It has been a busy couple of months in the skating world, with many national championships taking place around the globe, all of which had the wow factor for one reason or another.
The IFS team highlights the action from five of the major domestic competitions in this issue.
It was great to see Japan’s Mao Asada skate into second at her nationals after the tough times she experienced in the early part of the season.
As our story in the last issue noted, Takahiko Kozuka has indeed stepped out of the shadow of the other Japanese men. The recently crowned national champion heads into Worlds as one of the favorites. Will the pressure of competing on home soil get to him? We will all have to wait and see.
The U.S. nationals also produced some unexpected results. Alissa Csizny’s victory was a highlight for me as was that of the young pairs team of Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin.
The result of the men’s event was a total surprise. Kudos to Ryan Bradley for winning his first national title!
And when Canada’s Patrick Chan earned the highest score ever recorded, he became a hot topic of skating conversations all over the world.
There were a number of skating shows televised over the holiday season. One that stood out for me was “The Caesars Tribute: A Salute to the Golden Age of American Skating” which brought together many of the nations most iconic skating heroes.
IFS was on hand to capture all the action and we have some fabulous photos from the event to share with you.
Our cover story highlights the action from the European Championships which took place in late January. Veteran Swiss skater Sarah Meier captured the ladies title in her final appearance on the amateur stage.
At the other end of the spectrum, Florent Amodio, a 20-year-old rising star from France, captured the men’s crown in his debut appearance.
The 2011 World Championships are on the horizon and given the outcome of these various national events it could be one of the most hotly contested in memory.
Worlds will also mark an important milestone in the sport’s history.
Fifty years ago the entire U.S. delegation perished in a tragic plane crash en route to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). The Championships were canceled in the aftermath, the first time Worlds were not held for any reason other than the intervention of a war.
The movie “Rise,” which recounts the story of the 1961 U.S. World team, is set to debut in select U.S. theaters on Feb. 17.
Pj Kwong had the pleasure of catching up with the 1998 Olympic champion Tara Lipinski and fan-favorite Michael Weiss while Tatjana Flade provides an exclusive inside look at the revolution in the Russian junior ladies ranks.
As Four Continents took place during our printing process we will recap that competition in the next issue, along with exclusive coverage of the junior and senior World Championships.
As always, happy skating,
Originally published in April 2011