I had a great time last weekend attending the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City! I covered the event for Figure Skaters Online. It was my first time going to U.S. Classic, and my first time attending any Challenger Series event. Continue reading
This past week, I covered the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic competition for Figure Skaters Online. Here’s a link to an article I wrote about the four U.S. pairs teams who competed at U.S. Classic. It includes comments from all of the American teams. Check it out!
Last season was full of highs & lows for U.S. pairs team Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier. They came back from injury to win their first U.S. National title, but had a rough performance at the World Championships. It wasn’t easy coming to terms with the disappointment at Worlds; however, Denney/Frazier are now ready to put the past behind them and move forward to the Olympic season. In my new interview with them for Figure Skaters Online, Denney/Frazier discuss the difficulties of last season and the changes they’ve made in their skating for the new season. Check it out!
16-year-old Emmy Ma made a splash at this year’s U.S. Nationals, where she won the short program in the Junior ladies event with a lovely performance. Facing a field of mostly younger rivals, Emmy’s skating stood out for her musicality, skating skills, and maturity. Although she faltered a bit in the long program, Emmy captured the Junior ladies pewter medal at Nationals. One month later, she won her first-ever international competition, the Junior ladies event at Challenge Cup in the Netherlands. Continue reading
Welcome to my third annual round-up of the best, most, and worst in pairs skating!! Included are my picks for the top 10 long programs and top 10 short programs of the season (with videos). As usual, all opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. (And possibly more idiosyncratic than usual.) So feel free to agree—or disagree! Continue reading
Last season was challenging for American pair Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran. They struggled with injury and inconsistency during the fall of 2016. And although they regrouped to win the silver medal at U.S. Nationals in January 2017, the U.S. Figure Skating Association did not name the couple to Four Continents, Worlds, or World Team Trophy.
However, when I spoke with Castelli/Tran recently, they said there was “a silver lining” to the challenges they faced last year. Because their season ended early, they’ve had lots of time to think about their direction for the future and what they need to work on. Castelli/Tran now look forward with a renewed sense of purpose. Recently, they took some time to chat with me about their thoughts on last season, their training since U.S. Nationals, their new long program, and their goals for next year. Check out my new interview with them for Figure Skaters Online!
Last Saturday, it was my pleasure to see Ice Crystals 2017. For those not familiar, Ice Crystals is the annual club show for the Colonial Figure Skating Club. Colonial is one of the biggest clubs in New England; it has more than 400 members and operates out of a well-appointed 3-rink facility in Boxborough, a western suburb of Boston. Colonial will host New England Sectionals in November 2017.
All photographs by Marni Tyson Gallagher
I went to Ice Chips this past weekend–the annual club show from the Skating Club of Boston. This year’s show had a Broadway musical theme, lots of great skaters, and bedazzled costumes to spare! It was fun to watch. Continue reading
The pairs event at Worlds 2017 was projected to be a close and intense competition. And it certainly lived up to that expectation. There was drama to spare: Injuries, accidents, quads, spectacular crashes. Chinese head coach Hongbo Zhao recently commented: “2017 Worlds, it’s the qualifying event for the Pyeongchang Olympics. We can say it’s the ‘heaviest among heavy’ World Championships.” I think all the pairs felt that weight, to some extent.
The short program at Worlds was one of the most intense I can remember. With 28 pairs all trying to make the cutoff for the top 16, the level of competition was very high. We saw many teams put out season’s-best performances–while a few others unfortunately succumbed to the pressure. The final team to qualify for the LP scored 62.03; a much higher standard than we’ve seen the last few years. Continue reading
So, it’s time: The World Championships start this week in Helsinki! And, while all World championships are important, this is the big one: The pre-Olympic Worlds. The final Worlds before Pyeongchang. What happens in Helsinki will help set the stage for the Olympics.
How important is the pre-Olympic Worlds? Well, let’s look back at the last one: 2013 Worlds in London, Ontario. Of the 12 medalists in London, 8 reached the podium in Sochi. Of the 4 gold-medal winners in London, 2 were also gold medalists in Sochi. So yeah … This event is pretty important! Continue reading