International Figure Skating

International Figure Skating February 2021

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

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3 min

DIFFERENT MEDAL On Nov. 27, the Governor General of Canada announced that Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will be honoured as Members of the Order of Canada for their “unparalleled excellence in ice dance and for inspiring the next generation of Canadian figure skaters.” The Order recognizes people in all sectors of society whose contributions are varied, but who have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference in Canada. WEDDING BELLS Former U.S. pairs skater Marissa Castelli married her long-time boyfriend David Leenen on Oct. 9 in a small intimate outdoor ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island. The couple was planning a bigger wedding but due to the current health situation opted for a smaller ceremony. Castelli said they are looking forward to celebrating with their family and friends in October 2021 DIAMOND CELEBRATION Former…

15 min
skate america

For the second year in a row, the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted Skate America, the first Grand Prix Series competition of the season. American skaters dominated the line-ups for the most part, but U.S. Figure Skating invited elite-level athletes that train full-time in the U.S. to also compete. For the first time in history no spectators were permitted, but to give the arena some ambience, fans were offered the opportunity to provide photos of themselves, their pets or whatever they wished, which were placed in the seats in the lower bowl of the arena during the competition. Media who attended the event in person were subject to strict conditions: A COVID-19 test upon arrival and isolation in a hotel room until the test was returned; no interaction with anyone…

13 min
nhk trophy

The fourth and final Grand Prix competition of the season played out in Osaka, Japan. Due to that nation’s border restrictions and quarantine rules, all but one of the skaters competing at NHK Trophy represented the host country. That exception was South Korea’s Young You, who is co-coached by Mie Hamada in Osaka and Tammy Gambill in the U.S. With a number of its top skaters training abroad who would have had to enter a two-week quarantine upon returning home, the Japanese federation instead offered some of its rising young stars the opportunity to test their mettle at a senior competition. With Japan’s leading lady, Rika Kihira, absent from the field, the door was open for a number of talented skaters to capture the top step of the podium with Kaori Sakamoto…

2 min
inside edge

NEW DIRECTION Since his captivating 2018 Olympic appearances in PyeongChang, Adam Rippon has enjoyed a post-competitive career few can only dream of. He added to his mass appeal by winning Season 6 of “Dancing with the Stars.” And now his comedic talents have finally found an outlet, with NBC recently hiring Rippon to create and produce a comedy series for the network. The storyline of the “Untitled Figure Skating Comedy” revolves around one woman’s oversized ambitions, underwhelming talent and boundless heart to realize her dreams against the odds in her fight against family, failing knees and every other skater on the ice. Susan Kittenplan, a media executive and co-creator of the series, is developing the storyline with Rippon. Kittenplan is the president emeritus of the Skating Club of New York, serves on the…

18 min
nathan chen focused, upbeat & optimistic

Nathan Chen, the two-time World champion from the United States, knows all too well the pitfalls of focusing on one particular thing. He has not forgotten what transpired in the short program at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang — it was a game changer for the U.S. star. Chen went to South Korea as the great American hope, perhaps the most ascendant talent in men’s figure skating at the time. Armed with a bulging arsenal of quadruple jumps, he seemed ready to take the world by storm. Then a disastrous short program happened and, buried in 17th place, Chen’s hope for gold was gone. A decisive victory in the free skate, courtesy of his technical skills, pushed him up to fifth in the final standings. It was the last time…

15 min
coaching in a virtual world

He is one of his sport’s ultimate travelling men, a coaching savant whose desire to develop the world’s best figure skaters is hardly constrained by his own country’s borders. In ordinary times, Brian Orser would be bouncing across Asia or Europe countless times over, racking up the frequent flier miles. It has been his life and his livelihood for almost 14 years. But these are not ordinary times. In a COVID-19 world, international travel is almost at a standstill. And so Orser’s passport has been starved of travel stamps for most of 2020 — at least since the global pandemic’s tentacles fully extended their reach into North America back in the spring. “I have not been on an airplane since Junior Worlds, so that would be the beginning of March,” said Orser of…