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 “Interview with Emmy Ma (June 2017)”
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!
This afternoon, Ashley Cain/Tim LeDuc will take the ice for their first U.S. Nationals together. This unlikely duo teamed up just 7 months ago, after both took a long break from pairs skating. Despite their time away, Ashley/Tim immediately clicked as partners and have had surprising success in their first season together, winning a bronze medal at Golden Spin of Zagreb. Ashley/Tim recently spoke with me about their new partnership, their season so far, and their hopes for Nationals and beyond. Check out my interview with them for Figure Skaters Online!
In April 2015, Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier were at a high point in their career. The young American pair had just won a silver medal at U.S. Nationals and competed at their first World Championships. They were already determined to make the World team again the next year. But then, disaster struck. Haven sustained a serious injury to her right knee on April 22, 2015. Surgery followed. It was seven long months before Haven was cleared to even do single jumps. And Haven & Brandon lost an entire season of competition.
What is it really like for an athlete to come back from such a serious injury? In this interview, Haven & Brandon talk in depth about their journey back to world-level competition. We also discuss their early career, their recent coaching switch, their plans for the upcoming season, and more. Continue reading “Interview with Denney/Frazier”
U.S. bronze medalists reveal new SP music; discuss plans for upcoming season
In mid-2014, Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran joined forces to start a new pairs partnership. Both had been very successful with previous partners—Marissa won Olympic team bronze in 2014 and Mervin won World bronze in 2012. However, both felt they still had more to accomplish in the sport. Last year was Castelli/Tran’s first full competitive season together. They had some ups and downs, but won the bronze medal at U.S. Nationals and silver at U.S. International Classic.
Recently, I spoke with Marissa & Mervin on the phone. The U.S. bronze medalists shared their thoughts on last season, their impressions from Boston Worlds, their plans for the upcoming season (including their new short program music!), their perspective on competing in the Olympics, and much more! Not only that, we discussed Marissa’s costumes and Mervin’s quirky sense of humor. 🙂 Continue reading “Interview with Castelli/Tran”
Reform candidate calls for changes in ISU management; elimination of anonymous judging; total revamp of IJS
Christopher Buchanan is a candidate for ISU President, chair of the ISU Synchronized Skating Technical Committee, and finance director of NISA (Great Britain’s skating federation). A man with a formidable resume/CV. But, during a wide-ranging, two-hour interview with him this week, I learned that Chris Buchanan is also a pragmatic reformist, an unpretentious straight-shooter, and, not least, a self-professed figure skating fan. Buchanan now seeks to lead the sport to which he has devoted much of his life. Continue reading “Interview with Christopher Buchanan”
After Amy Vecchio ended her professional career, she immediately stepped into the new world of coaching. Within weeks, she found herself coaching a promising skater who would eventually go on to skate at senior U.S. Nationals. Over the years, Amy has built a career coaching and choreographing for skaters at every level. She is also involved in skating’s newest discipline, theatre on ice. In addition, Amy has continued her own skating and discovered a new passion for ice dancing.
In the second part of our interview, Amy talks about why she enjoys coaching, what attracts her to theatre on ice, how she fell in love with ice dancing, how the loss of figures has affected the sport, and the current state of singles skating in the U.S. Grab a cup of tea, and get ready for an interesting read! Continue reading “Interview with Amy Vecchio: “The most important thing in skating is perseverance” (Part 2)”
Amy Vecchio has lived a lifetime in figure skating. She’s been a fixture on the Boston, MA, skating scene for over 40 years. In that time, she’s seen the sport inside and out: as competitor, professional skater, longtime coach, adult ice dancer, skating show director, and theatre-on-ice coach. Amy has competed at New England Regionals; skated as a professional with Disney on Ice; coached skaters at U.S. Regionals, Sectionals, and Nationals; and taken theatre on ice teams to Nations Cup. Amy is also my own skating coach! Recently, Amy sat down with me for a candid discussion about her life’s work in skating and what she’s learned in her years in the sport. Continue reading “Interview with Amy Vecchio: “It’s extremely important for skaters to work with sports nutritionists” (Part 1)”