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2012 Grand Prix Final
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Southern California Interclub 2013 Schedule
PLUSHENKO BACK IN ACTION
by Alexandra Stevenson
April 6, Evgeni Plushenko,
the 2006 gold, and 2002 & 2020 Olympic silver figure skating medalist,
will appear in his first public skating exhibition since his
withdrawal after injuring his back in the Short Program while
attempting to defend his title in the 2013 European
championship in Zagreb in January.
On January 31,
he had surgery in Tel Aviv to replace an injured disc in his back. He
has gone through rehabilitation and experimented with new
opportunities including taking part in a top Fashion Show, Odri, on
March 31, organized by his (second) wife, Yana Rudkovskaya, who is the
mother of his second son, Alexander, born this year on January 6.
is scheduled to appear in a new ice rink in the far-east Russian city
of Yuzhny-Sakhalinsk, which is on an island just north of the Japanese
island of Hokkaido, where the Sapporo 1972 Winter Olympics took place
He said he was
delighted at the opportunity to skate in the new facility. “Thanks for
inviting me. This is the first time we’ve (the group of skaters he was
appearing with) have been this far away (from his Moscow & St.
Petersburg bases). We must develop our cause, figure skating, and
support for young people.”
1976 Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill Withdraws from “Dancing with the Stars”
by Alexandra Stevenson
(27 Mar 2013) The highly
personable and beloved Dorothy Hamill, 56, the last singles
skater to win a world title and Olympic gold without presenting
a triple jump, revealed on television towards the end of Tuesday
evening’s program, that she was withdrawing from “Dancing with
the Stars” due to a cyst on her spine.
Obviously holding back tears in a very emotional moment,
Hamill, who suffers from arthritis, later elaborated, “It would
be completely unfair for me to stay (in the show) and have any
of these (rival other contestants) go home. My spine surgeon
warned that I would be risking permanent nerve damage if I
continued. I wish I could give it my all, but I can’t.
It’s been a wonderful ride. I wish I could stay but I can’t do
justice to the commitment. I
realized this isn’t just a muscle thing.
It’s radiating down my leg and my foot and I have no stability
in my ankle and I can’t pull my toes back.”
Her demeanor was in a stark
contrast to her first performance during the March 18 season
premiere, when judges praised her contemporary routine. She
received 21 points, which put her in a three-way tie for second
place. The series starts off with 12 competitors who are
whittled down to a final winner. The current Olympic mens
champion, Evan Lysacek, said he’d gained greater recognition
from his appearance in the show, in which he finished second,
than he had from winning gold in Vancouver.
On Monday & Tuesday’s appearances,
it was immediately obvious that Hamill had a major problem. She
had been forced to miss several days of rehearsals, a major
necessity in this show which pairs celebrities with star coaches
from the ballroom world. It takes a major commitment for these
coaches to transform their raw amateur partners into someone who
is not completely outshone. The disparity in skills is extremely
difficult to counter.
Making this week’s appearances even more difficult was that
Hamill had to do a
jive, for which a core skill is youthful, energetic
boisterousness. Despite wearing low-healed or flat shoes, which
is consistent with this dance’s image, and having great balance
skills honed during a lifetime of skating, Hamill lost her
footing and made several mistakes. The three judges awarded her
only 15 out of 30 points, which was the lowest score.
Hamill was one of the most popular of the 12 celebrities, and
the audience gave her a standing ovation.
Hamill said she would miss her fellow dancers, and called her
pro dance partner, Tristan MacManus, “a treasure.”
2013 U.S. Nationals
Photos © George Rossanoorld
Novice Ladies Champion Tyler Peirce
Novice Men's Champion Tomoki Hiwatashi
|Novice Pairs Champions
& Erie Utah Stevens
Novice Dance Champions
Chloe Rose Lewis & Logan Bye
In the News:
2013 PSA Conference - View from the
Gallery - This year’s conference, held at the Hyatt
Regency in Rosemont, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, drew more
than 600 coaches from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe whose
energy, focus and commitment collectively showed why this event has
come to represent one of the most important annual meetings for the
KATI WITT ESPN SPECIAL DEBUTS
IN TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
by Alexandra Stevenson
Making its debut in late April at the
Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan was “The Diplomat”, a beautiful and
very accurate 50-minute documentary commissioned for ESPN’s “Nine for
1X” series by women producers (in this case, Jennifer Arnold & Senain
Kheshgi). It will be aired on August 6.
It is now 25-years after
Katarina Witt, the 1984 &
1988 Olympic champion, won her second gold in Calgary. She looked
extremely fashionable and trim in a black & white woman’s tuxedo, cut
with curves so that more white showed than the typical male version
does. As she was leaving, Witt, who turned 47 on December 3, told this
reporter that she had flown in especially for the event from Berlin,
where she maintains a home.
Re her figure, Witt is now an advocate
for “Weight Watchers”. “I have always had a problem wanting the wrong
foods. It’s not easy to put that aside, but it definitely is worth the
In a Q&A after the movie, Witt admitted
that seeing the film had caused her to tear up. “I miss the ice, the
training, the feeling of purpose and direction.” I asked Arnold, was
there anything, because of the time restrictions, that she regretted
they were unable to cover in her production.
She replied, “Of course, we had a lot of
film about Lillehammer and Kati’s return (to the Olympics in 1994).
But we had to concentrate on the earlier years and how, eventually,
her success allowed her to travel to Spain, to film the Carmen TV
Special with Brian Boitano.” The contrast between Witt’s
possibilities, and those of Gaby Seyfert, were so different.”
At one dramatic point in the
documentary, Witt tears up recalling how Seyfert, the step daughter of
her coach, Jutta Mueller, who won the 1969 world title in Colorado
Springs, was not allowed to take up a show career in the west. Witt
reveals, “All Gaby wanted to do was to continue skating, and that was
completely ruled out.”
Boitano, the 1988 Olympic champion,
talks of how he first met “Kati”, and how they became friends, a very
unusual situation between an East German and an American.
One of the most poignant moments is
provided by Ingo Steuer, who explains how he came to spy on Witt.
“When I was 17 or 18, the Stasi (secret police) made me sign a paper.
I looked at it and all I saw was the word ‘Prison’. I was terrified.
If I had not cooperated, my career would never have happened.” It
turns out most of reports consisted of her seeking out and eating
Steuer went on to become World pair
champion and Olympic medalist, and is now a trainer still based in his
(and Witt’s) home town of Chemnitz (formerly called Karl Marx Stadt).
After the wall came down, and the two
Germanys were reunited, the Stasi files were made available to the
citizens. Witt revealed, “Mine was 3,000 pages! I found out the first
entry was when I was 8! Finding out that friends reported in on you is
“Then the public turned against the
athletes, because we had been pampered and rewarded for our successes
(with access to prime housing, cars - which were in very short supply
and not available for many people - and the best food). I was
devastated. I didn’t feel I had done anything wrong. If I had been
born in the U.S., I never could have afforded to become a skater. All
I did was train as hard as I could, do my best on skates. I was
successful, but the people turned against me.”
Fortunately for her, that stage did not
last long and Witt now has an honored place in the history of the
sport. When Sports Illustrated put her on their cover, they called
her, “The most beautiful face of socialism.”
2013 World Team Trophy
Day 1 in Tokyo, Japan - Team Japan Leading
at ISU World Team Trophy
Day 2 in Tokyo, Japan -
Team USA grabbed the lead
Friday at the ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating 2013 in Tokyo,
Japan. The Americans scored 55 points so far. Team Canada caught up
and now sits in second with 50 points. Team Japan dropped to third at
48 points. The Russians fell to fourth with 42 points after Konstantin Menshov dislocated his shoulder and
had to give up during the free skating. France and China remained in
fifth and sixth place.
Day 3 in Tokyo, Japan -
Team USA cruised to the gold on the final day of the
ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating 2013 Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
The Americans won comfortably with 57 points ahead of Team Canada (51
points) and Team Japan (39 points). It was the second victory at the
event for Team USA. They had won the inaugural World Team Trophy in
2009. Team Japan won the second edition in 2012.
2013 World Championships
Set to Begin in London, ON - Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy resume intense rivalry with Tatiana
Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov in Pairs. Ice Dance looks to be a clash of the titans.
Patrick Chan Seeks Third World title. Yuna Kim, a force to be
second day of practice in the World Championships this morning, the Czech couple, Lucie Mysliveckova
& Neil Brown, who was born to British parents in
France and formerly represented that country, crashed into one of the
leading couples, Anna Cappellini & Luca
Lanotte, while the Italians were executing their routine and
had right of way.
Cappellini, who with Lanotte recently won the
bronze medals in the European Ice Dance championship, hit her forehead
on Brown's back. She left the ice and placed an ice pack on the
swelling bruise before returning to finish practice.
Air Canada Loses Ashley Wagner's Skates. Fans Suspect
Wager's Skates Recovered in Time for Tuesday Practice.
Extraterrestrials Suspected. NASA Investigates. (Canada no
longer funds UFO reporting.)
Point of View
- Sonia Bianchetti comments on the 2013 Championships
2013 World Junior Championships
Pairs and Dance Preview
2013 Four Continents Championships
2013 U.S. National Championships
Nationals Preview - The Sochi Winter
Olympic Games are only a little more than a year away.
This season’s U.S. Figure Skating Team
selection is critical heading into the World Championships in London,
Ontario, Canada. The Team’s results in London determine how many entrants
the U.S. will have in Sochi. Currently the scenario heading into the 2013
Worlds is not its optimum best. Last season’s World Championship results
dictate that the U.S. can only send two competitors in the Men, Ladies,
and Pairs disciplines to London.
Only Ice Dance can send a full complement of three competitors to London.
Therefore the task for this season’s U.S. World Team is huge in its effort
to reach a full complement of competitors in all disciplines. At the same
time, several top competitors have suffered injuries during the season and
others have pulled from the competition, leaving U.S. Figure Skating in a
state of flux just one year away from the most important quadrennial event
in the sporting world.
Ladies and Men
Pairs and Dance
Senior Ladies and Men - Another View and Some Predictions
Senior Ladies Medalists
Senior Men Medalists
Senior Pairs Medalists
Senior Dance Medalists
Junior Ladies Medalists
Junior Men Medalists
Junior Pairs Medalists
Junior Dance Medalists
Novice Ladies Medalists
Novice Men Medalists
Novice Pairs Medalists
Novice Dance Medalists
2013 European Championships
Plushenko Meets the Press at European Championships
Plushenko Pulls Out of European Championships After Short Program
Point of View
by Sonia Bianchetti -
The 2013 European Championships were held in the Dom Sportova in Zagreb, Croatia,
from January 21 to 27.
The arena was quite filled and the audience was very supportive and
enthusiastic for the skaters. I
had a great time in Zagreb and, as an Italian, I am happy and
proud for accomplishments of the Italian skaters.
Past News Nuggets are in the Archive
Jun 13 - Sean Rabbitt will be off the
ice for the next 6 to 8 weeks.
Jun 10 - The following competitions are
allocated by the ISU
European Figure Skating Championships – Bratislava/Slovak Republic
(January 25-31, 2016)
Four Continents Figure Skating Championships – Taipei City/Chinese
Taipei (February 9-14, 2016)
World Junior Figure Skating Championships – Debrecen/Hungary (March
World Figure Skating Championships – Boston/USA (March 28-
April 3, 2016)
May 3 - Frank Carroll has been
offered a contract to return to the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, CA
from his current location in Cathedral City, CA, beginning 1 June. He
will be bringing with him Denis Ten and Evan Lysacek once the contract is
Apr 28 - Tiffany Vise & Don
Baldwin announce they are retiring from competitive skating, but will
continue together as a team performing in ice shows and coaching in
Scottsdale, AZ, their current home base for skating.
Apr 25 - Ashley Wagner announces
that her principal coach, John Nicks, will no longer be travelling with her
to competitions in the future, and she is seeking additional coaching
support for that role.
2013 U.S. Nationals
Photos © George Rossano
Senior Ladies Champion Ashley Wagner
Senior Men's Champion Max Aaron
Senior Pairs Champions
Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir
Senior Dance Champions
Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Junior Ladies Champion Polina Edmunds
Junior Men's Champion Vincent Zhou
Junior Pairs Champions
Britney Simpson & Mathew Blackmer
Junior Dance Champions
Alexandra Aldridge & Daniel Eaton