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The Skating Scene offers interesting
 behind the scenes stories, photos,
 interviews and historical articles in the
 sport of figure skating.

Current Feature Article:
Holiday Celebration on Ice

2015 Holiday on Ice

Photos © Shirley McLaughlin

The Big Picture

1 Feb 2016

25 Jan 2016

16 Jan 2016

9 Jan 2016

2 Jan 2016

26 Dec 2015

21 Dec 2015

News from the Southwest Pacific Region

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


Jan. 16 – 24

2016 U.S. National Championships

St. Paul MN

 Feb 13 – 14 Adult Mid-winter LAFSC Artesia CA
 Mar 4 – 6 Glacier Falls / Paramount Iceland Basic Skills Paramount CA
 Mar 4 – 6 2016 Pacific Coast Adult Figure Skating Championships Paramount CA
Mar 12 - 13 OPEN  
Mar 19 - 20 OPEN  
 Mar 26 - 27 EASTER - OPEN
 Apr 5 – 9 2016 US Adult Skating Championships Ann Arbor MI
 Apr 8 – 10 All Year FSC Showcase Ontario CA
 Apr 15 – 17 Fiesta Skate Peoria AZ
 Apr 22 – 24 La Jolla Open La Jolla CA
Apr 22 - 24 Team Challenge Cup Spokane WA
 Apr 27 – May 1 Governing Council  
May 14 – 15 Copper State Classic Gilbert AZ
 May 21 – 22 LAFSC California Championships Los Angeles CA
 May 28 – 29  OPEN
 Jun 3 – 5 All Year Open Ontario CA
 Jun 10 – 12 LAFSC Showcase for Skaters Burbank CA
 Jun 17 – 19 Southern California Inter-club Championships Paramount CA
 Jun 23 – 26 2016 National Theatre on Ice Pelham AL
 Jun 24 – 26 FSC of Southern California Open Championships El Segundo, CA
 Jul 2 - 3 OPEN
 Jul 8 – 10 LAFSC Open Championships Burbank CA
 Jul 15 – 17 Cactus Classic Scottsdale AZ
 Jul 22 – 24 Skate La Grande San Diego CA
 Jul 28 – 31 Glacier Falls Summer Classic Anaheim CA
 Aug 5 – 7 Az Ice Classic  
 Aug 11 – 13 2016 National Showcase
Cleveland OH
 Aug 12 – 14 Orange County Open Yorba Linda CA
 Aug 20 Ice in the Pines Flagstaff AZ
 Aug 27 – 28 Hidden Valley Open Escondido CA
 Sep 1 – 4 Golden West Championships Ontario CA
 Sep 9 – 11 OPEN  
 Sep 15 – 17 Pasadena Open Pasadena CA
Sep 22 - 23 OPEN  
 Sep 28 – Oct 2 2017 Southwest Pacific Scottsdale AZ
Oct 8 - 9 OPEN  
 Oct 15 – 16 Southern California Interclub Series Final Paramount CA
Oct 22 - 23 OPEN  
 Oct 30 53rd Annual Arrowhead Open Ontario CA
Sat, Nov 5 – 6 Autumn Antics Phoenix AZ
Nov 13 -14 OPEN  
 Nov 16 – 20 2017 Pacific Coast Championships Salt Lake City UT

2017 Regional Figure Skating Championships

North Atlantic

Williamsville, New York

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Eastern Great Lakes

Lansing, Michigan

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Southwest Pacific

Scottsdale, Arizona

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Central Pacific

Ogden, Utah

Oct. 5-9, 2016

South Atlantic

Ashburn, Virginia

Oct. 5-9, 2016


Plano, Texas

Oct. 5-9, 2016

New England

Burlington, Vermont

Oct. 19-23, 2016

Northwest Pacific

Wenatchee, Washington

Oct. 19-23, 2016

Upper Great Lakes

Rochester, Minnesota

Oct. 19-23, 2016

2017 Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Indian Trail, North Carolina

Nov. 16-20, 2016


Colorado Springs, Colorado

Nov. 16-20, 2016

Pacific Coast

Salt Lake City

Nov. 16-20, 2016

2016 Adult Sectional Figure Skating Championships





Colorado Springs, Colorado

March 4-6, 2016

Pacific Coast

Paramount, California

March 4-6, 2016

U.S. Adult Championships

Ann Arbor, Michigan

April 5-9, 2016


2017 Adult Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Wayne, New Jersey

March 10-12, 2017


Cincinnati, Ohio


Pacific Coast

Burbank, California

March 10-12, 2017

U.S. Adult Championships

Wake Forest, North Carolina

April 18-22, 2017

  In the News:

2016 European Championships

Russian Ladies Sweep Europeans Podium - Again!

Fernandez Wins European Men's Title

Volosozhar and Trankov Win Pairs Ahead of Germans Savchenko and Massot

Ice Dance World Champions Papadakis and Cizeron are Back

2016 U.S. National Championships

Nathan Chen Requires Surgery for Exhibition Hip Injury, Out for Worlds and Junior Worlds

Nathan Chen, the Men's bronze medalist, underwent left hip surgery on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. The surgery was performed by Dr. Catherine Robertson, assisted by Dr. Alexandra Schwartz, at UC San Diego Health, which is a member of the United States Olympic Committee’s National Medical Network.

Chen suffered an avulsion fracture to his left hip during a toe loop attempt in the exhibition following the 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 24 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Chen was performing in the Skating Spectacular after having earlier that day won his first championship-level medal, in a program that included four quad jumps.

In an avulsion fracture the tendon of a muscle separates from its attachment point, taking a piece of bone with it.  In most cases surgery is not required, but when the displacement or amount of bone detached is significant, surgery is required to reattach the bone fragment.  The most common form of this fracture is where the hamstring attaches to the ischial tuberosity of the hip.

Chen’s rehabilitation will begin in San Diego and is tentatively scheduled to continue at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Chen is expected to make a full recovery and return to the ice with restrictions in eight to ten weeks.

Chen, the 2015 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, was expected to compete at the 2016 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships and the 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, an unusual pair of assignments for U.S. Figure Skating, showing their confidence in him as a star for the future.

Tomoki Hiwatashi, the 2016 U.S. Junior Champion and first alternate to the World Junior Team, will compete March 14-20 in Debrecen, Hungary in Chen's place. Grant Hochstein, who finished fourth at the 2016 U.S. Championships, will replace Chen at the World Championships, making his World Championships debut March 28-April 3 in Boston.

Tilted in the air during the jump, Chen landed awkwardly.

Left heel stuck in the ice hyperextends left hamstring and appears to be the stressing factor causing the injury.

Chen slowly gliding off the ice.

Hand and leg position consistent with hamstring fracturing the hip.

Rippon Dethrones Aaron for Men's Title

Golden Girl Rises up from Short Program Ashes

Shib-Sibs Take First National Dance Title

Kayne and O'Shea Crush Rivals in Pairs Event

Max Aaron Jumps to Head of Men's Pack

Chock and Bates Hold Slim Lead after Short Dance

Favorites Falter, Polina Edmunds Wins Ladies Short Program

Tarah Kayne and Danny O'Shea Shine in Pairs Short Program

Mirai Nagasu Suffers Major Equipment Failure in Ladies Short Program

Mirai Nagasu's right boot broke in the Ladies Short Program, putting her ability to skate in the Free Skate in doubt.  The composite layer inside the boot snapped, probably on her triple flip landing, and then spit the seam on the boot along the line of hooks.  Somehow, she made it though the Short Program where she ended up fifth, but not far out of the running point-wise.

These were her backup boots, nearly new, replacing her primary pair which suffered a similar failure about one month ago.  According to Coach Tom Zakrajsek the boots are not repairable, and Mirai needs a new pair of boots if she is to continue in the competition.  She has practice scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) with the Free Skate scheduled for Saturday.

Right inside seam at start of program.  Seam appears stretched. Compare to outside seam. Right outside seam at start of program.  Seam is tight. Right inside seam, double toe loop in the air.  A clearer view. Right inside seam, triple flip in the air.  Appears to be stretched further. Right inside seam, landing of the triple flip.  Boot is split open.

Click on photos to enlarge

Update, 22 January 2016 - A makeshift repair was effected to Nagasu's boot to get through the competition.  She is currently still entered to compete in the final on Saturday.  Overnight Mark Ladwig and Mike Cuningham arranged to obtain necessary supplies Friday night from a local hardware store that stayed open long past closing time, and lined up a cobbler to come work on the boot first thing this morning.

The boot was dissected, with the composite insert glued back together, and then drilled and stitched in place.  The outer leather was then patched.  After trying the boot, and a final adjustment Mirai skated on the boot during practice, and so far the repair is holding up.

Emily Chan Dominates Junior Ladies Competition

Tomoki Hiwatachi Charms to Win Junior Men's Title

Joy Weinberg and Maximiliano Fernandez Take Junior Pairs Title

Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter Repeat as Junior Dance Champions

Bonus Points Raise the Bar in Novice Ladies

Eric Sjoberg Returns to Podium as Novice Men's Champion

Kopmar & Barrett Move up from Intermediate Champions to Novice Pairs Champions in Consecutive Seasons

Caroline Green and Gordon Green Overwhelm Competition in Novice Dance

Juvenile and Intermediate Events Lead off 2016 U.S. National Championships

Scimeca and Knierim in Hunt for Second Pairs Title

Chock and Bates Set Eyes on Second U.S. Dance Title

Shibutanis Strive for First Rate Show in St. Paul

Max Aaron in Hunt for Second U.S. Title

Brown Withdraws from U.S. Nationals Due to Back Injury - Jason Brown, the reigning U.S. champion, announced yesterday that he will not be competing at the U.S. Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota later this month due to a back injury that had occurred in November, just several days prior to the NHK Trophy in Japan, which had also caused him to withdraw from that International Skating Union Grand Prix event.

Great Performances and Record Scores at ISU Grand Prix Final in Barcelona - The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final returned to Barcelona after the big success of the event the year before. There were some minor changes to the backstage set up and there was room for more spectators, but basically everything was done the same way and again very successfully.

There were some spectacular performances to be seen, especially in the senior competitions, but also the juniors proved that they deserve attention.

Confident Juniors Shine in Junior Grand Prix Final

2015 Grand Prix Final Medalists

Grand Prix Final Returns to Barcelona - After a successful run in 2014, the ISU Grand Prix Final has returned to the beautiful seaside city of Barcelona, Spain.  This group of premiere skaters, all  qualified for this event, to be held December 10th-13th at the International Convention Center in Barcelona, Spain, by accruing the highest number of points from the six Grand Prix competitions held around the globe in October and November.
Rostelecom Cup - Rostelecom Cup once again took place in the old "Small Arena" in the sport park "Luzhniki," which maybe fans remember from Worlds in 2005. The new “Megasport” that was used for Worlds in 2011 was still closed but scheduled to reopen in December so that maybe next year Rostelecom Cup will move back there. Rostelecom Cup was as usual well attended with 8,500 spectators per day on the weekend and a little less on Friday. The favorites and the host country dominated the event with Russia taking seven out of the twelve medals.
Trophee Eric Bompard
Cup of China - Mao Asada’s comeback, a festival of quad jumps and throws as well as a surprise in ice dance made Grand Prix No. 3, Cup of China in Beijing, interesting.

Skate Canada - Skate Canada International took place in Lethbridge, Alberta, about a two-and-one-half-hour drive from Calgary (or a 30 minute flight on a small airplane). The city had hosted Skate Canada 25 years ago, back then with Kurt Browning the star attraction. Team Canada won all four gold medals then, and this time they almost repeated their success with three gold medals. The highlight of the competition was the much anticipated return of Patrick Chan and his rematch with Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu.

2015 Skate Canada Gold Medalists Patrick Chan, Duhamel & Radford, Weaver & Poje and Ashley Wagner
Patrick Chan Returns to Competition at Skate Canada International
Skate America

Milwaukee, Wisconsin welcomed visitors to the 2015 edition of Skate America for the first event in a 2015 Grand Prix Series. The city of festivals hugs the western shore of Lake Michigan and is the birthplace of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle. The residents proudly promote their dairy industry, not the least of which, by labeling themselves "cheeseheads.

Attendance Friday for the short programs was about 1100 throughout the day, with perhaps only 1000 for the short dance. Saturday, the four long programs attracted from 1800 to 3200 spectators.  Sunday, the exhibitions were held with sparse attendance, which we estimate at about 800.

Team USA did well, winning gold in the Men's and Dance events, silver in the Ladies and Pairs events, and an additional bronze in the Men's event.

2015 Skate America Gold Medalists

Ladies SP
Estimated Attendance: 1100
Ladies FS
Estimated Attendance: 3000
Men's SP
Estimated Attendance: 1100
Men's FS
Estimated Attendance: 3200
Pairs SP
Estimated Attendance: 1100
Pairs FS
Estimated Attendance: 2500
Dance SD
Estimated Attendance: 1000
Dance FD
Estimated Attendance: 1800
Gold Gears up to Rally at Skate America - Gracie Gold, the two-time U.S. silver medalist and 2014 U.S. titlist, seems as geared up as ever to make her mark this week as she kicks off the competitive season at the celebrated International Skating Union Grand Prix event, Skate America, to be held October 22th-25th in Milwaukee.
Brown Focused on Success this Season - Jason Brown, the reigning U.S. champion and 2014 U.S. silver medalist, seems to be as focused as ever on having another memorable competitive season this year as he prepares to take on some of the world’s best at the 2015 Hilton Honors Skate America in Milwaukee this week.

2016 Team Challenge Cup Announced for Spokane Washington - Spokane Arena in Spokane, Washington, has been selected as the host venue for the 2016 Team Challenge Cup, set for April 22-24, 2016. Team Challenge Cup is an ISU-sanctioned three-day event that will feature 42 of the top figure skaters in the world competing in a continental team competition consisting of Team North America vs. Team Europe vs. Team Asia.


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News Nuggets

Past News Nuggets are in the Archive

Dec 16 - U.S. Figure Skating announced today the selection of Kansas City, Missouri, as host city for the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The 2017 U.S. Championships are scheduled for January 14-22, 2017, with all junior and championship level events being held at Sprint Center and all juvenile, intermediate and novice events being conducted at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. All-event tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.

Nov 27 - Garrett Swasey, the 1992 Junior National Ice Dance Champion with partner Christine Fowler-Binder was killed in the line of duty in an attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, CO.  Garrett, 44, was a police officer with the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs police department for the past six years.

Contributions can be made to a memorial education fund for his two young children at

Nov 23 - Skate Canada announces that Mississauga, ON will be the site of the 2016 Skate Canada International competition.

Nov 22 - Tomorrow, it is expected that Skate Canada will announce that Mississauga, ON will be the site of the 2016 Skate Canada International competition.

Nov 21 - Reigning U.S. champion Jason Brown has withdrawn from the 2015 NHK Trophy due to a back strain incurred during training.

Brown, under the care of Olympic Training Center medical staff, is continuing to train with restrictions. Brown’s doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

Brown had an outside chance to make the Grand Prix Final, but now with only one Grand Prix result, that is now impossible.  That leaves Adam Rippon the only remaining American with a chance to make the final.

Brown is next scheduled to defend his U.S. title at the 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which are set for Jan. 15-24 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

“I absolutely love competing in Japan and will miss being around the most incredible fans. I look forward to returning to Japan very soon,” Brown said. “I’m so disappointed to withdraw from NHK Trophy but I know how important it is for me to get healthy for the rest of the season and this will give me time to rest and recover.”

Oct 21 - Gretchen Donlan & Nathan Bartholomay have withdrawn from Skate America as Donlan recovers from symptoms related to an acute viral illness including fever, exhaustion and dizziness. Jessica Pfund & Joshua Santillan, who train alongside Donlan & Bartholomay in Ellenton, Florida, will now compete at Skate America.

“We’re disappointed that we aren’t able to represent Team USA at our first Grand Prix together,” Bartholomay said. “We worked really hard to this point to get selected for this event and it’s disappointing that we are in this situation. Ultimately, of course, Gretchen’s safety is most important.”

Donlan & Bartholomay have competed twice this season, finishing fifth at the U.S. International Classic and sixth at Nepela Trophy.

Pfund & Santillan made their international debut last week at the 2015 Autumn Classic International, placing third.

Sep 25 – Joshua Farris, the 2015 U.S. bronze medalist, 2013 World Junior champion and 2015 Four Continents silver medalist, will not compete at his 2015 Grand Prix Series events, Skate Canada and NHK Trophy.

Farris is recovering from a concussion and will resume training when approved by his physicians, and his Colorado Springs coaching team, Damon Allen and Christy Krall.

“I couldn't be more disappointed to withdraw from my Grand Prix assignments,” Farris said. “I am steadily healing and hope to be back on the ice as soon as possible. I appreciate all of the support from my fans, family and friends.”

February Competitions

4 - 7 Feb - Sarajevo Open 2016, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

4 - 7 Feb - Dragon Trophy Tivoli Cup, Ljubljana, Slovenia

9 - 14 Feb - 1st Vision Trophy, Ankara, Turkey

10 - 14 Feb - Sofia Trophy, Sofia, Bulgaria

12 - 21 Feb - 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games - Figure Skating, Lillehammer/Hamar, Norway

12 - 14 Feb - Jegvirag Cup, Miskolc, Hungary

16 - 21 Feb - Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

17 - 21 Feb - Bavarian Open, Oberstdorf, Germany

23 - 28 Feb - Hellmut Seibt Memorial, Vienna, Austria

24 - 28 Feb - The Nordics Open, Aalborg, Denmark

March Competitions

2 - 6 Mar - 27th Sportland Trophy, Budapest, Hungary

9 - 13 Mar - Cup of Tyrol1, Innsbruck, Austria

11 - 3 Mar - Coupe de Printemps, Luxemburg, Luxembourg

14 - 20 Mar - World Junior Figure Skating Championships, Debrecen, Hungary

28 Mar - 3 Apr - World Figure Skating Championships, Boston, United States

31 Mar - 2 Apr - 11th Avas Cup, Miskolc, Hungary

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