Coaching for Carreira/Ponomarenko: Madison Hubbell
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
1M ago
Just two years ago, Madison Hubbell was on the podium at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, winning a team gold medal and a bronze medal in ice dance. Since then, Hubbell has married Spanish ice dancer Adrian Diaz and recently gave birth to a daughter, Chloe Diaz Hubbell. She’s also coaching in London, Ontario, with her husband and Olympic champion Scott Moir. Hubbell is a mentor and key member of the coaching staff for current U.S. silver medalists Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko, who notched a 7th-place finish at the 2024 World Championships in Montreal. Hubbell commented to report ..read more
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Flores/Desyatov: A happy end to a challenging season
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
1M ago
“This season was a little bit tough for us,” Isabella Flores admitted in January at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Flores and her partner Ivan Desyatov faced unusual challenges during 2023-24, but were nevertheless able to end their season on a high note. Flores, 20, and Desyatov, 23–better known as “Bella” and “Vanya”–originally teamed up in June 2022. Previously, Flores had competed for the United States with Dmitri Tsarevski, winning a junior National pewter medal and two Junior Grand Prix medals in 2021. The duo were highly ranked on the junior scene ..read more
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Bruno Marcotte: “It’s going to be important for Miura/Kihara to push the envelope”
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
1M ago
Winning a first World title was life-changing for Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, according to their coach, Bruno Marcotte. The Japanese team’s triumph at their home World Championships last year was a career high point and opened many new doors. However, when Miura/Kihara returned to training in summer 2023 with plans to defend their title, they immediately ran into roadblocks. The duo got a new short program, but soon decided to scrap it. They placed second in their season opener at Autumn Classic. Then Kihara had to take time off due to a back injury (lumbar spondylosis). They missed the ent ..read more
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Adam Siao Him Fa: “I want to skate in a way that no one did before”
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
1M ago
In figure skating, there are great performances that win medals. And then there are performances that transcend medals to enter the lore and iconic history of the sport. Adam Siao Him Fa had both last month at the 2024 ISU World Championships in Montreal: He won his first career World medal–but it’s how he did it that people will remember.  Siao Him Fa, 23, went into Worlds with legitimate podium aspirations. As the two-time and reigning European champion, French national champion, and winner of two Grand Prixs this season, he had the credentials and content to challenge. However, the Fre ..read more
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Efimova/Mitrofanov: Finding the Right Fit
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
3M ago
What happens when you’re an elite pairs skater, you’ve just achieved your biggest success at an ISU championship … and your partnership ends right afterward?  It’s a scenario that Alisa Efimova, 24, and Misha Mitrofanov, 26, both faced over the past two years. In 2022, Mitrofanov won the ISU Four Continents Championships with Audrey Lu. But then Lu announced she was stepping away from competitive skating to focus on college at UCLA.  Efimova, meanwhile, qualified for her first World Championships in 2023 with Ruben Blommaert, skating for Germany. Efimova and Blommaert placed top 10 a ..read more
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Jimmy Ma: “This is a better representation of who I am as a skater”
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
4M ago
Jimmy Ma, 28, ended last season brilliantly with a career-high 5th place at the 2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and a small medal at 2023 ISU Four Continents Championships, where he placed third in the short program. This season, however, was another story entirely. Ma struggled this past fall, placing a disappointing 9th and 11th at his two Grand Prix events, Cup of China and GP Espoo in Finland.  But he turned it around this past weekend at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Columbus, OH. Ma started the competition with another 9th place in the short program ..read more
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Bratti/Somerville on Growth Path
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
4M ago
Emily Bratti and Ian Somerville head into today’s senior free dance at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Championships in Columbus, Ohio, in fourth place after a sparkling rhythm dance on Thursday. It’s been a season of continued growth for Bratti, 21, and Somerville, 23, who train at the Michigan Ice Dance Academy (MIDA) with coaches Greg Zuerlein, Charlie White, and Tanith White. The duo placed 4th at their season opener, Lombardia Trophy, and 6th at both their Grand Prix events. They’re exploring a new artistic direction this season with their intense, romantic free dance to Celine Dion’s “Je me ne qu ..read more
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The Taschlers Return from Career-Threatening Injury
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
5M ago
Two-time Czech ice dance champions Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler were excited to start their season this fall. The brother/sister team earned medals at two Challenger Series events and placed 5th at Skate America. There was one big problem, though: Filip Taschler was increasingly suffering from back pain. “I’d had a problem with my lower back for a long time,” Taschler revealed. “I was thinking it’s just a muscular problem, or inflammation from the hard training. But it was building up. Then it was constant.” With the pain worsening, Taschler decided to undergo an MRI after Skate Amer ..read more
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Coaches’ Corner at 2023 Skate America
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
8M ago
At Skate America, we caught up with a few coaches to get their thoughts about their students’ performances at the first Grand Prix event of the season. Patrice Lauzon (I.AM) Ice dancers from the I.AM (Ice Academy of Montreal) school swept the podium at Skate America, with Chock/Bates taking gold, Lajoie/Lagha winning silver, and Lopareva/Brissaud earning a surprise bronze medal. Four other I.AM teams also competed at the event. Lauzon spoke about the medalists. Q:  Your team Evgenia Lopareva & Geoffrey Brissaud won the bronze, coming ahead of several teams that defeated them at 2023 W ..read more
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Lajoie/Lagha at 2023 Skate America
A Divine Sport | Figure Skating
by Claire Cloutier
8M ago
Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha of Canada went home with a silver medal from last weekend’s Humana Skate America in Allen, Texas. The duo were happy with their results in Allen, Texas, especially since they spent the summer coping with shoulder and back injuries for Lagha, and also had a subpar start to their season at Ondrej Nepela Trophy in September. Now that they’ve won silver at their first Grand Prix, the team have a chance to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix Final if they place well at their next Grand Prix event, Cup of China. Lajoie and Lagha spoke with reporters in the mixed zone at ..read more
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