Russia is hosting its annual test skates this weekend. The test skates determine who will receive international assignments and who will watch them on television. The on-ice rivalry is at an all-time high at this event with many skaters vying for few spots on the junior and senior Grand Prix circuits, Europeans and Worlds. With the Olympic Winter Games just six months away there is a lot on the line and skating well at this event is paramount.
News sources report that Anna Pogorilaya is experiencing psychological issues related to her performance at the 2017 World Championships and will not skate at this event. Polina Tsurskaya and Alena Leonova (reportedly ill) is also not in attendance.
Alina Zagitova, the reigning Junior Grand Prix Final and World Junior champion is moving into the senior ranks this season, which will likely set up a battle between her and Evgenia Medvedeva.
China is also hosting its National Grand Prix. Here are some of the short and long programs from both events.
Evgenia Medvedeva /Long Program
Alina Zagitova/Long Program
Maria Sotskova/Long Program
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva/Long Program
Elena Radionova/Long Program
Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Solovyev – Free Dance
Tiffany Zahorski/Jonathon Guerreiro – Short Dance
Pursuant to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision that ice dancer, Ivan Bukin, the son of the 1988 Olympic ice dance champion, Andrei Bukin, and pairs skater Ksenia Stolbova would not be invited to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the Russian Figure Skating Federation (RFSF) replaced both teams on its Olympic Athletes from Russia roster. Bukin, Stolbova and their respective partners (Alexandra Stepanova and Fedor Klimov) were invited to join the approved athletes at a training camp in Fukuoka, Japan on Jan. 27 but declined, stating they would use the time to prepare for the World Championships in March.
The IOC does not make public the reasons behind its decisions.
According to Russian news sources, Stolbova and Bukin are challenging the IOC in the Switzerland Civil Court. “The lawyers have received powers of attorney from Stolbova and Bukin. It was decided to challenge the non-admission to the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in the civil court of Switzerland. They will not apply to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” RFSF president Alexander Gorshkov explained.
2017-2018 National Teams