News Briefs From the World of Skating

Susan D. Russell
Daisuke Takahashi


The 2012 World Team Trophy will take place in Tokyo, Japan, April 19-22. The six nations qualified for this year’s competition are Japan (7891 points), Canada (6943 points) , Russia (6807 points), U.S. (6399 points), Italy (5412) and France (5214).

Eyebrows were raised when U.S. Figure Skating announced the roster of skaters that will contest the event. The team is comprised of Jeremy Abbott, Adam Rippon, Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold.

Gold, the reigning U.S. junior champion and World junior silver medalist was selected over Caroline Zhang and Agnes Szawadski who placed third and fourth respectively at this year’s senior national championships.

Canada will field a team headlined by Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir and Patrick Chan. Rounding out the ranks are Kevin Reynolds, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Amélie Lacoste and Cynthia Phaneuf.

Mao Asada will not join the Japanese squad following her sixth place finish at Worlds. Yuzuru Hanyu pulled out to rest an injured ankle.

The complete entry list can be found here:

This event is not scheduled to be televised in North America.


Daisuke Takahashi held his second annual charity skating gala in Kobe, Japan on April 10 to raise money for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese superstar spoke to IFS about his commitment to the people of Sendai following the World Championships in Nice, France. “Last year I invited a lot of skaters and we held an auction and raised US$350,000,” he said. “I am hoping more skating fans will come out and support the event this year so we can raise even more money.”

The cast included Takahashi, Shizuka Arakawa, Yamato Tamura, Keiji Tanaka, Satsuki Muramoto, Kana Muramoto, Tomoko Miyahara, Tatsuki Machida, Taichi Honda, Mari Honda, Nobunari Oda, Shion Kokubun and Saya Ueno.


Mirai Nagasu has parted ways with her coach Frank Carroll who told Phil Hersh of the Chicago Tribune that the split was mainly a logistical one.

Carroll relocated to a rink near his Palm Springs home, which meant Nagasu and her mother had a two-hour drive each way twice a week. “It was too much. She was exhausted by the time she got here," Carroll said. Nagasu will train in the Burbank area.

Pairs skaters Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig, five-time U.S. medalists and 2010 Olympians have ended their 10-year partnership.

Evora is retiring from competitive skating. She will graduate this summer from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in business administration but plans to stay active in skating through coaching and other activities. “I’d like to thank Mark for living our skating dreams together," she said.

Ladwig plans to continue skating. "Thank you to Amanda for partnering with me and for sharing in so many amazing experiences over the last decade,” Ladwig said.


Silvia Fontana and John Zimmerman welcomed a daughter, Sofia on April 2. Born at 11:33 p.m., she weighed in at seven pounds eight ounces and was 21 inches in length. It is the first child for the couple who have been married for almost nine years.

“The Zimmerman Family is resting comfortably and expect to be home in a couple days. This is their first child and they will have a lot of help from their parents,” IMG agent David Baden noted in a press release.

Four-time German pairs and 1997 World champion Mandy Wötzel (with partner Ingo Steuer) recently gave birth to a son, Charlie. In 2007 Wötzel married an Australian and moved to Melbourne where she began coaching. The marriage was short-lived but Wötzel, 38, has made the southern continent her permanent home.


Kevin van der Perren bid adieu to the competitive skating world, ending a 12-year international career where it all began: Nice, France. The veteran laid down the finest free skating performance of his career at the 2012 World Championships, landing two quads and eight triple jumping passes, three of which were in combination in his routine to music from “The Man in the Iron Mask.”

“Coming back to Nice 12 years later makes me feel old, really old,” he said following the short program.

The 30-year-old native of Belgium is now coaching full time and, together with his wife, Jenna McCorkell of Great Britain, hopes to produce a show which will play out in his homeland and also in the Netherlands. McCorkell won the ladies qualifying event at the World Championships and landed in 14th place overall.


In early April, the U.S. Department of State named Evan Lysacek as a Sports Envoy. As part of his inaugural trip to Europe (April 6 – 13), he will hold skating clinics in Stockholm, Sweden and Minsk, Belarus.

Lysacek recently changed management companies and is now represented by Proper Marketing Associates, the powerhouse that has directed the on-and-off-ice career of Michelle Kwan for almost two decades.

Originally published in April 2012