Tag Archives: Caitlin Yankowskas and Joshua Reagan

Emotional, uplifting moments shared at Skate for Hope

8 Aug

Participating in the Skate for Hope Rose Dedication Ceremony are Serafina Rees, Lee Harris, Emily Hughes, Natalie Bongirno, Lauren Muffley and Jeremy Abbott. Photo courtesy of Leah Adams

A cast of former and current U.S. champions and Olympians donated their time and talents for the ninth annual Skate for Hope (SFH) show, which benefits breast cancer research and awareness. Since 2004, SFH has raised more than $400,000 for the cause.

This year’s event, held June 16 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, featured performances by Ashley Wagner, Jeremy Abbott, Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker, Adam Rippon, Rachael Flatt, Emily Hughes, Caitlin Yankowskas and Joshua Reagan, Emily Samuelson and Todd Gilles, Alexe Gilles, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier and Lee Harris.

About 120 amateur skaters from Central Ohio joined their heroes on the ice for the inspiring evening, which featured beautiful and emotional performances honoring breast cancer survivors who were seated in the front row.

Harris, Hughes and Abbott shared their common experience of their mothers being cancer survivors by participating in the Rose Dedication Ceremony with three of the younger amateur skaters.

“The audience was deeply moved seeing these elite athletes share the ice with three little skaters who have faced the same fears and challenges,” organizer Carolyn Bongirno said. “The show was upbeat and heartfelt throughout.”

For Harris, Hughes and Abbott, the evening proved to be an emotional one for them.

“This year was important for me to skate and dedicate my skating to my mum, alongside Caitlin Yankowskas, who graciously accepted my wishes to skate with me,” Harris said. “Being able to express my love and support for my mum through the gift that both my parents have given me with my skating was something I will never forget.”

Hughes’ mother, Amy, is a breast cancer survivor and an advocate for breast cancer research and awareness.

“This was my eighth year skating in Skate for Hope, and each year the show gets better and even more meaningful,” Hughes said. “It brings together great skating and breast cancer awareness, two things that kindle my passion. I believe everyone left the show that night wanting to contribute more to this cause. I know I did.”

Abbott’s mother, Allison Scott, is a survivor of skin cancer.

“It was a great show,” Abbott said. “It was my first time participating and I think it’s for a great cause. To be able to help support finding a cure was really amazing, and to meet these women and hear their stories was something really special and I’m glad I was part of it.”

SFH is a not for profit 501c3 charitable organization that donates its proceeds to the Stefanie Spielman Fund at the James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute and to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.

SFH will celebrate its 10th anniversary in June 2013, with the goal of crossing the $500,000 milestone. To support Skate for Hope, visit skateforhope.org and to follow all announcements, Please “Like” SFH on Facebook.

Lee Harris and Caitlin Yankowskas offer a heartfelt moment during the show as Harris presents his mom with a yellow rose.
Photo courtesy of Leah Adams

U.S. Assignments Announced for 2012 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series

21 May

The International Skating Union (ISU) announced today the athlete selections for the 2012 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. The Grand Prix begins Oct. 21-23 with 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America from Seattle/Kent, Wash.

The Grand Prix Series, entering its 18th season, incorporates six international figure skating competitions as a unified point-scoring series that awards prize money to eligible skaters. At the conclusion of the series, athletes’ points are totaled, and the top six ladies, men, pairs and ice dancing teams are invited to compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The Grand Prix Final is scheduled for Dec. 5-9, 2012, in Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The event will run concurrently with the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.

Skate America will feature the four reigning U.S. champions including Ashley Wagner (ladies), Jeremy Abbott (men’s), Caydee Denney and John Coughlin (pairs) and Meryl Davis and Charlie White (ice dancing). Other notable competitors include Russia’s Alena Leonova, the 2012 World ladies silver medalist and Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic, who is the 2011 Skate America champion. Pairs team Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, also of Russia, are two-time reigning World silver medalists.

Gracie Gold, the 2012 U.S. junior champion and World Junior silver medalist, will make her Grand Prix debut in the Series’ second event, Skate Canada. She will compete at Rostelecom Cup alongside Johnny Weir. Weir, a three-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian, is set to return to competition for the first time since the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, when he takes the ice at Rostelecom Cup (Moscow) and Trophée Eric Bompard (Paris).

Two newly formed American pairs teams received one assignment each with Caitlin Yankowskas and Joshua Reagan competing at Cup of China (Shanghai) and Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig skating at NHK Trophy (Miyagi, Japan). With the exception Davis, each skater competed on the Grand Prix Series with their previous partners.

The full list of Team USA’s assignments, as well as the full international lineup for Skate America, are below (listed alphabetically). Visit www.isu.org for the full list of selections across the Grand Prix Series.

2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America — Seattle/Kent, Wash. — Oct. 19-21


Rachael Flatt – Will make her fourth Skate America appearance; earned the silver medal in 2009, ‘10

Christina Gao – Made Gran Prix Series debut in 2011, placing fifth at Cup of China and 10th at Rostelecom Cup

Ashley Wagner – Makes Skate America debut as reigning U.S. and Four Continents champion


Jeremy Abbott – Begins sixth Grand Prix Series with first-ever appearance at Skate America

Douglas Razzano – Placed seventh at 2011 Skate America in Ontario, Calif.


Caydee Denney and John Coughlin – Finished fourth at 2011 Skate America in their Grand Prix debut

Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff – Only other international completion included a fourth-place finish at 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy

Ice Dancing

Meryl Davis and Charlie White – Look for third consecutive Skate America gold; finished fourth in 2007

Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt – Return to Skate America after finishing sixth in 2010

Skate Canada International — Windsor, Ontario — Oct. 26-28


Gracie Gold – Is the 2011 JGP Estonia gold medalist

Caroline Zhang – Makes third Skate Canada appearance; finished fifth in 2008, eighth in 2009


Ross Miner – Looks to improve on sixth-place finish in 2011


Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker – Debuted on Grand Prix in 2011 with seventh-place showing at Skate America

Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin – Also competed on Grand Prix for the first time at 2011 Skate America (6th)

Ice Dancing

Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue – Begin second season together; are the 2012 U.S. bronze medalists, finished 10th at 2012 World Championships

Cup of China — Shanghai — Nov. 2-4


Mirai Nagasu – Makes fourth straight Cup of China appearance; reigning silver medalist; owner of two Grand Prix Series medals


Adam Rippon – Starts fifth Grand Prix season; has won two Series medals


Caitlin Yankowskas and Joshua Reagan – First Grand Prix assignment as a partnership.

Ice Dancing

Madison Chock and Evan Bates – Begin second season; finished fourth and fifth, respectively, at 2011 Skate Canada and 2011 Trophée Eric Bompard

Rostelecom Cup — Moscow — Nov. 9-11


Gracie Gold

Agnes Zawadzki – Competes at third straight Rostelecom Cup (fourth in 2010, seventh in ’11)

Caroline Zhang – Has competed on Grand Prix circuit since 2007; first appearance in Russia


Richard Dornbush – Starts second Grand Prix season after finishing fourth at 2011 Skate America, sixth at 2011 Cup of China

Johnny Weir – Has medaled in four of five entries at Rostelecom Cup


Caydee Denney and John Coughlin

Ice Dancing: Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani – Commence third Grand Prix season; have medaled at all four Grand Prix assignments, qualified for 2011 Grand Prix final and placed fifth


Trophée Eric Bompard — Paris — Nov. 16-18


Ashley Wagner – Won bronze in only other appearance at this event (2007)


Jeremy Abbott – Has won seven Grand Prix medals, including 2008 Grand Prix Final gold

Johnny Weir – Won 2004 Trophée Bompard title

Ice Dancing

Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue – Finished sixth at 2011 Skate America in only other Grand Prix experience


NHK Trophy — Miyagi, Japan — Nov. 23-25


Alissa Czisny – 2012 marks ninth Grand Prix season; finished sixth at only other appearance at NHK Trophy (2007)

Agnes Zawadzki – Finished eighth at 2011 NHK Trophy


Richard Dornbush

Ross Miner – Reigning NHK Trophy bronze medalist

Adam Rippon – Placed sixth at 2009 NHK Trophy


Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir – Placed seventh at 2011 NHK Trophy; have competed on Grand Prix since 2009

Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig – First Grand Prix assignment of their partnership.

Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker

Ice Dancing

Meryl Davis and Charlie White – Won this event in 2009, ’10; placed fourth in only other appearance (2006)

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani – Reigning NHK Trophy champions and 2010 bronze medalists


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