With the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Series and GP Final over, it is time for national championships to take place. And while it is a new season, some of the stories seem surprisingly familiar.
Stephane Lambiel continued his comeback this season by winning his ninth Swiss title after not competing last season. Lambiel is still dealing with chronic injuries and is having trouble with several of his jumps (the triple Axle being one of the them). At Swiss nationals, Lambiel finished with 244.23 points, almost 45 points ahead of the second-place finisher.
Prior to the national championships, the 24-year-old had not competed since the 2009 Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf where he won the gold, thus securing an Olympic spot in the men’s discipline for his country.
Lambiel is a two-time World champion (2005-06) and the 2006 Olympic silver medalist. He placed third at Worlds in 2007 and was fifth the last time he competed at the global event, in 2008.
Sarah Meier won Switzerland's ladies title with an overall score of 183.47. Meier nearest competitor was 26 points behind her.
The seven-time Swiss champion only had one Grand Prix assignment this season, NHK Trophy. She placed eighth in the short program and then withdrew from the event due to inflammation of her right Achilles tendon. Meier missed most of last season with a herniated disc. In 2007 Meier became the first Swiss lady in 26 years to medal at Europeans; she claimed the silver.
Switzerland’s national championships were held Dec. 10-12
Evgeni Plushenko is a hard man to track down; now I can see why. After weeks of trying to interview the reigning Olympic champion (more than several interviews fell through) reports out of Russia indicate that he is injured.
The reigning Olympic champion has been forced off the ice for at least several days to rest his injured knee.
UPDATE: The 27-year-old suffered a slight ligament tear in his left knee; the pounding from jumping has taken its toll and the knee is very sore. Plushenko’s status for the Russian national championships (Dec. 24-28) is up in the air but his agent, Ari Zakarian, said he wants to compete. "He doesn't want anything handed to him," Zakarian told IFS in a telephone interview from Russia. Zakarian said Plushenko is receiving shots (to reduce pain and swelling) for the injury. (The full interview will be posted in the near future.)
Plushenko returned to the training for competition this summer. He took some time off to get married and then competed at several domestic events. His first international event in over three years was Rostelecom Cup in October, which he easily won.
TWEET! THEY SAID IT!
Ben Agosto, Dec. 12: "Almost finished filming for our Secret commercial! So far its been amazing. Next up, motorized turntable on ice..."
Meryl Davis, Dec. 11 from UberTwitter: "Facebook increasing intl tension? RT @AmanpourCNN: Iran's gov. is intimidating families for their relatives' use of Facebook outside of Iran"
Kimmie Meissner, (two tweets) Dec. 8 from web: "...FYI on the knee. I'm starting jumps again, but double axel is my only true friend at the moment. The others still like to hurt me every now and then, but feeling soo much better and just can't wait to skate again!"
Johnny Weir, Dec. 13 from web: "Fell off the stage in six inch heels today shooting my commercial for my series. : ) Also vamped it up in a giant Faberge egg. Happy day!"
Michael Weiss, Dec. 11 from TwitBird IPhone: "Just found out I'm goin to NYC to shoot the Today show again to air on Xmas day :-) Two times in one season...cool."