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Current Feature Article:
Holiday Celebration on Ice


Photos © Shirley McLaughlin

The Big Picture

29 Jan 2017

27 Oct 2016

News from the Southwest Pacific Region

Clubs of the SWP region are invited to send us news items for inclusion here.

2015 Glacier Falls Summer Classic Protocol

2015 Glacier Falls Summer Classic 6.0 Events


Sat, Nov 5 - 6 Autumn Antics Phoenix AZ
Nov 13 -14 OPEN  
Nov 16 - 20 2017 Pacific Coast Championships Salt Lake City UT

2017 Regional Figure Skating Championships

North Atlantic

Williamsville, New York

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Eastern Great Lakes

Lansing, Michigan

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Southwest Pacific

Scottsdale, Arizona

Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 2016

Central Pacific

Ogden, Utah

Oct. 5-9, 2016

South Atlantic

Ashburn, Virginia

Oct. 5-9, 2016


Plano, Texas

Oct. 5-9, 2016

New England

Burlington, Vermont

Oct. 19-23, 2016

Northwest Pacific

Wenatchee, Washington

Oct. 19-23, 2016

Upper Great Lakes

Rochester, Minnesota

Oct. 19-23, 2016

2017 Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Indian Trail, North Carolina

Nov. 16-20, 2016


Colorado Springs, Colorado

Nov. 16-20, 2016

Pacific Coast

Salt Lake City

Nov. 16-20, 2016

2017 Adult Sectional Figure Skating Championships


Wayne, New Jersey

March 10-12, 2017


Cincinnati, Ohio


Pacific Coast

Burbank, California

March 10-12, 2017

U.S. Adult Championships

Wake Forest, North Carolina

April 18-22, 2017

"The New Colossus"

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883

  In the News:

2017 European Championships

Preview - The European Championships 2017 will take place in Ostrava in the Czech Republic the week after U.S. and Canadian Nationals. Ostrava is the third-largest city of this central European country (behind Prague and Brno) and is situated in the North-East, about 10 miles from the border to Poland. It is the first time since 1999 that Europeans will be in this country.

Pairs Event - The first decision at the European Championships 2017 in Ostrava (Czech Republic) was the pairs competition in front of an enthusiastic crowd of about 10,000 spectators (in the free program) although the event was not on a weekend but on Wednesday and Thursday night. The level of the competition was excellent, at least for the top seven pairs.

Ladies Event - The ladies competition at the European Championships in Ostrava had a mixed level. In front of a sold-out rink with 11,000 often enthusiastic spectators, the three medalists and some others skaters showed first-class performances, but the second half was weak.

Men's Event - The men’s competition at the 2017 European Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, had a good but not excellent level. Unfortunately it has become normal that even the best skaters make some mistakes because they risk much more than five or 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. And all programs are now more intricate; not only the jumps, but the spins and steps and even the linking steps are also more demanding, therefore there is no more rest during a program.

Dance Event - The ice dance event at the 2017 European championships had the expected results on the podium, but some surprises on other places. The general level was good, but several observers said that the relatively long compulsory part in the short dance made this part a bit boring, because everybody had to do the same movements.  The technical panel with the controller Michela Cesaro (ITA), the specialist Sergei Ponomarenko (RUS) and the assistant Roxane Petetin (FRA) was very strict and did not give high levels to most of the dance teams, which several coaches and skaters criticized.

2017 U.S. Nationals

U.S. World Team Selections

U.S. team selections following the National Championships roughly followed order of finish, though with a few interesting exceptions.  The guiding principle for selections is to choose those skaters who are most likely to gain the U.S. the largest number of entries for the various 2018 ISU Championships and the Olympic Winter Games.

For the men, silver medalist Vincent Zhou was bypassed for Jason Brown for the World Championships.  Zhou was assigned to World Juniors instead, and also is an alternate for Worlds.  Junior Champion Aleksei Krasnozhon was the only medalist from the Junior event assigned to World Juniors.  The remaining U.S. entries and alternates for World Juniors were all age eligible men who competed instead in the U.S. senior event.  Had Zhou been assigned to Worlds he could have also been assigned to Four Continents to gain additional ISU exposure prior to Worlds, but not being so assigned, pewter medalist (fourth place) Grant Hochstein was assigned to Four Continents instead.

The ladies team was selected in order of finish for Worlds, but for Four Continents Ashley Wagner, who did not want to compete there (and for which there is no compelling need), was replaced by Mirai Nagasu.  Four Continents will afford "the youngsters" Mariah Bell and Karen Chen one additional opportunity for exposure before the international judges, and the chance to make a positive impression there on ISU judges to carry into the World Championships.

Selections for pairs appear to have strategic gamesmanship written all over them.  Champions Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier were selected, and will be joined by former National Champions Alexa Scimeca Knierim & Chris Knierim to compete at Worlds.  Sciemec Knierim & Knierim have not competed most of this season due to Sciemec Knierim recovering from an unspecified medical condition first announced in September 2016.  The team placed ninth at 2016 Worlds.

Selection of Sciemec Knierim & Knierim bumped silver medalists Marissa Castelli & Mervin Tran from competing at Worlds (were it based on order of finish).  Further, Castelli & Tran were only made second alternates behind bronze medalists Ashley Cain & Timothy LeDuc for Worlds.  Castelli & Tran were also not assigned to compete at Four Continents, but were made first alternates, while Cain & LeDuc were assigned to compete instead.  Leaving the arena following the Sunday evening exhibition, Castelli looked despondent as she was consoled by a friend.

Speculation at Nationals was rampant that Castelli & Tran were not assigned to compete at Worlds and Four Continents because Tran will not have U.S. citizenship in time to be eligible to compete for the U.S. at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, with further speculation that competition experience has been reserved for teams that will be citizenship eligible for the 2018 Games.  If this is true, don't expect Castelli & Tran to see much love in international assignments next season.

Nica Digerness & Danny Neudecker, the Junior Pair Champions were selected for World Juniors and they will be joined by Chelsea Liu & Brian Johnson, who placed sixth in senior pairs and were the highest scoring World-Junior-eligible skaters in the senior event.

For dance, the team selections went in order of finish for both the senior and junior teams for Worlds, Four Continents and World Juniors.


2017 World Championships

Jason Brown
Nathan Chen

Alternate 1 – Vincent Zhou
Alternate 2 – Grant Hochstein
Alternate 3 – Max Aaron

2017 Four Continents Championships

Jason Brown
Nathan Chen
Grant Hochstein

Alternate 1 – Ross Miner
Alternate 2 – Max Aaron
Alternate 3 – Alexander Johnson

2017 World Junior Championships

Alex Krasnozhon
Andrew Torgashev
Vincent Zhou

Alternate 1 – Camden Pulkinen
Alternate 2 – Kevin Shum
Alternate 3 – Tomoki Hiwatashi


2017 World Championships

Mariah Bell
Karen Chen
Ashley Wagner

Alternate 1 – Mirai Nagasu
Alternate 2 – Gracie Gold
Alternate 3 – Caroline Zhang

2017 Four Continents Championships

Mariah Bell
Karen Chen
Mirai Nagasu

Alternate 1 – Gracie Gold
Alternate 2 – Courtney Hicks
Alternate 3 – Angela Wang

2017 World Junior Championships

Amber Glenn
Bradie Tennell

Alternate 1 – Starr Andrews
Alternate 2 – Ashley Lin
Alternate 3 – Megan Wessenberg


2017 World Championships

Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 – Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Alternate 2 – Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 3 – Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay

2017 Four Continents Championships

Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc
Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim

Alternate 1 – Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran
Alternate 2 – Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay
Alternate 3 – Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan

2017 World Junior Championships

Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson
Nica Digerness and Danny Neudecker

Alternate 1 – Alexandria Yao and Austin Hale
Alternate 2 – Gabriella Marvaldi and Daniel Villeneuve
Alternate 3 – Laiken Lockley and Keenan Prochnow


2017 World Championships

Madison Chock and Evan Bates
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani

Alternate 1 – Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker
Alternate 2 – Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit
Alternate 3 – Julia Biechler and Damian Dodge

2017 Four Continents Championships

Madison Chock and Evan Bates
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani

Alternate 1 – Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker
Alternate 2 – Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit
Alternate 3 – Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus

2017 World Junior Championships

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko
Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter
Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons

Alternate 1 – Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye
Alternate 2 – Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville
Alternate 3 – Emma Gunter and Caleb Wein

2016 Grand Prix Final

2016 Junior Grand Prix Final - Once again Russia dominated in the Junior Grand Prix Final. 13 out of 24 qualified skaters & couples came from Russia and seven of the twelve medals also went to this strong skating country. Japan this time was only strong in the Ladies and qualified three entries. The USA continue to be leading in Ice Dance with three couples in the Final, but had only one other entry in the Men’s category. Canada did not qualify a single entry in the juniors.

Thoughts on the 2016 Grand Prix Final


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News Nuggets

Past News Nuggets are in the Archive

Jan 21 - Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea, the reigning U.S. pairs champions, and Alexandria Shaughnessy and James Morgan have withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships due injury/illness.

Kayne sustained a concussion in a fall from a throw element in the pairs short program Thursday afternoon and is under the care of event medical provided by the University of Kansas Hospital. After examination and follow up, it was the advice of the chief medical officer that Kayne should not compete for her own health and safety due to symptoms of concussion.

Shaughnessy is being treated for a stomach virus, the symptoms of which increased overnight.

Jan 9 - Polina Edmunds, the reigning U.S. silver medalist, has withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships as she continues to recover from a right foot bone bruise.   “I’m disappointed that I will miss the 2017 U.S. Championships and wish all the athletes good luck in Kansas City,” Edmunds said. “I will continue to focus on my health and look forward to a full return to ice.”  

Jan 9 - Adam Rippon, the reigning U.S. champion, has withdrawn from the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships due to injury. Rippon broke his left foot and sprained the same ankle during an off‐ice warm up on Friday, Jan. 6.   "I am heartbroken that I won't be able to defend my title at the 2017 U.S. Championships,” Rippon said.

 “Despite breaking my foot in a fluke accident off the ice, I am determined to grow from this and come back ever stronger.

 “I will use this as an opportunity to improve so that I can be fully prepared for next season and be at my very best to compete for a spot at the 2018 Olympic Games."

Rippon is expected to be off the ice for eight to 12 weeks and will resume training with his medical team’s guidance.   

January Competitions

5 - 7 Jan - FBMA Trophy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

10 - 15 - Jan Mentor Torun Cup 2017 Torun, Poland

17 - 21 - Jan 10th Europa Cup Skate Helena Belgrade, Serbia

25 - 29 - Jan ISU European Figure Skating Championships Ostrava, Czech Republic

31 Jan - 5 Feb - 28th Winter Universiade 2017 Almaty, Kazakhstan

February Competitions

2 - 5 Feb - Jιgvirαg Cup Miskolc, Hungary

3 - 5 Feb - Reykjavik International Games – RIG Reykjavik, Iceland

8 - 12 Feb - 2nd Sophia Trophy Sofia, Bulgaria

9 - 12 Feb - Dragon Trophy & Tivoli Cup Ljubljana, Slovenia

11 - 18 Feb - Winter European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF EErzurum, Turkey

14 - 19 Feb - Four Continents Figure Skating Championships Gangneung, Republic of Korea

14 - 19 Feb - Bavarian Open Oberstdorf, Germany

16 - 19 Feb - Olympic Hopes Brasov, Romania

21 - 25 Feb - Open Ice Mall Cup 2017 Eilat, Israel

23 - 26 Feb - 8th Asian Winter Games Sapporo, Japan

23 - 26 Feb - Challenge Cup 2017 The Hague, Netherlands

28 Feb - 5 Mar - Cup of Tyrol Innsbruck, Austria

March Competitions

2 - 5 Mar -  Nordics Open 2017 Reykjavik, Iceland

10 - 12 Mar - Coupe du Printemps 2017 Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg

15 - 19 Mar - ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

23 - 26 Mar - 12th Avas Cup Miskolc, Hungary

29 Mar - 2 Apr - World Figure Skating Championships Helsinki, Finland

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