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2013 News Nuggets

Jan 10 - Genrikh Sretenski appeared in Essex County Court in Elizabethtown, NY and entered a guilty plea on the reduced charge of endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to one year in jail, fined and ordered to pay a court-imposed surcharge.  The prison sentence was conditionally discharged, so he will avoid prison time as long as he fulfills the conditions of his probation.  A final order of protection was issued for the victim.

Jan 14 - Alissa Czisny withdraws for the 2013 U.S. National Championships.  Czisny, who had been recovering from surgery on her left hip last summer, dislocated her left hip in her first competition since the surgery, which was also her first competition since the 2012 World Championships.

Jan 17 - The French Association yesterday announced that Natalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat, who train at the Detroit Skating Club, will not defend their European Championship ice dance title they won the past two years, due to his injury incurred in the United States on January 9. The event begins on Wednesday.

In a Press release, the French Federation said that Pechalat will be in Zagreb as a team captain but that Bourzat would stay in the French city of Lyons having physio-therapy for a torn right leg adductor. The French Association believes he will be fit for Worlds in March.

Pechalat, 29, and Bourzat, 32, are ranked third in the world behind the current champion, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, CAN, and Meryl Davis & Charlie White, USA.

Jan 18 - Evan Lysacek announced
today that he has withdrawn from the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Lysacek had surgery in November to repair a sports hernia, and has been training in southern California with Frank Carroll and Karen Kwan-Oppegard.

“It’s disappointing because health-wise I’m fine,” Lysacek said. “Due to the long layoff from the surgery I still need about three more weeks to get back into competition form. The good news is I am finally healthy, back to a full training schedule and already working hard to be ready for next season to defend my Olympic title at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.”

Jan 20 - A leading Russian pair, Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov, who won silver last year in the European championships behind Russia's top pair, Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov, have withdrawn from this year's European Championships.

After finishing second to Volosozhar & Trankov in the Grand Prix Final in December, they withdrew from their recent national championship citing his broken skate blade. The reason given for them withdrawing from the Europeans is his hand injury which prevents them executing lifts.

They have been replaced by Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov, who took bronze in Russian nationals, and were third in last year's European championships.

Jan 20 - Isabelle Tobias and her ice dance partner, Devidas Stagnius, who train with Igor Shpilband in Novi, Michigan, have withdrawn from the European championships in Zagreb, which open with a day of practice on Monday, due to his back problem.

On their Facebook, they revealed they had just been snubbed by the Lithuanian government, who ruled that Tobias met none of the requirements for her to receive a Lithuanian passport, which was necessary for them to compete in next year's Olympics. They finished ninth in the European Championships last year.

They wrote that they are devastated. His previous partnership, with American born partner, Katherine Copely, ended after Copely refused to give up her American passport to apply for Lithuanian citizenship before the last Winter Olympics.

Jan 21 - Skate Canada announces partial World Team

Patrick Chan
Kevin Reynolds
One athlete to be named later

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Gilles & Paul Poirier
One team to be named later

Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch

Kaetlyn Osmond

Jan 24 - Evgeni Plushenko withdraws from the European Championships after sixth place finish in Short Program.

Jan 25 - Alissa Czisny, a two-time U.S. champion, underwent successful surgery to repair damage in the joint capsule of her left hip caused by a hip dislocation. Czisny dislocated her hip on Jan. 12, while performing her free skate at the 2013 Fox Cities Invitational in Appleton, Wis.

The surgery was performed in Nashville by Dr. J.W. Thomas Byrd, who has served as a physician for the U.S. Olympic Team and the Tennessee Titans. Czisny will be off the ice for approximately six weeks.

Jan 31 - Evgeny Plushenko has artificial spinal disk replacement surgery in Israel, and will not compete at the 2013 World Championships.

Feb 3 - Yesterday we were at the Lake Arrowhead training center wondering why Adam Rippon was not skating, preparing for the Four Continents Championships.

Today we learned the reason. Rippon injured his foot and will not be competing at 4C. Ricky Dornbush is his replacement and will be leaving for Osaka Monday.  Dornbush placed sixth at the recent U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

About his selection for Four Continents Ricky told us, "I would just like to say that although my selection was not made in an ideal way, that I am very grateful for the opportunity to compete at the Four Continent Championships. I wish Adam the speediest of recoveries with his injury."

Mar 20 - U.S. Figure Skating announces members of team members for U.S. entry in World Team Trophy competition in April.

  Gracie Gold
  Ashley Wagner

  Max Aaron
  Jeremy Abbott

Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir

  Madison Chock & Evan Bates

Mar 21 - ISU warns skaters and officials not to participate in unsanctioned competition in Dubai.


ISU Office Holders

Participation in International Competitions not sanctioned by the ISU

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please be reminded that participation as a Competitor or Official in an International Skating Competition not sanctioned by the ISU will result in the loss of ISU eligibility. Please refer in particular but not limited to ISU General Regulations, Rule 102, paragraphs 1.b) & 2 and Rule 109, paragraph 1.

In this regard, please note that the 2013 Golden Cup of Dubai on April 26-27, 2013 is not organized by an ISU Member and therefore is not sanctioned by the ISU. ISU Members should therefore refrain from entering Competitors and Officials into this competition.

With kind regards

Fredi Schmid
Director General

Mar 23 - Russian skater Polina Shelepen announces she will compete for Israel next season.  This will disqualify her from competing in the Grand Prix next season and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Mar 25 - Skate Canada announces Benoît Lavoie will not seek reelection as president of Skate Canada at the end of his current term in May.

Mar 25 - U.S. Figure Skating announces 2013 Skate America will be held in Detroit, MI.

Mar 26 -  Skate Canada announces team members for their entry in World Team Trophy competition in April. 

  Kaetlyn Osmond
  Gabrielle Daleman

  Patrick Chan
  Kevin Reynolds

Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford

  Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

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.

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.

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 signed.

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 14-20, 2016)
  • World Figure Skating Championships – Boston, USA (March 28- April 3, 2016)

Jun 13 - Sean Rabbitt will be off the ice for the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Jun 25 - Ashley Wagner announces her coaching team this season will consist of Rafael Arutyunyan and John Nicks.

Aug. 31 - The Ice Castle International Training Center in Blue Jay, CA closed its doors today.  The training center, which has hosted skaters such as Michelle Kwan, Mao Asada, Jeffrey Buttle, Evan Lysacek, Denis Ten, and more recently Ashley Wagner, Adam Rippon and Nathan Chen, closed after giving coaches and skaters two weeks notice on August 15.  Owner Anthony Liu will continue operating a second facility in Cathedral City, CA.  Coach Rafael Arutyunyan and his students will be moving to the Kwan rink in Artesia, CA.

Aug. 12 - The U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors met August 5th and derailed an attempt by Ron Pfenning to be reinstated at the ISU.  Requests for reinstatement at the ISU must go through a member federation and the USFSA Board voted not to advance Pfenning's request for reinstatement to the ISU Council.

Goes to show how skating is long on memory and short on forgiveness.  Hang a sign on skating's front door, "Prodigal Sons Not Welcome Here."

Sep. 3 - Xue Shen, 34, & Hongbo Zhao, 40, the reigning Olympic champions, became the proud parents of a baby girl early today. Zhao is now the head coach for the Chinese pairs headed for Sochi.

Sep. 14 - Gracie Gold announced she is in the process of making coaching changes with the following statement:

“I ended my professional relationship with coach Alex Ouriashev three weeks ago. Since then, I have continued my training with Oleg Epstein and Marina Zoueva in Canton, Mich. Scott Brown and Marina came with me to the 2013 U.S. International Classic.

"Next week I will work with Frank Carroll in Los Angeles. I plan to announce my full coaching team soon.”

Sep. 18 - After a dismal attempt at a comeback last season, it is confirmed that Johnny Weir did not enter U.S. Figure Skating Qualifying competition this season and will not be competing for a place on the Olympic Team at 2014 Nationals.  Put a fork in him.  He's done.

Sep. 25 - Gracie Gold announced she has officially commenced training with Frank Carroll at the Toyota Center in El Segundo, CA.  With this announcement, three of the top four ladies in the U.S. now train in in Southern California.

Sep. 30 - Evan Lysacek reveals at USOC Media Summit he has a torn labrum and will not compete at Skate America.

Lysacek has not competed since his gold medal performance at the Vancouver Olympics, and like last season is running out of chances to earn the qualifying points needed to compete in ISU competition this season.

The Lysacek comeback train seems all but derailed at this point.

Nov. 12 -Ross Miner, the reigning U.S. silver medalist, has withdrawn from 2013 Trophée Eric Bompard due to a right ankle sprain.

Nov. 13 - Plushenko out of Moscow Grand Prix. After easily winning the recent Volvo Cup in Riga, last weekend Evgeni Plushenko, the 31-year-old 2006 Olympic gold medalist who earned silver in 2002 & 2010, is injured yet again and has withdrawn from next week's Grand Prix next week.

The Volvo Cup was his first competition since pulling out of the European Championship in January due to injury. This time, the problem is pain in his left knee. His coach, Alexei Mishin, said, "Zhenya consulted with doctors and they said he had to reduce the load he puts on the knee. He is allowed to skate but no jumping, which will just exacerbate the pain. Pain is a warning to any athlete." It is not clear when he will be able to compete again.

Nov. 21 - Alisa Czisny withdraws from Midwestern Sectional Championships due to an incompletely healed hip injury.  Czisny was undone by a torn labrum in her left hip, for which she had surgery in June 2012 and subsequently dislocated in January 2013.  Withdrawing prevents her from qualifying to compete at the 2013 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships where the U.S. team will be selected for the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

Oct. 2  - Today's Finnish papers all have stories on Kiira Korpi, the photogenic blonde beauty, who has been Finnish champion for four of the last five years. The very graceful skater, who turned 25 a few days ago, shed tears before journalists in Helsinki while announcing she was pulling out of the Finlandia Trophy, due to ongoing problems with her left Achilles Tendon. She won this event back in 2006, and had earned silver for the past two years. The event runs Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

Korpi was not able to compete last week in Germany in the Secondary Olympic Qualifying event in Oberstdorf. Her Finnish replacement, Juulia Turkkila, succumbed to nerves, finishing only 19th of 35 in the SP and 13th in the FS, which put her 14th overall. That meant Finland is second reserve for an Olympic women's entry. If two other qualified countries decline to send an entry to Sochi, the berth will go to Finland.

Korpi has competed in the past two Olympic Games finishing 16th in 2006 and 11th in 2010. However, she said, "I want to get the feeling that I've reached my maximum and that hasn't happened yet. I've had problems with my Tendon before and I had an infection in the spring. Three weeks ago, MRI scans revealed a partial tear. I don't need surgery, just rehabilitation. My dreams just crashed but the specialist said maybe I can go back to training in December."

She had been set to unveil her routines, "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles for the SP choreographed by Jeff Buttle, and "Once Upon a Time in America" choreographed by Shae Lynn Bourne for the FS.

Oct. 12 - A Russian news source has reported pair skater Alexander Smirnov, who competes with Yuko Kawaguchi, has ruptured his patellar tendon and is out of the Olympics.

Their coach, Tamara Moskvina, explained that the pair were taking part in an event in St. Petersburg that was their first outing of the season. They were expecting to make the Olympic team but the recovery time from this injury is from two to six months or longer.

The pair was fourth in the last Olympics. Kawaguchi was born in Japan but gave up her citizenship to become Russian.

Oct. 9 - Agnes Zawadzki announced today she has commenced training with coach Tom Zakrajsek. She will continue to train at the World Arena Ice Hall in Colorado Springs.

Zawadzki has worked with Christy Krall for the last two seasons, during which she won a pair of U.S. bronze medals and finished in the top five at three Grand Prix Series events.

“I’m excited to be working with Tom again. I feel we have done great work together and that I was at my most consistent competitively when working with him,” Zawadzki said. “Christy helped me improve artistically as a skater and renewed my love of the sport. She is a great woman and coach, and I thank her for everything she has done for me.”

Dec. 19 - After more than 25 years of waiting and speculation, Brian Boitano finally comes out of the closet.  (Yawn)

Dec. 25 - Yevgeny Plushenko, after finishing second in the 2014 Russian Nationals in Sochi, still hopes to compete in the Olympic team event.

But that is contrary to the rules.  If a country has earned only one competitor for a section of the team event, which is true for Russia in the Men's event, they may not substitute another person for the team event.

However, the skating great, who had lain first after a superior short program, but did not present the difficulty needed to win the Free, seems to believe that doesn’t apply to him. After being presented the silver medal in nationals, which were held in the Sochi Iceberg Skating Palace, Plushenko said he will not contest the individual competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"I think that I will select the team event and cede my spot in the Men's competition to a young athlete," the R-Sport news agency quoted Plushenko as saying on the sidelines of the Russian championships in Sochi. The champion is Maxim Kovtun, 18.

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