The Big Picture
Championship Allotments for 2020/21
ISU European Figure Skating Championships
Jan 25 - Jan 31, 2021, Zagreb, CRO
ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships
Feb 08 - Feb 14, 2021, Sydney, AUS
ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships
Mar 01 - Mar 07, 2021, Harbin, CHN
ISU World Figure Skating Championships
Mar 22 - Mar 28, 2021, Stockholm, SWE
Junior Grand Prix Allotments for 2021/22
August 18-21, 2021, Courchevel, FRA
August 25-28, 2021, Edmonton, CAN (includes Pair Skating)
September 1-4, 2021, Kosice, SVK (includes Pair Skating)
September 15-18, 2021, Krasnoyarsk, RUS (includes Pair Skating)
September 22-25, 2021, Ljubljana, SLO
September 29 - October 2, 2021, Gdansk, POL
October 6-9, 2021, Linz, AUT (includes Pair Skating)
2021/22 ISU Grand Prix
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Cup of China
Internationaux de France
Grand Prix Final
Championship Allotments for 2021/22 and
Season 2021/22 Figure Skating
2022 ISU Four Continents Figure
Skating Championships, Tianjin, China
2022 ISU World Championships, Montpellier, France.
Season 2022/23 Figure Skating
2023 ISU European Figure Skating Championships,
2023 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships,
2023 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships,
2023 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, Saitama,
In the News:
Russian Junior Nationals Shows Depth of
Russian Figure Skating
by Tatjana Flade
New "starlet" Sofia Akatieva
(12 February 2021) The new Russian Junior
Ladies Champion is Sofia Akatieva, 13 years of age and, not guess what - a student of
Eteri Tutberidze and her team. Akatieva has a triple Axel and
quad toe, but not everything worked out in Krasnoyarsk. The
triple Axel in the short program was slightly under-rotated, got
a "q” and she landed forward and fell on that jump in the free.
In her free to "Mulan” Sofia shone with a quad toe-double to and
six triples, but the solo quad toe was not clean. This young
skater cannot only jump, but she is also elegant and expressive.
To put it short: tons of potential (220.00 points).
Said Akatieva, "Neither the short nor the free were ideal. I was able to skate
my programs clean in practice and all elements were good. Maybe
I didn’t do enough in practice, didn’t do as many jumps as I
should have done and I was too nervous. But I am pleased that I
did the first quad toe in combination and skated well in the
second half of the program. I am very happy to have won. I was
really nervous until the last moment.”
Adelia Petrosian, who is the same age as
Akatieva and trains also under Tutberidze, does not yet have a
triple Axel or quads, but she convinced with solid triples and
beautiful performances. She especially interpreted her free to
the famous Armenian piece "Artsakh” very well and later said
that this program and music means a lot to her since her father
is Armenian. Adelia did not expect to take silver in this deep
field. (211.87). Petrosian and Akatieva will be internationally
junior age-eligible next season.
The bronze went to Sofia Muraveva, who
has been training in Evgeni Plushenko’s school since last
spring. The 14-year-old did not go for the originally planned
quad toe, but went for clean programs and this strategy paid off
for her. She even led following the short program (208.13).
Sofia Samodelkina (the name Sofia seems
to have been extremely popular in that generation!) was
considered one of the top favorites, but she stumbled on the
triple Axel in the short. At least she still added a triple toe
for a combination. She missed the first quad Salchow in the
free, but the second one (with her arms lifted over her head) in
combination with a double toe was really nice. Samodelkina did
not risk the quad loop as it was not consistent enough in
practice (4th & 207.64). She and Muraveva would have been
eligible for the Junior Grand Prix this season and she was
disappointed about the cancellation. "On the other hand, we had
more time to work on everything,” she noted.
Elizaveta Berestovskaia came fifth. She
trains with former Belorussian top skater Sergei Davydov at CSKA
Moscow and has landed the quad to before, but since only one out
of six attempts worked in practice before the competition, she
did not try it. There were many more talented girls that placed
behind her. Agneta Latushkina deserves a special mention. She
trains in the Russian province Mari-El mostly by herself and
with the help of videos, but she has all triples including the
Lutz and finished a respectable 11th. Twelve-year-old Veronika
Zhilina, another Plushenko student, landed two quad toes in the
free but fell on the triple Axel in the short to come 12th.
Gold for Evgeni Semenenko
Evgeni Semenenko drew attention in the
fall and winter and was considered a medal contender for senior
Nationals, but he faltered and came only 11th. The
17-year-old came to Krasnoyarsk looking for redemption and
succeeded. His short was clean and he reeled off a quad toe and
seven triples in the long to "Notre Dame de Paris”. The only
error came when he doubled the planned quad Salchow. However,
Evgeni needs to improve the quality of his jump landings to get
more points for the GOE. Nevertheless, he deservedly won the
title with 11 points to spare (247.37). Coach Alexei Mishin now
for the first time since 2010 holds the senior and the junior
title in the same year. Back then his students Evgeni Plushenko
and Artur Gachinski were the champions, now it is Mikhail
Kolyada and Semenenko.
happy with the result," Semenenk reemarked, "and partly happy with the free. It wasn’t
my first time at Junior Nationals, but I didn’t do well in the
previous years. It is very important to me that I was able to
win this time. I got over my disappointment from Russian
(senior) Nationals and continued to work hard.”
The unknown Alexander Golubov snatched
silver ahead of Egor Rukhin, who wasn’t considered a top
favorite either. Golubov comes out of Nizhnyi Novgorod but
has moved to Moscow for training four years ago and is coached
by Ksenia Ivanova. He has the quad Salchow and triple Axel in
his arsenal, other quads are on the way, but he needs to work on
the presentation and the whole package
(236.58). Rukhin switched coaches from
Eteri Tutberidze to Elena Buianova a year ago and healed his
back injury. Although the Muscovite has grown very tall, he was
able to become more consistent and add the quad Salchow and toe
to his repertoire during the season. Due to an error the first
quad Salchow in the free was input as a triple, but it was
noticed quickly and corrected at the end (235.71).
Ilia Yablokov was second in the short,
but after falling on a quad toe and a triple Salchow he slipped
to fourth (234.24).
The very talented Nikolai Ugozhaev from
St. Petersburg finished fifth in his debut at Junior Nationals.
The 14-year-old did not try the quad Lutz that he has landed in
practice, but all his triples are usually solid and he is very
expressive. He stepped out of a triple Axel in the short.
Two-time and defending champion Daniil
Samsonov didn’t compete all season yet at he was recovering from
knee problems and made some errors (7th). Andrei
Kutovoi, who trains with Ugozhaev under Veronika Daineko, is
another very artistic young skater, but he struggled with the
triple Axel and placed 10th.
Victory for Artemeva & Nazarychev
Russia can be also proud of their young
and talented Pairs. Which ones will be successful at the senior
level depends on many factors, but the potential is there.
Iuliia Artemeva & Mikhail Nazarychev
from the Perm school celebrated a rather
clear victory over the St. Petersburg team of Ksenia Akhanteva & Valeri
Kolesov as they had a higher degree of difficulty in the free
and earned higher GOEs for their elements. The 2020 World Junior
bronze medalists Artemeva & Nazarychev had kept both programs to
Parole" and "Bohemian Rhapsody". They skated clean and with
power. Their free included a double Axel-Euler-triple Salchow,
plus triple toe, throw triple flip and loop (204.50).
Nazarychev remarked, "This
was the most important competition for us this season. If there
was no Corona pandemic, this would have been the qualification
event for Junior Worlds. Therefore, I was nervous, but while we
skated the free the nerves went away and we did well.
Points-wise, this was almost the maximum we could have achieved,
but we still could have improved some details.”
World Junior silver medalists Akhanteva & Kolesov
did not compete at senior Nationals like Artemeva & Nazarychev,
as he had a foot injury. Now he was recovered and the couple put
out two clean performances to music from Cirque du Soleil in the
short and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd in the
free (194.26). "I was almost for a month off the ice, but we
were able to start training normally in the beginning of January
and we prepared intensively for the championship," Kolesov
Anastasia Mukhortova & Dmitri Evgeniev are
a team coming out Nina Mozer’s school in Moscow. They stood in
fifth place following the short as she stumbled on the double
Axel. They delivered a clean and strong free to "Paganini – the
Devil’s Violonist” soundtrack that featured a triple Salchow-Euler-double
Salchow combination, triple toe as well as nice throws so that
they moved up to capture the bronze medal at 188.77 points.
The silver and bronze medalists age out
of juniors next season. Artemeva & Nazarychev still can stay
junior and have not yet decided if they want to focus completely
on the senior level next season. Most likely they’ll continue to
skate on both levels, though and aim at the Junior World title.
Two-time World Junior medalist Polina
Kostiukovich has been skating with new partner Alexei Briukhanov
this season. The team left a good impression and if she hadn’t
missed the triple Salchow in the free, they would have been
third (187.33). Ekaterina Petushkova & Evgeni Malikov form Tamara
Moskvina’s club dropped from third to fifth after aborting a
lift in the long program, but other elements were well done
(179.85). Karina Safina & Sergei Bakhmat and Daria Boiarintseva
Shagalov in sixth and seventh are two more solid teams.
Ushakova & Nekrasov
There were basically two competitions in
the Ice Dance event: the top three fought for the medals and the
rest for the ranking below. Arina Ushakova & Maxim Nekrasov were
very convincing as in earlier competitions this season. They
achieved high levels in their Rhythm Dance to "Chicago” – only
the diagonal step sequence was rated a level three, everything
else was a level four – and skated with speed and expression.
The couple from Odintsovo was able to get almost the maximum
from the levels in the dramatic free dance to "The Master and
Margarita” again (187.55).
Ushakova said, "We
finally claimed this title in our fifth try and that makes us
very happy. I am looking forward now to the senior level, we’ve
been long enough in juniors. We’re approaching our first senior
season without expectations, but we want to present ourselves as
a strong team straight away and we don’t want to wait in line.”
Elizaveta Shanaeva & Devid Naryzhnyy
competed only in their first full event this season. They both
had been ill with Covid-19 and he needed a long of time to
recover. However, the 2020 World Junior bronze medalists managed
to get into good shape for Junior Nationals and came close to
the winners. They had kept their "Bonnie and Clyde” RD. Since
their first pattern of the Tea Time Foxtrot was rated a level
one, the Muscovites ranked third in this segment. They debuted a
new free dance to music from "Amaluna” from Cirque du Soleil, in
which he is visiting another planet and meets an extra-terrestian.
Their levels were good, but the program overall wasn’t as
captivating as Ushakova & Nekrasov’s (184.19). Shanaeva & Naryzhnyy
will move up to the senior level as well next season.
Bronze medalists Irina Khavronina & Dario
Chirizano that train like the champions under Alexei Gorshkov
and Maxim Bolotin will stay junior. The 2020 Youth Olympic Games
Champions have developed very well technically and artistically
and have good chances to develop into the next top junior team
in the world. They interpreted "Hipsters” to music from a
Russian movie by the same name in the RD. In the free, the son
of an Italian father and Russian mother took the role of a crazy
pianist while his partner played his muse (181.60).
There was a significant gap to the next
teams. Ekaterina Andreeva & Ivan Desiatov from Moscow ranked
fourth with solid performances (167.92), followed by Margarita Svistunova & Dmitri Studenikin from Orenburg (163.52). Elizaveta
Shichina & Gordei Khubulov from Alexander Zhulin’s school left a
good impression (6th). Vasilisa Kaganovskaia & Valeri Angelopol,
students of Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov, were expected
to do better, but came seventh after some low levels in the RD
and a fall in the FD.
The ISU has cancelled the World Junior Championships due to the
ongoing pandemic – the event should have taken place in Harbin,
China, in March. However, the Russian Junior Championships that
take place February 3 to 5 in Krasnoiarsk are not a bad
replacement considering that Russian skaters had won eight out
of 12 medals including three gold at the ISU World Junior Figure
Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, last March. The
Russian juniors have shown a high level of skating again this
season and they had more opportunities to compete in live events
than almost everyone else. So you can expect an interesting
competition and will get a glimpse of the future not only in
Russian, but in international figure skating when you follow the
2021 U.S. National Championships
Las Vegas, NV
Third title for
Shcherbakova, Kolyada, Tarasova & Morozov and first one for Stepanova& Bukin
How the Pandemic Affects
Figure Skating in Europe
by Tatjana Flade
While Russia managed to hold all their major planned skating
events this season so far such as the test skates, the national
Russian Cup series, the Grand Prix and Nationals, skaters in the
rest of Europe had much less opportunities to compete at high
In spring most countries in Europe went into the first lockdown
and ice rinks closed for weeks. In Germany (and other countries)
National team members were then slowly allowed to start on-ice
training again, but training was limited and depending on the
region, there were many restrictions. In Bavaria, for example,
ice dancers and pair skaters at first were not allowed to train
elements where they are touching each other, while couples in
Berlin were able to practice together. On ice training resumed
in May in most places.
Germany then was the first country worldwide to hold an
international and “real” (not virtual) figure skating
competition, the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, in September.
That was encouraging and optimism grew. However, infection
numbers started to rise all over Europe again in September and
the situation is now dire in most countries. Germany and others
are back to strict lockdowns.
Nevertheless, some European countries organized not only their
National Championships, but even smaller international
competitions. Hungary hosted two international events in the
fall and the National Championships on December 18 and 19.
Following the success of Nebelhorn Trophy, Germany held the NRW
Autumn Trophy in November in order to provide domestic and
international skaters with an opportunity to compete. Belarus,
although shaken by political unrest, had the Ice Star Minsk end
of October and then, with the blessing of the ISU, turned their
National Championship into an open competition, Minsk Winter
Star, with international competitors in December.
Germany moved its Nationals from Hamburg, which was unable to
organize an event under the Corona conditions, to Dortmund on
December 18 and 19. However, the fields were very small as some
skaters were sick (Covid-19 and other illnesses) or injured.
Plus, the Berlin Skating Federation withdrew all their skaters
saying it was too dangerous to travel to Dortmund and to
Italy organized a national “Grand Prix of Italy” series
consisting of three events leading up to their Nationals in
December. Poland, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic have been
holding their Nationals together in the past years and did so
again in Poland this year. Usually Hungary is part of this event
as well, but due to the circumstances they chose to stay home
Austria cancelled the international events they had planned, but
at least had Nationals in December. Sweden cancelled their
Nationals that were scheduled for December 10-13 but is
preparing for the World Championships in March. Estonia has
moved their Championships from December to the end of January.
Switzerland and Finland for now have postponed their National
Championships and no new date has been announced yet. France has
cancelled everything so far, first the Grand Prix, then
Nationals. Great Britain opened their rinks very late after the
first lockdown and closed them again in the fall. British Ice
Skating was one of the first countries to cancel their
Championships. Their problem is that in Great Britain, ice rinks
have been classified not as sports venues but as entertainment
venues. The English Ice Hockey Association, British Ice Skating
and the Ice Rink Managers Association have written a letter to
the Prime Minister in the beginning of December asking him to
classify ice rinks as sports venues.
So we have seen not many European skaters in action this season.
A few got the chance to compete at Rostelecom Cup – Eva-Lotta
Kiibus from Estonia and the Lithuanian ice dancers Allison Reed/Saulius
Ambruvelicius. Kiibus also used her chance and went to
Oberstdorf and Budapest. A few French skaters including Kevin
Aymoz competed at the Minsk Winter Star. Latvia’s Deniss
Vasiljevs, who trains in Switzerland, and Swiss Champion Alexia
Paganini as well as Matteo Rizzo of Italy were at Nebelhorn
Trophy as were most of the top German skaters.
The options for European skaters to compete were and are very
limited. At least National team members can train in most areas
as they are considered professional athletes and figure skating
is an Olympic sport. However, in many places the younger skaters
and children cannot train and in a worst case scenario many of
them will quit the sport as a result. The danger is big that
European figure skating except for Russia will feel the effects
of the pandemic for many years to come.
Figure skating in Russia
has been affected by the pandemic as sports have been worldwide.
However, Russian skaters get more opportunities to compete at
high level as national events are held and they might come out
of the crisis even stronger than before. While many
international and national competitions have been cancelled,
Russia managed to conduct the traditional test skates in
September as well as the five events of the national Cup of
Russia series and the Grand Prix Rostelecom Cup. All this gives a good overview of Russian
skating before the Russian Championships December 24-27 in
Tcheliabinsk in the Ural mountains.
The Autumn surge in Covid cases has recently resulted in the closure or severe cutback of hours for ice arenas.
Many skaters are without access to ice completely, or can book
only very limited hours in those rinks that are still operating.
These conditions are likely to be in place throughout the
winter. One solution to the problem of skaters not being
able to get to arena ice, is to bring ice to the skaters, by
building a backyard ice rink.
Former French ice dancer Nathalie
Pechalat, bronze medalist at Worlds in 2012 and 2014,
gold medalists at Europeans 2011 and 2012 and fourth at the
Olympic Games of 2014, all with dance partner Fabian Bourzat,
was elected president of the French Ice Sport Federation in
March 2020. This organization covers not only figure
skating, ice dance and synchronized skating, but also speed
skating, short track, sledding and bobsledding. She was elected the
successor of Didier Gailhaguet who retired in February 2020
under pressure from different sources, including the
French minister of sports, who accused him of knowing
about but not stopping several scandals during his presidency,
an accusation he denies.
The NHK Trophy is named after the Japanese TV station which
has sponsored and covered the event for many years. It takes
place in different rinks in Japan every year. This year it was
the fourth and last Grand Prix after the three in the USA, China
and Russia, and was held at the Towayakuhin RACTAB Dome,
in Japan’s second largest city of Osaka.
2021 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships Relocated to Las Vegas
San Jose to Play Host to 2023 Toyota U.S. Figure
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Nov. 9, 2020) - The 2021 Toyota U.S.
Figure Skating Championships, originally scheduled to take place
in San Jose, California, Jan. 11–17, 2021, will relocate to Las
Vegas and the Orleans Arena Jan. 11–21, U.S. Figure Skating
announced on Monday. U.S. Figure Skating also selected San Jose
and SAP Center as host of the 2023 U.S. Figure Skating
Championships. Both of these decisions were made unanimously by
the U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors at its Nov. 7
“This has been a season unlike any other, and we’re appreciative
of our local organizers and the skating community in San Jose
for their willingness to be flexible during these challenging
times,” U.S. Figure Skating President Anne Cammett said. “We are
also confident that the proven bubble concept we will implement
at the Orleans Arena will ensure the 2021 Toyota U.S. Figure
Skating Championships are a successful event for all
competitors, coaches and officials.”
U.S. Figure Skating successfully staged 2020 Guaranteed Rate
Skate America in a bubble-type environment at the Orleans Arena
in Las Vegas in October. For January’s U.S. Championships in Las
Vegas, U.S. Figure Skating will be able to use Skate America’s
operational plan, which had been approved by the Nevada Gaming
Control Board, streamlining both the preparation and on-site
execution of the competition. Championship-level competition
will take place from Jan. 11–17, 2021, and junior-level
competition from Jan. 19–21, 2021. As with Skate America, no
spectators will be permitted, though fans will be able to watch
extensive coverage on NBC, NBCSN and Peacock Premium.
“SAP Center at San Jose was prepared to safely and successfully
host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January 2021,”
added Jonathan Becher, president of Sharks Sports &
Entertainment and SAP Center at San Jose. “While we are
disappointed to wait, we are excited to host the Championship in
2023 and showcase the City of San Jose and SAP Center to a
“While certainly disappointed, we understand the difficult but
necessary decision made by U.S. Figure Skating to move the U.S.
Figure Skating Championships in San Jose to 2023,” said John
Poch, executive director of the San Jose Sports Authority. “As
always, the care and safety of the athletes, staff and fans is
our top priority. I would like to thank the San Jose Local
Organizing Committee for the tremendous amount of work that
they’ve already put in to make the 2021 event a success and look
forward to working with them over the next two years to ensure
that the 2023 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San
Jose will be a safe, successful and memorable event for
San Jose will play host to the country’s most prestigious figure
skating competition for the fourth time in 2023 (1996, 2012,
For fans who had planned on attending the 2021 Toyota U.S.
Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, refunds will be issued
to all existing ticket holders. Refunds are only issued to the
original form of payment; those who did not pay via credit card
or debit card will be sent a check to the address on file.
Please note that customers should expect to receive their refund
in as soon as 30 days. If a customer’s credit card or debit card
number has changed, or expired, they should contact SAP Center
at firstname.lastname@example.org and
a member of its team will be in touch.
Not So Grand Prix - Details are finally
emerging for the organization of the 2020/21 ISU Grand Prix
Competitions. About all that can be said of this
year's series is, It's better than nothing, but not much
The anatomy of a fully rotated quad Salchow, executed by
The Next Olympic Ladies Champion Revealed
- The next Olympic Winter Games are about two years away, but already the writing is on the wall
for who will be the next Olympic Ladies Champion.
Perfect Air Position
- What is it? What does it look like? Why does
Past News Nuggets are in the Archive
12 January 2021 - Skate Canada
announces the cancellation of the 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating
Championships and the 2021 Skate Canada Cup. The
championships were to occur from February 8-14, 2021 in Vancouver, B.C.,
at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre while the 2021 Skate
Canada Cup was planned to be a virtual event in replacement of the
pre-novice and novice competitions at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.
“We are deeply
saddened for all athletes, coaches, and supporting individuals who are
impacted by this decision and appreciate the incredible efforts to
overcome ever-evolving training and access challenges to best prepare
athletes for these events,” said Leanna Caron, President, Skate Canada.
25 Dec 2020 - Morry Stillwell, past
president of U.S. Figure skating passed away today, at age 93, from cardiac arrest
after battling pneumonia for several months. Morry was
born in Everett, Washington, on November 17, 1927.
Morry was U.S. Figure Skating president from 1995 to
1998 when skating was at the peak of it's popularity in the United
States. While president, he led the negotiations for the TV
contract with ABC that put U.S. Figure Skating on the road to financial
He was a key participant in the creation of the ISU
Champion Series in 1995 along with representatives from Canada, France,
Germany and Japan. This series later became the current ISU Grand
Prix of Figure skating. Morry served for five years as chairman of
the management committee of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.
Morry was a National U.S. Figure Skating judge and
referee in singles, pairs and showcase He also held an appointment
as a dance judge and technical controller. Together with Jack
Curtis he created the discipline of Showcase skating. He
originally began his involvement in amateur sports in roller skating.
Originally from the Seattle area, Morry, who was
named after Maurice Chevalier, spent most of his adult life in
Southern California. Following his term as U.S. Figure Skating
president he remained active in local skating, promoting skating at the
grass roots, in which he took great joy. He was president of the
Escondido (now North County) figure skating club for many years. Prior
to that he was active in the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club and for a
time its president. Before that he was a member of the All
Year Figure Skating Club and president of that club.
Morry began as a roller skater and competed in three
roller skating national championships in dance. Later he switched
to ice skating, winning a bronze medal in Bronze dance at Pacific Coast
After passing the silver dance tests, Morry was
drafted into the army and served at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville,
Alabama working as a technician for Werner von Braun. While in Huntsville, he started an artistic roller
figure skating club called the Rocket City Roller Club.
Morry was the devoted husband of Elda Stillwell.
They were married for 65 years. Elda is a U.S. Figure skating
National Accountant. Together they were fixtures at Southern
California competitions for many decades. He is survived by wife
Elda and daughter Lisa.
17 Dec 2020 - Today the ISU released
the following statement.
The ISU welcomes the annulment by the General Court judgment on 16
December 2020 (Case T-93/18) of the provisions of the European
Commission of 8 December 2017 requiring the ISU to amend its Eligibility
Rules with respect to the CAS arbitration system. The General Court has
confirmed that the CAS arbitration system is fully consistent with EU
The ISU also notes with satisfaction that the General Court has
recognized the legitimacy of the ISU’s pre-authorization system intended
to ensure that any organizer of sporting competitions “comply with
common standards, seeking in particular to ensure that competitions take
place fairly and the physical and ethical integrity of sportspeople is
protected”. The ISU also notes that the General Court has expressly
recognized that it was legitimate for the ISU “to establish rules
seeking to prevent sports betting from creating risks of manipulation of
competitions and athletes”.
The ISU maintains that its Eligibility Rules have never been enforced
with a view to preventing the organization of third-party skating events
and regrets that the judgment does not address the substantial evidence
put forward by the ISU confirming this. Following the adoption of the
2017 Commission decision, the ISU amended its Eligibility Rules in 2018
pursuant to implementation discussions with the European Commission. The
Court judgment relates to a version of the Eligibility Rules which is no
longer in force and therefore has no impact on the ISU’s current
The ISU is currently further evaluating the judgment and reserves an
appeal to the European Court of Justice.
This is the culmination of a complaint that was
brought before the European Commission in 2017. The original case
The complaint was lodged by two professional
speed skaters domiciled in the Netherlands, Mr Mark Tuitert and Mr Niels
Kerstholt ("the Complainants"). Both of the Complainants are members of
the Royal Netherlands Skating Federation ("KNSB") and, in the past,
regularly participated in the activities and competitions of the ISU at
the highest level. As individual members of the KNSB, which is itself an
ISU Member, the Complainants are subject to the ISU Statutes and General
Regulations, including the Eligibility rules and to decisions taken by
the ISU Congress and the ISU Council.
alleged in their complaint that the 2014 Eligibility rules establishing
a lifetime ban for athletes and officials taking part in competitions
not authorised by the ISU were in
breach of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty. In particular, the
Complainants stressed that such rules prevented them from participating
in an international speed skating event to be organised by Icederby International co., Ltd ("Icederby"),
offering athletes an opportunity to make a better living out of their
profession, thanks to the significant prize money and other sources of
revenues (for instance, sponsoring).
The European Commission ruled against the ISU in 2017
and 2018 finding that
the ISU eligibility rules breached EU competition law. The ISU
appealed to the EU General Court which on 16 December, 2020, ruled in
favor of the ISU.
17 Dec 2020 - Today the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced the Russia’s previous four-year
suspension for systematic doping violations to two years.
Russia’s name, flag and anthem are banned from the next two Olympics and
any world championships through December 16, 2022.
Only Russian athletes who are not
implicated in doping or covering up positive tests can compete as
individual athletes at major sporting events. For figure Skating
this includes the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, and ISU world
championships in all disciplines.
Russian Government representatives are also barred from attending such
events unless they are invited by
the Prime Minister or head of state of the host country.
The ruling also prevents
Russia from hosting or bidding to host major sporting events during its
ban during the suspension. Any events already awarded must be
re-assigned to another country, with the wiggle room that events can be
hosted if "it is legally or practically
impossible" to do so.
This case arises out of a ruling in December 2019 by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
which declared the Russian
Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant and imposed four years of sanctions on Russia for
falsifying results at the Moscow Laboratory.
RUSADA appealed these sanctions to the
Court of Arbitration for Sport which upheld WADA’s finding that RUSADA
was non-complaint but halved the duration of the ban.
The case will cost
RUSADA a pretty penny, being ordered to pay a fine of either 10% of its
2019 income or $100,000, whichever is less, to WADA. They must also pay
$1,270,000 for the costs incurred by WADA, will also have to pay 80 per cent of the costs of the case, and
to pay WADA
400,000 Swiss francs (about $452,000) for its legal and other expenses incurred in
10 Dec 2020 - The ISU today
announced the cancellation of the 2021 European championships, which had
been scheduled for 21-31 January, 2021 in Zagreb Croatia. The rink
to be used for the competition is currently be used as a Covid-19
hospital ward and will be unavailable for the competition. There
is no other facility in Zagreb to hold the competition, the former arena
being condemned due to earthquake damage.
The ISU also announced the cancellation of the Synchronized Junior
World Championships which were supposed to take place in Lyon, France in
March 2021, and the final cancellation of the 2020 Grand Prix Final,
which to this point was only described as postponed.
The future of the test event for the Beijing Olympic
Winter Games remains undecided. The 2021 World Figure Skating
Championships currently remains on the schedule, as an event that will
be held without spectators.
24 Nov 2020 - The ISU
today announced the cancelation of the World Junior Figure Skating
Championships which had been schedule to be held In Harbin, China on
March 1-7, 2021.
The ISU also announced that the rescheduling of the
Beijing Winter Olympics test event (which was to
have been the now cancelled Grand Prix Final) remain under discussion.
19 Oct. 2020 - The ISU
today announced the cancelation of the Internationaux of France, what
would have otherwise been the fourth stop of the 2020 Grand Prix of
Currently, China, Japan and Russia remain on the
Grand Prix schedule.
16 Oct. 2020 - The
ISU today announced the cancelation
of the Four Continents Championships in Figure Skating and Speed
skating. This follows on the heels of the announcement of
the cancellation of Skate Canada International, the second
previously planned stop for the 2020 Grand Prix, earlier this
The 2021 Four Continents Figure Skating
Championships were to have been held in
Sydney, Australia. Sydney now has the provisional
allotment for the 2023 Four Continents Championship.
2020 Skate America remains on track to be held next week
using a stringent "bubble" approach; while cancellation of Skate
France and Rostelcom Cup in the near future is a strong possibility.
is undergoing a recent surge in Covid cases in a second wave,
with outbreaks among athletes in several sports reported. Cases are
also on the rise in Europe, with localized lockdowns being
reimposed, and more expansive lockdowns under consideration.
6 Oct. 2020 - U.S. Figure
Skating announced today two-time U.S.
National Champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates have
withdrawn from 2020 Skate America.
“After much consideration, we have decided to withdraw from
Skate America,” Chock and Bates said. “Our training and
preparation have been affected by the pandemic and at this time
we are 100% focused on our preparation for the 2021 Toyota U.S.
Figure Skating Championships. We will be staying at our training
base in Montreal, but will certainly miss the thrill of
competition and seeing our U.S. Figure Skating family. We wish
everyone good health and good luck!”
30 Sep. 2020 - The ISU
announced today the cancellation of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final,
originally scheduled for Beijing/China - December 10-13, 2020
Regarding the test event, the ISU said, "Concerning
the Olympic Test Events in Beijing there were also a number
of logistical points raised by potentially participating teams that
meant that hosting the competitions on the scheduled dates (close to the
end of year holidays and National Championships) would have impacted on
the number of participants, given the potential need to quarantine on
returning to their home country."
In it's announcement the ISU also stated,
"The ISU, in consultation with
all stakeholders and considering the pandemic developments, is
evaluating the continuation of the 2020/21 season, in particular the
re-scheduling possibilities for the important Olympic Test Events. The
ISU will communicate the conclusions at a later date."
29 Sep. 2020 -
French pairs figure skater Morgan Cipres and his partner, Vanessa James,
retired from the sport on Tuesday amid allegations that Cipres sent lewd
photos to a 13-year-old American figure skater on Instagram. Cipres is
under investigation by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Florida for
allegedly direct messaging two photos of his penis to a 13-year-old
American figure skater in 2017.
2020 / 2021 Season
Nov 06 - Nov 08, 2020,
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Cup of China, Chongqing, CHN
Nov 13 - Nov 15, 2020,
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Internationaux de France, Grenoble
Nov 20 - Nov 22, 2020,
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Rostelcom Cup, Moscow, RUS
Nov 27 - Nov 29, 2020,
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, NHK Trophy, Osaka, JPN
Dec 10 - Dec 13, 2020, ISU Grand Prix of figure Skating Final, Beijing,
2020-2021 ISU Grand Prix
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Oct 30– Nov 1
Cup of China
Internationaux de France
Grand Prix Final