At the 2012 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, many of the skaters answered your questions from the Tweet Seat. See what your favorite athletes had to say and be sure to send in your questions for the next time!
Junior ladies competitor Camille Davis definitely has home ice advantage this week in Salt Lake City. She’s a regular on the ice at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex, which is located just a few miles from her dorm at the University of Utah, where she is a fulltime freshman.
On the flipside, she has missed most of the other competition, including the senior events of the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, to be in class.
“It’s an honor to be able to be part of this event. It’s amazing to have the international skaters here. Their presence makes it’s very exciting and motivating. I’m a skating fan in general so this is great,” Davis said. “Unfortunately, I have missed their events because, you know, I have to be in class.”
While other skaters at the novice and junior levels are gushing about the fact they are getting an early fall break, Davis is still juggling classes and skating like she does on a daily basis.
“I’m always running from one thing to the next. I take classes in the morning and at night so I can train in the middle of the day,” she explained. “I think I’m in bed by about 8:45 every night because I’m so tired when I get back.”
Despite a tiring schedule, Davis is enjoying the college life.
“I love it,” she gushed. “It’s so fun. I even room with a dancer on the school’s ballet team so we understand each other’s crazy schedules. We do have one roommate who’s in a sorority and she’s usually coming home at 3 a.m. We are always asleep.”
The aspiring surgeon will miss another competition on Saturday. No, we’re not referring to the senior free dance.
“The U,” as the University of Utah is affectionately known around here, hosts the rival BYU Cougars at the Rice-Eccles Stadium tomorrow night. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. While most eyes will be on the 50-yard line, Davis’ eyes will be closed.
The junior ladies free skate begins at 7:50 a.m. on Sunday. Davis is in seventh place going after the short program.
“I am going to a pre-game party, but I have to go to bed early,” she said. “Before I came to the ‘U,’ I was a BYU fan. But not anymore, I’m definitely rooting for my school.
“On Sunday morning I don’t think I will have any problem figuring out who won.”
By Mimi Whetstone
The inaugural U.S. International Figure Skating Classic and U.S. Challenge Skate got under way yesterday as skaters, coaches and officials filled the Salt Lake City Sports Complex. As practice sessions commenced, fans from around the nation gathered to fill the stands and celebrate a sport they’ve followed for years.
“I came because it was reasonable travel for an international event and it’s a great chance to see both up-and-comers and skaters we’ve been watching for years,” said Barbara Ray of Eugene, Ore. “This is a brand new competition and I can’t wait for the events to start so I can clap for each and every one of the skaters. We get to know their skating and they all work so hard. It’s like supporting your family.”
Ray has been attending skating competitions since the late 1980s, including regional and sectional championships, Skate America, Canadian and U.S. Championships.
“I’ll go to any event that’s a manageable distance,” Ray said.
Since 2005, Ray has traveled the globe with friend and fellow skating enthusiast Karin Olson, of Beaverton, Ore. This year, Olson will attend her biggest event yet: the World Championships in London, Ontario.
“I started coming to competitions when the U.S. Championships were in Portland,” Olson said. “From there, I can’t even count the number of competitions I’ve been to. This year, we’re here at the International Classic and Challenge Skate, and then we’re going to sectionals in Provo, regionals in Eugene, Ore. and Skate America in Seattle.”
Joining May and Olson in the bleachers this week is Shirlene Maughan of Salt Lake City, who attended her first skating competition more than 25 years ago.
“When I was little, I loved watching the U.S. Championships and listening to Dick Button on television,” Maughan said. “One day I told myself that if an event ever came close, I was going to go. Then in 1984, the U.S. Championships came to Salt Lake City. Scott Hamilton was there competing and I went. When they came again in 1990, I got my first all-event ticket. From there, I was hooked.”
Since then, Maughan has attended every U.S. Championships, Skate America and World Championships within a reasonable traveling distance.
“I just love this sport,” Maughan said.
Paul Krogue and his wife Celia have been following their favorite skaters around the world, attending Junior Grand Prix events, the Junior World Championships and the Grand Prix Final on several occasions.
“We watched Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Wagner compete in Obersdorf, Germany at the 2007 World Junior Championships,” Krougue said. “Then we got to see them win U.S. titles. It’s fun to see them go so far and do so well.”
Though Celia did not make the trip from Blackfoot, Idaho, Paul is attending the event with his brother James of Seattle, who is experiencing a first figure skating competition for the first time.
“At my first competition, all of the junior skaters were watching the senior events with their parents,” Paul Krogue said. “We got to meet them and everyone was so nice. I expect this event will provide the same for James. We’re very excited to be here.”
Competition begins today and all events will stream live on icenetwork.com.
2012 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic competition notes
Icenetwork.com event page – 2012 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic
Icenetwork.com event page – 2012 U.S. Novice & Junior Challenge Skate
Icenetwork.com live streaming schedule
By Mimi Whetstone
The senior international season begins this week with the inaugural U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City, Sept. 12-16. More than 65 skaters representing 23 countries are expected to compete, including reigning Canadian champion Amelie Lacoste and two-time U.S. bronze medalist Ross Miner. The U.S. International Figure Skating Classic will be held in conjunction with the U.S. Challenge Skate, a U.S. Figure Skating invitational competition for intermediate, novice and junior athletes who have competed at the national level. Both events will stream live on icenetwork.com.
Reigning U.S. junior champion Gracie Gold, who won the silver medal at the 2012 World Junior Championships, will begin her first full senior season. Gold captured the gold at JGP Estonia last year with a personal-best score of 172.69 points. Challenging Gold will be Lacoste of Canada, who competed at the World Championships in both 2011 and 2012. Also competing for medals are Elena Glebova of Estonia, who won silver at 2011 Finlandia Trophy, reigning U.S. bronze medalist Agnes Zawadzki and Clara Peters, the first skater to represent Ireland at an ISU event. Peters earned a personal-best score of 55.90 for her free skate at the 2012 World Championships, where she placed 11th.
Battling for the top podium spot in the men’s event will be two-time reigning U.S. bronze medalist Ross Miner, who earned a personal-best score of 223.23 points at the 2012 Four Continents Championships, where he placed third and fellow American Armin Mahbanoozadeh, who earned a career best placement of fourth at the 2012 U.S. Championships. Also competing are Liam Firus of Canada, who finished in eighth place at the 2012 World Junior Championships with a personal-best score of 189.06, and Christopher Caluza of the Philippines, who represented the United States until December, 2011. Caluza competed for the Philippines at the 2012 World Championships and earned a personal-best score of 184.10 points.
Looking to win the pairs event are 2011 Canadian champions Kristen Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, who earned two bronze medals in the 2011 Grand Prix series at Cup of China and Hilton HHonors Skate America in Ontario, Calif. Another team of Canadians, Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers, will fight for the title after earning the bronze medal, ahead of Moore-Towers and Moscovich at the 2012 Four Continents Championships. Danielle Montalbano and Evgeni Krasnopolski of Israel will also make a run for the medals after winning bronze at 2011 Golden Spin in Zagreb, Croatia. The new U.S. team of Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig will make their competitive debut in Salt Lake City. Davis is the 2010 U.S. junior bronze medalist, while Ladwig is a two-time U.S. silver medalist (2010-11) and 2010 Olympian with former partner Amanda Evora. Joining Davis and Ladwig on Team USA are Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin, who earned a personal-best score of 155.42 points at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America, where they placed sixth.
Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates will try to capture ice dancing gold after earning bronze at 2011 Finlandia Trophy, their first international competition as a team. Chock and Bates missed the podium by one spot at 2011 Skate Canada and placed fifth at their first U.S. Championships last January. Challenging Chock and Bates will be reigning Canadian bronze medalists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier and their Canadian teammates Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam, who earned silver at the 2010 World Junior Championships. Ukrainians Siobhan Heekin-Canedy and Dmitri Dun, who earned bronze at 2011 Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria, will also compete for a medal. Joining Chock and Bates on Team USA are Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt, who won the ice dancing title ahead of Heekin-Canedy and Dun at 2011 Ice Challenge and finished fourth at the 2012 U.S. Championships.
Click here to view the full list of competitors