Archive by Author

Grand Prix Series Continues This Week With Skate Canada

30 Oct

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series continues this week with Skate Canada, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia.

NBC will air competition coverage from 1-2:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Nov. 2. In addition, Universal Sports will air additional coverage throughout the weekend.  Icenetwork Season Pass subscribers will have access to live video from both days of competition, in addition to photos and recaps, available to all users.

Tweet @USFigureSkating and use the hashtag #SCI14 to join the conversation on social media.

 

Team USA will be represented by 11 athletes:

Ladies:

Courtney Hicks
Ashley Wagner

Men:

Max Aaron
Stephen Carriere
Adam Rippon

Pairs:

Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage

Ice dance:

Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton
Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue

 

Event schedule (all times ET)

Friday, Oct. 31

4:15-5:50 p.m. Men’s short program
6:10-7:20 p.m.  Pairs short program
8:45-9:55 p.m. Short dance
10:15-11:50 p.m. Ladies short program

Saturday, Nov. 1

1:55-3:50 p.m. Men’s free skate
4:25-5:50 p.m. Pairs free skate
8:05-9:20 p.m. Free dance
10-11:50 p.m. Ladies free skate

 

2014 Skate Canada International Television Broadcast  Schedule
(All times Eastern; subject to change; check local listings)

Broadcast Date Event Time (ET) Network
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 Men’s and ladies short programs 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Universal Sports
Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 Pairs free skate 4:30-6 p.m. Universal Sports
Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 Free dance 7:30-9:30 p.m. Universal Sports
Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 Competition highlights 1-2:30 p.m. NBC

 

2014 Skate Canada International icenetwork Broadcast Schedule
(All times Eastern; subject to change; check local listings)

Broadcast Date Event Time
Friday, Oct. 31 Men’s short (LIVE) 4:15 p.m.
Pairs short (LIVE) 6:10 p.m.
Short dance (LIVE) 8:45 p.m.
Ladies short (LIVE) 10:15 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 1 Men’s free (LIVE) 1:55 p.m.
Pairs free (LIVE) 4:25 p.m.
Free dance (LIVE) 8:05 p.m.
Ladies free (LIVE) 10 p.m.

 

 

SKATING magazine – November Issue

30 Oct

Here’s a sneak peek of the cover for the November issue of SKATING magazine.

2014 nov cover

Watch their Actable video below:

U.S. Figure Skating Fantasy Football – Week 8 Recap

29 Oct

Here’s what happened during week eight of the inaugural U.S. Figure Skating Fantasy Football league:

Snowplow Sam vs. Team Knierim (Chris Knierim | @ChrisKnierim), 123-123, TIE

After Chris Knierim’s squad scored over 50 points in Thursday’s game, it looked like Snowplow Sam’s team would drop another game and move to 1-7, but Ben Rothlisberger disagreed. Snowplow Sam’s quarterback scored a season-high 44 points, Golden Tate scored 21 and the Bills defense scored 16 in route to a 123-123 tie. Knierim remains a game behind Ashley Wagner who won this week after a tie of her own (with Max Aaron) last week.

Team White (Charlie White | @CharlieaWhite) def. Team Bradley (Ryan Bradley | @RyanSBradley, 82-57

Charlie White’s team got its third win of the season as it topped Ryan Bradley’s squad in a blowout. Bradley, who had good performances from Peyton Manning, Stephen Gostkowski and Le’Veon Bell, was hurt by negative points by his defense. On the flip side, White’s team had a strong week. Matthew Stafford scored 19 points in the Lions’ comeback win over the Falcons and Mark Ingram and Larry Fitzgerald each scored 23 and 22 points, respectively.

Miner Problem (Ross Miner | @rossminer) def. Team Thah ‘D’(Ricky Dornbush | @RichardDornbush), 100-43

Ross Miner had a huge win over Ricky Dornbush, both in standing and in score. Both teams were 4-3 entering the week and this weekend’s matchup could prove to be big as we move towards the playoffs. This result was never in question as Miner won by nearly 60 points. Tom Brady’s 34 points led the way, but he also was helped by strong performances from DeMarco Murray and Randall Cobb. No player on Dornbush’s team scored over seven points with two players (Trent Richardson and Isaiah Crowell) scoring zero.

Team Bates (Evan Bates | @Evan_Bates) def. Team Aaron(Max Aaron | @MaxTAaron), 117-112

Max Aaron’s team, which had gained significant momentum after tying Ashley Wagner’s undefeated team, lost a tough one to Evan Bates. Bates, who took home gold in ice dance at 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America with partner Madison Chock over the weekend, trailed until Sunday night when Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy combined for 41 points. Bates, who started the season slow, now has his team riding a two-game winning streak.

Team A-Wags (Ashley Wagner | @AshWagner2010) def. Coach Coughlin (John Coughlin |@JohnCoughlinUSA), 146-99

Ashley Wagner got her team back into the win column with a huge win over John Coughlin’s team. Coughlin’s 99 points were respectable and, in fact, would have beaten three other teams this week, but Wagner’s squad was on fire. Wagner, who would’ve beaten every other team in the league by a minimum of 23 points, had four players score 24+ points, including Arian Foster who notched 35. Coughlin, too, was a little distracted as he was making his icenetwork debut and nervously rooting on his Kansas City Royals in the World Series.

Sunday at 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America

26 Oct

Another successful Skate America is in the books! The Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, was an excellent host, and we’re excited to have kicked off the 2014 ISU Grand Prix season.

Be sure to check out icenetwork for news, recaps, highlights and photos. Follow U.S. Figure Skating on our many social channels: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Vine

Look back at the conversation on social media here, and participate by using the hashtag #SA2014 or mentioning U.S. Figure Skating.


 

Team USA Results | Full Results

Pairs Free Skate

2. Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier – 183.84
4. Alexa Scimeca & Chris Knierim – 168.62
5. Madeline Aaron & Max Settlage – 160.04

Ladies Free Skate

3. Gracie Gold – 179.38
4. Samantha Cesario – 174.58
6. Mirai Nagasu – 158.21

 

What Team USA had to say:

Brandon Frazier: “We came here to put out two really solid performances and that’s exactly what we did. I would say these programs took a lot of work in the off-season and it feels like it’s been a long, long off-season. It’s good to come out here and see all that hard work pay off.”

Alexa Scimeca: “I’m not really sure [what went wrong]. I don’t think we’ve ever been more prepared for a competition and to skate with errors was very discouraging. It kind of leaves us with what are we supposed to do because we were very prepared and we were in the right mindset going into it. It’s just frustrating.”

Madeline Aaron: “I think we’ve learned we’re ready to be in seniors, ready to take on the challenge. We talked about every time we go out it’s another experience and trying to be consistent and skate well so the U.S. can send us out more.”

Gracie Gold: “I was able to get the bronze medal at this Grand Prix, which I’m happy with. There were some mistakes in this program, that of course, I need to improve on for NHK and the competitions to come. But I think it was a good start to my season. In previous seasons I’ve also started with a silver or bronze medal on the Grand Prix circuit, so I’m looking forward to another metal NHK before I take on 2015.”

Samantha Cesario: “I had a little spin trouble; still suffering a little bit with that ankle and it was bothering me a little in practice but tried to fight through it. The jumps were pretty good. I felt pretty confident going out. It is definitely a good start for the season and I’m happy with it overall.”

Mirai Nagasu: “Obviously it was a better skate than yesterday. One-hundred and eight is an OK score, but I know that I can get a much higher score. I know I under-rotated a lot of those jumps out there today but this was a very stressful week because I was expecting so much more out of myself, especially in the short program.”

 

Next up in the Grand Prix Series:

Skate Canada: Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, Kelowna, British Columbia
Cup of China: Nov. 7-9, ShanghaiRostelecom Cup: Nov. 14-16, Moscow
Trophee Bompard: Nov. 21-23, Bordeaux, France
NHK Trophy: Nov. 28-30, Osaka, Japan
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final: Dec. 11-14, Barcelona, Spain

Hometown crowd gives Scimeca and Knierim a warm welcome

26 Oct

By Nicolette House

Competing at the 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America in Hoffman Estates, Ill. is a special treat for Chicago-area native Alexa Scimeca and her partner both on and off the ice, Chris Knierim. It’s not often skaters get to compete at home. When the opportunity presents itself, it connects the skaters and audience in a deep way.

As evident by the rousing cheers the duo received when they took to the ice Saturday to perform their short program, they have quite the support group in Chicago.

“We’ve been here a few times through this season and last season so we’ve practiced at a few of the rinks in the area,” Knierim said. “It’s nice because she (Alexa) has a lot of family here so we have a lot of support.”

Scimeca’s parents, as well as her brother, sister, aunt, nana, papa, cousins, and multiple skating friends filled the Sears Centre to cheer on the couple.

“It’s really special,” Scimeca said. “I’ve never had any family come to a Grand Prix or classified international event because of travel distance and expenses. It’s been amazing to have it in my hometown and for it to be on a weekend. My parents didn’t have to miss too much work.”

While competing has kept them busy much of the time, Scimeca and Knierim will spend an extra day in Chicago, catching up with family. Scimeca has already visited her home and spent time with her parents and the family’s beloved cats.

Scimeca began her career as a singles skater in Chicago and had her first pairs lessons at a rink not far from the Sears Centre. Scimeca trained in Addison for 10 years, before taking up pairs.

“I needed some fresh new experiences and decided to look into pairs. Jeremy Allen gave me some lessons in Illinois,” Scimeca said.

Since then Scimeca has never looked back and her pairs career is taking off. In addition to Skate America, Scimeca and Knierim are slated to compete at another ISU Grand Prix event, Trophee Bompard, in November. Scimeca and Knierim’s goal is to improve with each competition.

“We still have some technical errors we need to work out, but our other mark is growing which is something really nice to see,” Knierim said.

Part of that growing score might be attributed to a mature short program music choice, El Tango de Roxanne.  The routine pushed Scimeca and Knierim out of their comfort zone, but the style suits them perfectly.

“We definitely chose it (the music) because it’s nothing like anything we’ve done before. We typically pick something slower and softer. We wanted to spice it and do something different,” Scimeca said.

Fans of their typically soft and elegant style will be in for a treat during today’s free skate, where they will skate to An American in Paris, by George Gershwin.

Rising from the grave:  Spirit of Cannuscio and McManus comes alive 

26 Oct

By Lynn Rutherford

When Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus took the ice for their free dance at Skate America on Saturday, they sported a Level 4 make-up job.

The University of Delaware of skaters aren’t playing zombies or vampires in their Danse Macabre program. They’re just dead.

“Midnight comes along, and all the spirits come alive to dance the night away and party,” Cannuscio said. “That’s very much the story of our choreography. We come out of the grave, and in the end we have to return to the grave before the sun comes up.”

So, how to play dead, without looking too ghoulish?

Cannuscio_McManus_232

Cannuscio and McManus began their quest at Champs Camp in August, where celebrity make-up artist Robin Black delivered tips on looking ghostly, including dark contouring and smoky eyes.

The make-up maestro may have done her job too well. Feedback from judges and officials at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, where Cannuscio and McManus won bronze in September, said it looked a bit too realistic.

“We heard things like, ‘You really do look like you just climbed up out of your grave,’” McManus said.

Next, the duo turned to artists from University of Delaware’s theater department, as well as Delaware’s First State Ballet.

“They helped us tone it down a bit,” McManus said. “Now, we’re wearing a kind of light application of white powder.”

“When people tell me I look a little pale and tired, I just say, ‘Thank you,’” Cannuscio added.

Of course, makeup isn’t uppermost in the team’s concerns. Partners since 2008, they placed seventh in the U.S. last season after two consecutive sixth-place finishes.

Seeking some fresh input, they traveled from Delaware and coaches Karen Ludington and Sasha Kirsanov to Quebec for a month this summer, to train under two-time Canadian World silver medalists Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.

“In Delaware, we train alone,” McManus said. “It was great to get on the ice with other teams, like Sara Hurtado and Adria Diaz (Spain), plus teams from Denmark, France and Canada.”

Both Cannuscio and McManus were a bit star-struck at first.

“I’ve been such a huge fan of Marie and Patch (Patrice) for such a long time,” McManus said. “I watched their Somewhere in Time free dance a million times. It was really great that (Ludington and Kirsanov) said, ‘Please go, get that fresh intake, train with other teams – that’s something that cannot be provided for you here right now.”

The married Dubreuil and Lauzon, who won two World silver medals, were noted for their romantic on-ice chemistry and high performance quality throughout their careers. Cannuscio and McManus absorbed as much of that as possible.

“Marie really taught me how to grab my skirt, work it and stamp my feet in the paso doble,” Cannuscio said.

“Patrice was so macho on the ice, he always played the strong, romantic lead so well, and I took as much information from him as I could get,” McManus said. “The feedback has been super positive; we’re hearing (from U.S. judges and officials) these are the best two programs we’ve ever put together.”

Blues star to play at Skate America

25 Oct

Fans who attend Sunday’s final day of the 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America are in for a special treat before the event even begins.

Billy Branch, one of Chicago’s great blues stars, will be playing the harmonica near the main entrance of the Sears Centre, alongside one of his renowned guitar players from his five-piece Sons of Blues Band.

Branch attended his first figure skating event on Friday night, along with wife Rosa. They were there to watch U.S. silver medalist Jason Brown perform his short program to the song “Juke” by the late Chicago blues legend Little Walter.billy branch

“Juke is the quintessential blues harmonica piece of all time,” said Branch, who will play from noon to around 1 p.m. on Sunday at the concourse entrance. “It’s maybe the first blues song I completely learned almost note for note. It’s still a challenge today, even after about 40 years, I hear something different in that song.

“Juke was really a milestone in blues recording history. There had never been a blues harmonica instrumental of that caliber before Juke.”

Joining Branch and his wife for the Friday night performance were Little Walter’s daughter, Marion Diaz Reacco, and the director of the Little Walter Foundation, Phil Moy. Diaz Reacco, along with Brown’s choreographer Rohene Ward, were interviewed on the AT&T Ice Desk on Friday night by Tanith Belbin.

Branch, a three-time Grammy nominee, sees his performance on Sunday as a great opportunity to tie in the Chicago blues scene with ice skating.

Branch’s Sons of Blues Band, which features Branch playing the harmonica, a bass guitarist, an electric guitarist, a drummer and a pianist, regularly plays at Chicago’s famed blues clubs Kingston Mines, Buddy Guy’s Legends Club and Rosa’s Lounge.

“We are one of the staples here in Chicago,” Branch said. “We also travel internationally. I just got back from Finland and the week before that we were in Italy. This is what we do and we are serious about it.

“We did a wonderful tour of six weeks in Turkey about two years ago. It was one of the most eye-opening tours we could have ever gone on. It was really amazing.”

To hear music from Branch and the Sons of Blues Band, go to Billybranch.com or go on YouTube. He will have CDs available for purchase at the Sears Centre.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 326 other followers