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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Johnny Wier gets married

US figure skater, Johnny Wier announces he is getting married on New Year's eve.
News on IceNetwork

Updates on his twitter page @JohnnyGWeir

Friday, December 30, 2011

Bulles de Troyes 2012

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Memory of Carolyn Chetwynd

Carolyn Chetwynd
1959 - 2011
 
Carolyn Chetwynd was not only my coach, but also my friend and mentor. I was deeply saddened by the news of her passing, and I will miss her tremendously. She was always the one I could go to for support and help. She always knew what to do when the going got tough. And she always had a sense of humour to go with all that.
 
In the time she was in Singapore, she worked with many figure skaters, some of whom have gone on to skate at the ISU Junior Grand Prix series in recent years. Her dedication to coaching and commitment to her skaters stood out in her early mornings at the rink - indeed, she would begin work at 6:30am so that skaters could have a lesson and still make it in time to school (work, for me).
 
As my coach, she was always encouraging. She taught me figures (though I never got very far in that). She taught a small synchro team I got together. She helped when my partner and I wanted to try pairs. And most importantly, she worked with me on my double jumps and flying spins without prejudice to adult skaters' abilities.
 
When I became involved with coaching, Carolyn was my inspiration and mentor. She gave me advise on everything from technical (skating) to professionalism. She upheld her principles proudly. She led by example.
 
That was not all. Carolyn was also a driving force behind the early Singapore Ice Skating Association (formerly named Ice Skating Association Singapore). She worked tirelessly to bring the skating community together, to organise events/competitions, to showcase figure skating and to publicise a little-known sport in a tropical country. She had a keen sense of fairness, always making sure to be inclusive of all skaters, regardless of coach or rink.
 
Singapore's figure skating would not be where it is now if not for the hard work of Carolyn Chetwynd. We will always remember you fondly, Carolyn.
 
(skaters - you may post your condolences and tributes in the comments)
 
Our last meet-up with Carolyn in 2006, when she moved away from Singapore.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

TBISC figure skating workshop ~ FREE

Tropical Blades Ice Skating Club

FREE figure skating workshop

Thursday 22 December 2011
between 9:30am to 12 noon
at
IMM rink (Garden Plaza Level 3)

Email tropicalblades@gmail.com to register.

Monday, December 19, 2011

SISA survey for figure skaters

Calling all figure skaters in Singapore... In anticipation of the launch of the new rink at JCube, the Singapore Ice Skating Association (SISA) has put up an online survey to gather feedback from the figure skating community ~ non-SISA members are welcome to give their input too! More information on the SISA Online Survey website.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Michelle Kwan named to US Figure Skating Hall of Fame

Michelle Kwan has been elected to the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame. In her competitive career, she has won 5 World titles (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003) and 9 US Championships. She has been, and continues to be, an inspiration for young figure skaters.

Slideshow from USFS:

The US Figure Skating Hall of Fame Induction will be held Friday, Jan. 27. For information on the induction and reception or to purchase a ticket, visit www.usfigureskating.org.

Story at USFSA site

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ice Rink at IMM ~ FREE SKATING!

The ice rink is up these 2 weeks at IMM Garden Plaza (3rd floor). As mentioned in an earlier post, anyone can register for free skating! Here's what it looks like:

Friday, December 09, 2011

Mao Asada withdraws from Grand Prix Final

Just one day before the start of the Grand Prix Final, Mao Asada has decided to withdraw from competition to return home to be with her mother, who is critically ill. News sources: "Asada leaves Final to be with ill mum" from AFP "Asada to skip figure skating Grand Prix Final for ill mom" from Xinhua

Monday, December 05, 2011

Skating Coloring Pages

Came across coloring pages with a skating theme:
(click on image above to view the original site)

Friday, December 02, 2011

My 3-year-old skating

Two years ago, I had a video of my baby on the ice for the first time - see post "My baby skates!".

Last year, she was doing better but still would not let go of me - see post "Skate, baby, skate!".

Since then, she has been ambivalent about skating, until this week when she asked to go skating. I brought her to the rink after school today, with her promising that she will skate on her own. Here is the result:

FREE Ice Skating at IMM

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Rink at JCube - Progress?

Singapore's skaters (figure, speed, hockey) are eagerly anticipating the completion of the new JCube building complete with an Olympic size rink inside. Today, I drove by the JCube building to take a look, and this was what I saw*:

So close... this wait has felt like forever to us!

* Photo courtesy of Mith252 (poster from skyscrapercity)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shibutani's win at NHK Trophy

Maia and Alex Shibutani won their first Grand Prix gold at the NHK Trophy 2011. They are always such a pleasure to watch, and this free program is so full of energy and joy!

Quadruple Lutz in ISU competition

Just 2 months after the ISU recognized Brandon Mroz's quadruple Lutz to be the first performed in a sanctioned competition, he followed up with the first quadruple Lutz at an ISU competition. Brandon Mroz Short Program at the NHK Trophy

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

2010 ANZAS - Australia

The announcement for the ANZAS Adult competition in Australia is out. It will be held in Melbourne on 16-19 February 2012.

The competition events include
  • Ladies and Mens Free Skating
  • Ladies and Mens Artistic Free Skating
  • Pairs Free Skating
  • Ice Dance - Pattern Dance
  • Ice Dance - Short Dance
  • Ice Dance - Free Dance
  • Solo Dance – Pattern Dance
  • Solo Dance – Free Dance
  • Synchronized Skating

Download announcement & forms

Singapore plans to bid for the 2015 SEA Games

In the news this morning: Singapore will make a bid for the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games in 2015, the year in which Singapore will mark 50 years of independence.

"If successful, it will be the first time Singapore will host the region's biggest multi-sport showpiece since 1993 when its athletes won 50 gold medals." Indeed, I was a volunteer in 1993 at the SEA games. It was a huge event, and it was really neat to be a part of it. I still have a commemorative coin and a "certificate of participation" from the 1993 SEA Games!

Article: "Singapore to submit bid to host the 2015 SEA Games" ~ from TODAYonline

Friday, October 28, 2011

First Quad Lutz officially recognised by ISU

Brandon Mroz landed a quadruple Lutz in the 2011 Colorado Springs Invitational. ISU has officially recognised it as the first quad Lutz performed in a sanctioned competition.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SISA launches a Logo Design Contest

Use your creativity, design a logo and stand to win $500 and an iPad!

The Singapore Ice Skating Association (SISA) is holding a contest to come up with a new logo design. Do note that the logo should reflect that SISA is now the National governing body for Figure and Short Track Speed Skating in Singapore.

The deadline for submission is 15 Dec 2011.

Read more on SISA's website

Saturday, September 03, 2011

ISU Junior Grand Prix of FIgure Skating 2011

The skating season starts again with the ISU JGP Volvo Cup in Latvia. This season ISU has set up a YouTube channel for the JGP, and has uploaded videos of all skaters!

First place in Ladies long program:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Announcement - 2012 ISU International Adult Competition

The 2012 ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition will be held from May 22-26, in Oberstdorf, Germany. The announcement is available on the ISU Adult Figure Skating site.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Patrick Chan willing to represent Singapore

The Chinese language newspaper, 联合早报, blared out the news with headlines "世界滑冰冠军 陈伟群 愿代表新加坡参赛" -- translated to, "World figure skating champion Patrick Chan is willing to represent Singapore in competition".

On vacation in Singapore, Patrick Chan was interviewed by a reporter from 联合早报 during which he indicated that he might retire after the 2014 Olympics, and after that would be willing to Singapore in downhill skiing or tennis, or golf.

As for his figure skating goals, he will be back to training after this vacation, to defend his world title. In the longer term, he is aiming for Gold at the 2014 Olympics. If he wins the 2014 Olympics, he would retire from skating. Of course getting the Gold is the aim, but medals are not everything. What is really important is the process of your performance, and whether you are able to perform to the level that you want to achieve.

Lastly, he also revealed that, after retirement, if invited, he would be very happy to come to coach in Singapore. He said, "of course, I would be very interested to come here to set up a skating programme, teach the kids who love to skate, and let them understand the beauty of figure skating."

Read the article (in Chinese) on zaobao.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Midori Ito competes again (video)

Midori Ito competes again, this time at the ISU Adult Figure Skating Comeptition held in Oberstdorf. Here is her video:



What was the result? She placed 2nd in the Masters Elite Ladies II Freeskating event.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

2011 World Figure Skating Championships ~ Ice Dance

For the first time, North America sweeps the podium in Ice Dance at the Worlds... more interestingly, it is a sweep for skaters of coaches Igor Shpilband and Marina Zueva!

Meryl Davis & Charlie White Free Dance

Get Microsoft Silverlight



Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir Free Dance

Get Microsoft Silverlight


Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani Free Dance ~ impressive 3rd place finish at their World's debut!

Get Microsoft Silverlight

2011 World Figure Skating Championships Ladies

Miki Ando Free Program


YuNa Kim Free Program



Mao Asada Free Program

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ANZAS Grand Prix 2012

Adult skaters can look forward to the inaugural ANZAS Grand Prix ~ an International Adult Figure Skating Competition.

There are two competitions involved, the first to be held in Dunedin, New Zealand on Feb 4-7 2012, and the second to be held in Melbourne, Australia on Feb 16-19 2012.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Midori Ito returns to competition

Midori Ito, the first woman to land a triple Axel in competition, will return to competition this summer! She will compete at ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition to be held in Oberstdorf, Germany, on June 8-11.

Midori Ito is known for her technically difficult programs, especially at the peak of her elite skating career. Here is her long program at the 1989 Worlds where she won Gold:


Her participation is most certainly welcomed by the adult skating world and we hope more elite skaters will join in the competitions!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 Worlds Live Broadcast on the Web

Universal Sports and Icenetwork.com are collaborating to bring figure skating fans live coverage of the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships on the Web.

The broadcast will begin on April 27 with the Men's and Pairs short programs, and conclude on April 30 with the Ladies' Freeskate, and Free dance.

Subscription to the live coverage is available for $9.95 on Universalsports.com, and at $4.95 for current icenetwork.com Season Pass subscribers on icenetwork.com.

More information at
~ Universal Sports Figure Skating
~ Icenetwork.com 2011 Worlds

Friday, April 08, 2011

NEW Figure Skating Team Event for 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

The International Olympic Committee has announced the addition of a Figure Skating Team Event, along with five other new events for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Here's the excerpt:
Figure Skating Team Event: (International Skating Union - ISU)
The figure skating team event will feature teams made up of six skaters: one male skater,
one female skater, one skating pair and one ice dance couple. Points are awarded to each
skater/ couple. The team with the highest number of aggregate points is declared the
winner. The figure skating team event will make its first appearance in January 2012 at the
first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.

Quoted from IOC announcement: New Events for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moscow to hold Worlds 2011

The Worlds will be held at the Megasport Arena in Moscow, Russia, on April 24-May 1, 2011.

After reviewing the countries that offered to host the Worlds, ISU decided to allot the World Figure Skating Championships 2011 to the Figure Skating Federation of Russia, which has assured the ISU of its full cooperation including in areas such as easy access to entry visas and security. The preparation for the updating of all relevant details (time schedule, Announcement, entry confirmations etc) have already begun and the ISU will revert as soon as possible with the necessary information.

Read the full story on the ISU site.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Skating in the Tropics

Alaine Handa, on what her favorite thing about Singapore is...


Alaine lived & skated in Singapore for many years before moving to the US. She now lives in New York City. She is a choreographer, dancer, make up artist, dance educator, and has a dance company, A.H. Dance Company.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where will the World's be?

Following the postponement of the World's after Japan's quake & tsunami, the ISU has announced that it may consider holding the event in another location.

ISU has received bids from Russia (Moscow), Canada (Vancouver, British Columbia), the United States (Colorado Springs, CO, or Lake Placid, NY), Finland (Turku), Croatia (likely Zagreb), Austria (maybe Graz).

News report on
- Figure skating-Moscow bids to host world championships from Reuters
- 6 Countries Offer to Host Skating Worlds from USA Today

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

World Figure Skating Championships postponed due to Japan's quake

The ISU has announced that the World's will not be held on the scheduled date. In the latest release, ISU states that "The postponement of the Event or alternatively the final cancellation is under evaluation."

Full news story from ISU.

Monday, March 14, 2011

World Championships may be affected by Japan's Quake

This ISU World Figure Skating Championships scheduled to take place in Japan next week might be cancelled, after one of the most devastating earthquakes and tsunami hit Japan.

Although the ISU initially announced that the World Championships will continue as scheduled, it later announced, on 13 March, that it will "continue to monitor the situation in cooperation with the JSF and the Japanese authorities in order to come to a conclusion as to maintaining or cancelling the Championships in Tokyo scheduled for next week." (Full story on ISU site)

Reports have it that Germany is pulling out of the World's.

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Physics of Figure Skating

The Physics of Skating ~ from Delaware Online
The article describe how the grace, style and athleticism of figure skating depend on basic scientific principles of friction, momentum and Newton's third law.

There is also a video interview with coach Joel Savary:


Here's a transcript of what said:
To make a good skater you have to incorporate style, beauty as well as great athleticism, so it is a very unique sport because you have to be both athletic and showing the artistic side. So if you can incorporate both of those together that will make you a great skater.

There are a lot of different jumps - there's toe jumps, where you use the toe to assist you into the air, such as the toe loop and the flip jump and the lutz jump, and there's edge jumps, which is the salchow and the axel and the loop jump, which do not use the toe to assist you into the air - you just got to take that edge to lift you. And then of course you have the number of rotations you do on each jump, so you can go from single jump all the way up to - people are doing quads now, so there are 4 rotations, and people are really pushing for 4 1/2 in the future.

There are so many spins. People are advancing spins now all the time. We have sit spin, you know classic spins like sit spin, scratch spin, laybacks. We've flying spins, death drops and all these new spins in different positions like the ladies are doing Bielmann spins, where they're grabbing the leg and pulling it to the head. There's just a lot of new spins coming up. Being flexible allows us to more interesting positions in spins.

You pull in to generate the force of spinning faster - and this is in the jumps and this is also in the spins. The tighter position you can get with your legs being as tight as you can and your arms being as tight as you can and being completely straight will get you to rotate much faster.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eclipse Blades

Riedell Skates has launched a brand new line of blades!! The Eclipse Blades are made with the latest technologies to offer competitive skaters with strong blades that have consistent precision edges and toe rakes with improved ice engagement.

There are four models available:
Eclipse Infinity ~ for advanced freestyle skaters;
Eclipse Mist ~ for freestyle skaters
Eclipse Volant ~ for advanced instructional or beginning competitive skaters
Eclipse Dance ~ for ice dancers.

News story at iSkateRiedell
Eclipse Blades Website

Buy them from Chowskates store!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Volvo Open Cup 15th

The Volvo Open Cup will be held in Riga, Latvia from May 6th to 8th.

This competition has an Adult class for freeskating (Bronze, Silver & Gold levels) that will use the ISU judging system.

Download Announcement

Monday, February 21, 2011

Four Continents 2011 ~ Ladies

Miki Ando's well-executed freeskate program, securing her Gold medal at the Four Continents:


Her technical elements are just amazing, with positive GOEs on *everything*, both in her short and free programs!

Mao Asada's Short Program

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Singapore Nationals 2011 Schedule

The 10th Singapore National Figure Skating Championships & Competition 2011 will be held this weekend at Kallang Ice World. The schedule is as follows:

Saturday 12th February 2011

  Time       Event
  10:40   Opening Ceremony    
  10:50   Future Stars 1    
  11:13   Future Stars 3    
  11:34   Preliminary    
  12:05   Future Stars 4    
  12:33   Elementary    
  13:11   Primary Ladies    
  13:33   Novice Ladies SP    
  14:01   Novice Men, Junior Ladies SP      
  14:30   Senior Ladies SP    

Sunday 13th February 2011

  Time       Event
  10:20   Adult Bronze, Adult Silver, Adult Gold
  11:02   Pre-Primary, Adult Masters
  11:58   Novice Ladies, Novice Men FS
  12:42   Junior Ladies, Senior Ladies FS
  13:23   Closing Address & National Anthem
  14:30   Prize Giving Ceremony & Awards Presentation      

Good luck to all competitors!

Skate your best!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Pang Qing & Tong Jian at Asian Winter Games 2011

Short program


Long program

Asian Winter Games 2011 - Men's Figure Skating

Denis TEN Freeskate (Gold Medallist)


MURA Takahito Freeskate (Silver Medallist)


SONG Nan Freeskate (Bronze Medallist)


And Malaysian Ryan YEE placed 14th overall

Asian Winter Games 2011 ~ Ladies' Figure Skating

Kanako MURAKAMI Freeskate (Gold Medallist)


Haruka IMAI Freeskate (Silver medallist)


Min-Jeong KWAK Freeskate (Bronze medallist)


A little closer to home, Malaysian skater CHING Siau Chiann placed 15th overall

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ryan Bradley at US Nationals

Ryan Bradley put in a wonderful freeskate, with enchanting artistry, an entirely charismatic performance.

It started a bit disappointingly. His opening quad toe was under rotated and stepped out, and immediately after he stepped out of a second quad toe. Nevertheless, soon he pulled off a triple axel - double toe combination and the rest of his performance was just fun to watch.

And, just as we thought he was stepping off the ice, he skates back on and added a backflip ~ to a cheering crowd!

Video of Ryan Bradley SP


And, just to show what a performer he is, I just had to put this video of his long program at the Nationals last year - yes last year, since he skated the same program this time round:

2011 US Nationals Ladies Free Skate

Every time I watch Alyssa Czisny skate, I can't help but marvel at her spins. Last night, her jumps looked gorgeous too, as she put together a beautifully composed freeskate program.

Skating last, Rachel Flatt put together an intricately choreographed program. However, there seemed to be an air of caution throughout her program, and doubling her first Lutz did not help.

Mirai Nagasu fumbled on her flying sit spin, and later had difficulty keeping the program together. It was a disappointing finish for her, after leading the short program.

While the Ladies long program was nice to watch, there seemed to be something lacking. The enthralling and captivating quality of the performances of the Michelle Kwan era was missing.

It has been more than ten years since I watched figure skating live on TV, and I vividly remember the thrill of seeing Michelle Kwan get on ice. Not just Michelle, all other skaters too. (And where have I been these ten years? Someplace where TVs don't see the value of showing figure skating at all, much less live?)