Monday, November 1, 2010

Skating News

2014 Olympics might include team figure skating

(10/27/2010) - The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that it is looking favorably at the inclusion of a Figure Skating Team Event in the program of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014.
Before taking a final decision, the EB said it would like to consider the outcome of the next ISU Team Trophy 2011 in Japan in April and has empowered the IOC President to take the final decision on its behalf.

"The ISU is delighted by this announcement which marks an important moment in Figure Skating history" International Skating Union President Ottavio Cinquanta said. "We congratulate the IOC under the leadership of President Rogge, the Programme Commission chaired by Franco Carraro and we also extend gratitude for the constructive approach and good collaboration provided by the IOC Sports Department representatives Gilbert Felli and Christophe Dubi."

The International Skating Union (ISU) in cooperation with the Japan Skating Federation (JSF) and with the participation of TV Asahi Corporation, launched the first ever international team Figure Skating competition during the 2008/09 season in Tokyo, Japan. The event, a competition between the best national Figure Skating teams, was unprecedented in ISU history. It immediately met with an overwhelmingly positive response from the skating community, spectators and TV viewers.

"The ISU congratulates the Japan Skating Federation and TV Asahi for their participation in the launch and development of this ISU Event which has contributed significantly to the further development of Figure Skating worldwide" Ottavio Cinquanta said. He further extended thanks to all ISU's broadcast partners for the excellent exposure of Figure Skating on television and thanked all ISU's sponsors, with a special mention in favor of IMG for their cooperation.

The Figure Skating team event at the Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi is expected to have the participation of the ten best national Figure Skating teams each composed of one single skater from the men's category, one single skater from the ladies category, one pair skating couple and one ice dance couple.

Ilhan Mansiz swaps football boots for ice skates

2002 World Cup star tries out for 2014 Winter Olympics

Former Turkish international striker Ilhan Mansiz is in training to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics as a figure skater - having got a taste for it on the Turkish version of Dancing on Ice two years ago.

Mansiz won the show after being partnered with former Winter Olympics star Olga Bestandigova, now his girlfriend. When Bestandigova told the 35-year-old ex-Besiktas star she wanted to get back into Olympic contention, he decided to tag along:

We had so much fun and trained for between six and eight hours a day. We came on in leaps and bounds so we decided to train for the Olympics.

I started playing football very late too. I didn’t start playing for a club until I was 14. If you’re really determined to achieve something and you believe you can do it or you work hard at it, it’s possible no matter how old you are.

However, there’s one small problem - Bestandigova is Slovakian. So how she’ll qualify to compete in Turkey’s figure skating side is anyone’s guess.

Let’s hope ice skating’s decision makers pull a few strings to make it happen. This could be football’s greatest career change since Tomas Brolin quit football to open his own online vacuum cleaner shop.

Michelle Kwan article that ran in the Aug. 2 issue of Sports Illustrated.

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