International Figure Skating

International Figure Skating November/December 2017

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

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6 Numeri

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2 minuti
courageous moves

Some poignant news over the past few weeks has given many of us cause to stop and think about our sport. In less than a month, two young female skaters have spoken out about their health issues. Russia’s Julia Lipnitskaya officially retired from the sport in September at age 19. Gracie Gold of the U.S., who took a break from skating in September, opened up about her situation in mid-October. While eating disorders are not a new phenomenon, the topic is certainly one that is usually kept under wraps in the world of sport. However, these two courageous young women have placed the spotlight front and center on the issue in the world of figure skating. Lipnitskaya referred to her condition as a “21st century illness, and said her only regret is not…

3 minuti
hanyu falters at season opener

Yuzuru Hanyu kicked off his Olympic campaign in front of a sold-out audience at the 2017 Skate Canada Autumn Classic in Montreal in late September. The Japanese star debuted two revamped programs from the 2015-2016 season — Chopin’s “Ballade No. 1” for the short and “Seimei,” by Shigeru Umebayashi, for the free. Busloads of Japanese fans made the trip to Canada to see their idol compete, and Hanyu did not disappoint them in the short program, executing clean, sharp elements in a flawless performance, each one eliciting deafening roars. His efforts were rewarded with a score of 112.72 — a new World record. Hanyu was satisfied with the performance, despite switching a planned quad loop for a quad Salchow. “I’m happy that I skated clean. One may think that it was easy because I…

5 minuti
marchei & hotárek find their groove

When they teamed up in 2014, neither knew what the future would hold or whether the partnership would last beyond its first season. But finishing fourth at their first European Championships and 11th at Worlds in 2015 gave Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek every reason to believe they could exceed their initial expectations. The following season was not as successful for the Italian pairs team, but as with all new partnerships, it took time for them to find their groove. Three seasons into the partnership, Hotarek said he and Marchei are now in a good place. “Of course, the main factor is the time we have skated together. It takes years to get the right understanding for the way you train and compete, but we finally found our pace and way of preparation…

5 minuti
sticking to the plan

The past 18 months have been a journey of love, patience and commitment for American pairs skaters Alexa Scimeca Knierim and her husband, Chris Knierim. In mid-2016, Scimeca Knierim, 26, began experiencing debilitating abdominal pain, long bouts of physical illness and her weight plummeted by nearly 20 pounds. Training took a back seat to sleepless nights, fatigue and pain. Three surgical procedures were required after she was diagnosed with a rare gastrointestinal condition, forcing she and Knierim, 29, to miss the entire fall season. The duo resumed training just before the 2017 U.S. Championships. Although they were unable to compete, they were selected for Four Continents and the World Championships. Preparing for those two events was “a leap of faith,” Scimeca Knierim recalled. “Training was not the easiest because of the short amount of…

9 minuti
the final olympic cycle

He has five European and two World crowns to his credit, along with an array of medals from the most elite competitions on the planet. But there is one piece of hardware missing from the collection Javier Fernández has amassed in a decade on the senior circuit. His goal is to close out his final campaign in 2018 by adding an Olympic medal to his collection. Every accomplishment has marked not only a personal victory for Javier Fernández, but also a first in Spanish skating history. Capturing a fifth European title last January elevated him into an elite league. Only three men have ever achieved that feat: Karl Schaeffer, Ondrej Nepela — and Fernández. And as he moves toward his biggest goal this season — a podium finish at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games —…

9 minuti
a fight to the finish

The designated Olympic qualifying event for the 2018 Winter Games drew 93 skaters across the four disciplines — 26 men, 33 ladies, 16 pairs and 18 ice dance teams. All but a handful of those competitors were in the hunt for one of the 23 remaining spots — six in ladies, men’s and ice dance and five in pairs. Thirty-two of the 33 competitors in the ladies field had their sights set on capturing one of the six berths available. Some entered the competition with unrealistic expectations, while others knew they had a legitimate shot at turning their dreams into reality. Nebelhorn has proven, historically, to be a lucky competition for Australia. In 2013, its skaters went into the competition with no berths for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and went home with…