(Thanks to my friend C. for pointing out that the assignments had been posted by the ISU).
ISU Grand Prix assignments lists
Interesting points for the men’s entries:
1) Johnny Weir returns to Olympic-eligible competition with two slots, the first one in Russia.
2) Wonder if Evgeny Plushenko might take the TBD Russian spot at Cup of Russia? My friend C. also said that may be a possibility for Lysacek at Skate America as well? Would really like to know more details about Lysacek’s financial dispute with the USFSA; what gives??
3) No spots for Armin Mahbahnoozadeh, but two spots for Richard Dornbush? Hmmm….
1) Flatt, Nagasu, Czisny only get one spot each. According to Phil Hersch, Czisny is scheduled to have surgery on her left hip (labrum). She requested the latest possible GP assignments, and is hopeful that she might get a second spot if she heals from surgery in time: Phil Hersch article
2) US Junior Champion Gracie Gold gets two spots, as do US Senior Champion Ashley Wagner, Agnes Zawadzki, and a resurgent Caroline Zhang.
3) Miki Ando returns to GP competition.
1) New US pairings Caitlin Yankowskas/Joshua Reagan and Lindsay Davis/Mark Ladwig make their GP debuts.
2) The field for Cup of China is jam-packed: Pang/Tong return to the GP, new Chinese pairing Peng/Zhang debuts, Sui/Han, World bronze medalists Takahashi/Tran, and Kavaguti/Smirnov are also scheduled to compete. Tough place for Yankowskas/Reagan to debut!!
1) As usual, the two top dance teams in the world will not face each other until (most likely) the GP Final: Davis/White will bracket the season at Skate America and NHK, while Virtue/Moir will be at Skate Canada and Cup of Russia.
Here are some skating tidbits as we begin the off-season:
- Skate America 2012 to be held in Kent, Washington: The event will take place October 19-21. I guess the ISU has abandoned the idea of rotating which Grand Prix event is held first in the season (I know Skate America was the inagural Grand Prix event last year, but wasn’t sure if that was because it was its “turn” to go first)? Skate Canada will be in Windsor, Ontario from October 26-28.
- Yuzuru Hanyu has enlisted Brian Orser as a coach. According to Ice Network, he will still be attending high school in Japan. Toronto to Japan is quite the commute….
Hanyu Ice Network article
- Michal Brezina will now be coached by Viktor Petrenko: Ria Novosti article
- Long-time Chinese pairs partners Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao have parted ways. Zhang Dan is retiring, while Zhang Hao has already partnered with 16-year-old Peng Cheng. According to China Daily, Zhang Dan’s height (she is 1.69 m tall, which for us metric-challenged Americans is a bit over 5’5″) has been a problem for the pair: China Daily article . Their biggest accomplishment as a pair was their memorable silver medal at the 2006 Olympics, which they won in spite of a very difficult fall on a throw quad attempt.
- American pairs skater Mark Ladwig has partnered with Lindsay Davis, who formerly skated pairs with Themi Leftheris. They will be coached by Lyndon Johnson, who was Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig’s coach.
- 2012 World Pairs Bronze Medalist Mervyn Tran, who skates for Japan but is a Canadian citizen, is having some problems getting Japanese citizenship so that he and partner Narumi Takahashi can represent Japan in the 2014 Olympics. He has never lived in Japan, and the pair trains in Quebec. Mainichi article