February 2010

Up for grabs

This fall's Grand Prix season proved there are no shoo-ins for 2010 Olympic gold. In the ice dancing and men's events, it's nearly impossible to pick a favorite.

Early this season, World champion Yu-Na Kim of South Korea looked invincible. Then came a shocking loss in the free skate at Skate America to Rachael Flatt, followed by less-than-stellar programs at the Grand Prix Final in Tokyo in early December.

The men's event is the most competitive by far, as any of seven or eight skaters could triumph.

Two-time Olympic pairs bronze medalists (2002 and 2006) Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao have returned after two years away from competition with one thing in mind: Olympic gold.

Skaters representing Russia or the Soviet Union have won seven of the nine gold medals awarded in ice dancing since it was first contested at the Olympics in 1976.

This time around, for the first time, a North American team could well stand on top of the podium.

Read a preview of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in the February issue of SKATING.

Also featured in this issue ...

On the up and up
by Becca Staed Bishop

More than 300 figure skaters from around the United States gathered in Strongsville, Ohio, Dec. 14-19, 2009, for the 2010 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships to deliver their strongest performances in search of a title or medal.

Raising your hand
by Ian MacAdam

Over the past several years, skating as a high school sport has been on the rise. Teams are forming across the country, and in some areas there is a local series championship similar to the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix Final.