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2021 News Nuggets

12 January 2021 - Skate Canada announces the cancellation of the 2021 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and the 2021 Skate Canada Cup.  The championships were to occur from February 8-14, 2021 in Vancouver, B.C., at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre while the 2021 Skate Canada Cup was planned to be a virtual event in replacement of the pre-novice and novice competitions at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge.

“We are deeply saddened for all athletes, coaches, and supporting individuals who are impacted by this decision and appreciate the incredible efforts to overcome ever-evolving training and access challenges to best prepare athletes for these events,” said Leanna Caron, President, Skate Canada.

1 March 2021 - Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc will represent Team USA at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 later this month, U.S. Figure Skating announced Monday. The Dallas-based duo will replace Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson, who have withdrawn from the competition for personal reasons unrelated to COVID-19.

In January, Cain-Gribble and LeDuc (the 2019 U.S. pairs chamions) earned the bronze medal at the 2021 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships, in Las Vegas, NV.  They finished ninth at the World Championships, earning the United States two pairs entries at the next World Championships.

10 March 2021 - U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Famer and former Olympian John Zimmerman was suspended from figure skating in fallout from the Morgan Cipres sexual abuse scandal.

Cipres is facing a felony charge in Florida after he allegedly sent a 13-year-old girl lewd photos of his penis.

Cipres, 29, is currently living in France where he is said to be working in real estate, and refuses interviews. A warrant has been issued for his arrest in Florida.

Zimmerman and wife Sylvia Fontana, along with coach Vinny Dispenza, were accused of covering up the sexual abuse of the female skater.

Zimmerman was suspended by the U.S. Center for SafeSport for two years. Fontana and Dispenza have each been given six months probation.

6 April 2021 - Skate Canada announced it will submit a bid in April of 2021 to host the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2024 in Montreal, Quebec. If successful, this will be Canada’s 11th time hosting the championships. Montreal was set to host the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2020 but was cancelled a week prior due to the pandemic. Canada last hosted the illustrious event in 2013 in London, Ontario.

“We are thrilled to put forth Montreal as the host city for the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2024 for consideration by the International Skating Union. Canada has an exceptional hosting history, and we would be honoured to hold the 2024 event,” said Leanna Caron, President, Skate Canada. “With all the diligence that went into planning the 2020 World Championships, the entire team is ready to welcome the world to Montreal in 2024.  We have confidence that working with all government and municipal partners together with Patinage Quebec, we will deliver an excellent event in Montreal.”

“The ISU World Figure Skating Championships are a staple event. I am thrilled that Montréal was chosen to be the Canadian candidate to host its 2024 edition. I would like to underline Tourisme Montréal's contribution to this success as well as to the mobilization of the community. This much-anticipated international competition promises to be highly successful and to provide an excellent showcase for our metropolis,” stated Valérie Plante, mayor of Montréal.

In accordance with ISU regulations, Skate Canada will submit Montreal as the host city along with supporting documents in April 2021. The 2024 host will be determined by the ISU Council and a decision is expected later this year.

21 April 2021 - Vanessa James, 33, and Eric Radford, 36, have formed a new skating partnership and will compete for Canada in the pairs discipline this coming season. Previously James represented France with Morgan Ciprés and Radford represented Canada with Megan Duhamel.

“Partnering up with Eric is a very exciting career opportunity. I am looking forward to a season full of inspiration, joy and personal growth,” said James. “We’re both very much looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.”

“I’m looking forward to this new partnership with Vanessa and getting back on the ice and doing what we love,” said Radford. “Vanessa and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Canada this coming season and are looking forward to see what the future holds for our partnership.”

James and Radford both did not compete this season. James, with her previous skating partner Morgan Ciprés, is the 2019 European Champion, the 2018 World bronze medallist in the pairs event, and represented France at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. James and Ciprés announced their retirement in September 2019. Radford, with his previous skating partner Meagan Duhamel, is a two-time World pair champion (2015, 2016), a 2018 Olympic gold medallist in the team event, a 2018 Olympic bronze medallist in the pairs event, and a seven-time Canadian national champion (2012-18). Duhamel and Radford announced their retirement in April 2018.

This coming season, James and Radford will be training in Quebec coached by Julie Marcotte.

27 April 2021 - U.S. Figure Skating announced 2021 Skate America will be returning to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Fans are expected to be permitted this year.

13 Sep 2021 - The hosting of the 2022 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Tianjin, China has been cancelled due to complications of organizing the competition under Covid-19 pandemic conditions in China.  This follows on the cancellation of the Cup of China Grand Prix, which was relocated to Torino, Italy.

The ISU has solicited applications to host the Championships, and will make its decision at the ISU Council meeting on 1 October, 2021.

4 Oct 2021 - The ISU Council has decided that the qualification criteria for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (ISU Communication 2418) will not use the usual ISU Junior Grand Prix ranking system as the basis for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final qualification for 2021/22.

This change has been made due to Covid-19 pandemic related travel and entry restrictions. The criteria that will be used are published here.

4 Nov 2021 - Yuzuro Hanyu withdraws from NHK due to injury; likely to miss his assignment at Rostelcom Cup also. Possibility of competing in the final is eliminated.  Will pursuit of quad Axel doom his Olympic season?

22 Nov 2021 - Alysa Liu announced that she will begin training in Colorado Springs, CO with Christy Krall,  Drew Meekins and Viktor Pfeifer.

1 Dec 2021 - Two-time World Bronze Medalist and trailblazer Tiffany Chin heads up the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Also elected were longtime Miami University synchronized skating coach Vicki Korn and two-time Olympic judge Lucy Joyce Brennan. Their inductions will take place Jan. 9 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville during the 2022 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

“I am pleased to announce the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2022, which includes three extraordinary women,” said Larry Mondschein, chair of the nominating committee.

“Tiffany Chin’s contributions to the sport are many. As the first Asian American ladies U.S. champion, she inspired a new generation of skaters who continue in her footsteps.

"The late Vicki Korn, head coach of Miami University, helped solidify synchronized skating as a discipline.

"Lucy Brennan, renowned and decorated internationally, still remains an active and proud member of The Skating Club of New York.”

Competing during one of the strongest eras of ladies figure skating, Tiffany Chin became an Olympian, two-time World bronze medalist (1985, ’86) and the 1985 U.S. Champion. Her 1985 U.S. title was the first by a nonwhite athlete at the senior level.

Chin was only 15 when she was named to the first of three World teams. At age 16, she finished fourth at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo. Chin famously battled growth-related injuries and was forced to take time off the ice. After the 1987 U.S. Championships, Chin turned professional at age 19, skating for Ice Capades, Holiday on Ice and Gershwin on Ice tour.

Chin’s coaches included Mabel Fairbanks, Janet Champion, Frank Carroll, John Nicks and Don Laws.

A member of the Figure Skating Club of Southern California, Chin is a World and Olympic coach with student Kailani Craine of Australia, and a U.S. technical specialist. 

Coach Vicki Korn’s Miami University RedHawks earned a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships, the first World medal and highest World finish ever won by a U.S. synchronized skating team. She led Miami to three senior U.S. titles (1999, 2006, ’09), seven international medals and eight appearances at the ISU Synchronized Skating World Championships.

In 1996, Korn helped elevate Miami’s synchronized skating team from club status to varsity status, making it the first collegiate varsity synchronized skating team in the nation. Korn, who coached at Miami from 1984 to 2009, led the Redhawks to 11 U.S. collegiate titles.

At the time of her retirement, the RedHawks had won five consecutive collegiate national championships, a streak that extended to a U.S. Figure Skating record 12 by 2016.

With more than 60 years of service as an official, Lucy Joyce Brennan has judged and refereed at multiple World Championships, World Junior Championships and other major ISU events. She has received numerous awards, including the 2006 ISU Gold Award of Merit.  She judged at the 1988 Calgary Games (ladies) and 2002 Salt Lake City Games (pairs).

She is the first American woman to serve as an ISU championship referee in singles and pairs. Brennan, a longtime member of The Skating Club of New York, served as the chief referee at the 2001 U.S. Championships.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions placed on the 2021 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Las Vegas, the Class of 2021 was unable to be celebrated in person at the event, which was held in a bubble.

The three 2021 inductees – Johnny Weir, Sandy Lamb and Gale Tanger – will be inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame on Jan. 9 alongside the Class of 2022 in Nashville.

31 December 2021 - Bradie Tennell has withdrawn from the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Nashville, Tennessee.  No reason has been provided at this time.

Tennell withdrew from the 2021 Skate America Grand Prix earlier in the season due to a foot injury.  She subsequently withdrew from the Grand Prix of Italy and the CS Cup of Austria.

U.S. skaters have been named to international teams in the past without having competed at U.S. Nationals, but having missed her entire season, it is unlikely she would be named to the Olympic Team even if she were fit to skate prior to the Games. Nevertheless, she has petitioned to be named to the team.  The women members of the team will be selected following the conclusion of the Women's event in Nashville, based on results at Nationals and previous competition results.

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