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News Briefs for August 2009

Summer is winding down yet things are just beginning to heat up in the world of figure skating.

Reigning World champion Yu-Na Kim's “All Stars 2009” shows in South Korea are this weekend. Michelle Kwan made her comeback to the show circuit there yesterday. It was a widely successful one as far as the audience was concerned. “Michelle brought down the house with her two numbers at 'Ice All Stars 2009' in Korea Friday night,” her agent Shep Goldberg shared. “It was her first time skating in front of an audience in three years.”

Check out these YouTube links to her performances. In this one Kwan is introduced by Kim. Click here to see Kwan’s second number.

Kwan recently confirmed she will not be skating in the eligible ranks but her return to the ice is thrilling nonetheless. Two show dates are left: tonight and tomorrow.

Click the show’s official website (it is in Korean) or check back on our site for updates. IFS photo and senior editor Susan D. Russell is in Korea covering the event.

Kim is a huge star in her homeland and is developing quite a following in North America as well. She trains in Canada at the Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club.

When Kim claimed gold at the 2009 World Championships in Los Angeles, she became the first Korean figure skater to do so. That competition held at the Staples Center set a new total attendance record for the week with a mark of 101,679.

Meanwhile, Scott Hamilton has announced his return to the ice will take place at his annual gala in Cleveland, Ohio. Hamilton, 51, will perform at "An Evening With Scott Hamilton and Friends" on Nov. 7 at the Quicken Loans Arena. Following the ice show, a black-tie evening featuring gourmet dining and dancing to live music will be held at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. The gala has raised $10 million for the Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, which supports research, survivorship programs and education services at the institute.

Cleveland.com chronicles how Hamilton had to learn the fundamentals of skating after being treated for a benign brain tumor in 2004. It is an article that is worth a read.

“Maybe my experience will inspire other men my age. I'm a short, bald, figure skater. What's your excuse? Get off the couch!” Hamilton said in the telling piece.

The show’s website provides details about the event.

Jennifer Kirk, 24, is trying out her hand in the world of journalism. She is blogging for True Slant. Kirk of Los Angeles has shared some interesting insights in recent blogs and revealed things about herself, such as her struggle with an eating disorder and the impact the death of her mother had on the young skater. Kirk aptly mixes these nuggets with commentary about figure skating and sports in general.

When writing about Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy's breast cancer diagnosis, Kirk wrote: "Unlike Mickelson I didn’t give myself the break needed to cope with my emotional turmoil when my mom was diagnosed and eventually passed away from breast cancer. By 'pushing through' and denying myself a break from skating to deal with my emotions, I began to fall out of love with the sport and a career that I had worked so hard to build."

Kirk won the World junior ladies title in 2000 and was the U.S. bronze medalist in 2004. Check out her blog.

TWEET! They said it:

Tanith Belbin, Aug. 12 at 1:25 a.m. from mobile web: "Up at 4 to watch the meteor storm-this cloud cover stinks. Totally worth it though when I saw a streak through a break in them. Make a wish!"

Kurt Browning, July 30: "At Coldplay concert, the warmup group is good. Lead singer bashing on some drums..cool. A rare date with my wife who is extra smokin tonite!"

Christopher Dean, July 28 from TweetDeck: "Dear all: just clicked on and I'm so overwhelmed with all the lovely birthday greetings. Thank you all so much I have a big smile now."

Fedor Andreev, July 25 from TwitterBerry: "Just finished the long! Great kick-off to the season. Finished strong with just over 208 points! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Thanks for the encouragement!"