Archive | November, 2013

Team USA Earns Two Medals at Rostelecom Cup

23 Nov

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Twitter  #COR2013  |  Competition Notes (PDF)

Live Results/Starting Orders  |  icenetwork Event Page

At 2013 Rostelecom Cup, the final event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, Team USA earned a pair of bronze medals. The United States will be represented with two entries at the Grand Prix Final in December in Japan.

Mirai Nagasu, the fourth-place finisher at the 2010 Olympics, earned her fourth career medal on the Grand Prix Series as she finished in third place with 175.37 points. Nagasu opened her short program with a clean triple toe-triple toe combination and later added five triples in her free skate to go along with three Level 4 spins. The finish is her best of the season in three events.

In ice dance, Madison Chock and Evan Bates earned their first Grand Prix medal together earlier this season at Cup of China and added a second bronze medal this weekend in Moscow. In fourth after the short dance, Chock and Bates were third in the free dance to propel them on to the podium with 153.37 points.

In the six events that make up the Grand Pirx Series, athletes are awarded points based on their finishing position. From December 5-8, 2013, the top six in points in each discipline compete in the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan. Team USA will be represented in both the ladies and ice dance events.

By virtue of her Skate America silver medal and her gold medal at Trophee Bompard, reigning U.S. champion Ashley Wagner will compete in her third Grand Prix Final. Last year Wagner earned silver, improving upon her fourth-place finish from 2009.

In ice dance, Meryl Davis and Charlie White have won their last 14 Grand Prix events, including Skate America and NHK Trophy this year. The duo will look for their record fifth straight Grand Prix title in Japan.

Narrowly missing out on the Grand Prix are Adam Rippon and Jason Brown, Gracie Gold, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani and Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who are all alternates.

For full event coverage, visit icenetwork.com.

Team USA finishes at Rostelecom Cup

Men’s
Richard Dornbush – 5th
Joshua Farris – WD

Ladies
Mirai Nagasu – 3rd
Agnes Zawadzki – 6th

Pairs
Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim – 6th
Lindsay Davis and Rockne Brubaker – 7th

 

2013 Rostelecom Cup Day 1

22 Nov

Useful Links

Twitter  #COR2013  |  Competition Notes (PDF)

Live Results/Starting Orders  |  icenetwork Event Page

Day one has completed at 2013 Rostelecom Cup, the final stop on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series, and members of Team USA are in medal contention ahead of their final performances.

In the ladies event, American Agnes Zawadzki skated to a personal best score of 60.45 and is in third after the short program, while teammate Mirai Nagasu is only .01 points behind in fourth. Both Zawadzki and Nagasu opened with clean triple toe-triple toe combinations and while Nagasu edged Zawadzki in the execution of her elements, Zawadzki got the slight nod in the base value for her elements and in points for her components.

In first place, topping her personal best score by nearly six points is Russian Julia Lipnitskaia with 72.24 points. She executed a clean skate which included an opening triple Lutz-triple toe, worth an event-best 11 points. In second is 2012 World champion Carolina Kostner of Italy with 67.74 points.

In the men’s event, Maxim Kovtun, in his home country, delivered the short program of his lifetime. Kovtun executed a beautiful opening quad Salchow-triple toe combination followed by a quad toe and a triple Axel in the second half of his skate. He earned a score of 92.53, which is more than 11 points better than his previous personal best. In second place with 84.90 points is Tatsuki Machida of Japan, while Javier Fernandzez of Spain is in third with 81.87 points. American Richard Dornbush is in 63.74 points while, his teammate, Joshua Farris was forced to withdraw from the competition after sustaining an injury during practice.

In the pairs event, despite a mistake on the difficult throw triple Axel, Germans Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy are in first place with 73.25 points with Russians Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov and Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch in second and third with 69.72 and 65.65 points respectively.

Americans Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim posted a personal best score of 59.56 and are into fifth place. The duo, who train in Colorado Springs, will look to top their fifth place performance from their GP event earlier this year. Fellow Americans Lindsay Davis and Rockne Brubaker are in seventh place with 51.59 points.

In the dance event, Russians Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitry Soloviev are well in front with 68.42 points. The reigning World bronze medalists paced the field with a big score for their components and also led the competition in points for their elements. Their step sequence received a short dance-best 8.36 points. Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje are in second with 61.50 while Russians Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilya Tkachenko are in third with 58.59. Looking for their second medal of the GP season, Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates are in fourth place with 57.80 points

2013 ROSTELECOM CUP ICENETWORK BROADCAST SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern; subject to change)

 

Saturday, Nov. 13
5:00 a.m. – Ladies free
Mirai Nagasu – 5:54 a.m.
Agnes Zawadzki – 6:02 a.m.

6:50 a.m. – Pairs free
Davis/Brubaker – 7:05 a.m.
Scimeca/Knierim – 7:22 a.m.

8:30 a.m. – Men’s free
Richard Dornbush – 8:50 a.m.

10:30 a.m. – Free dance
Chock/Bates – 11:14 a.m.

UNIVERSAL SPORTS NETWORK 2013 TROPHEE BOMPARD BROADCAST SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern; subject to change)

Broadcast Date

Event

Time (TV)

Friday, Nov. 22

Ladies short

6 p.m.

Pairs short

7 p.m.

Men’s short

9 p.m.

Short dance

10 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23

Pairs free

6 p.m.

Free dance

7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 24

Rebroadcast of NBC coverage

TBD

2013 Rostelecom Cup Viewers’ Guide

21 Nov

Useful Links

Twitter  #COR2013  |  Competition Notes (PDF)

Live Results/Starting Orders  |  icenetwork Event Page

Rostelecom Cup
Ladies
Agnes Zawadzki, the 2013 U.S. bronze medalist, finished seventh at 2013 Cup of China, while Mirai Nagasuwas eighth at NHK Trophy.

Men 
Joshua Farris made his Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada and finished fifth. Likewise, Richard Dornbushwas fifth at Cup of China.

Pairs

Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim finished fifth at Cup of China. Lindsay Davis and Rockne Brubaker, who also competed at Skate Canada, were invited to Rostelecom Cup in early October after Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer withdrew due to injury.

Ice dance
Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the 2013 U.S. silver medalists, will skate for their second medal after finishing third at Cup of China.

2013 ROSTELECOM CUP ICENETWORK BROADCAST SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern; subject to change)

Friday, Nov. 22
6:00 a.m. – Ladies short
Mirai Nagasu – 6:15 a.m.
Agnes Zawadzki – 6:41 a.m.

7:40 a.m. – Pairs short
Davis/Brubaker – 7:54 a.m.
Scimeca/Knierim – 8:07 a.m.

10:00 a.m. – Men’s short
Joshua Farris – 10:47 a.m.
Richard Dornbush – 10:54 a.m.

11:40 a.m. –  Short dance
Chock/Bates – 12:26 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 13
5:00 a.m. – Ladies free
6:50 a.m. – Pairs free
8:30 a.m. – Men’s free
10:30 a.m. – Free dance

UNIVERSAL SPORTS NETWORK 2013 TROPHEE BOMPARD BROADCAST SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern; subject to change)

Broadcast Date

Event

Time (TV)

Friday, Nov. 22

Ladies short

6 p.m.

Pairs short

7 p.m.

Men’s short

9 p.m.

Short dance

10 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 23

Pairs free

6 p.m.

Free dance

7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 24

Rebroadcast of NBC coverage

TBD

Jimmy Fund benefit celebrates youth and experience

21 Nov

By Sarah S. Brannen

The 43rd edition of An Evening with Champions at Harvard University in October brought together skating stars of today and yesterday, all for a great cause.

Since 1970, the show, run entirely by Harvard students, has raised more than $2.6 million for the Jimmy Fund to support adult and pediatric cancer research.

The show featured many special moments.

Two-time Olympic pairs champions Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov again won over the audience at the Bright Arena, performing with their signature class and elegance.

“We will continue as long as possible,” Oleg, 81, said.

Current competitors previewed their competitive programs. Rachael Flatt skated her new short program, which she choreographed herself to Barber’s Adagio for Strings. The Haydenettes revealed a new Middle Eastern-themed program to “Ab-i Hayat.” Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt performed their Finnstep short dance.

Nathan Chen, 14, received a huge ovation for his program to “Home” by Phillip Phillips. He landed an easy triple flip and triple Lutz. Joshua Farris included a triple Axel as an encore.

Isabella Cannuscio and Michael Bramante skated to “Ghost,” and Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus performed “Unusual Way.”

2006 World champion Kimmie Meissner’s graceful program included double Axels and a triple toe. Olympic ice dancer Emily Samuelson performed a beautiful and emotional solo number.

Braden Overett provoked gales of laughter as he tangoed with a life-sized doll partner. Shawn Sawyer showed off a backflip and his unique style as a mime. Marissa Castelli and Harrison Choate participated in the Act I of Boston ice theatre number. Yasmin Siraj, The Next Ice Age, Blake Rosenthal, Maria Kalina, Bennet Gottlieb and Team Excel’s senior and collegiate teams also skated.

Emily Hughes and Paul Wylie co-hosted the show. Hughes is now working for the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland, and she said she would be at the Olympics in February.

Samuelson

Emily Samuelson, a 2010 Olympic ice dancer, performs beautiful solo program.(Photo by Sarah Brannen)

“We Take Care of Our Own”

20 Nov

By Chelsea Schlecht

A skating team formed a circle on the far corner of the ice. A rousing cheer cut through the crisp air of the ice rink at Chelsea Piers Connecticut. The 16 female athletes applauded yet another successful practice and exited the ice, uniformly dressed in black chiffon wrap-skirts and teal racerback tank tops emblazoned with their team logo of three silhouetted skaters.

This is the Skyliners synchronized skating team – a nationally and internationally recognized group of high-caliber athletes who would let nothing, not even the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, stop them from participating in the art and athleticism of figure skating.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, news outlets shared stories of loss, survival and courage – families watching their homes drown in flood waters, small businesses fighting to rebuild and tales of rescues by neighborhood heroes. Apart from coverage of the canceled New York City Marathon, however, stories involving the fate of local sports teams were put on the media-coverage backburner while the closures and losses of ice rinks throughout the New York area put the competitive fate of more than 1,000 New York City-based figure skaters on thin ice.

Of the 1,000-plus members of the Skating Club of New York (SCNY), one of the country’s oldest and most prominent skating clubs, more than 150 athletes skate for the club’s synchronized skating team, the Skyliners. In the 2011-12 pre-Sandy season, all five of the Skyliners’ teams that competed at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships placed in the top five of their respective divisions, three of which ended with a podium-finish. Losing out on practice time, due to natural disaster or otherwise, would have been disastrous.

The morning after Sandy blacked out Manhattan, Moira North, founder of SCNY sister-program the Ice Theatre of New York, ventured from her home in Tribeca to see how Chelsea Piers had been affected.

“I saw for myself,” North recalled. “It was stunning. Refrigerators from restaurants floating.”

The SkyRink at Chelsea Piers New York, the sole venue for SCNY club ice, was shut down for five weeks, preventing the skaters from following their normal training schedules.

“It really slammed them,” Josh Babb, program director and head coach of the Skyliners’ highest-level teams, said. “They had no options.”

Not only was the SkyRink closed for more than a month, but practice facilities further afield were also disrupted. Rye Playland, the main practice rink for the Skyliners’ junior team is still down today.

Relocating more than 20 hours of weekly ice time was no easy task for the Skyliners’ management, as both hockey and figure skating teams sign contracts months in advance for a whole season’s worth of ice.

“As soon as I heard that our main practice rink was down, it was just [going] into management mode to try and find ice wherever we could get it,” Babb said. “Making up for lost practice time is not easy when you’re trying to maintain a World team and stay on top of the podium.”

As Sandy was brewing up trouble across the east coast, Skyliners teams were preparing for their sixth annual pep rally. For all eight Skyliners teams, the 2012 pep rally was to be the first big performance of the competitive season.

“[Sandy] did knock us back for that,” Dr. Deborah Roche, the teams’ sports psychologist, said. “We were definitely not as prepared as we would have been.”

“These kids are very dedicated to what they do,” Babb added. “They knew they had a job to do and they just did it.”

In Sandy’s wake, neither flooded bridges nor subway shutdowns could keep them from practice. Jen Sais, Skyliners senior team manager and designated “team mom,” recalled that although some of the skaters were out of power for two-to-three weeks, they did everything they could to make it to the rink, even staying at hotels near the facility to ensure their attendance at practice.

“They’re a pretty determined group of kids,” Sais said. “Even the ones from far away made practice.”

“It takes a lot to shake them,” Roche added. “It’s a testament to the resilience they have.”

In the first days after the hurricane, SCNY president Terri Levine and other SCNY board members searched through club records to contact club members who lived in areas that had been devastated.

“The skating community in New York is very small,” Levine said. “We help each other out.”

“We’re a family,” Roche added. “People rallied for each other. People were taking other skaters into their homes. You take them in, you don’t ask questions.”

The innate teamwork and selflessness described by Dr. Roche is not specific to Hurricane Sandy, however. While describing the SCNY’s post-Sandy experience, Levine recalled the last time her club dealt with disaster, during her first term as the club’s president, on September 11, 2001.

“The first thing we all did, we went running back upstairs,” Levine said, adding that she had been standing outside Chelsea Piers as the towers fell.  “We thought people were going to be running at us to get away. We went to get the water containers they use for hockey games because we thought they would need the water to drink and flush their eyes from the smoke and debris.”

Levine supported the rink management’s decision to cancel all practices immediately following the tragic events, stating that they “thought they were going to use [the facility] as a morgue.”

As the senior team exited the ice and the Zamboni doors opened, two of the team’s newest members, Alex Sais (daughter of Jen Sais) and Brooke Abbott, glided over to the boards. They jumped up and perched casually, their skate blades swinging about a foot off the floor. At 20 and 18 years old, both skaters made the leap from Skyliners junior to senior this season. As former junior skaters, they felt the loss of the Rye Playland rink firsthand.

“After the storm, the rink was completely destroyed,” Alex Sais said. “We had to change our schedule and move to a different rink. It was really tough.”

“It took a lot of refocusing and getting back into the zone,” Abbott added. “I think it made us grow. [Sandy] kind of brought around a new era. It unified the Skyliners, too, just having everyone together at the same rink.”

Although the girls recall their first post-Sandy practice as relatively normal, Abbott remembers a surreal atmosphere.

“I think we were just kind of like shocked, like ‘Did that really just happen? A hurricane?’” Abbott said. “We got together and it was just nice. I missed everyone. It was like a coming home.”

Fast forward to present day and the Skyliners’ 2013-14 season is well under way. With a club record of nine teams and more than 170 athletes, this looks to be one of the most promising seasons. The reigning U.S. synchronized silver medalist junior team is aiming to once again compete at the World Junior Challenge Cup and the senior team is hoping to climb the ranks. From here, the New York figure skating community is only looking forward.

“2012 was an 11-month year,” Levine said. “I would say we’re 100 percent back.”

Nancy Meiss Estate Sale

19 Nov

Nancy Meiss, a distinguished 50-year judge, a tireless volunteer and one of the sport’s most ardent supporters, surrounded herself with the things she loved. When she passed away Jan. 1, 2013, in Cincinnati, her mementos were a collection of a life well-lived.

Now, after selecting keepsakes near to their hearts, Meiss’ family is making many of the items public in an online auction that is drawing the attention of figure skating fans and collectors worldwide. There are so many figurines, artwork and Olympic collectibles that just viewing them online is a treat.

To view the auction site, go to: https://www.ebth.com/sales/2441-hyde-park-ohio-personal-property-sale. The auction ends at 8:46 p.m. ET Nov. 23.

Meiss, who was born Dec. 12, 1922, began her career in 1958 as an ice dancing and figures judge. She judged at every level, including World Championships and the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. In 2009, she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

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2013 Trophee Bompard Recap

16 Nov

Useful Links

Twitter  #TEB2013  |  Competition Notes (PDF)

Live Results/Starting Orders  |  icenetwork Event Page

What a week for Team USA! The Americans hauled in three medals, including one in each discipline in which it was represented.

Ashley Wagner is now a two-time Trophee Bompard champion, and with the win, should cement her spot at the 2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Japan. Meryl Davis and Charlie White punched their ticket to the event last weekend.

Wagner’s total score of 194.37 points represented an ISU personal best. She finished second in the free skate behind silver medalist Adelina Sotnikova of Russia. Wagner’s Romeo and Juliet free skate, which she performed in a lovely new maroon dress, featured a triple flip-triple toe combination and two Level 4 spins. Wagner’s PCS mark of 65.81 was the highest of the event. The bronze medal went home with Russia’s Anna Pogorilaya.

Samantha Cesario, who finished fourth, set ISU personal bests all around. Her clean “Carmen” free skate earned 116.15 points as she finished with 172.70 overall. Christina Gao endured a tough free skate and finished eighth overall.

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin won the first American pairs medal of the Grand Prix season, taking home bronze behind China’s Qing Pang and Jian Tong (193.86 total points) and Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (190.89 total points). The gold medal for Pang and Tong is their 10th on the Grand Prix Series.

Denney and Coughlin, who earned 184.01 points overall, produced a clean Phantom of the Opera free skate that featured the highest technical score of the competition. Their free skate score totaled 120.49, including 63.54 on the first mark. Highlights included three Level 4 lifts in the program’s second half and a huge triple twist worth 7.00 points (including 1.20 on GOE). The bronze-medal win is the third of Denney and Coughlin’s career.

Jason Brown, in this second career Grand Prix appearance also won the bronze medal behind perennial power houses Patrick Chan of Canada and Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan. Chan, the three-time World champion, posted world record scores in the free skate (196.75) and overall (295.27) as he sailed to victory. Hanyu was also superb as he earned 263.59 points overall.

And for Brown, while it may not have been perfect, his free skate was easily enough to put him in medal position when combined with his clean short program from the day before. In fact, Brown’s total score of 243.09 points was nearly 30 points more than that of fourth-place finisher Han Yan of China. Brown set personal superlatives throughout the week. His “Reel Around the Sun” free skate featured a triple Lutz-loop-triple Salchow combination worth 12.37 points and added triple flip-triple toe worth 10.54.

Team USA didn’t have any ice dancers compete in France. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada won the title followed by Russia’s Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalpov and France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat.

Next week, the Grand Prix Series will wrap up in Moscow with Rostelecom Cup. Team USA will also have a team competing at Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria.