The off-season has been one big surprise after another. Who could have predicted the demise of a number of elite ice dance teams this summer?
North America was the hardest hit with Paul Poirier calling it quits with Vanessa Crone and Evan Bates ending his partner- ship with Emily Samuelson.
Greg Zuerlein’s sudden retirement took his partner Madison Chock by surprise.
Poirier is now skating with American Piper Gilles, and in July, Chock and Bates announced they had formed a new partnership.
Samuelson and Crone are still searching for new partners, which they will hopefully find in the coming months. The ice dance discipline cannot afford to lose these two talented individuals.
For the many readers of IFS who have been living in the dark the past few years when it came to televised skating events, the news that the NBC and CBC networks have both signed multi-year deals with the International Skating Union (ISU) was uplifting.
CBC will air 120 hours of coverage annually over the next five years on its main network, the Bold channel, through online streaming at cbcsports.ca and on VisionTV.
The broadcast lineup for the upcoming season includes the World Junior Championships, Four Continents, the World Synchronized Skating Championships plus all six Grand Prix events and the Grand Prix Final. Does it get any better?
Unfortunately, at press time the CBC schedule was still not finalized.
NBC will broadcast five of the six Grand Prix events (Cup of China is not on its list) as well as the 2012 U.S. Championships. No doubt more events will be added to the roster as we head into the new season.
ISU vice president David Dore was involved in brokering these deals. He knows this is a positive step forward for the sport. “Signing the deal with CBC was huge. It is a contract that covers many events and is long term,” he told IFS.
Sad news arrived in late June that Betty Callaway, the former coach of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, had passed away. Callaway was instrumental in the couple’s 1984 Olympic victory.
We reported in the last issue of IFS that a new summer B competition was scheduled to take place in Ont., Canada in August under the auspices of the ISU.
However, shortly after we went to print, Skate Canada announced: “it was determined that there were enough existing international competitions so the requirement to stage this event was diminished.” Go figure.
The IFS team traveled the globe this summer to cover your favorite athletes and keep you up to date on what is happening in the world of skating.
Tatjana Flade covered the Adult Competition in Germany and spoke with Japanese superstar Midori Ito. She also traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia for an enlightening one-on-one interview with Evgeni Plushenko.
And I caught up with 2010 Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim in late July. The Korean superstar graces our cover and speaks from the heart about her life over the past year.
Counting down the weeks until the new season gets underway!
Originally published in October 2011