Skating News: Worlds begins today -Updates to follow.
Opening Ceremonies, Men's qualifying and Pair short program begins today.
Kwan Finalist for Sullivan Award as Top Amateur Sports Figure of 2002. Michelle Kwan, US Ladies National Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist 2002 was named as one of the finalists for the Sullivan Award for one of the top US Amateur Athletes. Should Kwan win, she would become only the second figure skater to win the Sullivan, following Dick Button in 1949. Kwan won her fourth world title in 2001 and is in Nagano Japan competing in the 2002 World Championships this week. The winner will be announced in New York City on April 9.
World champion skaters Elvis Stojko and Todd Eldridge announces retirement. - Last week, Elvis Stojko announced his retirement from Figure Skating, joining Todd Eldridge of the USA in retiring from being competitively eligible. Stojko, the three-time world champion will now skate professionally, but said he was exhausted after competing in the Salt Lake City Games, which he and Eldridge had already acknowledged would be their last Olympics. Eldridge has joined the US Tour of Stars on Ice, and Stojko has joined the Champions on Ice Tour.
ISU Continues Judging Investigation and Sets Hearing Date. The ISU is not done investigating former Olympic pairs judge Marie Le Gougne of France. In a statement issued by ISU General Secretary, Fredi Schmid last week, Schmid assured the skating world and public that the ISU was continuing its investigation. However due to its hectic schedule, with Worlds and the Olympics one month apart, it had been unable to convene a hearing on the matter and have everyone concerned in attendance. The hearing date has now been set for April 29-30, 2002. From where I sit, this is believeable. The ISU governs all ice skating in the world including Speed, Short Track, Synchronized and Figure Skating. There are many competitions in the winter period of December thru May and there are only so many officials to take care of the business at hand and do a complete investigation.
What I want is for the ISU to do a complete the through investigation of Le Gougne and the entire judging system and SLC scandal. I do not want the ISU Executive Counsel to skip over this situation lightly, or conduct every meeting without public comment, because this matter has stained our sport in the eyes of the public and the IOC. The skaters of the world want the ISU to get to the bottom of the accusations and find out all of the facts-- and report these in a public manner. If there are any charges against judges or their federations we want these groups and individuals punished and removed from duty in order to cleanse the sport from the accusations of prejudging and event fixing.
Irina Finally Gets Her Gold. On March 11th Russian figure skater and Olympic Silver Medalist, Irina Slutskaya poses with a medal made of over 700 grams of pure gold during a presentation in Moscow, March 11, 2002. Russian businessman and former Olympic Champion, Anton Bakov had the medal specially made for Slutskaya after she was awarded the silver medal in the Salt Lake Olympics in February. (Pics: William Webster)