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2006-2007 Isu Figure Skating Season


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Well, it is that time again for die-hard figure skating fans. This time, this new 4-year cycle of preparations will lead toward Vancouver 2010. This is the list of the senior Grand Prix events that will accumulate to the Final at St. Petersburg, Russia:

a) Skate America @ Hartford, Connecticut (October 26-29, 2006)

B ) Skate Canada International @ Victoria, BC (November 2-5, 2006)

c) Cup of China @ Nanjing (November 9-12, 2006)

d) Tromphee Eric Bompard @ Paris (November 16-19, 2006)

e) Cup of Russia - Bosco Sport @ Moscow (November 23-26, 2006)

f) NHK Trophy @ Nagano (November 30-December 3, 2006)

g) GRAND PRIX FINAL @ St. Petersburg (December 14-17, 2006)

As for the other major events, here they are:

a) JUNIOR Grand Prix Final @ Sofia, Bulgaria (December 7-9, 2006)

B ) EUROPEAN Figure Skating Championships @ Warsaw, Poland (January 22-28, 2007)

c) FOUR CONTINENTS Figure Skating Championships @ Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA (February 5-11, 2007)*

d) World JUNIOR Figure Skating Championships @ Oberstdorf, Germany (February 26-March 4, 2007)

Main event: the World Figure Skating Championships @ Tokyo (March 19-25, 2007)

(*Note: Second-time hosting in a row for the Four Continents event.)

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Just over one week from now, the 2006-2007 Grand Prix season starts. It starts with Skate America at Hartford, Connecticut:

Link: 2006 Skate America Grand Prix Event

Link: Participants Of The Hartford Event

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if Evan Lysacek can pull off two solid programs he will most likely win in Hartford. Lysacek's strength is his long program. Something always goes wrong in terms of his short but always delivers in the long program.

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You know who's very good, exciting to watch, and will definitely be a threat to the Russkies and CHinese pairs heading into Vancouver? The current #2 US pair -- Naomi Nari Nam and Themi Leftheris. She used to be a Singles skater -- but the Greek-American guy (shortened his name from Themistocles) is so strong and solid, and at the same time, graceful -- that finally, the US has something in the physical mold of the Russians (with the frail, tiny woman, and a taller, stronger male partner). I really am looking forward to this pair.

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I got a question. Do lots of the big name figure skaters usually skip these events?

Well, the big names don't usually go for the Grand Prix events, when they can qualify for the World Championships by placing in the top ranks in their respective national championships or other international competitions. Of course, that depends on how each nation did well in the last World Championships.

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The first Grand Prix event is over. Here are the final results:

Men:

1. Nobunari Oda (Japan)

2. Evan Lysacek (USA)

3. Alban Preaubert (France)

Ladies:

1. Miki Ando (Japan)

2. Kimmie Meissner (USA)

3. Mao Asada (Japan)

Pairs:

1. Rena Inoue/John Baldwin (USA)

2. Dorota & Mariusz SIUDEK (Poland)

3. Naomi Nari Lam/Themistocles Leftheris (USA)

Ice Dance:

1. Albena Denkova/Maxim Staviski (Bulgaria)

2. Melissa Gregory/Denis Petukhov (USA)

3. Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (France)

Next stop: Skate Canada International @ Victoria, BC.

Links:

1. 2006 Skate Canada International Website

2. Participants Of The Victoria Event

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The first Grand Prix event is over. Here are the final results:

[Next stop: Skate Canada International @ Victoria, BC.

Links:

1. 2006 Skate Canada International Website

2. Participants Of The Victoria Event

Wow! Looking at the Victoria entrants, there seems to be a big-time FIRST here in FS history. It looks like there is NO Russian pair NOR a Ladies' contestant entered in a big, major competition. That has got to be a first in 40 years or so for the Pairs!!

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I don't know, if they (D&L) will retire before Vancouver 2010.

However, yesterday was unusual in both singles' long programs event from Victoria. Rochette came from FIFTH place in the short program to win in the ladies' category. Lambiel came from SEVENTH place in the short program to win in the men's category.

Link: CBC: Rochette Wins At Skate Canada

This day will make one wonder, if this new scoring system for competitive figure skating is working or not.

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I don't know, if they (D&L) will retire before Vancouver 2010.

However, yesterday was unusual in both singles' long programs event from Victoria. Rochette came from FIFTH place in the short program to win in the ladies' category. Lambiel came from SEVENTH place in the short program to win in the men's category.

Link: CBC: Rochette Wins At Skate Canada

This day will make one wonder, if this new scoring system for competitive figure skating is working or not.

Well I guess it leaves the field much more open to having those rise significantly to the top.

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The final results of the Victoria Grand Prix event:

Men:

1. Stephane Lambiel (Switzerland)

2. Daisuke Takahashi (Japan)

3. Johnny Weir (USA)

Ladies:

1. Joannie Rochette (CANADA)

2. Fumie Suguri (Japan)

3. Yu-Na Kim (South Korea)

Pairs:

1. Dan & Hao ZHANG (China)

2. Rena Inoue/John Baldwin (USA)

3. Valerie Marcoux/Craig Buntin (CANADA)

Ice Dance:

1. Marie-France Dubreuil/Patrice Lauzon (CANADA)

2. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CANADA)

3. Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali (Italy)

Next Grand Prix event: the Cup of China @ Nanjing.

Links:

1. Official Nanjing Grand Prix Website

2. Participant List Of The Nanjing Event

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Why do the participants for each Grand Prix event differ so much?

Because most skaters do a one off, they compete in one, win and then go to the grand prix final.

I think its good that you can come from behind to win, I think its stupid to have almost no movement in standings in major competitions as it was before.

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Why do the participants for each Grand Prix event differ so much?

That's the whole point of the Grand Prix series. It (i) gives the various skaters a chance to pick 2 (or 3) to compete in (and count for points towards participation in the Finals -- or not); and at the same time, modulate their competition/training frequency; and (ii) it allows the various SKating national committees to try out their top 5 skaters in each category in an int'lly sanctioned setting. Then, aside from these, you have your nationals; the Europeans have a Regionals, & then, finally, the Worlds. (And in an Olympic year, you have that as well. Plus with all the heightened technical proficiency skills and everybody doing more daring maneuvers to outdo the others, you have to factor in injury/healing time.)

So, in a season, a skater competes in at least 4 major competitions. And then after that, they go on an extensive, rigorous roadshow tour (of the US and Canada) to earn some $$$. It's really quite hectic -- not counting down time for getting sick as well.

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That's the whole point of the Grand Prix series. It (i) gives the various skaters a chance to pick 2 (or 3) to compete in (and count for points towards participation in the Finals -- or not); and at the same time, modulate their competition/training frequency; and (ii) it allows the various SKating national committees to try out their top 5 skaters in each category in an int'lly sanctioned setting. Then, aside from these, you have your nationals & then leading up to the Worlds. (And in an Olympic year, you have that as well. Plus with all the heightened technical proficiency skills and everybody doing more daring maneuvers to outdo the others, you have to factor in injury/healing time.)

So, in a season, a skater competes in at least 4 major competitions. And then after that, they go on an extensive, rigorous roadshow tour (of the US and Canada) to earn some $$$. It's really quite hectic -- not counting down time for getting sick as well.

Thanks for the detailed explanation.

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Does the ISU in some way determine which Grand Prix events certain skaters go to? It looks like that to me, knowing that the American Inoue/Baldwin team seems to be the first skaters to have confirmed their tickets to the Grand Prix final, with their performances.

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Does the ISU in some way determine which Grand Prix events certain skaters go to? It looks like that to me, knowing that the American Inoue/Baldwin team seems to be the first skaters to have confirmed their tickets to the Grand Prix final, with their performances.

No. It's a choice made entirely by the skater(s) and their Association. I believe you compete when you peak. So, if you're like a day person, then you compete early (w/o too many Russians and Chinese) and get it over with it.

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Does the ISU in some way determine which Grand Prix events certain skaters go to? It looks like that to me, knowing that the American Inoue/Baldwin team seems to be the first skaters to have confirmed their tickets to the Grand Prix final, with their performances.
yes, the ISU determines the assignments for the seeded skaters, while the local federations who are hosting the grand prix (US, Canada, China, France, Russia, Japan) assigns wild cards to local skaters.
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yes, the ISU determines the assignments for the seeded skaters, while the local federations who are hosting the grand prix (US, Canada, China, France, Russia, Japan) assigns wild cards to local skaters.

Why would the ISU determine one's skating assignments? I understand the hosts doing the seeding but I certainly think any participation is up to the skater and/or his/her local association. WHat if you have personal conflicts? Only you can work around that. I don't see it as the ISU's business to direct traffic in who participates in what -- unless everyone wants to participate in one event and NOT at another -- then I see them stepping in.

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Look at this example. In 2004 and 2005 the ISU assigned Michelle Kwan to compete in Skate America and Skate Canada during the 04-05 season and Skate America and Cup of China during the 05-06 season. Kwan opted out of both grand prix and 2004 and pulled oput due to injury in 2005.

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