From the Editor

Coming up for Air

One of the longest competitive skating seasons in history came to a close in early May, a little over a month later than usual. Though the skaters were tired, it is unlikely many fans felt the same way.

We received so many e-mails and letters from American readers who were disheartened by the fact that no U.S. network broadcast any coverage of the World Figure Skating Championships.

The Canadians fared slightly better, with the CBC network showing some of the top skaters from each discipline.

Skate Canada, however, gave fans in the Great White North reason to cheer when it announced that a 10-year deal with Bell Media had been inked in late May. Beginning with the 2011-12 season, three of its networks (CTV, TSN and RDS) will provide coverage of all domestic events, including Skate Canada International and the Canadian Figure Skating Championships. Coverage will also be available online and via mobile devices.

A jam-packed issue awaits you, with exclusive coverage of both the World Championships and the Synchronized World Championships.

We also want to introduce you to the top 20 juniors from last season. No doubt we will be seeing a lot more of them in the next three years as they transition into the senior ranks.

The IFS team caught up with two-time Olympic champion Katarina Witt and former World and European ice dance champion Maurizio Margaglio, who have both embarked on new and exciting careers this past year.

We have exclusive interviews with newly crowned World champions, Miki Ando and America’s Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who danced into the history books.

At the other end of the spectrum are two young men, Nathan Chen from the U.S. and Canada’s Nam Nguyen, who made a major splash last season.

Rob Brodie’s cover story on Patrick Chan is a must-read. Chan speaks openly and from the heart about his newfound success and what lies ahead.

The International Skating Union (ISU) has made changes to the structure of the Grand Prix events. Given the number of skaters who were initially listed but either decided to retire or sit out last season (forcing the ISU to constantly update its online lists of competitors), assignments for the upcoming year will not be announced until late July.

We asked some of the world’s top ice dance coaches to weigh in on the integration of the short dance. How did the first season play out and what is on the agenda for the upcoming one?

The cover story in our Apr./May issue, “In Praise of Japan,” touched many readers, gauging from the positive feedback we received. It was inspiring to learn that so many people from all over the world rallied to support the Japanese people in so many different ways.

In that regard, IFS senior writer Tatjana Flade and her colleagues Mario Meinel and Akiko Tamura have set up a website, Skating Friends Support Japan, to raise money for the people of that nation. If you wish to donate to this worthy cause, check out the information on the inside back cover of this issue.

With the recent announcement that the annual summer skating event in Thornhill, Ont. is now designated as a B-level ISU event, the off-season just got a little shorter. At press time there were no details on the official website regarding competitors or a schedule of events, but check out the Quicksteps section for the online link so you can keep up-to-date.

As always, happy skating!

Originally published in August 2011