News Briefs From the World of Skating

Susan D. Russell
Barbara Ann Scott

A Legend Passes

It was with great sadness that the skating world learned of the death of Barbara Ann Scott on the evening of Sept. 30.

Scott, 84, passed away at her home in San Fernandina, Florida. She had undergone surgery for pancreatic and abdominal problems in March.

Scott was interred at the Basque Bello Cemetery in Fernandina Beach, Florida on Oct. 5.

The Ottawa native was the only Canadian figure skater to capture an Olympic title, winning gold at the 1948 Olympic Winter Games.

Here is a video tribute to Canada's Sweetheart.

Cup of China in Doubt

The AFP is reporting that Japanese figure skating officials will send a fact-finding team to China to ensure it is safe for Japanese skaters to compete at Cup of China next month.

Athletes pulled out of other competitions last month in both countries amid sometimes-violent protests targeting Japanese interests in China.

The Japan Skating Federation has already said it will not take part in the Shanghai event, unless the safety of Japanese competitors can be guaranteed.

“We have received assurances from the Chinese federation and the International Skating Union that they will take all possible measures to ensure the event goes ahead smoothly,” an official told AFP.

Phaneuf Retires

Canada’s Cynthia Phaneuf announced her retirement from the amateur world on Sept. 26.

The Contrecoeur, Quebec native won the Canadian title in 2011, and represented Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Her best international placement came in 2010 when she finished fifth at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships, narrowly missing the bronze medal by 1.08 points.

Skate Canada President, Benoît Lavoie, said Phaneuf inspired other skaters to follow in her path. “Now we often see girls make that leap from junior to senior at an early age, but Cynthia was really the first skater to do it, and she set an example for other young women to follow.

Phaneuf, who suffered from injuries the past two seasons plans to remain involved with the sport. “Skating will always be a part of my life. I have learned so much from the discipline of training every day, pursuing my dreams and working hard to achieve my goals,” she said.

"I have a number of options right now that I’m considering, but I know that I want to contribute to the sport in some way, and definitely to stay involved with the skating community."

British Dancers Move to the U.S.

Louise Walden and Owen Edwards recently announced that they are relocating to the U.S. to train with Galit Chait. The team previously trained in Lyon, France. Sinead Kerr and John Kerr will be their future mentors and choreographers.

“We are delighted to finally be able to unveil our new training location and coaching team,” Walden said. “We were talking in whispers for a few weeks but were bursting to tell everyone the fantastic news.”