Archive | August, 2012

2012 JGP United States Begins Today

30 Aug

Useful Links

icenetwork.com Event Page

Starting Order/Results Page  Twitter

Competition Notes (PDF)

The Junior Grand Prix Series has returned to the United States for the first time since 2009 and it does so to the city it left. Lake Placid, NY will host competition today beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Icenetwork.com Live Streaming Schedule

Icenetwork.com will provide both live and on-demand coverage of 2012 JGP United States. The video coverage will be available to Season Pass subscribers, while recaps, photos, blogs and results will be available to the general public for free.

Thursday (All times Eastern)

3:30 p.m. – Men’s short program – Joshua Farris, 4:09 p.m., James Schetelich, 4:35 p.m.

7:15 p.m. – Pairs short program – Aaron & Settlage, 7:47 p.m., Denney & Frazier, 8:35 p.m., Pfund & Reiss, 8:48 p.m., Oltmanns & Santillan, 9:20 p.m.

Friday

11:15 a.m. – Short dance – Pogrebinsky & Gudis, 11:27 a.m., Aldridge & Eaton, 11:59 a.m., Heritage & Fast, 12:46 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – Ladies short program – Angela Wang, 2:13 p.m., Courtney Hicks, 4:25 p.m., Kiri Baga, 5:32 p.m.

6:45 p.m. – Men’s free skate – Times TBD

Saturday

10:00 a.m. – Free dance – Times TBD

1:00 p.m. – Pairs free skate – Times TBD

4:00 p.m. – Ladies free skate – Times TBD

Farris Returns to Lake Placid

Joshua Farris, the 2012 World Junior silver medalist, returns to Lake Placid, the site of his first Junior Grand Prix event. Farris, then 14 in 2009, finished in fourth in the competition, but has reached the podium five times on the circuit since, including a bronze at the JGP Final last year.

“It’s always great to be in Lake Placid, it’s very inspiring and the whole atmosphere here just makes you want to compete,” Farris said.

Farris has competed as a senior at the U.S. Championships each of the last two years, finishing in 21st and 16th respectively, but his goals this year are simple.

“I want take each event one-by-one,” Farris said. “But I want to win and I want to go back to Junior Worlds.”

Farris, who trains and lives in Colorado Springs, Colo. makes the trek to the east coast for this competition, but he is happy to be competing in an international event in his own country.

“It’s a lot more relaxing and it feels more fun to compete in the United States,” Farris said. “It’s also nice because I get to use my cell phone and it’s not $3 a minute.”

Farris will be the first American to hit the famed ice in Lake Placid, as he performs his short program at 4:09 p.m. on Thursday.

Champs Camp Team Building

29 Aug

On Friday at Champs Camp, Team USA participated in the annual team building event. This year, the athletes were divided into four groups without any knowledge of their task. After being assigned an area of the gym and selecting a piece of music, the athletes discovered they would be creating 90-second routines using one of four implements, medicine balls, jump ropes, hula hoops or ribbons, used in rhythmic gymnastics. Here are the videos:

First Place – Team Rope


Team Ribbons


Team Hoop


Team Balls


Photo Slideshow (Photos thanks to Peter Zapalo)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2012 JGP United States Begins Wednesday in Lake Placid, N.Y.

28 Aug

The figure skating world will converge on Lake Placid, N.Y., this week as the United States is set to host a Junior Grand Prix event for the first time since 2009. The event will be broadcast live and on-demand to icenetwork.com Season Pass subscribers.

Useful links

2012 icenetwork.com JGP United States event page         Live streaming schedule

U.S. Figure Skating preview release

Image

Champs Camp Nuggets: Day Two

24 Aug

Here are a few more Champs Camp nuggets.

Kwan-on-One

Michelle Kwan was the keynote speaker at Champs Camp on Tuesday and throughout her speech, it was obvious that Caroline Zhang and Kwan had a close relationship as she was mentioned a few times during the night. Zhang, the 2012 U.S. pewter medalist, is coached by Karen Kwan, the older sister of Michelle, and the two trained at the same rink.

“Michelle is a great person to look up to,” Zhang said. “She’s definitely given me advice on my skating and I hope to be able to take her words to heart and work with it.”

Sister Act

Gracie Gold, the 2012 U.S. junior champion, is experiencing her first Champs Camp before her debut on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Gold, 17, has a twin sister Carly who is also a figure skater, and the two are nearly inseparable.

“We have such a good relationship,” Gracie Gold said. “We are each other’s best friends and we have each other’s back for everything. We are really close with everything we do.”

Gracie and Carly are self-proclaimed “sushi fanatics.” Gracie was able to experience some of the finest sushi the world had to offer last year at the World Team Trophy in Japan, and promised Carly that the next time she goes to Japan, she’s coming with her.

Rookie and a Vet

While Mark Ladwig will begin his seventh season on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, his new partner, Lindsay Davis, will be a rookie. After competing at 2012 NHK Trophy in Japan this fall, Ladwig will have competed at all six of the events on the series. Davis, however, is just excited to be there for the first time and have the ability to travel the world.

The new team, which formed in May, will have two assignments on the Grand Prix Series this year, with the second being Skate Canada. Ladwig is optimistic.

“Lindsay has a lot of experience, I have a lot of experience and we are combining the best of both worlds to make something that’s new,” he said. “Pairs is a partnership, and the partnership I find in Lindsay is that she is an amazing person both on and off the ice.”

Important Financial Aid Deadlines

24 Aug

U.S. Figure Skating offers a variety of scholarships, grants and awards to help grow the sport of figure skating in many ways. You may be eligible to receive funding and don’t know it, however, the deadlines to apply are quickly approaching.

Joyce Komperda Athlete Support Fund

The Joyce Komperda Athlete Support Fund was established in 2008 by Joyce Komperda in honor of her parents, who enrolled her in her first figure skating lessons for health reasons. From that moment on, Joyce became an avid skater and a passionate advocate for the sport. When Joyce’s parents passed away, she elected to honor them by investing the monies she inherited to help support the dreams of up-and-coming skaters. This award recognizes outstanding figure skaters at the novice, intermediate or junior level.

To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • As of June 1 of the current year, applicant must be skating at the recognized (and tested) level of novice, intermediate or junior
  • Financial need – family’s income level must be below $200,000 per year
  • The individual merits of the skater
  • Applicant must be under the age of 18
  • Young athlete showing exceptional potential
  • Young athlete who is competing well at his or her level

Click here to view the application, the deadline is Aug. 31.

Memorial Fund

The U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund administers three specialized programs that provide financial assistance to skaters striving to reach their goals both on and off the ice.

The Competitive Skaters Assistance Program (CSAP) is intended to subsidize the training expenses incurred by competitive figure skaters, including:

  • Coaching fees
  • Ice time
  • Equipment
  • Choreography and dance classes
  • Off-ice training
  • Costuming
  • Physical therapy and medical expenses

The Academic Scholarship Program (ASP) assists current and former skaters who are enrolled in an accredited college or university and are still actively involved in the sport of figure skating. ASP support is intended to be used to defray educational expenses such as:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books and supplies

Click here to apply, the deadline is Sept. 7.

Scholastic Honors Team

U.S. Figure Skating and the Pioneer Fund have joined together to support the U.S. Figure Skating Scholastic Honors Team, designed to recognized high school-age U.S. Figure Skating members who have distinguished themselves in figure skating, high school academics and community involvement.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an eligible skater and current member of U.S. Figure Skating
  • Be a full-time student entering his or her junior or senior year of high school in the fall
  • Be enrolled in a fully-accredited secondary school, attend classes and carry the minimum number of credit hours necessary to be a full-time student.
  • Maintain at least a 3.4 GPA (based on a 4.0 scale) or 93% (based on a 100% scale) during the last two years
  • Must have competed in a U.S. Figure Skating qualifying competition at the novice, junior or senior level during the past two competitive seasons

Click here to apply, the deadline is Sept. 14.

Champs Camp: Day 1 Nuggets

23 Aug

Here are some nuggets from day 1 of Champs Camp

Weir Shows his ‘Poker Face’

Away from competitive skating for two seasons, three-time U.S. champion and World medalist Johnny Weir is back. Although Weir promised a more “classic Johnny, very pretty with classical music” program for his free skate, he admitted he is going to push the envelope with his short program.

“My short program is ’Poker Face‘ by Lady Gaga, and Gaga herself actually gave me the piece of music so I was very excited about that,” Weir said. “Even if she’s not crazy tweeting about me all the time, her and her family wanted to support my comeback and what better way than to use her music.”

Sister, Sister

The ice dancing duo of Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus are taking in everything they can at Champs Camp and enjoying the experience. The duo was the final addition to the Grand Prix Series as they were named to Skate America on August 10, and they found out through an unconventional mean.

“We found out through Twitter,” Cannuscio said. “And when we saw we were invited to Skate America, I screamed.”

Cannuscio’s sister, Isabella, competed at Skate America last year and her experience in 2011 has been great for Anastasia this season.

“Since Isabella got to go to Champs Camp two years ago and Skate America last year I have been asking her what it’s like and what we get to do,” Cannuscio said. “It’s nice having her there for advice because I like to ask a lot of things before I go somewhere so I know what to expect.”

Happy Birthday to…Both of You!

Although they have been skating together since 2006, the pairs team of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir have a connection that dates back to their births. The 2009 World Junior bronze medalists both celebrated their birthdays on August 20, as Marissa turned 22 and Simon 25. Some years though, having their birthday on the same day is more fun than others.

“This year we spent our birthday on a plane (to Champs Camp) sadly,” Shnapir said.

“Last year we had to do the Cranberry Open on our birthday and it was fun because all the judges stood up and sang to us. We always enjoy having our birthday around this time though because we get to see all of our friends at competitions.” Castelli added.

No Longer a Rookie

Last year, Douglas Razzano was a rookie on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series as a late entry to Skate America. Razzano was added to the roster for 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America on October 14 and performed his short program just seven days later. Although rushed, Razzano says he wants to take that same spontaneous mentality into his Skate America assignment this year.

“Last year was almost so spontaneous that there wasn’t any time to really stress out or have it get in my head,” Razzano said. “This year, I really want to pace myself and take my time and it’ll be what it’ll be, but I hope it’s good.”

Finishing 15th in 2010, Razzano has improved upon his finishes at the U.S. Championships by five positions each of the last two years, finishing fifth in 2012, and credits changes he made as the reason for the results.

“A few years ago I made a lot of changes and I am glad to finally see them pay off,” he said. “We are very resistant to change, we find something that works and we don’t usually like to stray away from that, but I took a big leap, did things a bit different and I am really glad to see it pay off.”

Candid Photos

22 Aug

Each year at Champs Camp, SKATING magazine takes the opportunity to have several photo shoots with athletes selected to be on the cover of the magazine during the next year. This year, the six 2012 U.S. Champions will adorn the cover of the January issue of SKATING magazine as a preview for the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb. Additionally, each of the champions will grace the cover in an additional month (pairs and dance will have their own covers). In the gallery below, enjoy candid photos taken by Andrea Morrison, U.S. Figure Skating’s Art Director, Graphic Design. We have also hand-selected our favorite of each of the skaters.

Group Photo

Ashley Wagner

Jeremy Abbott

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin

Meryl Davis and Charlie White

Entire Gallery