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The Big Picture

29 Jan 2017

27 Oct 2016


News from the Southwest Pacific Region

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


SWP REGIONAL 2017 COMPETITION CALENDAR

2018 Regional Figure Skating Championships

North Atlantic

Hackensack, New Jersy

Oct. 4 -8 , 2017

Upper Great Lakes

Blaine, MIssesota

Oct. 4 -8 , 2017

Norhtwest Pacific

Eugene, Oregon

Oct. 4 -8 , 2017

South Atlantic

Aston, Pennsylvania

Oct. 11-15, 2017

Southwestern

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, Tennesee

Oct. 18-22, 2017

Central Pacific

Salt Lake City, Utah

Oct. 18-22, 2017

2018 Sectional Figure Skating Championships

Eastern

Boxborough, Massachuesetts

Nov. 15-19, 2017

Midwestern

Bloomington, MInnesota

Nov. 15-19, 2017

Pacific Coast

Spokane, Washington

Nov. 15-19, 2017

2018 Adult Sectional Figure Skating Championships

Eastern

tbd

March, 2018

Midwestern

tbd

March, 2018

Pacific Coast

tbd

March, 2018

U.S. Adult Championships

tbd

April, 2018



 

  In the News:

2017 World Championships

Preview - The Finnish capital of Helsinki has organized many skating competitions. The last time Senior Worlds was held here was in 1999 when the huge Hartwall Arena was brand new and Russian skaters won all four gold medals.

U.S. TeamSeeks to Maximize Team Entries for 2018 Olympics - These 2017 Championships are about more than just personal achievement.  They are doubly important for each country because the majority of the Olympic country spots for Pyeongchang in 2018 will be decided according to the Helsinki results; 24 ladies spots, 24 spots for men, 19 for ice dancing and 16 for pairs will be fixed.

Ladies Short Program - The short program of the 37 ladies was the first event of the 2017 World Championships in the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, 24 of whom reached the final. About 6,500 spectators followed the event, the majority of them were Japanese spectators. The competition had very a high level with many of the ladies executing clean programs that included triple-triple combinations.

Ladies Free Skate- During the Ladies Free Program at the 2017 World Championships, the Hartwall Arena was sold out with almost 11,000 spectators, around 5,000 of them from Japan. The level of the competition was mixed, there were relatively many mistakes. A big exception was the old and new World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva from Russia who won with two outstanding performances and a new world record of 233.41 points.

Men's Short Program - The short program of the 36 men was a highlight of the championships and a quad festival. Seven skaters tried two quads and 11 tried at least one quad jump.

Men's Free Skate - The men’s competition at Worlds 2017 had a good, though not excellent level but ended with a surprise.  2014 Olympic Champion Yuruzu Hanyu had been fifth in the short program and almost nine points behind Fernandez. But with a stellar free program the Japanese super star moved up to first place to become World Champion a second time after 2014, winning 312.59 overall points.

Pairs Short Program - The short program of the 28 pairs at the World Championships in Helsinki had a good level but also some strange falls. Eleven pairs had more than 70 points which had never happened before. In order to reach the final of the 16 best pairs you needed 62 points, last year it was only 52 points, but the pairs had to do the same elements. This number shows better than anything else how much this discipline has improved.

Pairs Free Skate - The pair skating competition was the first one to be finished at the World Championships 2017 in Helsinki. The level of the competition was extremely high, there was much more depth than in previous years and ten pairs had more than 200 points (last year there were six).

Dance Short Dance - The short dance of the 32 ice dance couples had an excellent level even if the jury was stricter than at many other events. Only some skaters got a season‘s best, which is normally common at the end of the season. Because of the high level, some renowned skaters did not reach the final of the 20 best.

2017 World Junior Championships

Preview - For the first time, the ISU Junior World Championships are held in Taiwan’s subtropical capital of Taipei this year. They take place in the huge Taipei Arena, a multi-purpose stadium which was opened in 2005. Although Taiwan has never had any top skaters, the federation is interested in holding big international skating events regularily and is quite experienced.

Ladies Event - The general level of the ladies competition at Junior Worlds 2017 was good, the majority of the skaters can jump all triple the jumps except the Axel which nobody tried, let alone quads. Alina Zagitova from the Moscow school of Eteri Tutberidze, winner of the ISU Junior Final three months ago, also took the first place in Taipei at her first Junior Worlds, this time with 208.60 points.

Men's Event - The men were the first ones to finish their competition at Junior Worlds in Taipei, Chinese Taipei. 24 of the 45 competitors reached the final and the overall level was excellent. Like in the senior competitions in this season, the junior men perform many more quad jumps than before. In the short program, no quad is allowed yet for juniors, but this rule will perhaps be changed at the next ISU congress in the summer of 2018. This time, the spectators saw 10 more or less clean quads in the free program plus around ten more which were popped or not successful.

Pairs Event - Only 16 pairs competed at Junior Worlds 2017 in Taipei because many countries especially in Europe and Asia don’t have pairs at all. Therefore it is a huge encouragement for them that no pair from one of the big pair skating countries was crowned Junior World Champion in 2017. For the first time in the history of the ISU, a pair and skaters from Australia won gold medals at ISU championships.

Dance Event Ice dance teams from the USA are quite successful at Junior Worlds. Therefore it was no surprise that at this competition 2017 in Taipei another ice dance couple from this country won the gold medal. Last year, Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter won gold, this year their training mates Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons from the Wheaton Academy are the ninth U.S. team in 20 years to win this title, this time with 164.82 points in a close decision, like at the ISU Junior Final in December.

2017 Four Continents Championships

2017 European Championships

Preview - The European Championships 2017 will take place in Ostrava in the Czech Republic the week after U.S. and Canadian Nationals. Ostrava is the third-largest city of this central European country (behind Prague and Brno) and is situated in the North-East, about 10 miles from the border to Poland. It is the first time since 1999 that Europeans will be in this country.

Pairs Event - The first decision at the European Championships 2017 in Ostrava (Czech Republic) was the pairs competition in front of an enthusiastic crowd of about 10,000 spectators (in the free program) although the event was not on a weekend but on Wednesday and Thursday night. The level of the competition was excellent, at least for the top seven pairs.

Ladies Event - The ladies competition at the European Championships in Ostrava had a mixed level. In front of a sold-out rink with 11,000 often enthusiastic spectators, the three medalists and some others skaters showed first-class performances, but the second half was weak.

Men's Event - The men’s competition at the 2017 European Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, had a good but not excellent level. Unfortunately it has become normal that even the best skaters make some mistakes because they risk much more than five or 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. And all programs are now more intricate; not only the jumps, but the spins and steps and even the linking steps are also more demanding, therefore there is no more rest during a program.

Dance Event - The ice dance event at the 2017 European championships had the expected results on the podium, but some surprises on other places. The general level was good, but several observers said that the relatively long compulsory part in the short dance made this part a bit boring, because everybody had to do the same movements.  The technical panel with the controller Michela Cesaro (ITA), the specialist Sergei Ponomarenko (RUS) and the assistant Roxane Petetin (FRA) was very strict and did not give high levels to most of the dance teams, which several coaches and skaters criticized.

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News Nuggets

Past News Nuggets are in the Archive

Jan 21 - Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea, the reigning U.S. pairs champions, and Alexandria Shaughnessy and James Morgan have withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships due injury/illness.

Kayne sustained a concussion in a fall from a throw element in the pairs short program Thursday afternoon and is under the care of event medical provided by the University of Kansas Hospital. After examination and follow up, it was the advice of the chief medical officer that Kayne should not compete for her own health and safety due to symptoms of concussion.

Shaughnessy is being treated for a stomach virus, the symptoms of which increased overnight.

Jan 9 - Polina Edmunds, the reigning U.S. silver medalist, has withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships as she continues to recover from a right foot bone bruise.   “I’m disappointed that I will miss the 2017 U.S. Championships and wish all the athletes good luck in Kansas City,” Edmunds said. “I will continue to focus on my health and look forward to a full return to ice.”  

Jan 9 - Adam Rippon, the reigning U.S. champion, has withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships due to injury. Rippon broke his left foot and sprained the same ankle during an off‐ice warm up on Friday, Jan. 6.   "I am heartbroken that I won't be able to defend my title at the 2017 U.S. Championships,” Rippon said.

 “Despite breaking my foot in a fluke accident off the ice, I am determined to grow from this and come back ever stronger.

 “I will use this as an opportunity to improve so that I can be fully prepared for next season and be at my very best to compete for a spot at the 2018 Olympic Games."

Rippon is expected to be off the ice for eight to 12 weeks and will resume training with his medical team’s guidance.   

March Competitions

2 - 5 Mar -  Nordics Open 2017 Reykjavik, Iceland

10 - 12 Mar - Coupe du Printemps 2017 Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg

15 - 19 Mar - ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

23 - 26 Mar - 12th Avas Cup Miskolc, Hungary

29 Mar - 2 Apr - World Figure Skating Championships Helsinki, Finland

 
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