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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

World Junior Championships 2012 Preliminary Rounds

The World Junior Championships 2012 is happening at Minsk, Belarus. Over the last two days, the preliminary rounds were held in which the top skaters proceed to compete in the championships.

Kaetlyn Osmond won the Ladies Preliminary round with a fantastic skate:

In the Men's preliminary round, Nam Nguyen from Canada came in first, while Shari Koch/Christian Nüchtern from Germany took first in the Ice Dance Preliminary Round and Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin won the Pairs Preliminary Round.

Full report on the ISU page.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Skating at Sea Seminar ~ for Adult Skaters

Calling all Adult Skaters - The first ever Skating at Sea Seminar is set to sail on Oct 27th on the Oasis of the Seas. This 7 day experience is sure to create great memories. Your coaching staff on board will be Audrey Weisiger and Sheila Thelen.

Planned by ex-figure skater, volunteer and skating mom Nancy Raymond, this first Skating at Sea seminar will be on the ship "Oasis of the Seas", sailing on 27 Oct 2012 from Port Canaveral, FL.

The rink on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

Visit their Facebook page

For further information and to reserve your spot please contact:
Nancy Raymond/Cruise Planners
508.865.4939 or 508.769.1158
*This exclusive clinic can only be booked through Nancy Raymond/Cruise Planners

Thursday, February 23, 2012

JCube Mall to open 2 April 2012

As reported in Chinese language paper 联合早报 (LianHe ZaoBao) on Wednesday (22 Feb), the new JCube Mall will open on 2 April 2012. It will have our first Olympic ice skating rink.

The JCube mall opening is also reported in My Paper on the same day. Here's the snippet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The 7th Malaysian Figure Skating Championships

** This is a guest post written by coach Cheryl Khoo **

A total of 11 skaters from Singapore competed at the 7th Malaysian Figure Skating Championship held at Sunway Pyramid Ice on the 17th and 18th February 2012. They were accompanied by two coaches. This is my 2nd time bringing a team out as a coach for an ISU competition.

Skaters :

  • Lena Helou (Represented ISAM)
  • Tala Helou (Represented ISAM)
  • Akari Kinoshita (Represented Japan Skating Federation)
  • Ayako Nonaka (Represented Japan Skating Federation)
  • Melinda Ang (Singapore)
  • Rachel Chong (Singapore)
  • Alexandra Iona Skillen (Singapore)
  • Alexandra Crombie (Singapore)
  • Rong Joe (Singapore)
  • Johanna Ekman (Sweden)
  • Filippa Ekman (Sweden)

Coaches :

  • Sunny Man
  • Cheryl Khoo

We arrived at Sunway and checked into our hotel at about 5pm in the afternoon on Wednesday, 15th February 2012. Melinda, Rachel, Ayako, Alexandra and myself stayed in 2 rooms that were interconnected.

The skaters had their first public session in a very crowded rink at 5.30pm. They needed to get used to the ice and familiarize themselves with their programs in the rink before their Thursday morning ice time. This was where the tension for competition built up among the skaters. Despite my advice to take it easy to just feel the ice and fitting their program into the rink, the skaters were hammering jumps and spins and constantly coming to me for advice. This was when I knew, the skaters felt the pressure of competition. The girls had an early night to prepare for a 7am ice time.

The best part of having interconnecting rooms is that the coach jumps on the students to wake up in time for their ice time especially when it is early in the morning. We had two 45-minute sessions, in which I split the high level and lower level up to ensure that we have optimal training time on the ice. During these 2 sessions, skaters were starting to find momentum building up to the competition. Some had clean practices but some were still struggling with their jumps and spins. You could see the worried looks on their faces after the practices.

As a young coach, I felt the need to be there for my skaters, on and off the ice. I would relate my previous competitive experience with them to give them confidence going into competition. Telling them there was no time to doubt themselves at that moment, it was the “do or die” attitude that they must have. Mentioning to them that as parents and coaches, this is so much we can do, we have worked so hard for them. The rest is all up to them to showcase and perform. That was their moment.

The girls would go for their breakfast together after every morning practice ice time to wind down and relax before heading for their second practice of the day for another one and a half hours. During this practice, the skaters made friends with the other competitors and I met many other coaches from other countries, including Craig Heath whom I once went to Hong Kong to train with. It was not only a good experience for me to see the various level of competition, but also the different style and techniques coaches use to help skaters with technique and even mentally.

Having Alexandra Crombie, who turns 9 this year, traveling alone with us was a little bit of a challenge. She is a very active kid who is constantly moving around and being very picky with food. The best moment was watching Lena Helou telling her to finish eating her breakfast during Friday morning breakfast table. Usually I would take on that role. But nevertheless, she was the happy kid in our team who is always smiling and making us laugh.

Tala Helou, 5, the youngest competitor in the competition, is another energizer bunny who always runs around with Alexandra Crombie. Both of them brought laughter and joy to the team. This bonded the team together.

As the start of the event approached on Friday, I decided to skate with the skaters on their last public practice before the start of the event. I wanted to take their mind off the competition and just relax. Competition is not only about competing, but it is also the fun they have on and off the ice as a team. I challenged all of them to different jumps and told them if I land the jump that they are doing, they got to land it to. It was not only a challenge to them, but also for me who had stop practicing 7 months ago. I think this session really did the trick.

When events came, the skaters handled the pressure better. They were calm going into warm up. When they stepped on the ice to perform, I emphasized that this is their moment and they should skate the best they could and finish the program with no regrets. Yes, there were tears, but I told them all we could do is working on consistency and doing it at that one chance.

Overall, everyone did great in their performance with good feedback reflected in their scores. It gave me confidence as a coach to keep pushing myself and my skaters to not only improve in the jumps and the spins, but also overall as a skater. To persevere, take on challenges and to live and enjoy the moment. In sport, it is not about winning, but about doing your best and performing at your best at the moment. As a coach, all I can ask for is my student to take back each experience and work on them. Work on the process rather than worry about the outcome.

The highlight of the event was watching the juniors and senior skaters competing. Landing triple jumps and double axel in the rink that is about the same size as kallang ice world. It was simply inspirational and breathtaking. Especially for the skaters who have yet to see triple jumps before them, and not on youtube.

At the end of the competition, some of the girls had a sleepover at my room to enjoy the last night before the start of a new week. Some of them had to fly back to Singapore for their regular Sunday plans. Overall, I think it was a productive and good trip for the skaters and a good(?) preparation for the Singapore Nationals 2012.

Over here in Singapore, I would like to thank all parents for their support and hard work in sending the skaters to the rink and preparing their costume, make up and being mentally there for the skaters. Without them, this trip would not be as successful.

Results of the Malaysian Nationals are at:

** Cheryl Khoo is a full time undergraduate student at Nanyang Technological University pursuing a degree in Sports Science and Management. She coaches part time at Kallang Ice World and is training to compete at the ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition in Germany as soon as she is eligible. Cheryl has her sights aimed on being a competitive skater as well as a high-performance coach.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rink roof collapses during hockey training

A youth ice hockey team was training on a newly-opened rink in Slovakia when the roof collapsed under heavy snow.

Report on The Telegraph Roof Collapses on Ice Hockey Rink as Players Train

Sunday, February 19, 2012

ISU Adult Skating Working Group

The ISU Adult Skating Working Group has launched its website (still "unofficial") at

ISU Adult Figure Skating

With Rhea Schwartz as the coordinator, this working group has been hard at work to bring recognition to adult skating in the ISU and around the world.

Recently, I had the chance to chat with a few "skating mothers" - currently defined as mothers who have a child skating. It is not unheard of for such mothers to take up skating themselves, and eventually outlast the skating child in the sport. Perhaps future "skating mothers" might be actually mothers who are skating themselves!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

10 Lessons Lin can Teach Us...

From, "Just Lin, Baby! 10 Lessons Jeremy Lin Can Teach Us Before We Go To Work Monday Morning". The points are
  1. Believe in yourself when no one else does
  2. Seize the opportunity when it comes up
  3. Your family will always be there for you, so be there for them
  4. Find the system that works for your style
  5. Don’t overlook talent that might exist around you today on your team
  6. People will love you for being an original, not trying to be someone else
  7. Stay humble
  8. When you make others around you look good, they will love you forever
  9. Never forget about the importance of luck or fate in life
  10. Work your butt off

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Athletes & Science

Science and technology has changed our world. Its impact is also evident in sports where research enhances understanding of how our body works and how best to harness its potential. New technology has led to improved equipment for better performance as well as novel training aids to assist in training.
* this is a part of a series of virtual exhibitions by the Olympic Museum

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Champion in the Mind

Champion in the Mind brings us through the building of a champion in three stages

  Motivation ~ the flame and desire in a young athlete

  Preparation ~ the training, building up an athlete

  Creation ~ the pressure in the game

* this is a part of a series of virtual exhibitions by the Olympic Museum

A champion athlete has a strong mind to see him through these stages. Even from the early stage, there will always be times when the athlete is down. This virtual exhibition reminds athletes of the importance of mental training and being strong mentally.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ice Skating on Amsterdam's Canals

This winter, part of the canal system in Amsterdam had been closed to water traffic in order to allow the water to freeze. For the first time in a decade, skaters are able to skate on the canal! Here's the BBC report, and here's a video:

These speed skaters skate on beautiful virgin ice!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Live Stream of Four Continents

The Four Continents opened with the Mens Short Program on Thursday. Radio Canada is providing live streaming of the event.

Event schedule is available on the official Four Continents site.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Iron Lotus amongst College Favorites

The Rocky Mountain Collegian, a student publication of Colorado State University, did a poll on
"What's your favorite skating move?"
The result: 49% selected "The Iron Lotus"

Ok, I feel terribly ignorant, but I had to google "iron lotus" ~ the most dangerous figure skating move known to man (and unknown to skaters), performed to exquisite perfection in the movie "Blades of Glory". I must have plain ignored this move since I do remember watching the movie!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Dying poses on ice

Found a video about "Death on Ice", it made me laugh the whole way through...

Monday, February 06, 2012

Behind the Scenes at Riedell Skates

A feature on Twin Cities Live on Riedell Skates and how they are made:

Singapore skaters, visit us at to order your Riedell skates! :-)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Speed Skating ~ smashed glass!

A few years ago, one of our figure skaters damaged a glass pane when she kicked it in the middle of a "Y"-spiral... I'd never imagine speed skating has the same reach!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Mixed Team event at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games

At the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck 2012, a mixed NOC team event was debuted. For figure skating, each team comprises one man, one lady and one ice dancing couple in a team. Skaters perform a free program (or free dance for the ice dance couple). Each team collects points depending on the placement of individual skaters. The team with the highest points wins.

Here's a report on the mixed team event:

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

2012 Singapore National Figure Skating & Basic Skills Championships

Singapore Ice Skating Association (SISA) has announced the 2012 Singapore National Figure Skating and Basic Skills Championships, to be held on 30 & 31 March 2012 at Kallang Leisure Park.

The announcement can be obtained from SISA's website.