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2017 Golden Moments

Photos © Shirley McLaughlin

The Big Picture



News from the Southwest Pacific Region

Clubs of the SWP region are invited to send us news items for inclusion here.


2018 Regional Figure Skating Championships

North Atlantic

Hackensack, New Jersey

Oct. 4 -2017

Upper Great Lakes

Blaine, Minnesota

Oct. 4 -2017

Northwest Pacific

Eugene, Oregon

Oct. 4 -2017

South Atlantic

Aston, Pennsylvania

Oct. 11-15, 2017


Fort Collins, Colorado

Oct. 11-15, 2017

Southwest Pacific

Ontario, California

Oct. 11-15, 2017

New England

Westborough, Massachusetts

Oct. 18-22, 2017

Eastern Great Lakes

Antioch, Tennessee

Oct. 18-22, 2017

Central Pacific

Salt Lake City, Utah

Oct. 18-22, 2017

2018 Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Boxborough, Massachusetts

Nov. 15-19, 2017


Bloomington, Minnesota

Nov. 15-19, 2017

Pacific Coast

Spokane, Washington

Nov. 15-19, 2017

2018 Eastern Sectional Championships
2018 Midwestern Sectional Championships
2018 Pacific Coast Sectional Championships

2018 Adult Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Ardmore, PA

March 9-11, 2018


Rochester, MI

March 9-11, 2018

Pacific Coast

Pasadena, CA

March 9-11, 2018

U.S. Adult Championships

Marlborough, MA

April 10-14, 2018

2018 U.S. Adult Championships
2018 Eastern Adult Sectional Championships
2018 Midwestern Adult Sectional Championships
2018 Pacific Coast Adult Sectional Championships

  In the News:

2017 ISU Grand Prix Final

After being held in Southern Europe for three years, the Grand Prix Final 2017 takes place in Nagoya, a city of around three million people (including the suburbs) in central Japan and about 150 miles southwest of Tokyo. The city-owned rink, several miles southeast of downtown, is called Nippon Gaishi Hall and has a maximum capacity of 10,000 people, but is configured for 6000 spectators for this competition. Nagoya is the home of Toyota cars. In the skating world, the city is known for the single skating school of Machiko Yamada whose most prominent skaters were Midori Ito, the triple Axel jumper of the years around 1990, and Mao Asada, the triple Axel jumper of the years between 2006 and 2014. Both of them were also World Champions.

Day 1 (Thursday)

Pairs Short Program

Men's Short Program

Ice Dance Short Dance

Day 2 (Friday)

Ladies Short Program

Men's Free Skate

Day 3 (Saturday)

Pairs Free Skate

Ice Dance Free Dance

Ladies Free Skate

Estimated Attendance

PSP: 5400
MSP: 5400
DSD: 5100

LSP:  5400
MFS: 5600

PFS: 5400
LFS: 5700


Russian Athletes to Compete Under IOC Banner at PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games

On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, IOC President Thomas Bach announced the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and the process by which Russian athletes will be allowed to compete in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

This action comes as a consequence of the conclusion of the Schmidt Report that it had found “the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia, through the Disappearing Positive Methodology and during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, as well as the various levels of administrative, legal and contractual responsibility, resulting from the failure to respect the respective obligations of the various entities involved”

The IOC announced the following actions against the ROC and Russian sports and government officials:

  • To suspend the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) with immediate effect.

  • To invite individual Russian athletes under strict conditions (see below) to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)”. They will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.

  • Not to accredit any official from the Russian Ministry of Sport for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

  • To exclude the then Minister of Sport, Mr Vitaly Mutko, and his then Deputy Minister, Mr. Yuri Nagornykh, from any participation in all future Olympic Games.

  • To withdraw Mr Dmitry Chernyshenko, the former CEO of the Organising Committee Sochi 2014, from the Coordination Commission Beijing 2022.

  • To suspend ROC President Alexander Zhukov as an IOC Member, given that his membership is linked to his position as ROC President.

In addition the IOC reserved the right to take additional measures against and sanction other individuals implicated in the system.

The IOC will also require the ROC to reimburse the costs incurred by the IOC for the investigations and to contribute to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) for the total sum of USD 15 million.

These sanctions will be in effect through the end of the 2018 games and beyond, until such time as the ICO decisions "are fully respected and implemented by the ROC and by the invited athletes and officials."

The IOC will determine those athletes, officials and support staff who will be allowed to participate in the 2018 Games.  No member of the leadership of the Russian Olympic Team at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 will be included on the invitation list.  The invited athletes will participate under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR),” and will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony where the Russian anthem would otherwise have been played.

Coaches and medical doctors of an athlete who has committed a doping violation will not be allowed to participate in the 2018 Games either.   Thus, a clean athlete whose coach has had a dirty athlete, may find themself without that coach at the games. 

In full, for the participation of Russian athletes in the games the IOC announced:

  • The invitation list will be determined, at its absolute discretion, by a panel chaired by Valerie Fourneyron, Chair of the ITA. The panel will include members of the Pre-Games Testing Task Force: one appointed by WADA, one by the DFSU and one by the IOC, Dr Richard Budgett.

  • This panel will be guided in its decisions by the following principles:

    1. It can only consider athletes who have qualified according to the qualification standards of their respective sport.

    2. Athletes must be considered clean to the satisfaction of this panel:

      • Athletes must not have been disqualified or declared ineligible for any Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

      • Athletes must have undergone all the pre-Games targeted tests recommended by the Pre-Games Testing Task Force.

      • Athletes must have undergone any other testing requirements specified by the panel to ensure a level playing field.

      The IOC, at its absolute discretion, will ultimately determine the athletes to be invited from the list.

    3. These invited athletes will participate, be it in individual or team competitions, in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)”. They will compete with a uniform bearing this name and under the Olympic Flag. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.

    4. These invited athletes will enjoy the same technical and logistical support as any other Olympic athlete.

    5. The panel, at its absolute discretion, will determine an invitation list for support staff and officials.

    6. This panel will be guided in its decisions by the following principles:

      • No member of the leadership of the Russian Olympic Team at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 can be included on the invitation list.

      • No coach or medical doctor whose athlete has been found to have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation can be included on the invitation list. All coaches and medical doctors included on the invitation list must sign a declaration to this effect.

      • Any other requirement considered necessary to protect the integrity of the Olympic Games.

    7. The IOC, at its absolute discretion, will ultimately determine the support staff and officials to be invited from the list.

No time table was given for the selection of Russian athletes, officials and support staff.  For skating, it is yet to be determined how this will be implemented for the team event, and for the assignment of Russian officials to the skating events.

2017 Skate America

The last spots for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final are on the line at Bridgestone Skate America this week in Lake Placid, NY. Among those competing for a spot are two-time World Champions Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford (CAN), two-time World medalists Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (USA), Four Continents Champion Nathan Chen (USA), and U.S. Champions Ashley Wagner and Karen Chen.

Skate America is the sixth and last event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series that culminates in the Final in Nagoya, Japan next month. A total of 57 skaters/couples from 9 ISU members compete in Lake Placid.  Lake Placid is a scenic, but remote, town in the Adirondack mountains of New York and was the site of the 1932 and 1980  Olympic Winter Games.

Though the last competition of the series, several slots for the final are in play in each event.


A win by Polina Tsurskaya (RUS) or Ashley Wagner (USA) gets them to the final.  A second place will rely on tie breakers to make it to the final.  Karen Chen (USA) and Gabreille Dalelman (CAN) are not in contention to make the final, but have the potential to be spoilers for Tsurskaya or Wagner.


Nathan Chen (USA), Sergei Varonov (RUS), Boyang Jin (CHN) and Adam Rippon (USA) all have the potential to make the final, even with placements as low as fourth.  Javier Fernandez (ESP), Misha Ge (UZB) and Alexander Samarin (RUS) are all at risk of dropping out of the top six finishers in the series.


Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford (CAN), Aljona Savchenko & Bruno Massot (GER) and Xiaoyu Yu & Hao Zhang (CHN) all have good chances to make the final, with top three finishes at Skate America.  The teams currently fourth though sixth in the standings are all at risk of being pushed out of the final.


Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (USA) and Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte (ITA)  can make the final with top two finishes here, and even with a third place finish the Italians will make the final.  Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) and Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje (CAN) are both at risk of being pushed out of the final.

Unlike the other Grand Prixs,  Skate America is spread over three days of competition instead of two, allowing somewhat lighter days on Friday and Saturday, but a longer day on Sunday, with two final rounds during the day, and the exhibition in the evening.

Day 1

Pairs Short Program

Men's Short Program 

Day 2

Pairs Free Skate

Men's Free Skate 

Ice Dance Short Dance

Ladies Short Program

Day 3

Ladies Free Skate

Ice Dance Free Dance

2017 Skate America Gold Medalists

Estimated Attendance

PSP: 2600
MSP: 2800

PFS: 3500
MFS: 3500
DSD: 3000
LSP: 3400

LFS: 3000
DFD: 2800

Exhibition: 1500

Golden Moments at 2017 Bridgestone Skate America

2017 Internationaux de France de Patinage

This year, the Grand Prix in France was the fifth one of the six and did not take place in Paris. Instead it is held in the Winter Olympic City of Grenoble in the French Alps, where Peggy Fleming had won the Olympic gold medal in 1968. One reason fro the change in the order of the Grand Prix competitions this year was to avoid holding the French event on Armistice day weekend, which is a major national holiday in France.

Grenoble is a city of 160,000 people with a renowned university in  a larger metropolitan area of 660,000. The name of the competition is "Les Internationaux de France de Patinage“ (The Internationals of French Figure Skating). The competition is not held in the former Olympic ice rink, because it is used for concerts and other non-ice events now. Instead it takes place in the Polesud ("South Pole“) rink, a few miles south of downtown, which was built about 20 years ago.


French National Team

Day 1

Ladies Short Program

Ice Dance Short Dance

Pairs Short Program

Men's Short Program 

Day 2

Ladies Free Skate

Ice Dance Free Dance

Pairs Free Skate

Men's Free Skate

2017 Skate France International Gold Medalists

Estimated Attendance

LSP: 1000
DSD: 1200
PSP: 1400
MSP: 1200

LFS: 1500
DFD: 1500
PFS: 1800
MFS: 2200

Exhibition: 2800

2017 NHK Trophy - NHK Trophy returned to Osaka – the last time it had been held here in 2014 – and this season was the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit. The Men’s event lost two prominent competitors as first Patrick Chan withdrew a few days before and then Yuzuru Hanyu dropped out with injury. Nevertheless, it was an exciting competition with strong performances and the level overall was high. Unfortunately for the host country, Japan remained without a medal for the first time in 17 years.
2017 Cup of China - The Audi Cup of China in Beijing was the third event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series this season and the first skaters competed in their second event

2017 Skate Canada International

Skate Canada is the second Grand Prix of this 2017-18 season and takes place from October 26 to 29 in Regina in the province of Saskatchewan. The venue is called Brandt Centre, named after the local Brandt company which produces agricultural equipment. The competition began Friday with the short programs and Short Dance.  The first of these was the Short Program of the 12 ladies, followed by the Dance, Men and Pairs events.

Ladies Short Program

Ice Dance Short Dance

Men's Short Program

Pairs Short Program

The competition resumed on Saturday with the same order of competition as Friday, Ladies and Ice Dance in the afternoon session and Men and Pairs in the evening session.  Attendance was modest in the 6000 seat Brandt Centre.  Canada took home three of the four gold  medals, while Japan's Shoma Uno took the gold in the Men's event.

Team USA took home three medals. Jason Brown, took silver in the men’s event, while Ashley Wagner and Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue took bronze in the ladies and ice dance events.

Brown's second place finish offers him a reasonable chance to make the final if he medals at NHK Trophy, his second Grand Prix assignment. To make the final Wagner and Hubbell & Donohue will likely need at least second place results in their next Grand Prix assignments, as skaters who place third and third (or lower) in their two competitions rarely make the final.  Wagner next competes at Skate America, going up against Gabrielle Daleman, while Hubbell & Donohue complete at NHK Trophy going up Virtue & Moir again.

Ladies Free Skate

Ice Dance Free Dance

Men's Free Skate

Pairs Free Skate

Estimated Attendance

LSP: 1600
DSD: 1600
MSP: 2000
PSP: 2000

LFS: 2400
DFD: 2400
MFS: 3000
PFS: 3000

Exhibition: 2800

2017 Rostelcom Cup - The field at Rostelecom Cup was deep with two reigning world champions and the current world standing leaders in each discipline.  For the first time since 2011, Yuzuru Hanyu competed at the Russian Grand Prix and attracted as usual myriads of fans so that the Russians for the first time sold tickets for practice. More than 10,000 spectators flocked to the Megasport Arena on each of the competition days and created a great atmosphere. They witnessed some great performances but also quite a lot of falls in the Men’s event.

Four U.S. Entries Reach Junior Grand Prix Final - The seven Junior Grand Prix of this season were a great success again, with 377 skaters competing. The ISU spends a lot of money to promote young skaters and to give them a chance to learn to travel and compete internationally and to get to know skaters of their age from all over the world. All programs of each competition were shown on the ISU live stream and could be seen on YouTube only minutes after the competition.


(26 Sep 2017)  Vincent Zhou at 2017 USOC Media Summit in Park City, UT holding a torch for the 2018 Olympic Torch Relay.


(26 Sep 2017)  Sample gold medal for 2018 Olympic Winter Games shown at 2017 USOC Media Summit in Park City, UT.

This is the reverse of the medal.  The front has a similarly textured surface, a raised design at the lower left with the name of the games, and the name of the event at the upper right.

The medals looked to be about 10 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick.  They are made of solid silver, finished in gold plate, antique silver and an antique bronze finish.

Photographs of the front design were not allowed by the LOC, as the fronts of the samples either have an error on them, or are otherwise subject to change.


(25 Sep 2017)  Mirai Nagasu demonstrates her Short Program at 2017 USOC Media Summit in Park City, UT.  After a long day of press conferences and interviews Nagasu did not hold back and attempted the Triple Axel.  Tonight it was short half a rotation and two footed.


(25 Sep 2017)  Jason Brown demonstrates "Hamilton" Short Program at 2017 USOC Media Summit in Park City, UT.

(26 Sep 2017)  Maia and Alex Shibutani, Athlete Advisory Commission members for LA2028 Organizing Committee, with Janet Evans, Vice Chair and Director of Athlete Relations at 2017 USOC Media Summit in Park City UT.

(25 Sep 2017)  Madison Chock and Evan Bates demonstrate their Short Dance at 2017 USOC Media Summit in Park City UT.

Nagasu Weaponizes Triple Axel, Becomes Third U.S. Lady to Land One in Competition

Mirai Nagasu joined the elite club of women skaters who have landed a triple Axel in competition, when she landed a triple Axel in both the short program and long program at the 2017 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City in September.  At the competition, Nagasu opened both the short and long programs with a solo triple Axel, both of which were called fully rotated.  She placed third in the short and second in the long for a second place finish, one place ahead of 2017 U.S. Ladies Champion Karen Chen and three places ahead of Mariah Bell.

Nagasu joins Americans Tonya Harding and Kimmie Meissner who landed triple Axels in competition during their careers.  Triple Axles have also been landed in competition by Midori Ito (the first one to do it), Yukari Nakano, Ludmila Nelidina, Mao Asada (who has landed three in a single competition), Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, and Rika Kihira.

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News Nuggets

Past News Nuggets are in the Archive

5 Dec. - Injured Boyang Jin (CHN) is replaced in the Grand Prix Final by Jason Brown (USA).  This gives the U.S. three entries in the Men's final.

Injured Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) is replaced in the Ladies Final by Sotoko Miahara (JPN).  This will give the home audience in Nagoya a second Japanese skater to root for, the first being Shomo Uno who qualified for the Men's Final.

1 Dec. - U.S. Figure Skating announced the 2018 inductees for the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.  Inductions to take place Jan. 5, 2018 at the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

  • Michael Weiss - Three times U.S. Champion and two times World bronze medalist, first American to land a quad toe loop in competition (at the 1999 World Championships).

  • Kyoko Ina & John ZImmerman - three time(consecutive) U.S. Champions,  World bronze medalists.

  • Claire Ferguson - first female president of U.S. Figure Skating, first American woman elected to the ISU council.

  • Sarah Kawahara - choreographer of television specials, films and touring shows, two-time Emmy award winner, choreographer of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

23 Nov. - The German skating federation today received a message from the immigration office in Sonthofen (capital town of the small county to which Oberstdorf belongs) saying that French pair skater Bruno Massot, who was second at the World Championships 2017 with Aljona Savchenko, will receive German citizenship immediately. This means that he passed the German language and grammar test which he did on November 10 for the third time after having failed two times in spring and summer 2017.

This test may be taken only every three months and it was his last chance before the Olympic Games. He needs German citizenships for participation at the 2018 Games in South Korea. After returning from Skate America he will get his passport and the other documents next week in Sonthofen which is about 10 miles from Oberstdorf.

17 Nov. - U.S. Figure Skating announced that Gracie Gold has withdrawn from the 2018 National Figure Skating Championships.  Gold has not competed this season as she seeks treatment for personal issues, including anxiety, depression and an eating disorder.

16 Nov. - 2018 Skate America to be held in Everett, Washington, 19-21 Oct. 2018, back to being the first competition of the ISU Grand Prix.  Skate Canada International will be the following weekend in Laval, Ontario, followed by Cup of China, NHK Trophy, Rostelcom, and ending with the International of France, 23-25 November 2018.

3 Nov. - Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan has withdrawn from the NHK Trophy Grand Prix event, Skate Canada announced today.

Chan's withdrawal comes less than a week after his fourth-place finish at the Skate Canada competition in Regina.

The fourth place finish in his first Grand Prix assignments offers Chan virtually no change of making the final.

Rather than being distracted by training for his now superfluous second Grand Prix assignment Chan can now focus his full attention on training for the Canadian National Championships in January and the Olympics in February.

28 Oct. - Brian Orser underwent emergency Gall Bladder surgery this morning in Regina, SK while attending the Skate Canada International Grand Prix.  A full recovery from the surgery is expected.

26 Oct. - Skate Canada announces that 2018 Skate Canada International will be held in Laval, Canada, October 25 - 28, 2018.  The IUS Grand Prix Final will also be held in Canada, December 5-8, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.

20 Oct.  - The ISU announced that "based on information received from US Figure Skating, suggesting a different venue, the Council decided to move the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2019. Accordingly, the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships will be held in Anaheim, CA, USA on February 4-10, 2019."

November Competitions

Oct 31 - Nov 04, 2017, Denkova-Staviski Cup, Sofia BUL

Nov 02 - Nov 05, 2017, Tirnavia Riedell Ice Cup, Trnava SVK

Nov 03 - Nov 05, 2017, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Cup of China, Beijing CHN

Nov 08 - Nov 12, 2017, Leo Scheu Memorial, Graz AUT

Nov 08 - Nov 12, 2017, Volvo Open Cup, Riga LAT

Nov 09 - Nov 12, 2017, Ice Challenge, Graz AUT

Nov 10 - Nov 12, 2017, 1st Prague Riedell Ice Cup, PragueCZE

Nov 10 - Nov 12, 2017, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating NHK Trophy, Osaka JPN

Nov 16 - Nov 19, 2017, Warsaw Cup, Warsaw POL

Nov 16 - Nov 19, 2017, Merano Cup, Merano ITA

Nov 17 - Nov 19, 2017, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Internationaux de France, Grenoble FRA

Nov 20 - Nov 25, 2017, Cup of Tyrol, Innsbruck AUT

Nov 21 - Nov 26, 2017, Tallinn Trophy 2017, Tallinn EST

Nov 22 - Nov 26, 2017, Open d’Andorra 2017, Canillo AND

Nov 22 - Nov 26, 2017, Skate Celje, Celje SLO

Nov 24 - Nov 26, 2017, 2017 Shanghai Trophy, Shanghai CHN

Nov 24 - Nov 26, 2017, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Skate America, Lake Placid USA

December Competitions

Dec 04 - Dec 10, 2017, Santa Claus Cup, Budapest HUN

Dec 06 - Dec 09, 2017, Golden Spin of Zagreb, Zagreb CRO

Dec 07 - Dec 10, 2017, ISU Junior & Senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, Nagoya JPN

Dec 12 - Dec 16, 2017, Istanbul Bosphorous Cup, Istanbul TUR

Dec 15 - Dec 17, 2017, Grand Prix of Bratislava, Bratislava SVK

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