Figure Skating: From the Boards

The Final Countdown: Ladies and Gents December 6, 2012


Ah, the ever-shifting world of both ladies and men’s skating. Keeps things interesting doesn’t it? Especially with Sochi — the Olympic version — on the horizon, the world’s best are focused on taking this chance to test the ice, as well as to inspire their work for the next year in hopes of making it back again in just over one year’s time.

It’s a good chance, too, to size up the competition. The year before the Olympics starts to create buzz. The buildup can be distracting, or it can generate good energy that reminds these to-tier skaters why they do what they do. It also separates the contenders from the … shall we say, “pretenders?” Maybe that’s a little harsh. We have, after all seen plenty of occasion where the sport’s stars the year before the Games can’t hold out for another full year. There’s also that little thing about the World Championship curse. You know, the one where reigning World Champs hardly ever win Olympic gold. So the story goes, anyway.

But, that’s a whole year away. This weekend is all about this year’s best. And there are plenty of good ones to go around.


A few years ago, skating fans were wondering if Ashley Wagner would ever figure it out. She wanted to be the best. But she just wasn’t ever quite there. And then, last season, something clicked, and it’s been like a flipped light switch.

The girl is crazy committed … just watching her in practices at Skate America convinced me even more that she’s discovered whatever the missing piece was that turned her into a full-blown competitor. She has the mindset now, and that is something no one could do for her. But, she’s got it now. What she doesn’t have is a competition-tested triple-triple combination. Does she put it in here as practice for a likely World Championship run? If she doesn’t, does she take that risk later in the season?

She has the third-best short program score, but the top free skate and total score. She’s in prime position to win as it is. This is where the age-old battle of risk vs. reward comes in. If she puts the combination in and hits it? She’s likely guaranteeing herself the title. If she tries it and misses, she opens the door to two very talented Japanese ladies who’d love nothing more than to gain some momentum headed toward Worlds.

She’s won without it. Her prime competition — Mao Asada — doesn’t have one either. Is the risk worth taking? (Personally, I’d like to see her tack a triple toe on to the double axel combination … seems a tad safer.)

Asada has some work to do. She holds the season’s best short program score (her short is fabulous, I must add), but she still struggles to make it all the way through a free skate. Her NHK Trophy win was marred by a long program hardly worthy of the title, but outside the jumps, she still does other good things. Her choreography in the free leaves a little to be desired compared to the SP, and it doesn’t have the tension or detail that Wagner’s does. Or, for that matter, that Akiko Suzuki’s does.

I adore her free skate. It is so her. It’s a program that highlights her best qualities and celebrates her unique take on story telling. Plus, her dress is killer!

If she hits her short program, and manages all the technical difficulty in her free skate, both of the top qualifiers better watch their backs. Suzuki is often on the short end of the judging stick, but that give her no reason to hold back. She’ll have to lay it all on the line … and if she hits, it could very well be golden.

The other girls skating at the Final will play the role of spoilers. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva carries the Russian flag alone, after the withdrawal of Julia Lipnitskaia. Liza is lovely, but this season she hasn’t been the overpowering Russian force she appeared to be last year. That said, she’s certainly got the goods. It’s a matter of consistency.

Kiira Korpi comes armed with gorgeous programs. She’s one of those skaters you use to describe a “complete package.” However, she’s reportedly been quite ill and not able to train. She’s also been quoted as saying she isn’t 100% ready for this event. That could be just the opportunity last-minute alternate Christina Gao needs to make an international statement of her own.

She, too, has beautiful programs, and jumps that simply compliment the beauty of her skating. I like her. And she has a great open door to jump through this weekend.


Gold: Ashley Wagner
Silver: Akiko Suzuki
Bronze: Mao Asada


This will be a battle for the ages. Four Japanese men vs. Patrick Chan and Javier Fernandez.

Despite all the early season struggles (read: Japan Open), Patrick Chan has recovered. He’s the defending champ of the Final, as well as the World title. He’s not about to give that up without throwing down the best that he has to offer.

Mr. Debonair, Javier Fernandez, has topped Chan once. But, the Canadian star was not nearly at his best. Fernandez, though, has some of the most technically ambitious programs you’ll see in Sochi. The trouble is, he’s sometimes too ambitious for his own good.

Then there’s these Japanese guys. The “Super team.” Which one of them do you leave off the World team?!

It likely won’t be Yuzuru Hanyu, that I can say. The kid set then broke his own new short program record score. He can be sensational. But, his problem comes in the free skate where he tends to lose focus and fail to live up to the short program. It worries me a bit that he seems to struggle with the pressure. He’s still young, and his time at the top is not yet here. But with competition veterans like Chan and Takahashi adding to the pressure, I worry that he will struggle to stay focused.

Daisuke Takahashi has had a bit of a disappointing season thus far. No golds yet on the Grand Prix circuit, and his programs seem to be a bit of a work in progress. Personally, I liked the free skate better at the Japan Open. Seems the judges did, too. But there’s no denying the possibility of Taka putting up a performance for the ages … especially with his good old rival Patrick Chan sharing the spotlight.

Takahiko Kozuka was more than impressive at Skate America. He was fabulous. He failed to match that at his second event, but we now know it’s in him to blow us all away. He’s not ready to be written off. And with the shockingly deep Japanese field, he needs this event to prove himself.

The kid who is, perhaps, the most surprising qualifier is Tatsuki Machida. He quietly made his way to the podium twice this year, winning in his second event. But, he’s the one man who may not have the fire power to break onto the podium, unless the top guys struggle. Which has happened before. So it could certainly happen again.

This men’s event may be the one I’m most excited about, simply because of the quality of skating from 1 – 6. They’re all fantastic. And their skills could push each other to exceptional heights.


Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Daisuke Takahashi
Bronze: Yuzuru Hanyu



So begins her happily ever after… September 12, 2012

Congratulations to my childhood hero, Michelle Kwan! (Who am I kidding, she’s still my hero!)

After accolades piled on top of other accolades, she now has one more thing to celebrate — she’s engaged. And the skating world couldn’t be happier for her.

The lucky guy (read: luckiest guy on the planet!) is Clay Pell — the grandson of the former Rhode Island senator Claiborne Pell who created the Pell Grants for college students.

Smart, successful, good-looking, and knee-deep in the inner-workings of Washington? It’s a match made in heaven.

Best wishes to Michelle and Clay as they begin this new chapter of their lives together!

Don’t forget to grab the issue of People magazine with details on the ring, and comments from Michelle herself.

But for now, here’s this.



… Okay, yes. That was an easy way to jump back into the skating scene. But for real, I’m back. And, conveniently, so is skating! Starting this weekend with the inaugural U.S. Skating Classic, to be held in Salt Lake City. For a full Icenetwork streaming schedule, check here.

Good luck to the competitors. Let’s get this thing going!


Three Blind Mice to ABC… September 2, 2010

Today, I figured I’d dive in a bit to my expectations or predictions for some of the top ladies skaters heading into this season. We’ll start with my ideas about the current world rankings for the ladies and how their seasons might play out, based on what’s gone on with them this off season.

But first!

When I began this blog, I said there would be stories. Well, this is a story day. And I’m super excited about this one.

I recently had the intense privilege of seeing a young skater recognized on national television. But this was not just any young skater. This young boy is a star…that much I knew from the very first time I saw him skate, back when he was 4 years old.

The current Novice Men’s national champion, Nathan Chen, skates out of Salt Lake City, Utah.

When I was living there, I also skated in Salt Lake City, Utah. (See where this is going…?)

Basically, I skated with Nathan Chen when he was 4 years old.

This January, he blew away the skating world with his performances in Spokane to win the Novice title.

This summer, he was named the ABC News person of the week (check out the video below…).

Okay, so it’s not like I can take credit for anything. But I do want to say, I called it!

I remember being at the rink trying to work on my own skills, but getting caught up watching this little tiny kid who was already better than I was! My mom would be at the rink with me, and one day we were leaving and noticed a newspaper article on the bulletin board – it was all about the 4 year old and his early success. I remember like it was yesterday, turning to my mom and saying, “Mom, remember his name. Because he’s gonna be a star one day, and when he is, I want to be able to say I skated with him before he was famous!”

Flash forward a few years…talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy, eh? The kid’s incredible.

But he wasn’t always the 10-year-old whiz kid who could throw a triple jump at the drop of a hat. Don’t get me wrong, he always had “it,” but I watch him in the days where he was learning how to do a proper scratch spin.

Now, explaining anything to a 4 year old is complicated, but trying to explain the proper technique – specifically, how pulling your arms in slowly throughout the spin will increase the speed – takes patience and skill.

That’s exactly what was happening the day I remember most clearly.

Nathan was working on a program to “Three Blind Mice,” but his coach was trying to get him to be more precise with his scratch spin.

(Time out: for those of you who may not be familiar with the technical terms, the “scratch spin” is usually one you’ll see at the very end of a program. The skater is standing straight up, arms out to either side, and as they spin, they slowly pull the arms in…or up…to increase the speed.)

Nathan’s coach stopped him and said, “Imagine you’re hugging a giant marshmallow as you spin, and squeeze it to your chest.”

Let me tell you, the kid’s quick. Because just that much of a visual made all the difference.

And clearly, he’s just as quick today. He’s also determined. And charming. And quickly becoming the one to watch. Now, he won’t be old enough for the Olympics in Sochi 2014, but I bet he’ll be a force to be reckoned with by then!

Anyway, All of this to essentially say, I’m so proud of my little skating friend from so many years ago that I couldn’t help but share. I can’t wait to watch him through the years. He’s definitely got a forever-fan in me!

Now, check out the video (and poke around the related videos too, because they’re all great!)

All right. Back to business. The ladies of 2010, shall we?

According to the world rankings on, Queen Yu-Na is, of course, #1. The question for this season is, while she wont’ be competing in the GP series, will she compete at Worlds, and will she be able to put aside the coaching drama as well as the expectations of being the Olympic champ, to perform up to her own very high standards?

Always seeming to be tied together in one way or another, #2 on the list is Kim’s long-time rival, Mao Asada. Amidst the rumors surrounding the Kim/Orser split was one in particular that was potentially the cause for the tension – Mao’s camp wanted on board the Orser Express. Who knows what was actually said, who was approached, what was being considered, but there’s no doubt that Asada has been living in the shadow of Yu-Na for the last several seasons, and she’s none too happy about it. The question for Mao this season will be, have the new rule changes (specifically regarding the 3 axel points footwork levels) done enough to even her up with those, like Kim, who rack up the points in areas of footwork and spin difficulty? For me, personally, I need her to actually connect to her performances for her to ever match the magic of a Yu-Na Kim or Mirai Nagasu, who we’ll get to later on.

#3 on the world list is Asada’s Japanese compatriot, Mikki Ando. She’s a strange one to me. She always seems to do just enough to win a few titles every year, but she never has it all together at once. Sure, she won the World Titles in ’07, but her technique hasn’t improved since then, and if I had to comment on last year’s programs, I’d say they were terrible for her style, well, whatever style she may have. I think she’s a sweetheart, but if she doesn’t change some things this season, I’m not sure she’ll be able to keep up.

Canadian sweetheart, Joannie Rochette, is 4th on this list. She’s a champion through and through. I adore her maturity on the ice and thought last year’s programs were brilliant. She’s not competing in the GP series, either, so that opens up another spot for someone – perhaps one of the young American stars (Nagasu finished just behind Rochette in Vancouver). That said, I’d love to see Joannie come back to competition. I think she really hit her stride last season and her determination to compete with the young guns was evident, and it paid off. She created such a lasting memory at the Olympics, skating despite the tragic loss of her mother, that I can’t help but pull for her in whatever she decides.

Laura Lepisto of Finland and Akkiko Suzuki of Japan come next in the rankings, and these are two skaters who performed well last season, but will really have to step up their game in order to really compete for the top spots. Laura is a beautiful, classic skater, but her jumps occasionally fail her. However, with two of the top five out of the GP, she may have a chance at a break through year. She’s just gotta make sure those triples are consistent and that her footwork/spins aren’t too simplistic.

Carolina Kostner comes in at #7. She’s quite a story, herself. Working with Frank Carroll last season did her some good, but I worry that she’s too much of a head case to ever make it to the top. I hate to say that about anyone, but the girl just can’t get things back together. This season could be a make-it-or-break-it year for her.

Russian Alena Leonova is another pretty girl who needs to step up her game. I haven’t seen too much out of her that makes me lean one way or another, but post-Olympic years always seem to be the time for skaters like Alena to be the surprise. Russia’s about ready for a new world power, so I’m sure she’ll be working hard to climb her way up the world ladder.

American Rachel Flatt makes the top ten, ranking at #9. Rachel is a doll. She’s smart, funny, dedicated, and consistent. But she sometimes (well, most of the time) lacks the spark…maybe the sparkle…to pull off a standing-O type performance. She may skate very well this season. I just hope she finds a way to shine beyond the consistency and really let the programs sing. That said, she should be right up there through the Grand Prix season, in my opinion.

Filling out the top 10 is Kiira Korpi, followed by Kanako Murakami. I’m not hugely familiar with these two, so I’ll reserve judgment until I see them in their first Grand Prixs.

Mirai Nagasu is ranked #12, and for me, she’s one of the top candidates for a break-through year. All right, I know I’m more than a little biased because I adore her, but I really do believe she had the goods. With Frank Carroll on her side, she could be dynamite if she can get the technique down pat, and stop doubting herself. I am expecting big things from her, but only because I truly believe she’s World Champion material.

Two other Americans fall in behind Mirai: Ashley Wagner and Alissa Czisny. Wagner has potential to move up in the rankings. She had a good season, but unfortunately missed the Olympic team. She’ll be looking to make amends for that. Alissa….well, I love her. But I’m not sure she’s ever going to break through anymore than she did a few years back. She just doesn’t compete well under pressure, no matter how badly I want her to. We’ll see. Maybe she’ll prove me wrong.

Cynthia Phaneuf, Polina Shelepen, Elena Gedevanishvilli, and Ksenia Makarova, are next, and again are skaters who’ve had some success, but are looking for some consistency. Ksenia is a new Russian hope and I believe she has a great chance at having a good season.

Caroline Zhang and Fumie Suguri wrap up the top 20. These two skaters are on completely opposite ends of their careers, but strangely are facing similar mountains to climb this season. Caroline is to Mirai what Mao Asada is to Yu-Na Kim. Sort of, at least. They both came up about the same time, are good friends, but their careers have separated dramatically in the last season or so. Last year was a disaster for Caroline. I never felt like she was really enjoying skating. Now, with a new coach, she’ll try to redeem herself and gain back the momentum she had that lead everyone to believe she was the biggest hope for a return of American dominance in ladies skating.

Fumie on the other hand, has had her day in the sun. She’s been the warrior that paved the way for the multitude of Japanese stars, yet, along the way, she’s kind of been left behind. Every year people expect her to retire, but every year she decides she wants to train a little more, compete a little longer. She just loves it. And, like Caroline, she’s going to want to prove she’s still got it. Last I heard she was having trouble getting the funding she needed to continue to skate, so we’ll see if she ends up on the world scene for another season or not.

Phew! That was a lot of analyzing. But it’s got me all worked up for the Grand Prix to start. Did you notice it’s September? That means less than 2 months till the first Senior Grand Prix gets underway!

Next time we’ll talk about the top 20 men…which could be very interesting.

Until then…

(Follow me on Twitter…


Practice, passion and pixie dust August 30, 2010

What a whirlwind of a weekend! Yes, for me personally, but also in the skating world.

Champs Camp wrapped up this weekend for the Team USA skaters, and with that, the news came pouring in. A few things stood out as particularly interesting to me.

For the short whilte they lasted, I was a big fan of the US pairs team of Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker. They just had something so special, the “it” factor, if you will. Of course, it helps that they’re both naturally gorgeous, and together on the ice they make a beautiful image. But their movement and their pairs skills seemed to have so much potential…untapped potential, really. I was devastated for them when they missed the Olympic team with the disastrous performance at Nationals in 2010.

Likewise, I was disappointed when they split after the season. I understand Keauna’s desire to explore other options. But it’s still unfortunate that their success was cut short. Plus, I adore Rockne and hated to think that he’d miss out on following his own dream.

Now for the rumor – sources say that Rockne may have found a new partner. While it was rumored that he had skated a bit with US singles star Sasha Cohen, that seemed to be more for a show than for competition. Now, it appears 2009 U.S. novice ladies silver medalist Mary Beth Marley may be the lucky girl who gets to skate with the charming two-time national champ. Mary Beth is adorable. She’s young (9 years younger than Rockne, to be exact), and has little to no pairs experience, so this may not be perfect immediately, but she’s definitely got the spark. Look her up on youtube to see a little bit of what she has to offer.

If they want to compete this season, they have to submit all the paperwork for Sectionals by September 1st. Plus, they’ll have a lot of practicing to do. This isn’t a team that will come together overnight. So that ice time will be critical. Like I said, I adore Rockne, so I really hope this works out.

Now for injuries – Mirai Nagasu ended the Olympic season with a glimpse of what could be, and a realization of what she had to do to get there. She managed a spectacular (and unexpected) 4th place finish in Vancouver, just behind Canadian sweetheart, Joannie Rochette. But after another surprising 1st place standing after the short program at Worlds, she gave away every chance for a medal in the long. This season, she says she’s working on confidence as well as technique, but her summer training was hampered by a stress fracture in her right ankle. Off the ice for six weeks, the US silver medalist still maintained her charm.

According to this article at from icenetwork, she sparkled at her Champs Camp photo shoot, winning over the room with her wit. No doubt, the girl’s a comedian. Just watch a press conference where she’s speaking. She speaks her mind, and she charms the crowd in the process by piling on the humor! I love it.

I love her skating, too.

Despite the injury, she’s managed to put together two new programs that are, in the starlet’s own words, “Brilliant.”

Her short is to selections from The Witches of Eastwick soundtrack, and her long is to John Williams’s Memoirs of a Geisha, which, I do believe, are fabulous choices for her! She’s been working with Lori Nichol on storytelling for her short, and developing her maturity for the long, and I can’t wait to see these programs. (Probably can’t tell, but I’m a big Mirai fan. She’s something special, and I’ve said that since her first senior season. …when she won the National title, I was feeling pretty good about calling it!)

Feeding off the energy in that article, I’d say Mirai is back, and more passionate than ever. She’s got what it takes, she just has to believe it. And with music she adores, she just might be there.

Mirai can hit the ice again on September 1st, so there’s no doubt Frank Carroll will work her and those programs hard to be ready for the Grand Prix season.

Also hoping to get some momentum back is Mirai’s close friend and co-starlet, Caroline Zhang.

I saw this little pint-sized wonder girl training in Artesia, Ca about 4 years ago, and was wowed by her spins, but bothered by some of her technique. Looks like her disappointment last season showed her the same thing. She’s changed coaches (yet another one!) to train with Tammy Gambill and choreographer extraordinaire, David Wilson. And from the sounds of things, they’re attacking some of her biggest faults – that high leg kick on the Lutz jump (as well as the edge take-off), and her nearly nonexistent speed, especially out of the double axel.

I’ll admit, I haven’t been too excited in jumping on the Caroline bandwagon, but when I read that her short is to Libertango, I was suddenly pretty stoked to see this from her. She’s always brought a sense of drama to the ice (when she’s not skating to music that seems to lull herself to sleep!), so a tango seems unbelievable for her. Plus, with improved confidence and technique, as well as a pinch of pixie dust from David Wilson, this season could be something special. I really do hope she holds it together.

Now for a video that may very well define the future of US skating for the men: Jason Brown’s remarkable Free Skate from the first Junior Grand Prix event in France. Check it out! Seriously…watch it. He’s something else.

Until then…

(Don’t forget to follow me on twitter – @FromTheBoards)


Oh, the drama! August 26, 2010

So, I’m sitting here, sipping my morning cup of joe, flipping back and forth between the Today Show and “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera” (Don’t judge…) and checking up on the latest stats from this week in skating, and I’m realizing I may need more time.

What a week, eh?

If you haven’t heard all the news, no worries – I’m here to save the day! And if you have heard, well, get ready to “hear” again, and then chime in with your own thoughts. Sound good? Okay. Here we go.

Pre-season drama part 1:

*National Champs and Olympic team members Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett jump ship from the coaching staff of Jim Peterson, Lyndon Johnston and Alison Smith to train in Coral Springs, Fla. with U.S. Pairs champion John Zimmerman and his wife, Italian star Silvia Fontana.

This is very interesting to me, for a couple of reasons.

First, this could be a GREAT move for Caydee and Jeremy. I love John Zimmerman and have a feeling his creativity could be fantastic for the young national champs. He certainly knows how to train, and he knows what it’s like to be among the best in the world. Caydee and Jeremy need to step it up if they want to be the American team who breaks into the top tier of the international elite. This might just be their staircase.

Second, I’m curious about the reasons for changing. Back at Nationals and at the Olympics in Vancouver, this team seemed beyond happy with their situation, overly complimentary of their coaches, and so proud of their up-and-coming status that led them to the Games. Yet, they weren’t about to be content with the status quo…they want to be the best, and I think this move shows that. It’s still curious to me as I wonder what that final straw was that led to the change.

Third, there was always an interesting dynamic with the pairs teams under the tutelage of Peterson and crew: their other pairs team who skated to a spot on the Olympic team, Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig, has a unique connection to John Zimmerman’s new team. Amanda and Jeremy have been a couple for some time, even living together and, of course, training and competing together. Does this move say something about that relationship? If not, does it put strain on the two of them and, therefore, their competitive careers? (Okay, okay, maybe I’m meddling. But hey, a girl can’t help but wonder…)

Coaching changes are always intriguing to me as they seem to say a lot about the needs of the athlete and the underlying goals that lead to the switch. I hope this one for Caydee and Jeremy works out because they certainly have the momentum and the potential to be a longtime standard in U.S. pairs skating.

Pre-season drama part 2:

*2006 Olympic champ and reigning Olympic silver medalist Evgeyni Plushenko IS, in fact, stripped of ISU eligibility due to participation in unapproved exhibition shows after pulling out of the post-Olympics World Championships. This means, he is no longer free to continue competing, therefore eliminating his proposed run at the 2014 games in Sochi.

Something about this seems pretty fishy.

First, these elite level skaters are aware of the rules – perhaps they don’t always think, “Hmm, if I do this, that could happen because the rule says such-and-such.” However, it’s not a secret that certain shows are off limits, especially after withdrawing from a sanctioned competitive event. Plushy should have known that, and if not, his “people” should have warned him. For that reason, I wonder how unaware he really was. Now, I don’t know the guy, but this seems weird. He has struggled with knee injuries since 2006, and the likelihood of his body actually holding up through 2014 is slim to none, in my opinion. And they way the pieces all fell apart here leads me to wonder if he realized he was talking too big for reality.

Second, he had a chance to appeal and he didn’t. Why? If he really wanted to compete, he had the means to make his argument and keep the Sochi dream alive. He didn’t. So, game over. He doesn’t have to make a big announcement of his retirement due to injury, nor does he have to deal with the fact that he left Vancouver talking smack and now doesn’t have the ability to back it up. Like I said, I don’t know Plushy personally, so all of this is purely speculation.

Regardless of his reasoning, it makes the next few seasons either a bit more interesting, or I suppose, a bit less interesting. But it certainly gives some other guys the chance to jump (or spin, glid, and step-sequence) their way into the spotlight!

Pre-Season drama part 3:

*Olympic Champ Yu-Na Kim and miracle-working coach Brian Orser split in soap-opera fashion, leaving Orser without the world’s #1, and Kim fighting for not only the motivation to continue competing, but also for the character of her own mother.

To me, this is just totally unfortunate.

First, Brian and Yu-Na made magic. Simple as that. What he was able to do with, perhaps, the most raw talent in the entire world was remarkable. Yu-Na soaked it all in and blossomed under Brian’s instruction, and maintained a sense of normalcy thanks to his protection. We will likely never know what the reason was for the Kims’ decision to leave Orser, but no matter the reason, I’m still sad to see them split. As Melissa Bulanhagui “tweeted” the other day, it’s like Brad Pitt and Jen Aniston all over again!

Second, the mudslinging has gotten out of hand. I don’t care who knew what, or if mama Kim overstepped her bounds, or if Brian stuck his story out there to save face…the media circus makes the sad feeling of seeing the news of the split about a  million times worse. I feel badly for both “sides” of the story. Yu-Na wrote a letter to her fans, expressing her pain because of Brian’s comments, and because of her frustration in needing to defend her decision and her mother’s character. That’s not something she should have had to do, yet she did. And unfortunately, it’s not helping. The media are running with all of it, no matter how small, and turning it into a zoo.

Again, coaching changes/splits are always interesting to me, but it’s sad when such a magical combination of skills is destroyed by one thing, then exaggerated by harsh comments and disappointed slams.

I wish the best for both parties, and hope to see Yu-Na skate again at Worlds.

Speaking of seeing Yu-Na skate…

She will be skating in LA a few months from now, and the legend, Michelle Kwan, will be co-staring in the show – her first on-ice appearance in the U.S. since the end of the Champions on Ice tour after her devastating injury in 2006. Now, Michelle Kwan is my hero. I’d give, well, a lot to be there in LA for this performance, but I’m not sure the likelihood of that happening is in my favor right now. So, if any of you are planning to be there, let me know! I’d love to post your review of the event, or possibly get some photos from you to share here as well…so if anyone wants to be a part of From the Boards for a day, get in touch.

In other news, the Junior Grand Prix season began today. The ladies have skated the short program, and Yretha Silete of France is in 1st, followed by Polina Shelepen from Russia and Nina Jiang from the USA.

It’s underway, folks!

Let the drama continue.

Until then…