • Adrian SCHULTHEISS (SWE)
  • Stephen CARRIERE (USA)
  • Adam RIPPON (USA)
  • TBA (USA)
Ladies
  • Amelie LACOSTE (CAN)
  • Laura LEPISTO (FIN)
  • Mae Berenice MEITE (FRA)
  • Elene GEDEVANISHVILI (GEO)
  • Jenna McCORKELL (GBR)
  • Carolina KOSTNER (ITA)
  • Kanako MURAKAMI (JPN)
  • Min-Jung KWAK (KOR)
  • Viktoria HELGESSON (SWE)
  • Rachael FLATT (USA)
  • Caroline ZHANG (USA)
  • TBA (USA)
Pairs
  • Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Dylan MOSCOVITCH (CAN)
  • Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN (CHN)
  • Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY (GER)
  • Stacey KEMP / Davis KING (GBR)
  • Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV (RUS)
  • Caydee DENNEY / Jeremy BARRETT (USA)
  • Keauna McLAUGHLIN / Rockne BRUBAKER (USA)
  • TBA (USA)
Ice Dance
  • Vanessa CRONE / Paul POIRIER (CAN)
  • Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE (CAN)
  • Stefanie FROBERG / Tim GIESEN (GER)
  • Alexandra ZARETSKY / Roman ZARETSKY (ISR)
  • Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE (ITA)
  • Cathy REED / Chris REED (JPN)
  • Ekaterina RIAZANOVA / Ilia TKACHENKO (RUS)
  • Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE (USA)
  • Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI (USA)
  • TBA (USA)

Cup of Russia
Moscow, Russia
19-21 November


Men
  • Patrick CHAN (CAN)
  • Tomas VERNER (CZE)
  • Alban PREAUBERT (FRA)
  • Samuel CONTESTI (ITA)
  • Yuzuru HANYU (JPN)
  • Tatsuki MACHIDA (JPN)
  • Artur GACHINSKY (RUS)
  • Evgeni PLUSHENKO (RUS)
  • TBA (RUS)
  • Javier FERNANDEZ (ESP)
  • Anton KOVALEVSKI (UKR)
  • Jeremy ABBOTT (USA)
Ladies
  • Myriane SAMSON (CAN)
  • Elena GLEBOVA (EST)
  • Valentina MARCHEI (ITA)
  • Miki ANDO (JPN)
  • Akiko SUZUKI (JPN)
  • Yu-Na KIM (KOR)
  • Alena LEONOVA (RUS)
  • Ksenia MAKAROVA (RUS)
  • TBA (RUS)
  • Sarah MEIER (SUI)
  • Ashley WAGNER (USA)
  • Agnes ZAWADZKI (USA)
Pairs
  • Jessica DUBE / Bryce DAVISON (CAN)
  • Stefania BERTON / Ondrej HOTAREK (ITA)
  • Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN (JPN)
  • Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV (RUS)
  • Tatiana NOVIK / Mikhail KUZNETSOV (RUS)
  • TBA (RUS)
  • Amanda EVORA / Mark LADWIG (USA)
  • Britney SIMPSON / Nathan MILLER (USA)
Ice Dance
  • Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM (CAN)
  • Zoe BLANC / Pierre-Loup BOUQUET (FRA)
  • Sinead KERR / John KERR (GBR)
  • Nora HOFFMANN / Maxim ZAVOZIN (HUN)
  • Federica FAIELLA / Massimo SCALI (ITA)
  • Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV (RUS)
  • Elena ILINYKH / Nikita KATSALAPOV (RUS)
  • TBA (RUS)
  • Anna ZADOROZHNIUK / Sergei VERBILLO (UKR)
  • Madisson HUBBELL / Keiffer HUBBELL (USA)

Trophée Eric Bompard Cachemire
Paris, France
26-28 November


Men
  • Alexandr KAZAKOV (BLR)
  • Kevin REYNOLDS (CAN)
  • Nan SONG (CHN)
  • Michal BREZINA (CZE)
  • Chafik BESSEGHIER (FRA)
  • Brian JOUBERT (FRA)
  • TBA (FRA)
  • Peter LIEBERS (GER)
  • Takahiko KOZUKA (JPN)
  • Sergei VORONOV (RUS)
  • Brandon MROZ (USA)
  • Johnny WEIR (USA)
Ladies
  • Cynthia PHANEUF (CAN)
  • Kiira KORPI (FIN)
  • Candice DIDIER (FRA)
  • TBA (FRA)
  • TBA (FRA)
  • Sarah HECKEN (GER)
  • Mao ASADA (JPN)
  • Haruka IMAI (JPN)
  • Fumie SUGURI (JPN)
  • Sonia LAFUENTE (ESP)
  • Alissa CZISNY (USA)
  • Mirai NAGASU (USA)
Pairs
  • Mylene BRODEUR / John MATTATALL (CAN)
  • Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG (CHN)
  • Vanessa JAMES / Maximin COIA (FRA)
  • TBA (FRA)
  • Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY (GER)
  • Nicole DELLA MONICA / Yannick KOCON (ITA)
  • Joanna SULEJ / Mateusz CHRUSCINSKI (POL)
  • Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV (RUS)
Ice Dance
  • Kharis RALPH / Asher HILL (CAN)
  • Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR (CAN)
  • Xintong HUANG / Xun ZHENG (CHN)
  • Pernelle CARRON / Lloyd JONES (FRA)
  • Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT (FRA)
  • TBA (FRA)
  • Dora TUROCZI / Balazs MAJOR (HUN)
  • Ekaterina RUBLEVA / Ivan SHEFER (RUS)
  • Madison CHOCK / Greg ZUERLEIN (USA)
  • Emily SAMUELSON / Evan BATES (USA)

2010/2011 ISU Grand Prix Series - Entries NHK, Skate Canada and Cup of China

NHK Trophy
Nagoya, Japan
22-24 October


Men
  • Kevin VAN DER PERREN (BEL)
  • Jeremy TEN (CAN)
  • Jialiang WU (CHN)
  • Florent AMODIO (FRA)
  • Yuzuru HANYU (JPN)
  • Takahito MURA (JPN)
  • Daisuke TAKAHASHI (JPN)
  • Denis TEN (KAZ)
  • Arten BORODULIN (RUS)
  • Adrian SCHULTHEISS (SWE)
  • Jeremy ABBOTT (USA)
  • Ross MINER (USA)
Ladies
  • Diane SZMIETT (CAN)
  • Kiira KORPI (FIN)
  • Lena MARROCCO (FRA)
  • Elene GEDEVANISHVILI (GEO)
  • Carolina KOSTNER (ITA)
  • Mao ASADA (JPN)
  • Kanako MURAKAMI (JPN)
  • TBA (JPN)
  • Viktoria HELGESSON (SWE)
  • Rachael FLATT (USA)
  • Ashley WAGNER (USA)
  • Caroline ZHANG (USA)
Pairs
  • Qing PANG / Jian TONG (CHN)
  • Yue ZHANG / Lei WANG (CHN)
  • Maylin HAUSCH / Daniel WENDE (GER)
  • Stefania BERTON / Ondrej HOTAREK (ITA)
  • TBA (JPN)
  • Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV (RUS)
  • Caydee DENNEY / Jeremy BARRETT (USA)
  • Rena INOUE / John BALDWIN (USA)
Ice Dance
  • Kaitlyn WEAVER / Andrew POJE (CAN)
  • Xiaoyang YU / Chen WANG (CHN)
  • Alexandra ZARETSKY / Roman ZARETSKY (ISR)
  • Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE (ITA)
  • TBA (JPN)
  • Elena ILINYKH / Nikita KATSALAPOV (RUS)
  • Alla BEKNAZAROVA / Vladimir ZUEV (UKR)
  • Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE (USA)
  • Emily SAMUELSON / Evan BATES (USA)
  • Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI (USA)

Skate Canada
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
29-31 October


Men
  • Patrick CHAN (CAN)
  • Kevin REYNOLDS (CAN)
  • TBA (CAN)
  • Alban PREAUBERT (FRA)
  • Paolo BACCHINI (ITA)
  • Yasuharu NANRI (JPN)
  • Nobunari ODA (JPN)
  • Artur GACHINSKY (RUS)
  • Javier FERNANDEZ (ESP)
  • Kristoffer BERNTSSON (SWE)
  • Adam RIPPON (USA)
  • Johnny WEIR (USA)
Ladies
  • Cynthia Phaneuf (CAN)
  • TBA (CAN)
  • TBA (CAN)
  • Laura LEPISTO (CAN)
  • Sarah HECKEN (GER)
  • Haruka IMAI (JPN)
  • Fumie SUGURI (JPN)
  • Ksenia MAKAROVA (RUS)
  • Sarah MEIER (SUI)
  • Alissa CZISNY (USA)
  • Alexe GILLES (USA)
  • Agnes ZAWADZKI (USA)
Pairs
  • Jessica DUBE / Bryce DAVISON (CAN)
  • Paige LAWRANCE / Rudi SWIEGERS (CAN)
  • TBA (CAN)
  • Huibo DONG /Yiming WU (CHN)
  • Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV (RUS)
  • Anastasia MARTIUSHEVA / Alexei ROGONOV (RUS)
  • Marissa CASTELLI / Simon SHNAPIR (USA)
  • Keauna McLAUGHLIN / Rockne BRUBAKER (USA)
Ice Dance
  • Vanessa CRONE / Paul POIRIER (CAN)
  • Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM (CAN)
  • Tessa VIRTUE / SCOTT Moir (CAN)
  • Pernelle CARRON / Lloyd JONES (FRA)
  • Christina BEIER / William BEIER (GER)
  • Sinead KERR / John KERR (GBR)
  • Lorenza ALESSANDRINI / Simone VATURI (ITA)
  • Kristina GORSHKOVA / Vitali BUTIKOV (RUS)
  • Madison CHOCK / Greg ZUERLEIN (USA)
  • Rachel TIBBETTS / Collin BRUBAKER (USA)

Cup of China
Beijing, China
5-7 November


Men
  • Jinlin GUAN (CHN)
  • TBA (CHN)
  • TBA (CHN)
  • Michal BREZINA (CZE)
  • Tomas VERNER (CZE)
  • Brian JOUBERT (FRA)
  • Samuel CONTESTI (ITA)
  • Takahiko KOZUKA (JPN)
  • Tatsuki MACHIDA (JPN)
  • Sergei VORONOV (RUS)
  • Ross MINER (USA)
  • Branzon MROZ (USA)
Ladies
  • Yan LIU (CHN)
  • TBA (CHN)
  • TBA (CHN)
  • Miki ANDO (JPN)
  • Akiko SUZUKI (JPN)
  • Yu-Na KIM (KOR)
  • Alena LEONOVA (RUS)
  • Joshi HELGESSON (SWE)
  • Amanda DOBBS (USA)
  • Kristine MUSADEMBA (USA)
  • Mirai NAGASU (USA)
  • Anastasia GIMAZETDINOVA (UZB)
Pairs
  • Qing PANG / Jian TONG (CHN)
  • Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG (CHN)
  • TBA (CHN)
  • Kaleigh HOLE / Adam JOHNSON (CAN)
  • Nicole DELLA MONICA / Yannick KOCON (ITA)
  • Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA / Nodari MAISURADZE (RUS)
  • Amanda EVORA / Mark LADWIG (USA)
  • Caitlin YAKOWSKAS / John COUGHLIN (USA)
Ice Dance
  • Kharis RALPH / Asher HILL (CAN)
  • Xueting GUAN / Meng WANG (CHN)
  • Xintong HUANG / Xun ZHENG (CHN)
  • TBA (CHN)
  • Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT (FRA)
  • Nora HOFFMANN / Maxim ZAVOZIN (HUN)
  • Federia FAIELLA / Massimo SCALI (ITA)
  • Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV (RUS)
  • Isabella CANNUSCIO / Ian LORELLO (USA)
  • Madison HUBBELL / Keiffer HUBBELL (USA)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Germans are ready for another four years

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy entered the Olympic season as two-time and reigning World Pairs Champions and were considered top contenders for the Olympic Gold. In the end, the season didn't go as well as the Germans had hoped, but they medaled in each event they competed in. At the World Championships, the creative team announced that they plan on competing until 2014 to realize their dream of an Olympic gold medal in Sotchi.

"This season we went up and down, from zero to 100 and from 100 to zero," Savchenko summed up. "The body doesn't know that there are Olympic Games. [This time] it gave a signal that it wasn't meant to be. It was too much. [When] the body says "stop", there is nothing you can do about it," she analyzed, referring to illnesses that hit her several times in the past months.

It was a hard season for the German pair, and only in the very beginning was everything business as usual.

"The year started as it always does, with new programs, with the Nebelhorn Trophy... it was a usual summer and we had no injuries," recalled Szolkowy.

But then bad luck struck. Savchenko fell sick after the Nebelhorn Trophy, but resumed training in time for their first Grand Prix in Paris. Or so they thought. After a good short program, the Germans completely fell apart in the free skate and made error after error. They barely hung on to the bronze medal.

"I couldn't believe it," said Savchenko, shaking her head months after the event from last October. "There is no explanation. It was like a black out. It just happened and we couldn't find ourselves. It was a nightmare. Everything went wrong that could go wrong."

After this shocking experience, coach Ingo Steuer and the team decided to switch to a new free program - something they had not yet done. The new program to Out of Africa went over very well with the judges and the audience at Skate Canada. Savchenko and Szolkowy performed brilliantly. However, at the Grand Prix Final, they didn't skate their best. Savchenko apparently was already affected by a bad flu that hit her even harder right after the Final. For more than a week, she was confined to bed, and the team missed Nationals.

The team was not able to get back in to top form before the European Championships, and were beaten by Russia's Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov in a somewhat controversial decision. Then, at the Olympic Games, two errors in the free skate prevented the Germans from finishing higher than third. They were disappointed, but they were relieved at the same time to have earned a medal.


full article.

Two-time Olympian Anabelle Langlois retires

Anabelle Langlois, the veteran of Canada's 2010 Olympic figure skating team, has decided to hang up her competitive skates after a long career. The Gatineau, Québec native, who began skating at the age of 11, will turn 29 in July, and has decided to move on from the competitive world. She has plans to coach young skaters, and to pursue post-secondary studies in psychology this fall.

Langlois, after competing at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games with her previous partner, teamed up with Cody Hay in 2005. The two had a successful five-year partnership, winning the Canadian pair title in 2008 and finishing eighth in the world that same year. They had a strong comeback this season, after missing all of 2008-2009 after Langlois fractured her foot.

"I was honored to have been able to represent Canada for several years, and especially in 2010 at the Olympics in our own country. We did all that we could to make everyone proud of us, and so appreciated the support of our fans for all these years," said Langlois.

"I have been so blessed to have been able to skate with Cody," she continued. "We had to fight hard through so many obstacles. He was such a wonderful partner for me, and so supportive through all the ups and downs of our career. Now I hope I can pass along some of the lessons I've learned to other skaters as I work with them."

Hay, 26, from Edmonton, Alta., plans to continue skating, and hopes to compete at the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia. "I support Anabelle's decision to move on to new challenges, but I have a desire to continue skating, and look forward to what the next few years have in store." Hay will continue to skate and train in Barrie, Ontario, and hopes to find the right partner to represent Canada again on the world stage. His biggest fan will be Langlois. "Cody has a lot more to give to this sport. He has my full support in his decision, and I can't wait to cheer him on!"

Longtime coach Lee Barkell also wished them both well. "It has been a pleasure being involved and watching Anabelle and Cody grow and develop, not only as a pair team, but also as people. And it was terrific to see them achieve their personal goal of representing Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. They are true role models showing that with teamwork, a strong work ethic and a dream that you can achieve your goals." He added "Anabelle's passion, determination, experience and knowledge will be a tremendous asset as she pursues a new chapter in her life. I am very proud and excited for both Anabelle and Cody."

"As an Olympian, world competitor and a Canadian champion, Anabelle was a big part of our national team for over eight years," said Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director. "A testament to her competitiveness and no-quit attitude was her ability to recover from a serious injury in 2009 to earn a spot on the 2010 Olympic and world team. We look forward to Anabelle staying involved with Skate Canada and wish her the best in her future endeavors."


icenetwork.com

Denney, Barrett hope to be a "Rhapsody in Blue"

Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett's lives still haven't slowed much since their whirlwind competitive season came to a close.

The couple won its first U.S. title, earned a trip to the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, placed seventh at the 2010 World Championships, was feted with a hometown parade, made appearances with the Smucker's Stars on Ice tour and visited the White House. And Denney, who turns 17 on June 22, is even learning how to drive, with hopes of getting her driver's license next month.

The U.S. pairs skating champions took a little bit of a breather for a couple of weeks -- Barrett kicked back a bit at the beach; Denney took spins in the car with her dad -- but now they are back at work, crafting their short and long programs in Toronto with choreographer David Wilson. The short program music will be revealed at a later date, and the free skate is to the George Gershwin classic, "Rhapsody in Blue.''

"I feel like this has all happened really, really fast and now we're back at the beginning again, back to square one,'' Denney said.

But being back on the ice is where they feel the most comfortable and both Denney and Barrett are excited to be working with Wilson. This season, the couple's third together, is the first in which the team is working with a choreographer other than their coach, Jim Peterson.

It was actually Peterson's idea to seek out a top choreographer for the team, and he went to Toronto with his skaters for the first few days of choreography sessions. Peterson returned to Florida because of other coaching commitments but Denney and Barrett will be in Toronto for a total of 10 days.

Denney and Barrett have been a very consistent team technically, but Peterson hopes they can reach a new level internationally by ramping up their choreography.

"They had a great season; that goes without saying,'' Peterson said. "And they did great in Vancouver and Torino as well, but I want to do everything I can to help this team and to help the country get three pairs teams at worlds. We're looking at the podium.

"I'm so happy the kids have this opportunity to really take them to another level.''

Wilson has designed programs for numerous elite skaters, including Yu-Na Kim's James Bond girl short program that helped vault her to the Olympic gold medal in Vancouver. He said he aware of Denney and Barrett's skating before Peterson contacted him about working with the team. Wilson was at the 2009 U.S. Championships in Cleveland, to help support some of his skaters, Adam Rippon and Alissa Czisny, and took notice of Denney and Barrett then.

"I remember the reaction from the crowd and all of the backstage drama, people talking and saying they should have won,'' Wilson said. "I know they've had these two amazing years. I think with pairs and dance teams, there's either a magic or there's not, and I think these two definitely have magic.''


full article.

Castile, Okolski retire from competitive skating

Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski, who won the 2007 U.S. pairs championship, announced today their retirement from competitive skating.

Both athletes plan to stay involved in figure skating and pursue careers in coaching.

"Although we are retiring from competitive skating, I don't intend to leave the sport," Castile said. "I feel like this is a transition rather than a retirement."

Castile and Okolski paired up in 2002. In addition to their U.S. title, their career highlights include earning bronze medals at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the 2008 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, capturing the U.S. junior silver medal in 2004 and making two appearances at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships (2007, '08).

In addition to coaching, Castile hopes to add the title of "choreographer" to her resume.

"I have always known this is what I would do when I finished competing," Castile said. "I love the choreography and the art of expression through skating. Hopefully, this way I can still share my talents in the sport."

Okolski will attend Washtenaw Community College and is considering a major in accounting.

"I'm looking forward to going back to school as well as continuing coaching," Okolski said. "I hope to pass on what we've learned throughout our competitive career."

Castile and Okolski trained at the Arctic Figure Skating Club in Canton, Mich., with coach Johnny Johns since the 2006-07 season.

"We would like to thank our coach Johnny Johns, who has been an essential part of our success," Castile and Okolski said. "Most important, we would like to thank our families for their unconditional love and support throughout our careers."


icenetwork.com

Navarro, Bommentre announce retirement

Ice dancers Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, who twice won the bronze medal at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, have announced their retirement from competitive skating.

The team will continue to skate together, appearing in the Sun Valley (Idaho) Ice Show this summer and then join a new Holiday on Ice tour.

"We are really excited about this next chapter," Navarro said. "We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we feel ready for all the new challenges to come."

Navarro and Bommentre first paired in 2005 and placed fifth at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Highlights of their career include a bronze medal at the 2008 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and two appearances at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships (2008 and 2010).

"There are not enough words to express our respect for our coaches Robbie Kaine and Cheryl Demkowski-Snyder," Bommentre said. "They allowed us to express ourselves through our skating, and we will always remember how good it felt to give that to the fans."

"We would also like to thank our home clubs, the Santa Rosa Figure Skating Club and the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society," said Navarro, a member of the former. "They, along with our rinks, were instrumental in generating support during our partnership and have always gone above and beyond to help us train."


icenetwork.com

U.S. Figure Skating announces off-season changes

Coaching changes by a pair of former U.S. champions and the retirement of a longtime national and international competitor highlight a busy off-season for several U.S. Figure Skating athletes.

RETIREMENTS

After more than 10 years of U.S. and international competition, Bebe Liang announced her retirement from competitive skating. Liang, who trained with Ken Congemi and Frank Carroll during her career, won bronze at the 2006 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. Her best showing at a U.S. Figure Skating Championships was a fourth-place finish in 2007.

"My time as a competitive figure skater has been the most rewarding and exciting time in my life, but now I feel it is time to close that chapter and open a new one," Liang said. "I would like to thank my fans and everyone at U.S. Figure Skating who has been so supportive of me. I would especially like to thank my family and my coaches, who have put so much time and energy into molding me to become the athlete I am today."

Ice dancing team Jane Summersett and Todd Gilles have also made public their retirement from competitive skating. The duo, which teamed up three years ago, garnered bronze at the 2008 Nebelhorn Trophy and twice placed sixth at the U.S. Championships.

PARTNERSHIP ENDINGS
Four pairs teams have ended their professional partnerships, including 2009 U.S. junior champions and 2007 U.S. novice champions Tracy Tanovich and Michael Chau.

"Tracy and I had a very successful career in our six competitive seasons together. We have learned so much from each other and have had such great memories that I will never forget," Chau said. "Tracy is like a little sister to me, and there will always be a place in my heart for her. I wish her the best in the future."

Also concluding their partnerships are 2010 U.S. novice pairs silver medalists Tori Vollmer and Zack Sidhu, 2009 U.S. novice pairs champions Cassie Andrews and Nicholas Anderson and 2009 U.S. novice pairs silver medalists Haven Denney and Daniel Raad.

Andrews has formed a partnership with Timothy DeLuc, and Denney has teamed up with 2008 U.S. novice men's champion Daniel O'Shea.

Ice dancing teams Piper Gilles and Zach Donohue, the reigning two-time U.S. junior bronze medalists, and Trina Pratt and Chris Obzansky, who finished ninth at this year's U.S. Championships, have also split up.

COACHING CHANGES

2009 U.S. champion Alissa Czisny has announced that she will continue to train at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., but now under the tutelage of Yuka Sato, who also coaches two-time reigning U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott.

"Having enjoyed taking lessons from Yuka Sato in the past, I am looking forward to working with her and Jason Dungjen as my full-time coaches," Czisny said. "I'm very excited for them to teach me everything they know."

Kimmie Meissner, the 2006 World champion and 2007 U.S. champion, has left her most recent training site in Coral Springs, Fla., for Fairfax, Va., where she will be coached by Chris Conte. Conte has worked as a technical consultant for U.S. Olympians Timothy Goebel, Sasha Cohen and Emily Hughes.

Other U.S. skaters making a coaching change include 2008 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final champion Becky Bereswill, who is leaving Houston, Texas, for Canton, Mich., to train with Fedor Andreev and Johnny Johns; 2007 U.S. novice silver medalist and 2009 U.S. junior bronze medalist Alexander Johnson, who will be mentored by Tom Zakrajsek and Becky Calvin at the Broadmoor SC in Colorado Springs, Colo.; 2009 U.S. novice bronze medalist Angela Wang, who will remain at Salt Lake Figure Skating and train with Scott Smith; and 2009 U.S. novice ice dancing champions Lauri Bonacorsi and Travis Mager, who will train with Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov at the IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston, Pa.

Three skaters announced they will be training with Frank Carroll, coach of Olympic champion Evan Lysacek and U.S. silver medalist Mirai Nagasu, in El Segundo, Calif. They are 2010 U.S. novice champion Leah Keiser, 2009 U.S. junior ladies silver medalist Ellie Kawamura and 2009 U.S. junior ladies pewter medalist Kristiene Gong.


icenetwork.com

Mr. Abbott goes to Washington

The trip started like any other day. We (those of us on the Stars on Ice tour) hopped on the tour bus and drove six hours from Connecticut to Baltimore, arriving at 4:00 a.m. Unfortunately, we missed the opening reception the night before.

Meryl Davis and I met in the lobby of our hotel so that we could check in, get our apparel and walk to Starbucks for much-needed caffeine. After meeting with Amanda Evora, we ran into one of the members of the gold-medal-winning U.S. men's sledge hockey team. I felt very ashamed of myself for not even knowing that our sledge hockey team had won! (In my opinion, the Paralympics does not get enough attention. It is incredible what those men and women can do!)

After this little detour, all the Olympians piled into city buses to make the hour-and-a-half drive to the White House. I was so exhausted from the new schedule of the tour that I admit I was not very excited about this day trip.

We arrived at the White House and had to pass through two security screenings before being let onto the grounds. Once we were inside, I finally started to really appreciate what was going on. All the pictures and artifacts mesmerized me. I love history, especially when you get to see it first hand. I get very lost in my imagination of what it must have been like to live through each of the presidencies.

They sectioned off a portion of the building and basically gave us free run of it. After so long, we were all corralled into groups by sport. We were told that the Vice President and Dr. Biden would be coming to meet with us first, to take pictures, and they would be followed by the President and Mrs. Obama.

When we were told we were going to Washington, I never thought I would ACTUALLY get to meet the president. I figured we would all group together, he would wave to us, stand in front to take a picture, and that would be the extent of it. However, we actually got to meet him and the first lady, and shake their hands. I was so impressed. Michelle Obama is a hugger... who knew?! She went around and made sure to give each person a hug, and Barack (Yeah, we are on a first-name basis) shook every single hand.

It was at this point that I realized how invaluable this experience was. I have never been star struck before, but to get to meet the leader of our nation, and to be a part of the history he has made, was the most humbling experience.

After our visit to the White House, we all went on to the Senate building for another reception (one that we actually got to attend this time). To be in these places that so few people get to see was truly amazing.

This trip was definitely an experience that I will keep with me for life. I am so glad that I did not give into my cynicism and decide to sleep through the event!


icenetwork.com

No offseason for determined Wagner

Don't tell Ashley Wagner there's plenty of time to worry about new programs. The skater, who turns 19 on May 16, is already growing impatient.

"There's not much of an offseason," she said. "We've started the search; there are a lot of ideas. Finding music takes a long time -- way too long, in my opinion."

Since placing third behind Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu at the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January, Wagner -- who lives with her coach, Priscilla Hill, in Wilmington, Del., -- has been hard at work.

"I've been doing as many shows as I can without having it interfere with my training," she said. "What Priscilla and I are trying to do is put together show programs, similar to [competitive] short programs. Shows are fun, but at the same time, they're great opportunities to practice before an audience."

At the Cityskate show to benefit Brooklyn Ice in Hackensack, N.J., last month, Wagner included triple flip and triple loop in programs set to music from Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera. She's also done a club show in Detroit and joined Smuckers Stars on Icefor its Bridgeport, Conn., stop.

"I absolutely loved S.O.I," Wagner said. "When I finished the program, I felt like going out and doing it again. I loved meeting some of these skaters I've been watching for years; it was really exciting meeting Todd Eldredge. I admire his career and the way he dealt with things. It's kind of similar to the way I'm doing things, hopefully."

Eldredge, the 1996 world champion, won U.S. titles in 1990 and 1991 as well as the 1991 world bronze medal. Later, he had lean years, missing a few U.S. world teams before rebounding with a third U.S. title and world silver medal in 1995. He ended his eligible career with six world medals and six U.S. titles, the last in 2002 when he was 30 years old.

While Wagner has miles to go before she approaches those achievements, the teen gains inspiration from Eldredge's fight to regain a spot on the U.S. world team. Wagner placed 16th at worlds in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2008 but narrowly missed out on trips in 2009 and 2010 despite success on the Grand Prix circuit, including a silver medal at 2009 Rostelecom Cup, silver at 2009 NHK Trophy and fourth place at the most recent Grand Prix Final.

"Worlds was obviously a huge opportunity for me, so my placement was disappointing," she said. "A lot of people don't realize I skated after [defending champion] Miki Ando had that meltdown and walked off the ice [and withdrew]. I had no time to calm myself down. I was 16, and I just got caught up in nerves and the excitement of the moment. As time goes on, I'm getting stronger as a competitor."

That's why Wagner was stunned when she blew her Olympic chances by missing a triple Lutz in her short program at the 2010 U.S. Championships.

"It was a huge Lutz, and I think I anticipating landing it way before I hit the ice," she recalled. "It was so unexpected for me. It was a surprise, for sure."


full article

Flatt headed to Stanford, will defer one year

Rachael Flatt, the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating national champion, announced today that she will attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., beginning in the fall of 2011.

With offers from several universities, Flatt selected Stanford and will defer enrollment for one year in order to focus on her figure skating career.

"I am looking forward to taking advantage of the many opportunities Stanford has to offer," Flatt said. "I am very fortunate to have had some excellent choices of universities to attend but I feel that Stanford offers the best programs for me in an environment that will allow me to continue my development as a figure skater."

Flatt will continue to train at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. As of April 2010, she was ranked ninth in the world by the International Skating Union. Rachael represented the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, finishing in seventh place overall.

Stanford is recognized as one of the world's leading universities. Established more than a century ago, the university was designed to prepare students for personal success and direct usefulness in life. The university has a rich tradition of fostering creativity and the arts.


icenetwork.com

Samuelson, Bates split from longtime coaches

Ice dancers Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates, the 2008 World Junior champions and 2010 U.S. bronze medalists, announced today they have ended their 10-year professional relationship with coaches Yuri Chesnichenko and Yaroslava Nechaeva at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Mich., and will train with Igor Shpilband and Marina Zoueva at the Arctic Edge in Canton, Mich.

Shpilband and Zoueva also coach 2010 Olympic ice dancing champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada and 2010 Olympic ice dancing silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They previously mentored 2006 Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto.

"We have spent a lot of time thinking about our skating and the direction we want to take our careers," Samuelson said. "With this coaching change, we're hoping to give our skating a new look and a fresh perspective."

In their two ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series assignments last fall, Samuelson and Bates finished fourth at Trophée Eric Bompard and fifth at Skate Canada. They captured the bronze medal at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash., and were subsequently chosen to represent the United States at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where they finished 11th. The team finished the season with a ninth-place finish at the 2010 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Torino, Italy.

Under Chesnichenko and Nechaeva's tutelage, Samuelson and Bates also captured U.S. titles at the novice (2005) and junior (2007) levels, the bronze at the 2009 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and a pair of silvers at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.

"Yasa and Yuri have taught us everything we know in ice dancing, from technique to presentation," Bates said. "We want to thank them for all the work they've put into us for the past 10 years -- we would not be where we are today without them. We wish nothing but the best for Yasa and Yuri and all their couples in the future."

"We'd also like to thank the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club and Diane Wilson [general manager of the Ann Arbor Ice Cube] for all the support they've given us this past decade," Samuelson added.


icenetwork.com

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010 World Championships - Results


Men

1 Daisuke TAKAHASHI JPN 257.70 pts
2 Patrick CHAN CAN 247.22 pts
3 Brian JOUBERT FRA 241.74 pts
4 Michal BREZINA CZE 236.06 pts
5 Jeremy ABBOTT USA 232.10 pts
6 Adam RIPPON USA 231.47 pts
7 Samuel CONTESTI ITA 218.66 pts
8 Kevin VAN DER PERREN BEL 218.43 pts
9 Adrian SCHULTHEISS SWE 218.26 pts
10 Takahiko KOZUKA JPN 216.73 pts
11 Kevin REYNOLDS CAN 216.58 pts
12 Javier FERNANDEZ ESP 215.66 pts
13 Denis TEN KAZ 202.46 pts
14 Sergei VORONOV RUS 200.60 pts
15 Florent AMODIO FRA 197.25 pts


Ladies

1 Mao ASADA JPN 197.58 pts
2 Yu-Na KIM KOR 190.79 pts
3 Laura LEPISTO FIN 178.62 pts
4 Miki ANDO JPN 177.82 pts
5 Cynthia PHANEUF CAN 177.54 pts
6 Carolina KOSTNER ITA 177.31 pts
7 Mirai NAGASU USA 175.48 pts
8 Ksenia MAKAROVA RUS 169.64 pts
9 Rachael FLATT USA 167.44 pts
10 Viktoria HELGESSON SWE 161.79 pts
11 Akiko SUZUKI JPN 160.04 pts
12 Sarah HECKEN GER 153.94 pts
13 Alena LEONOVA RUS 152.86 pts
14 Jenna MCCORKELL GBR 150.90 pts
15 Julia SEBESTYEN HUN 147.66 pts


Pairs

1 Qing PANG / Jian TONG CHN 211.39 pts
2 Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY GER 204.74 pts
3 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 203.79 pts
4 Maria MUKHORTOVA / Maxim TRANKOV RUS 197.39 pts
5 Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG CHN 195.78 pts
6 Jessica DUBE / Bryce DAVISON CAN 177.07 pts
7 Caydee DENNEY / Jeremy BARRETT USA 172.47 pts
8 Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV RUS 172.04 pts
9 Amanda EVORA / Mark LADWIG USA 165.96 pts
10 Anabelle LANGLOIS / Cody HAY CAN 154.72 pts
11 Stefania BERTON / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 149.78 pts
12 Vanessa JAMES / Yannick BONHEUR FRA 146.58 pts
13 Anais MORAND / Antoine DORSAZ SUI 144.46 pts
14 Maylin HAUSCH / Daniel WENDE GER 142.98 pts
15 Joanna SULEJ / Mateusz CHRUSCINSKI POL 138.26 pts


Ice Dance

1 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 224.43 pts
2 Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE USA 223.03 pts
3 Federica FAIELLA / Massimo SCALI ITA 197.85 pts
4 Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT FRA 194.39 pts
5 Sinead KERR / John KERR GBR 189.11 pts
6 Alexandra ZARETSKY / Roman ZARETSKY ISR 181.26 pts
7 Vanessa CRONE / Paul POIRIER CAN 180.30 pts
8 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 177.23 pts
9 Emily SAMUELSON / Evan BATES USA 168.77 pts
10 Nora HOFFMANN / Maxim ZAVOZIN HUN 166.90 pts
11 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 164.52 pts
12 Pernelle CARRON / Lloyd JONES FRA 161.86 pts
13 Ekaterina RUBLEVA / Ivan SHEFER RUS 161.20 pts
14 Kimberly NAVARRO / Brent BOMMENTRE USA 159.68 pts
15 Cathy REED / Chris REED JPN 154.93 pts

2010 Junior Worlds - Results

Junior Men

1 Yuzuru HANYU JPN 216.10 pts
2 Nan SONG CHN 205.25 pts
3 Artur GACHINSKI RUS 199.19 pts
4 Keegan MESSING USA 197.03 pts
5 Grant HOCHSTEIN USA 194.30 pts
6 Andrei ROGOZINE CAN 179.81 pts
7 Artur DMITRIEV RUS 177.78 pts
8 Alexander MAJOROV SWE 177.01 pts
9 Denis TEN KAZ 171.86 pts
10 Armin MAHBANOOZADEH USA 168.69 pts


Junior Ladies

1 Kanako MURAKAMI JPN 165.47 pts
2 Agnes ZAWADZKI USA 156.79 pts
3 Polina AGAFONOVA RUS 154.27 pts
4 Polina SHELEPEN RUS 151.65 pts
5 Anna OVCHAROVA RUS 147.52 pts
6 Kate CHARBONNEAU CAN 147.46 pts
7 Kiri BAGA USA 146.98 pts
8 Christina GAO USA 143.86 pts
9 Joshi HELGESSON SWE 138.13 pts
10 Julia PFRENGLE GER 133.05 pts


Junior Pairs

1 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN 170.71 pts
2 Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN JPN 157.23 pts
3 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 145.35 pts
4 Tatiana NOVIK / Mikhail KUZNETSOV RUS 139.63 pts
5 Britney SIMPSON / Nathan MILLER USA 138.00 pts
6 Yue ZHANG / Lei WANG CHN 135.86 pts
7 Brittany JONES / Kurtis GASKELL CAN 133.41 pts
8 Margaret PURDY / Michael MARINARO CAN 129.29 pts
9 Felicia ZHANG / Taylor TOTH USA 128.01 pts
10 Kaleigh HOLE / Adam JOHNSON CAN 119.68 pts



Junior Ice Dance

1 Elena ILINYKH / Nikita KATSALAPOV RUS 188.28 pts
2 Alexandra PAUL / Mitchell ISLAM CAN 172.37 pts
3 Ksenia MONKO / Kirill KHALIAVIN RUS 168.81 pts
4 Maia SHIBUTANI / Alex SHIBUTANI USA 168.35 pts
5 Lorenza ALESSANDRINI / Simone VATURI ITA 167.84 pts
6 Ekaterina PUSHKASH / Jonathan GUERREIRO RUS 162.16 pts
7 Rachel TIBBETTS / Collin BRUBAKER USA 153.50 pts
8 Anastasia GALYETA / Alexei SHUMSKI UKR 146.96 pts
9 Piper GILLES / Zachary DONOHUE USA 141.30 pts
10 Geraldine BOTT / Neil BROWN FRA 140.65 pts


Friday, April 2, 2010

And I'm finally back!

Sorry for not being able to post the results in time! My PC decided to die after the Olympics and I missed Junior and Senior Worlds :( I will try to update the blog as fast as I can :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics - Ladies LP / Final Result




Ladies - Long Program

1 KIM Yu-NA (KOR) 150.06 pts
2 ASADA Mao (JPN) 131.72 pts
3 ROCHETTE Joannie (CAN) 131.28 pts
4 LEPISTO Laura (FIN) 126.61 pts
5 NAGASU Mirai (USA) 126.39 pts
6 ANDO Miki (JPN) 124.10 pts
7 SUZUKI Akiko (JPN) 120.42 pts
8 FLATT Rachael (USA) 117.85 pts
9 MAKAROVA Ksenia (RUS) 112.69 pts
10 LEONOVA Alena (RUS) 110.32 pts
11 KORPI Kiira (FIN) 108.61 pts
12 KWAK Min-Jung (KOR) 102.37 pts
13 PHANEUF Cynthia (CAN) 99.46 pts
14 MEIER Sarah (SUI) 96.11 pts
15 KECKEN Sarah (GER) 94.90 pts
16 SEBESTSYEN Julia (HUN) 93.80 pts
17 GEDEVANISHVILI Elene (GEO) 93.32 pts
18 LIU Yan (CHN) 91.73 pts
19 KOSTNER Carolina (ITA) 88.88 pts
20 LEE Cheltzie (AUS) 86.00 pts
21 LAFUENTE Sonia (SPA) 83.77 pts
22 GLEBOVA Elena (EST) 83.39 pts
23 GIMAZETDINOVA Anastasia (UZB) 82.63 pts
24 KARADEMIR Tugba (TUR) 78.80 pts


Ladies - Final Result



GOLD: KIM Yu-Na (KOR) 228.56 pts
SILVER: ASADA Mao (JPN) 205.50 pts
BRONZE: ROCHETTE Joannie (CAN) 202.64 pts
4 NAGASU Mirai (USA) 190.15 pts
5 ANDO Miki (JPN) 188.86 pts
6 LEPISTO Laura (FIN) 187.97 pts
7 FLATT Rachael (USA) 182.49 pts
8 SUZUKI Akiko (JPN) 181.44 pts
9 LEONOVA Alena (RUS) 172.46 pts
10 MAKAROVA Ksenia (RUS) 171.91 pts
11 KORPI Kiira (FIN) 161.57 pts
12 PHANEUF Cynthia (CAN) 156.62 pts
13 KWAK Min-Jung (KOR) 155.53 pts
14 GEDEVANISHVILI Elene (GEO) 155.24 pts
15 MEIER Sarah (SUI) 152.81 pts
16 KOSTNER Carolina (ITA) 151.90 pts
17 SEBESTYEN Julia (HUN) 151.26 pts
18 HECKEN Sarah (GER) 143.94 pts
19 LIU Yan (CHN) 143.47 pts
20 LEE Cheltzie (AUS) 138.16 pts
21 GLEBOVA Elena (EST) 134.19 pts
22 LAFUENTE Sonia (SPA) 133.51 pts
23 GIMAZETDINOVA Anastasia (UZB) 131.65 pts
24 KARADEMIR Tugba (TUR) 129.54 pts