International Figure Skating

International Figure Skating April 2016

International Figure Skating is globally recognized for its comprehensive, coverage complemented by fabulous photography and sophisticated design.

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1 minuti
awesome start to 2016

January was a busy skating month, with both the Canadian and U.S. Championships taking place the same week and Europeans playing out just one week later. I thought the Canadian and U.S. competitions, which ushered in a series of new champions, were far and away two of the hardest fought — in every discipline — I have seen in a very long time. The ladies event at Canadians had three young women battling it out, two of whom skated lights-out in the free. Patrick Chan lit up the ice with two solid programs and heads into Worlds with a lot more confidence than he had at the beginning of the season. In the men’s competition at U.S. nationals, Adam Rippon, emerged the winner for the first time in his eight appearances. New champions…

4 minuti
savchenko and massot shine in slovakia

Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, Germany’s new pairs team, claimed the silver medal in their debut at the European Championships in January. But capturing a medal was overshadowed by their obvious joy at once again competing at a major international event after a long, and what often seemed like a futile, waiting game. The duo had to wait 18 months for Massot to be released by the French Federation to be eligible to represent Germany. It was a special moment for Savchenko and Massot when they took to the ice for their short program. A few steps into their routine, set to “Creature de Siam,” a playful, somewhat melancholic piece of accordion music from a “Cirque du Soleil” soundtrack, the audience erupted in applause. Technical problems marred the free skate to “Sometimes” by…

4 minuti
kovtun fights for his place

Maxim Kovtun stepped into the world spotlight after beating Evgeni Plushenko at the Russian Championships in 2013. But three weeks later Kovtun placed fifth at Europeans, ranking lowest of the three Russian men who competed at the competition. That result cost him dearly. Plushenko, who did not compete at Europeans, was named to the 2014 Olympic team over Kovtun. A month later, Kovtun placed fourth at the 2014 World Championships, but since then he has been fighting for his place in the figure skating world. Last season, he won both his Grand Prix events and ranked fourth at the Final. This season, he placed second in the short in France but struggled at NHK Trophy, where he landed in 10th. Consistency seems to elude him. Heading into nationals last December, Kovtun admitted to feeling…

4 minuti
new challenge for orford and hill

Nicole Orford and Asher Hill both thought their ice dance careers were over when their former partnerships ended. Orford had competed with Thomas Williams for five seasons, winning the 2011 Canadian junior title and a senior bronze medal in 2013. But that partnership concluded when Williams announced his retirement after 2015 nationals, at which the couple finished fourth. With no new partner on the horizon, Orford signed up for a full course load in the health-sciences program at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. She also made plans to work with young skaters at her home base, the Inlet Skating Club, in Port Moody. She was moving on with her life, or so it seemed. Hill did not skate at all during the 2014-2015 season. His longtime partner, Kharis Ralph, with…

4 minuti
naumov carrying on a family tradition

Some familiar names from the past popped up on the Jumbotron at the 2016 U.S. Championships. The Russian influence has been present at nationals for almost two decades in the form of coaches and choreographers, but, as their children grow up, a new tradition is unfolding. Maxim Naumov, the son of the 1994 World pairs champions Evgenia Shishkova and Vadim Naumov, is one of them. In January, the 14-year-old won the bronze medal in the novice men’s event. “It was a great feeling. It was a relief,” said his father Vadim, who co-coaches his son. “I felt so much pressure for him. I am thankful that everything ended up well.” Shishkova, who is one of Maxim’s choreographers, admitted that she was too nervous to be in the arena for his free program. “If I…

8 minuti
satoko miyahara

In her short career, Satoko Miyahara has continually exceeded expectations, not only of those around her, but also her own. The 17-year-old now has the unenviable burden of upholding a tradition set by the likes of Midori Ito, Shizuka Arakawa, Miki Ando and Mao Asada in keeping Japan on the World and Olympic podiums. Heading into the 2015 World Championships, Satoko Miyahara was considered an outside shot for a medal, but the diminutive teenager took the world by surprise when she came through to skate her best when it really mattered. It was an impressive debut for the Kyoto native, who claimed silver in Shanghai and extended the Japanese medal-winning streak at Worlds to 10 consecutive years. Unlike many of her rivals, both inside and outside Japan, Miyahara was never hailed as a…