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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

SISA Policies 2009

Announcement on SISA Policies for next year has been made available. Get it from Tropical Blades website. Here is the email from SISA secretary:
Dear SISA members,

Attached please find SISA policies relating to national and development team selection, etc. Please note that there will be 2 parts of this email sent separately as the attachments have exceeded the limits of the server.

There will be an open forum at the food court of Kallang Leisure Park from 10.10am to 11am following the SISA Test on Wednesday 31st December 2008, if you would like clarification of any of the policies. The Singapore National Figure Skating Championships Announcement will be released as soon as possible.

Please note that we are still working on some of the documentation referred to in the attachment such as the SISA Anti-Doping Policy and the SISA Rule Book, as well as the SISA website. Once the new website is up and running all documentation will be available on the website. Note, that all documents now have a policy number for ease of reference.

Please also note that the documents referred to in the list relating to Adult Skaters are awaiting approval from SSC and will be released once approval has been given.


Alison Chan
Secretary General
Singapore Ice Skating Association

Just a note, I have no knowledge that SISA was in the process of producing documents relating to Adult Skaters, much less the content of such documents...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grand Prix Galas on Ice Network - FREE!!

To celebrate the holiday season, is releasing the gala exhibitions from the entire 2008 Grand Prix Series. Starting on Friday, Dec. 19, with the 2008 Skate America Gala Exhibition, featuring Johnny Weir and more, all seven galas will be released over the next few weeks.

As a gift to figure skating fans everywhere, the broadcast of the first two galas, from Skate America and Skate Canada, will be FREE! All viewers will need to do to watch the Gala is register for FREE as an user.

The first special, the 2008 Skate America Gala Exhibition, is released Friday, Dec 19. The 2008 Skate Canada Gala Exhibition, will be released Tuesday, Dec. 23. The remaining galas, will be available for Season Pass subscribers only.

Friday, November 21, 2008

9 months after...

When I got pregnant, I wondered how long into pregnancy I would be able to skate. Not long after that, I wondered how I would get back to skating after the baby!

So now that my baby is 9 months old, here's a quick look back...

6 weeks post
I went back to skate for the first time after baby. My legs felt like jelly, and my balance seemed waay off! I managed some upright spins, and single jumps with wobbly landings...
Posts from the first month back on ice (in reverse chronoligical order)

8 weeks post
I started coaching again. Meanwhile, I was still trying to skate 1 or 2 sessions a week, and building up my strength.

10 weeks post
I was thrilled the Axel was back. Strangely enough, I was happy attempting doubles even before I dared to try the Axel. I attributed it to the fear of the forward take-off. However, in reality, I think was afraid I might find myself losing something I had, rather than something I never really had. (did that make sense)

12 weeks post
I went back to work, and skating was greatly reduced - to zero! I was still coaching on weekends, but didn't have the time to skate myself. I suppose I must have stopped blogging too...

4 months post
I can *finally* get up from the sit spin. It did take me a while before I got to trying the sit spin, and when I did, I was happily doing a pretty low sit, a nice broken leg... then oops, I couldn't get up!! I was pretty embarrassed by that when I was asked to demo the spin combo during the seminar by technical specialist Janet Born.

5 months post
I danced! Yes, it so happened one of the coaches was free, and agreed to dance with me. This was the first dance in eons!

6-7 months post
My skating schedule became regularly irregular. I would skate almost once in 3 weeks, each time trying to work on jumps, spins... sometimes thinking of choreographing a new program. There wasn't much visible progress.

8 months post
I got myself in a skating dress and skated in an exhibition! It was a group item put up by a few of us coaches, for the Fuji Ice Palace farewell party.

Now, 9 months post, and having lost my home rink and my coaching job, I am trying to get into a more regular skating schedule. The difficulty is that the other rink in this entire country is oh-so-far (don't hate me for thinking that a 20-min drive is "far"), and with the school holidays just started, the crowd makes it uncomfortable to work on anything seriously.

As for skating itself...
  • The Axel is mostly there. I'm also working on the 1A+1Lo+1T combination, which generally comes along nicely once I land the Axel.

  • the double Sal and double toe feel good when I don't pop them, *but* I am still trying to get rid of the slight 2-footed landing

  • I've been working on a potential L4 spiral sequence, and hopefully there are no more major changes to the IJS rules on this!

  • Spins are back to normal, with one big exception - my flying camel has flown away! Possibly because I have problem working on that during public sessions, but if that is the reason then it will never come back... I will have to do it sometime!

  • Recently, I have been trying to choreograph a new program... I say "trying" because this is really can't be done properly during public sessions, and without music!

That's my 9 months' of skating in a nutshell... Time to plan for my training so that I can compete next year!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ChowSkates Figure Skating Photo Contest

Enter the ChowSkates Figure Skating Photo Contest!

To submit your entry, go to and click to enter.

Fill in the entry form, and upload your photo. You will be informed when your entry is approved and available for voting.

You may submit as many entries as you wish, and vote on your entries and your friends' entries. Hurry, the sooner you submit, the earlier you can vote!

This contest is open until 7 December 2008.

Meanwhile, skate great!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas Special at ChowSkates Store!

ChowSkates Store is having a Christmas Special...

Duration: 15 Nov 2008 until 29 Dec 2008

10% discount on selected items, including
* Red Ribbon skate sets
* Blue Ribbon skate sets
* Bronze Medallion skate sets
* Blade Guards
* Blade covers (soakers)
* SkateMate® PRO
* Se_Ku skatewear
* Selected skating dresses

Free shipping is available to Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand.

More details here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ice-skaters spin into record book

Figure skaters in Lanarkshire have spun into their way into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Youngsters from the North Lanarkshire Figure Skating Club set the record for the most two-footed spins in one hour.

The 48 skaters taking part in the attempt on Wednesday completed a total of 3917 spins.

The skaters helped raised £822 for this year's Children in Need appeal. The club chairman said a "great night was had by all."

As reported on BBC News story "Ice-skaters spin into record book"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2009 ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition Announcement

The International Adult Figure Skating Competition 2009 will be held in Oberstdorf, Germany from May 28 to May 31, 2009.

The announcement is now available and can be downloaded from the ISU website's Adult Skating page.

The entry deadline is April 1, 2009.

Singapore competitors, please contact me if you're going to enter, as I will be consolidating all entries for SISA. Of course if you need info on logistics, I'd be happy to help where I can. :-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

POSB Everyday Champions '09 -- Nominate your Everyday Champion today!

Do you know of any individual or organisation that has a passion for sports, and translates that passion into inspiring YOU or others to play sports and grow through sports? If you do, why not nominate the individual or organisation for the POSB Everyday Champions Award '09?

The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) together with POSB, launched the POSB Everyday Champions Award '09 recently to recognise everyday individuals and organisations that have consistently gone beyond their call of duty and responsibility, so that others can enjoy sports and grow through sports. The Award comprises of three categories – individuals, coaches and organisations.

The closing date for nominations is Sunday, 16 November 2008.


Viral Show

Friday, October 24, 2008


I read with dismay the Straits Times report "Freeze on winter Olympic sports"

Plans to introduce four winter Olympic sports to Singaporeans have been put on ice.

This follows the news that CapitaMall Trustbuild will hold back its plans to add an Olympic-sized ice skating rink at Jurong Entertainment Centre.

The 20m by 40m rink at Jurong Entertainment Centre's Fuji Ice Palace was expected to be replaced with an Olympic-sized 30m by 60m rink, as part of the $138.2 million overhaul of the centre by CapitaMall Trust.

The delay means that it will take a while longer before winter Olympic sports like figure skating, short track speed skating, ice hockey and curling can be introduced to Singaporeans, said Singapore Ice Skating Association (Sisa) president Sonja Chong.

She added that Singapore's long-term future as a member of the International Skating Union (ISU) is also on thin ice.

Sisa received provisional membership status earlier this year but is in danger of losing it if the rink is not completed.

Said Ms Chong: 'Our membership status is contingent on the completion of this Olympic-sized rink. If there are no signs of it on the horizon, it is unlikely that ISU will give us full membership status.'

ISU membership is vital as it allows Singapore skaters to compete in ISU-sanctioned events, like the Junior Grand Prix, World Championships and Olympics.

I have essentially lost my rink - seemingly for good. What will happen with figure skating? I would say that if the present Kallang rink is operated like Fuji was, the sport will still flourish. Unfortunately this seems not to be the case. Figure skaters are now finding it increasingly difficult to get their ice time - and even lesson time, given that the rink is imposing a "coaching freeze".

What do I mean by "coaching freeze"?
They are unwilling to hire any more coaches.
Because they say their rink schedule is full.

Well it is true that all their current coaches are full, and there is a mile-long waiting list... but if so shouldn't they be hiring more coaches? I just can't get my head around the logic!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ChowSkates Sale on Se_Ku Skatewear

CHOWSKATES is having a pre-order sale in Se_Ku products, with 20% off retail prices.

To view products offered, please visit ChowSkates online.

Hurry, sale ends at midnight Sunday 26 Oct 2008!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Final skate at Fuji Ice Palace

Last night was a closing party for the final skating session at Fuji Ice Palace. Leonard, Charissa, Karen and I put in a coaches item for the performance. It went pretty well, given we had managed to skate together just 2 times before the performance. I didn't take videos yesterday, but I'm sure somebody did and would share it...

Jurong East Entertainment Center is scheduled to re-open in October 2009, with a new full-size rink in it. Though exciting, it will be a brand new experience for all skaters, and meanwhile, this rink will remain a fond memory to many of us.

On a more personal note, yesterday was the first time in 16 months that I have put on a skating dress!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fuji Ice Palace Farewell Party

Party at the rink - just $10 per person for hi-tea reception and free skating!!

When: 15 Oct 2008, 6-9pm
Where: Fuji Ice Palace (3rd floor Jurong Entertainment Center)
Tickets: $10 per person
Only 350 tickets available, purchase yours now from the cashier's counter!!

From the not-so-partying perspective, the rink is closing... though we can look forward to the Olympic rink next year :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Coaches Day!

Today, 12 September 2008, is Coaches Day.

Say a big thank you to your coaches - send an eZoCard!

Coaches' Day is initiated by Singapore Sports Council (SSC) to recognise a coach's role in developing athletes. It is held on the second Friday of September each year.

Indeed, a coach is a teacher, and a role model for young athletes. We should use this opportunity to show appreciation to our coaches.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah Paw makes history for Singapore!!

For the first time in history, Singapore will be represented in a winter sport!

This week the Junior Grand Prix goes to Mexico City, and Sarah Paw will be representing Singapore - this is the first time Singapore is represented in an ISU Figure Skating competition.

Since obtaining ISU provisional membership in April, the Singapore Ice Skating Association is now able to send skaters to ISU events. As our reigning National Champion at the Junior level, Sarah is one of the best skaters Singapore has (we currently have no Senior skaters yet), and is an apt choice for SISA's debut on the ISU stage.

Sarah will be competing in the Junior Ladies event. The short program will be on Friday, and the free skate on Saturday.

Let us wish Sarah all the best for the competition!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vote for Figure Skating!!

What event are you looking forward to in Vancouver in 2010?

This is a poll on NBC Olympics Vancouver 2010 page. I'm not sure if the poll is going to be open for long, so... quickly go put in your vote!

NBC also ran an article, "Ones to watch", which puts Mao Asada as the leading figure skater to watch. Indeed, she had missed the previous Olympics by being a few months too young and is now hard at work... with seemingly effortless triple Axels. Here's a video of an interview and her practise:

In my opinion, Mao is not the only one to watch. She has keen competition from Korean Kim Yuna, and of course we cannot discount Miki Ando, who was the first female skater to land a quadruple jump (salchow) in competition. Last but not least, with Michelle Kwan considering a return, the ladies' event is going to be one not to be missed!

So, of course figure skating is the event I am looking forward to in Vancouver, especially the ladies event!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

On the cover of Vogue

How does it feel to be famous?

Reminds me of the time when I was on the cover of The New Paper on Sunday, 26 September 2004, with a 2-page story titled "No snow, no ice, but ... got S'pore ice-skating champs". (archive found in Rednano - seems to not work on IE)

Then, that was for real, and it was surreal - I recall waiting in line at the grocery store and seeing the guy in front of me pick up the paper. I wanted one for myself, but ended up asking my parents to get it!

Anyway, back to this picture of Vogue, this one is not for real. I made it on the PhotoFunia website - interesting photo edits put you in the limelight... How fun!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

2009 ISU International Adult Competition - dates and location

Today, I received an email from Rhea Schwartz on the pre-announcement for the ISU Adult competition for next year:

Just want to let you all know that the 2009 ISU International Adult Competition will be held in Oberstdorf, Germany, May 28, 29, 30, 2009. The "draw party" will be held Wednesday night, May 27. Depending upon the number of entries, the competition may extend to Sunday, May 31.

The announcement will be prepared this fall. Some minor changes will me made to the program requirements for both free skating and dance so please read it carefully when it is published.

Dont forget that all skaters have the opportunity to skate an "artistic" program as well as in another discipline. Please carefully read the requirements for artistic programs as they are marked only on the program components and the emphasis is on interpretation of the music.

Spread the word about how much fun this competition is. The more the merrier; the more new friends we will make.

Starting the count-down to Oberstdorf!

Indeed, this competition, while competitive, is fun, and a wonderful chance to meet old friends, and make new ones. I want to go again, especially since I'd missed it this year!

Next year will be the first time Singapore will be represented at this competition, after gaining provisional membership to the ISU in March this year. It would be great if we can get a team to go!

[Update - another competition, the Mountain Cup, will be held in Villard-de-Lans, France, from Thursday 4-Sunday 7 June, preceded by a 3-day training camp from Monday 1 June.]

Friday, August 22, 2008

Michelle Kwan considers Vancouver!

Michelle Kwan was interviewed on Today show on 20 Aug 2008 at Beijing. She left open the possibility of going for another Olympics in Vancouver 2010, having been inspired by what she saw at the Beijing Games.

The video is available on the MSNBC site. However, I can never view MSNBC videos from Singapore, so I had to look harder before I managed to see the interview.

Susan did up a nice transcript of the interview on her Lifeskate site.

While I think it is admirable that Michelle Kwan still has the fire in her to go for the gold, I see a great challenge for her in the new judging system, on top of tough competition from the younger skaters! I loathe to see her disappointed once again...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Watching the Beijing Olympic Games Online

The Beijing Olympics opened last weekend, and by now is already halfway through. (yeah, I'm a bit behind on this, huh?!) Anyway, while looking for online sites to watch some of the games, I found that there is an
official channel on YouTube!!

Apparently this will serve most countries, but in any case, here's the list of Internet Rights Holders for the Beijing Olympic Games listed by country.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Figure Skating Seminar with Alissa Czisny

The Detroit Skating Club is organising a figure skating seminar with Alissa & Amber Czisny on Aug 23 afternoon. Areas covered are spins and footwork. Download more information here.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

'Ice Dance' Sedge

We love ice dance!

'Ice Dance' thrives in dry shade or in moist woodland sites, and is fully evergreen in zone 4b and south ... ... 'Ice Dance' is mildly stoloniferous, but not invasive. Brownish springtime flowers are subtle. Cut foliage back in early spring and enjoy the fabulous color of new growth. Not native.
  ~ quoted from "Niche Gardens"

Go, ice dance!! Fully evergreen... subtle... enjoy the fabulous color of new growth... not native - oh!?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kilian - dancing again after two years

I am so excited!! I went skating last Thursday, and one of the coaches had just finished a lesson and was free.

So I (jokingly) asked, "would you like to dance?"

To my surprise (and excitement), he said, "Sure! Which dance do you want to do?".

We decided on the Kilian - one of the few we can actually fit into this rink. This was the first time I danced partnered in two years! Initially, I wanted to skate to the 14-step music, since it was slower, but we couldn't find that, so we had to put on the actual Kilian music.

It was lots of fun... However, we were both totally tired out after 4 patterns - he not having skated for years and me not having skated for months. I suggested perhaps we try another dance next time. I hope there will be a next time!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SISA test session - 30 August 2008

SISA has announced its next test session to be held on Sat 30 Aug 9-10 PM (yes, at night!). Entries MUST be postmarked by 7 August.


There has been a change to the test requirements - skaters may now choose to perform either a step sequence or a spiral sequence.

There has also been a total revamp to the names of test categories - to match the new competition categories!

More information about the test session can be downloaded here.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Last night I found that my baby wants to start training - off-ice! Here are her broken-leg spin position, and spiral!



I think mine still look better... (for now)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fuji Ice Palace closing in October

It is now official. Fuji Ice Palace will cease operation at its present location on 16 Oct 2008. This is already announced on the Fuji Ice Palace website.

What are the plans?
The management is still interested to continue the business. However, they have not yet found a suitable site. It seems like, if a site is found and can be occupied immediately, it would not take them too long to lay the ice and resume operations.

Most of the current coaches will be applying to coach at Kallang (myself included). Now, that is another issue, as it appears that Kallang may not be willing to take in all coaches! Wonder why, as more coaches = more students = more business (at least for this interim period).

In 2009, there is another rink planned at the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort. However, having searched the website, there is no mention of skating...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baby double Axel

As in, my baby doing the double Axel? I was playing around with my baby in the evening, and did a small waltz jump with her. DH whipped out his camera and took this video:

Friday, July 11, 2008

The status of rinks in Singapore

At this point in time, there are two rinks in Singapore - Fuji Ice Palace in Jurong East, and Kallang Ice World in Kallang. When Kallang opened in November last year, it was curious that many skaters stayed back at Fuji.

What is the difference?
Fuji currently still hosts most of the high-level skaters. Well, almost all of them. Why? Because that is where their coaches are! Sure enough, all the high-level coaches are employed by Fuji, and these skaters are not about to change coaches.

Then comes the exciting news that CapitaMall will build a new full-size rink at the same location as Fuji Ice Palace. It comes as no surprise that Fuji Ice Palace will be closing soon - by mid-October - its website already states that
Our rink will cease operation tentatively with effect from 16 Oct 2008 for building redevelopment

What about the new rink?
The new full-size rink is expected to be completed by the end of 2009. It will be run & managed by the Singapore Ice Skating Association. While figure skating will be its main sport, the rink will also cater to figure skating, hockey, speed skating as well as curling. Of course programs for beginners to learn to skate will also be in place.

What will all the skaters (and coaches) do?
The Kallang management already anticipates that coaches and skaters currently at Fuji will want to move over. However, they are also aware that these coaches/skaters will most likely leave again after the new rink is built. Understandably, decisions will be made based on this...

Ok, the short answer to this question is, we don't know yet!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

SISA Seminar by Technical Specialist

The Singapore Ice Skating Association will be inviting technical specialist Janet Born to give a seminar on 15th June 2008 (Sunday) from 0745am to 0945am.

Prices are as such:
$5 for members of the national team
$10 SISA members
$50 for non-SISA members

This seminar will be beneficial for coaches, skaters and parents preparing for the next National Championships in 2009. There will be clarifications made by Ms Born on how to identify and achieve the different levels of spins, etc in the new code of points judging system.

Any inquiries may be sent by email to

Friday, May 30, 2008

Inter-school competition starts tomorrow!

This weekend will be the inter-school competition. This is an ISI-based competition initiated by Fuji Ice Palace. It is a brilliant idea that has created more awareness and interest in the sport.

In previous years, I have generally not been around for this competition - guess what? Yes, it clashes with my annual "pilgramage" to Mountain Cup, Tallinn and Oberstdorf. Sadly for me I'm not going this year; happily for the rink, I am around to judge!

So, I get the judging schedule, and had to kill some brain cells to figure out how to manage that, with baby and without my DH around.

The final decision was:
Saturday: My mom would come to care for baby during my first judging session, then we will bring baby to my parents' place in the afternoon, and we will stay overnight there (and I would have to make another trip to the rink from there).
Sunday: We would bring baby home in the morning, before I go for my first judging session (hopefully she won't be crying too much in the car, and I won't end up late!) My mom would stay at my place the entire day to care for baby. I'm lucky to have such a great mom!

My DH is still wondering what I get out of this... this time, I can't even argue that it is because I have students competing!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Finnstep - new compulsory dance

The instructional material on the new compulsory dance has been released in ISU Communication 1497. Now called the Finnstep, this is the same Sunshine Quickstep I had written an entry on earlier.

Here's a video demonstration by Kati Winker and Rene Lohse. It looks like such a fun dance!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

2008 Peach Classic Announcement

The 2008 Peach Classic will be held Aug 30-31 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The announcement is now online.

The big changes this year are the changes to the adult skating rules for US Figure skating: new Age Classifications, 1:50 max time for Bronze Freeskate, and Free Dance instead of Original Dance.

The deadline for entry is July 19.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Need a break!

This week, I went back to work. What with baby, DH, work, coaching, store... where does that leave skating? (oh I forgot to say and blogging too... )

Perhaps I need a break. Maybe a movie? The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian will open in cinemas in Singapore soon. That would be one movie to catch, especially since I love fantasy novels, and I'd read all the books in the Chronicles of Narnia by the time I was 11... (way before I started skating!)

So, hopefully I manage to get to take a break and catch a movie!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

1 meter? 6 seconds?

What does 1 meter and 6 seconds have in common?

I was trying the spiral sequence again on Monday, after having read ISU Communications 1494, on the Scale of Values and Guidelines for marking GOE and Levels for the season 2008-2009 in Single and Pair skating.

So, what is this about 1 meter and 6 seconds? Well, having tried out spiral sequences based on last season's definitions, I was curious to see how that would be affected now. While many of the features and requirements remained unchanged from last season, there are a few significant changes:

First, the feature of "Spirals on both feet, forward & backward, inside & outside" no longer counts as a feature, but is mandatory for Levels 3-4.

Next, the requirement for change-edge spirals has been modified:
"Change of edge in Spirals requires minimum 3 seconds hold before and after the change with the distance used for the change not longer than 1 meter"

Lastly, a new features for level of difficulty in spirals:
"Holding spiral position (without any interruption) for 6 or more seconds"

Ok, these rules make it just a tad bit harder for me to try for a Level 4 spiral sequence. I can still use the spiral sequence I made up last year, but making sure that the edge change takes less than 1m, and having one of the spirals hold for 6s or more.

1 meter
I was trying to estimate the distance in my change-edge, but found it really hard to tell from the tracing - actually what was hard was to find the tracing. I suppose I need to have someone look or video while I do it! Truth be told, I think it is a challenge to make the change within 1m...

6 seconds
The 6s feature is not too big a deal for me - I think its more a matter of leaving enough music time for the spiral sequence!

So, this makes it a little harder to get a Level 4 spiral sequence, but its still not impossible. :-) Next step is to figure out the spins...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wet rink

Afternoon ice is... WET!!!

I wonder what causes this fear of falling and getting wet. It is irrational. It is unfounded. It is a self-fufilling prophecy. Of course I wasn't going to fall. Of course I was going to land the Axel on my feet, not my butt...

Still, I spent a good half hour going round and round, doing backspins and Waltz jumps, all the while marvelling at how "deep" the water was! I swear there was one part where it was almost 1/4 inch!

When I finally made myself believe that I can jump and land in a dry patch, I landed two Axels - the only two that I attempted, the rest being relegated to Waltz jumps or nothing at all. (shh, don't tell me that the dry patch really is so small I wouldn't have been dry had I fallen!).

I later tried a sit spin combination - without the backsit... somehow the backsit just doesn't work now. I must be pushing too far to the right when I change foot since I get way on the outside edge. Here's what it used to look like, 10 months ago!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Axel is back...

Skated again today, and again was determined that I would work on the Axel.

When I started with jumps, I did tons of Waltz jumps and semi-attempts at the Axel, i.e. I wanted to attempt the Axel but changed my mind when stepping into the entry. The first real attempt (finally!) was rotated, landed, but collapsed on the butt. My knee just wasn't ready for the landing! The second attempt was landed, on a very low knee and boy, it was all I could do to pull out of it. Popped quite a few after that before finally getting a few more landed.

Another thing I was determined to do today, was to get up from the sit spin. And I did! Just attempted one, though...

Regrettably, my camel spin has disappeared. Come to think of it, I haven't actually worked on the forward camel for eons - I didnt' have that in my last program! The silver lining is that I did a semi-decent back camel today. Just one - the rest just didn't have the right balance.

Anyway, the L4 spiral sequence and the layback variation that I concocted at the beginning of my pregnancy still work! *YIPPEE*

Friday, April 25, 2008

Axel today?

Another practise session today... On the way to the rink, I decided that I have to try the Axel today. I got to the rink to find that there was a school group in lesson preparing for the Inter-School competition next month. Oh well, no big deal, I thought, since they were beginners and really didn't move fast (or much at all).

I warmed up around the group, then did forward double 3s. It so happened that the group was in a block along my axis, and I managed to work one lobes around them. Later, I was told to "wait a bit before I do my stuff" since they "could not do their pattern properly" while I was skating! Now, was it because the kids got distracted by my skating, or did someone complain??!! C'mon, I kept out of their way, and they weren't even moving anywhere when I skated my lobe around them! Of course I didn't think much of it then, but it must not have been kosher that that lobe happened to go between the group and their coach! (oops! and oh dear, I'm already complaining just 3 weeks back on the ice!)

Somehow I felt more tired today than the previous session. Rather, my legs felt weaker. My left blade still felt like it was slipping away under me, so Waltz jumps just didn't seem stable. I was reconsidering my Axel decision...

Double toes and double Sals weren't that great either. Decided instead to work a bit on layback. That seems to be the only element that's normal right now. I managed to grab my blade and pull it to my hair without getting on the pick nor falling back on my head!! Then I tried the side-lay to back-lay to haircutter. It wasn't too bad, just really slow...

OK. Axel time. I suppose I do have to try it sometime... To my surprise, I actually landed the first one! It was nowhere near pretty, but was fully rotated, on one foot - and I didn't fall! Attempted many more, some successful, some steppec out, some 2-footed, some landed on the butt cos my knee gave way. Well, I'm sure it will come back in due course. :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Doubles... maybe not too long...

Another skating session - I'm slowly feeling stronger, but my left blade still feels a little strange. Anyway, my blades probably need a good sharpening - I feel like I'm skidding all over the place!

After some stroking to warm up, I started with jumps. Spent lots of time on the Waltz jump... somehow I couldn't find the pick on the takeoff. Or perhaps I skid because of blunt blades?

When I got to toe loops, I somehow got the idea that it was time to see if I still have the double toe. The first few were pathetic, to say the least, but the fact that I could almost get all the way around was encouraging. Soon I had a few that were fully rotated - but try as I might, they were all badly two-footed!

I later did a rotated but two-footed double Sal. I suppose I need to get my sense of balance back!

Sit spin is still in the can-get-down-cannot-get-back-up stage... Ok, I'd admit - today, it was more of a "dont-want-to-get-back-up" rather than "cannot-get-back-up". Then I thought I'd try the sit-back sit, but the back sit was horribly high. I tried to get lower, and ended up on the ice.

I still do not dare to try the Axel! *sigh*

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Back to coaching

Yesterday, I started coaching again. Staring slow first, just committing one day a week, for 2 hours. It went pretty well, though I had forgotten how cold my toes would get from standing in a freezing rink (the last few times I came, I actually skated!)

It felt good to be back. I do like to teach, and will definitely consider more hours... BUT it is not so easy to have a fixed schedule and get to the rink on time, when baby cries and wants to feed just as I'm going out!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Doubles will take a while...

Back on the ice for the third time today. First good thing was that my boots didn't feel so tight. Makes me think perhaps I should start breaking in my new boots!

Even though I can skate, there's still something not quite right about my CG and the feel of my balance. Summoned up the courage for a sit apin and... it was easy - until I had to get up. Though the jelly-like feeling in my legs is gone, I still don't have the strength to get up! One of the ladies suggested that it must be the baby weight I gained (no, of course I haven't lost it all yet!)

The most hilarious was the Lutz attempt. I did do all other singles the previous sessions, but not the Lutz (nor the Axel). Today, I decided to try - and the first one happened to be right in front of my coach. I didn't even take off!! He (and I) had a good laugh.

Later, I tried the double Salchow. I find it amusing how I would rather try the double Sal than the Axel. After a couple of falls, I did one under-rotated double Sal, stayed upright but... still leaning too much to the right - something that happened the first day back on ice too. I suppose it will take quite a while to get the double back. At least I need to get back the feel of the rotation first!

Thought about the Axel, but dismissed the idea.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Second session

Yesterday, I went back to the rink for the second time postpartum. My boots still feel a little bit tight, but it wasn't too bad... and I lasted 45mins with no jellification of the legs!

I still stuck to doing only upright spins and single-jumps-except-Axel. I felt stronger than last week, but wasn't sure of my core strength to do sit or camel spins. Honestly, I just did not feel like falling on my butt or my face...

I did get bored after a while, though, and couldn't really work on moves or dance since there was a significant number of public skaters on the ice. It didn't take long before I was tempted to try the layback - and try I did. Surprisingly, there was none of the "have to get used to it again" feeling, and it felt good. I did it again, and again... I also managed to grab my blade, but that put me a bit off-balance.

Later, I decided to try spirals - just plain ol' spirals, nothing fancy. I also tried a split jump, which turned out to be a half flip - I didn't have the strength to split! Oh well... just a few "new" things each session should be fine.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Singapore joins the ISU

Latest news: Singapore has been granted provisional membership to the International Skating Union.

This was announced in Channel News Asia's article "IOC president to visit Singapore for update on 2010 YOG plans".

This is a major milestone, and will certainly give the sport a boost. Next month, another rink is scheduled to be open in E!Hub at NTUC's Downtown East resort. One day soon, we will see Singapore being represented in international figure skating competitions!

[Afternote: the Downtown East rink is a synthetic ice rink.]

[Update: Singapore's ISU provisional membership is recorded in ISU Communications 1492.]

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Six weeks...

My little one is now six weeks old. This morning, I went skating for the first time in a long long while... I had to, firstly, find out if my boots still fit (or if they were still there), secondly, figure out whether I can still skate, and thirdly decide when I would like to start coaching again.

It was a nice surprise to see that the coaches' room had been nicely re-organised. One of my friends had moved my boots in there, but I couldn't find my guards. I "borrowed" my coach's guards - without his knowledge, since he wasn't there.

Hurray my boots do fit, though they felt a little tight. I suppose it would take some time to get used to them again. It would also take some time getting used to skating again - when I stepped on the ice, my left blade felt like it was slipping!

I can skate! Yeah! I started with just stroking, then crossovers and some edges and turns. It did feel strange, but again just some getting used to. I then tried spins - just upright ones, backspin and forward. I could center the backspin but not the forward one. Somehow, my weight just felt too far to the right and too far forward - that affected my exit as well! I also had to remind myself to stand straight!

It was a good 15 minutes before I felt brave enough to try a Waltz jump. This felt totally weird - there was no spring, and wobbly landing. I tried a few times, and it began to get better. I later went on to try the other single jumps. Yes, I can jump, but I had no spring and no landing. I do need to train up!!

I stopped after half an hour. My legs were starting to feel like jelly. Must be the result of not having exercised in so long!

As for coaching, I will start with just one day a week for 2 hours, probably starting mid-April...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Youth Olympic Games: Singapore 2010

The news is out:
Singapore to host the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010 (from

Of course this is old news... Waaaaay old - I am almost one month behind!! BUT for good reason - as the rest of Singapore was celebrating the winning bid, I was celebrating the birth of my little girl!

So, what lies ahead for Singapore?

The new Warren campus that the National University of Singapore (NUS) is building will become the Youth Olympic Village. Details are proposed in Theme 9, "Youth Olympic Village". Suddenly this project has taken on additional significance, and I'm sure construction will be expedited!

There are also other projects targeted, for example Marina Bay Sands will be the Media Centre, and of course some new sports venues will be built. We will see much construction over the next few years!

Also, on the official website, the organising committee is being formed, and once it is in place, it will be recruiting volunteers, full-time staff and engaging business partners. At the moment, though, there is a place to register interest - if you're interested, that is!

Singapore 2010 Official website

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ice rinks too small?

I was going to add this as a comment on my previous post, Olympic size ice rink for Singapore!, but it is becoming too long and philosphical... So here starts a new post!

Here's the Straits Times article after the Nationals where SISA "complained" about the ice rinks here being too small:
Ice rinks too small for talents to flourish

To be fair, the real reason behind Singapore not being able to compete on the figure skating world stage (including the Olympics, World Championships and Asian Games), is that without an Olympic size ice rink, Singapore can never join the International Skating Union (ISU).

It is not a lack of talent...
We have young skaters who have progressed rapidly in the last few years. These are our up-and-coming talents. Tragically, we also had talented skaters who we have "lost" because of the lack of prospects in the sport. They have grown up and given up competitive skating for their studies and other pursuits.

It is not a rink size vs training issue in Singapore...
Many of our skaters have progressed locally. Our most recent Novice and pre-Novice National Champions, Alexandria Wong and Ng Yi Ching, have been trained almost exclusively in Singapore.

If it was really just an issue with the inability to train in small rinks here, then any person can logically say: just send a skater to train overseas and represent Singapore. Unfortunately, even our new Junior champion, Sarah Paw, a Singaporean who lives and trains in Beijing, cannot represent Singapore, however talented she may be... simply because Singapore is not recognised by the ISU!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Olympic size ice rink for Singapore!

The future for figure skating in Singapore is looking brighter... Today the Straits Times reported that CapitaMall Trust plans to build an olympic-size skating rink by 2009, as part of major ugrading of Jurong Entertainment Center.

This is certainly good news in a time when the sport is starting to gain momentum, with local skaters moving up to higher competitive levels. Indeed, this year's Nationals, held just last weekend, saw keen competition in the Novice & Junior levels for the first time! (I will write about the competition later, when I have more time to ponder about it. Meanwhile, I can only say I was experiencing "withdrawal symptoms" watching the competition while I cannot compete!)

With an olympic size rink, the Singapore Ice Skating Association will be able to join the International Skating Union and we can officially represent Singapore in ISU competitions!

News reports:
  - CapitaMall Trust to build Olympic-sized skating rink - from ChannelNewsAsia
  - S'pore to have first Olympic-sized ice skating rink - from AsiaOne News
  - S'pore to have first Olympic-sized ice skating rink - from Straits Times Online

Monday, February 04, 2008

ChowSkates - an online store for ice skaters

Over the weekend, I launched my online store

I will be so bold to say this is the first online store in Singapore for skaters! Right now most of the products are Riedell skates, but I will have other apparel and accessories up too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What goes into making a skating boot?

Ever wondered how a skating boot is made? What goes into it? What are the considerations behind the design? And a little bit about Riedell's history?

All this in an interesting article on the Winona Daily News (online):
If the skate fits: Skates made in Red Wing enjoy homecoming at U.S. championships

Some interesting points...
Each layer adds weight to a boot, and while there’s a tipping point, skaters in fact want their skates to weigh a certain amount. And we mean certain in the most literal sense: Skaters want their skates to be 4.5 to 5.5 percent of their body weight, because centrifugal forces help them spin in the air.
And we thought the lighter the better?

Riedell’s top custom boot is $680 — and that’s just the price of the boot. A top-level blade can cost again as much and is attached to the boot later by a blade specialist working with the skater.
That's USD$680 - and given the rate at which top figure skaters have to change boots, it all adds up!

Kurt Browning and three-time U.S. Champion Johnny Weir. Dan Riegelman, the company’s vice president, said he expects more than 30 skaters to perform in Riedell skates during this week’s U.S. championships in St. Paul.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Singapore and Moscow in race to host 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The finalists in the race to host the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games 2010 has been narrowed down to two: Singapore and Moscow

The two cities are shortlisted from the previous shortlist of 5 cities: Athens (Greece), Bangkok (Thailand), Moscow (Russia), Singapore and Turin (Italy). The winning city will be announced by IOC President Jacques Rogge in a live web cast on provisionally scheduled for 21 February.

Show your support for Singapore's bid - you can voice your support, add badges to your website, get a decal for your car, share relevant photos, or even get a ringtone for your phone! Visit the Official Website to get more information on how to Support the Bid!

News and links:
- Official Website
- Youth Olympic Games 2010: Moscow and Singapore finalists (from Olympic site)
- Youth Olympics host: It's S'pore vs Moscow in final showdown (from Straits Times)
- Bid Profile and Fact Sheet - 2010 Youth Summer Olympic Bids (from

Previous related posts:
   Singapore in shortlist for 2010 Youth Olympic Games
    Singapore bids for first Youth Olympic Games 2010

Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Year, New Expectations...

It has been more than 2 months since I last got on the ice, AND uh... a month since I last posted *blush*.

With the impending arrival of my new "ice princess to be", I have been busy trying to get everything ready. Somehow skating has faded into the background somewhat... Still, I try to keep in touch!

It is encouraging to see that the Nationals has received greater response this year. However, I was a little disappointed that participation in Adult category has shrunk. Wonder what the other skaters are up to (and no, I'm very certain they're not pregnant like me!).

Lately I have also received distress call from a student who was unable to schedule her next set of lessons with the new coach I had passed her on to. Why? Seems like the rink "lost" her form requesting for lessons, and gave up her time to someone else! AND, they were unable to find any lesson time for her with any other coach! *sigh*

Meanwhile, I have started as the Riedell dealer in Singapore. I use Riedell boots, and have only been using Riedell boots. They have never given me any problems! Lately, I have received numerous hits on this blog coming from searches for "where to get ice skates in Singapore". Hence I made the decision to bring in Riedell skates for skaters here - and other resources too, in time...

Once I have a website set up, be sure I will post it here. Right now, I can be reached by email at chowskates at gmail dot com.