And the verdict is…..
As expected, more questions.
The ISU made their promised announcement today, in which they stated that the Japanese Skating Federation reluctantly let go of their rights to the 2011 World Championships in light of the ongoing recovery efforts and the continued danger of the nuclear situation.
While it is hard to accept in once sense, it does give new light to the possibility of moving on…whatever that means, exactly.
For the ISU, that means collecting the incoming bids of other nations willing to step up to host the event in what appears to be a timetable of the next few months. As for who those nations are, well, the rumor mill is certainly working on overdrive, but it appears Moscow is making a strong bid, assisted by the involvement of the government in promising to help handle some of the tricky preparations (travel visas being one of them). The US is submitting two locations — Colorado Springs and Lake Placid. Other potential host countries include Finland, Korea, Switzerland, Italy…all unconfirmed by the ISU, of course, but mentioned across the web, nonetheless.
The ISU is (rightfully so) taking its time with this decision, but once again, it leave a glaring question mark for those directly involved in “the decision” — the skaters trying to prepare to compete. Or not to compete. Or…well, whatever else they don’t know to plan for yet.
Let’s keep in mind, the word from the ISU doesn’t eliminate the possibility of cancelling the event. While that seems to be less likely than it was just a few short days ago, it also doesn’t appear to be off the table completely.
The lack of information is surely frustrating. Training schedules are most definitely impacted. And the ability to “peak” is impeded by the inability to know when to peak.
Don’t get me wrong here. As big as this event can be in the life of an elite figure skater, it will always pale in comparison to how big the last 10 days have been in the lives of the Japanese. Let’s not forget that in all of this.
But, for the sake of the skating world, I hope a decision is made carefully, considerately, but as quickly as possible so we can move on from the gridlock, one way or another.
Until then, the rumor mill continues to turn, and I wait somewhat patiently for something official to report.