Archive | January, 2014

Team USA Competes at 2014 Mozart Cup

26 Jan

Four U.S. synchronized teams competed this weekend at 2014 Mozart Cup in Salzburg, Austria. Miami University, the reigning U.S. silver medalists, enjoyed Team USA’s best finish at fourth place in the senior event.

The Oxford, Ohio, based team totaled 165.88 for the weekend. Their “Let it Be” short program accounted for 59.02 points and included five elements with positive GOEs. The Level 4 wheel earned a program-high 6.90 points. In the free skate portion of the competition, Miami saw a nice program components score of 60.64 (out of 106.86 for the segment). Also representing Team USA in the senior event was California Gold who finished 10th.

The senior podium featured Finland’s Marigold Ice Unity (209.98 points) and their teammates Rockettes (201.18). Canada’s NEXXICE rounded out the top three with 194.64 points.

In the junior event, the American teams finished seventh and eighth. Perennial U.S. junior medalists Skyliners (SC of New York) were in fifth place following the short program. However, the team was eighth in the free and finished seventh overall with 126.58 points. In their international debut, St. Louis Synergy finished in a close eighth place with 122.12 points.

The junior podium included Les Pirouettes (CAN), Crystal Ice (RUS) and Sun City Swing (FIN).

All four teams are also set to compete at the 2014 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships Feb. 26-March 1, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Synchroettes Silver Highlights Leon Lurje Trophy

20 Jan

As the Olympic spirit took hold in the week following the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the synchronized skating season began with four American teams taking the ice at Leon Lurje Trophy in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Synchroettes junior team, hailing from West Orange, N.J., paced Team USA’s efforts with a silver medal – an improvement on their bronze-medal finish at this event a year ago. The Synchroettes were in a very tight battle with Sweden’s own Team Spirit. They conceded the short program to Team Spirit but overcame the 1.05 deficit to sneak into silver medal position after the free skate, set to the music from “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Their total score of 136.28 was just .21 better than that of the bronze medalists.

Miami University junior team finished 5th in both segments, earning 122.82 points total. In the free skate, the team earned the highest base value, 37.10, of all the junior teams. They earned the highest technical levels for their no hold element, moves in the field element and line.

Also representing Sweden, Team Convivium easily took the junior title with 156.45 points. They were the only team to break 50 points in the short program and 100 in the free (103.58).

The senior event featured reigning World champions Team Unique of Finland as they cruised to a nearly 20-point victory and hit 199.15 points. Their lead of more than 10 points, following the short program, only grew with their “Women out for Revenge” free skate. They shared the podium with Sweden’s Team Surprise and Boomerang.

The Skyliners, representing The Skating Club of New York, began their second international season with a fifth-place showing at Leon Lurje Trophy. Less than three points of out of bronze medal contention following the short program, the Skyliners were unable to pull ahead of the teams from Sweden and Finland. The ICE’Kateers, hailing from Southern California, finished sixth in both segments, and showed great improvement in their free skate, which earned them 90.96 points.

Shoes Instead of Skates

17 Jan

By Kimmie Meissner

It’s been six years since I’ve been at U.S. championships. This time I arrived without my skates, toting around a silly amount of shoes, for all the possibilities nationals can hold, even for the spectator.

Arriving at the arena for the first time, seeing the ice and the panel set up for the judges, a wave of memories came rushing back and I felt as though I had never left. Is it possible for the desire to compete to ever leave you? I thought it was until I finally sat down and watched my first skating competition since beginning to compete myself. There’s no easy way to describe what it’s like being here and not participating. In some ways, I’m glad I don’t have to be out there risking everything and pushing my body to its limit, but in many more ways it feels wrong to be sitting on the sidelines and traveling without my skates.  Talking with friend, and fellow Olympian Emily Hughes, we both agree, “it just feels really weird”.

There were a lot of things I didn’t realize happened before we all took to the ice. I had no idea the videos being played were so intense, really adding to the anticipation of that last group. I had no idea they showed people in the audience, just like many other sporting events. I had no idea just how nerve wracking it can be to watch your friends perform programs that can change their lives. Watching the ladies free program was a roller coaster ride of emotions. As a skater you know what is going through their minds and how it feels to receive that standing ovation or fall in front of a nearly sold out arena. It’s nearly impossible not to feel the skater’s exuberance or their heartbreak, as I found myself in both tears of sadness and joy.

Something else I felt was that familiar pull to the ice. The itch to compete can never leave an athlete, no matter how much time comes to pass. That desire to skate and to test my character all while standing alone in the center of the ice surrounded by thousands is hardwired in my soul and will most likely always present itself in the presence of every skater’s stage.  A stage that is both welcoming and daunting.

Hello again, old friend.

SKATING magazine – January Issue

10 Jan

Click on the cover to view the entire digital version of the January SKATING magazine.

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How to watch the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships

4 Jan

The 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships will take place Jan. 5‒12 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) and TD Garden in Boston. The following is a comprehensive listing of how to follow the event:

Television
The 2014 U.S. Championships will have eight hours of live, high-definition coverage of senior-level events on NBC. NBC will also air the Smucker’s Skating Spectacular, from 4‒6 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Jan. 18. NBC’s broadcast team will consist of Tom Hammond and Terry Gannon (play-by-play), Scott Hamilton (analyst), Sandra Bezic (analyst), Tracy Wilson (analyst) and Andrea Joyce (reporter). The broadcasts will also be shown on www.NBCOlympics.com.

NBC Broadcast Schedule (all times Eastern, subject to change, check local listing)

Schedule

icenetwork.com
In addition to NBC’s coverage, live and on-demand coverage of the competition will be available to Season Pass subscribers on icenetwork. Each of the events not shown on NBC will be available live on icenetwork. The icenetwork announce team is led by  Mike Mancuso, who will be joined in the booth by 2006 Olympic silver medalist ice dancer Tanith Belbin, three-time U.S. champion Michael Weiss and 1996 U.S. silver medalist Tonia Kwiatkowski. Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes will also join the icenetwork team for backstage interviews and analysis. For a detailed schedule, click here.

In addition to the subscriber-based coverage on icenetwork there are a number of ways to use icenetwork to follow the U.S. Championships for FREE! In addition to live results, news stories, photo galleries and athlete bios, icenetwork will also provide a live look behind-the-scenes at the U.S. Championships and a way to interact with the skaters during the competition. To become a registered member, click here to sign up.

Social Scene
During senior-level competition, once selected skaters receive their marks and go through the Mixed Zone; they will enter the Social Scene, which will provide viewers with the opportunity to interact with their favorite competitors. Hosted by YouTube Star Michael Buckley, fans will be able to tweet questions using the hashtag #SocialScene. The video from the Social Scene feed will be free on icenetwork, all you need to do is sign up to become a registered user.

AT&T Ice Desk Live

Ice Desk Live will allow fans to hear insights, reactions and commentary from icenetwork’s assortment of talent covering the Championships. This fast-paced live show will include immediate reactions following competition, previews of what is about to come and questions from fans watching at home. Free to registered users.

“AT&T ICE Desk” Live Streaming Schedule

(All times are Eastern. Schedule is subject to change.)

Thursday, Jan. 9
• Prior to the ladies short program at approximately 7:20 p.m.
• Following the ladies short program at approximately 11:00 p.m. (tentative)

Friday, Jan. 10
• Following the short dance at approximately 4:30 p.m.
• Prior to the men’s short program at approximately 7:45 p.m.
• Following the men’s short program at approximately 11:20 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 11
• Prior to the pairs free skate at approximately 2:30 p.m.
• Prior to the ladies free skate at approximately 6:45 p.m.
• Following the ladies free skate at approximately 11:00 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 12
• Prior to the men’s free skate at approximately 12:35 p.m.
• Following the men’s free skate at approximately 4:50 p.m.

Live Press Conferences

Pull up a chair and settle in for live press conferences, free on icenetwork to registered users, from the 2014 U.S. Championships. During senior-level competition, the top three finishers in each discipline in the short program and short dance, as well as the top three overall finishers will participate in a press conference roughly 10 minutes after the conclusion of each competition.

In addition to the competitor press conferences, icenetwork will cover the two press conferences on Jan. 12 where the 2014 Olympic Figure Skating Team will be announced.

These will take place at the following times:

Sunday, Jan. 12
Noon – Ladies, pairs, ice dance
7:10 p.m. – Men’s and Olympic Team Event

Social Media

When something happens, and the fans of U.S. Figure Skating need to know about it, social media will provide the answer. Throughout the U.S. Championships, be sure to check the U.S. Figure Skating Facebook , Twitter and Google+ pages for breaking news and to join the discussion. Use the event hashtag #Boston2014.

Nominations open for World Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2014

4 Jan

hall of fame logoNominations open for World Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Nominations for the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame Class of 2014 are being accepted until Jan. 20. Nominations may be submitted by any federation, the skating community and the public.

The World Figure Skating Hall of Fame was established in 1976 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of figure skating around the world. Nominees may be emeritus, deceased or actively working but may not have competed in the past five years.

Nominations may be made in these three categories:

A: Outstanding competitors: Former elite competitors who have made special contributions in style and technique. They must have been retired from competitive skating for at least five years.  For pair or dance teams, both partners must be nominated.

B: Outstanding contributors: Those who made a significant impact on the sport in a non-athletic role, such as administrators, officials or journalists.

C: Outstanding contributors: Those whose creative impact had a meaningful and lasting effect on the sport, such as theatrical skaters, coaches, choreographers, impresarios or costume designers.

To submit a nomination, click here: http://fs12.formsite.com/USFSAIT/form824/index.html

If you have a question, please email WHOF@worldskagtingmuseum.org

Four Minutes that Could Change Everything

3 Jan

Through the 2014 Olympics, World and U.S. champion and 2006 Olympian Kimmie Meissner will be helping as a blogger and commentator for U.S. Figure Skating. This is her first entry:

By Kimmie Meissner

My laces cut into my hands. It’s a familiar, comforting feeling as I tie my skates up before the final warm-up group. The locker room is silent, aside from the muted roar of the crowd that seeps through the walls and makes the floor shake. Or maybe those are just my legs preparing for four minutes that could change everything.

Up until this moment I’ve been defined by my dream. I have been relentlessly training, chasing and shaping my identity around a sport that calls for the utmost of commitment. I decide to focus on the monotonous hymn of the crowd and the creaking coming from my skates instead of the repressive, excitable atmosphere of the holding room.

Closing my eyes, I reflect on how I came to be here at Nationals vying for a spot on the Olympic team. Ten years of sacrifice. Ten years of success, failure and everything in between. Ten years of amazement while I discovered just how much I was capable of.  Never had I prepared more efficiently for a competition than the way I approached the 2006 U.S Championships.

Every day was one step closer and I was determined not to leave anything on the table when I took to the ice in St. Louis, especially when it came to my preparedness. This was what I could control, and my focus had narrowed in the week leading up to Nationals. I had run my programs religiously, followed up with select sections and spins. Then there was off-ice training at the end of my ice time, a constant test of where I was mentally. Did I believe I’d be making the team in January? No. I barely let myself think about the outcome. The only thing I was certain of was my ability to fight and perform the way I had trained.

Opening my eyes and returning to the arena in St. Louis, I begin heading out to the ice. My heart is beating sporadically, but I force myself to breathe, reminding myself of the possibility of my dream. The other girls shuffle their feet or jump about to actively keep their muscles warm. I walk closer to the ice taking in the view and savoring the hopeful optimism brimming over from the assembled people. Weeks of talk, expectations that might be realized and the pressure only I could place on myself bubble right below the surface. I look at the faces of my competitors, fellow U.S. Team members, and recognize the look in their eyes. Every athlete plays out what they hope for, watching a movie reel only visible to themselves, before taking the stage to bring that movie to life. Closing my eyes once more, I let the calm of confidence wash over me and revel in its warmth, smiling at the opportunity laid out before me. The work has been done. The hours filled with small-scale victories that pushed me closer to this moment.

“Will the following ladies please take the ice for a six minute warm-up ” …