Here’s a short recap of what happened in the past week in the world of figure skating.
Kiss And Outcry
Japanese weekly tabloid magazine Shukan Bunshun this week published photos of Japan Skating Federation (JSF) President Seiko Hashimoto kissing Daisuke Takahashi in a piece alleging sexual harassment of the latter by the former at a party in the Olympic village in Sochi in February of this year. Both parties released statements denying the accusations made by the magazine and it is believed that the timing of the article is politically motivated.
Hashimoto is a Member of Parliament in Japan and has also been tipped to be named to a ministerial post in an imminent cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. She is also head of development for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In a rather unfortunate coincidence, Takahashi has been performing an exhibition routine to “I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree at shows this summer.
Junior Grand Prix Kicks Off
All eyes were on the French Alps town of Courchevel this weekend as the first of this season’s Junior Grand Prix events was held at the picturesque Patinoire du Forum rink. There was a treat for figure skating fans as the entire competition was streamed live over the internet on the International Skating Union’s YouTube channel.
As has been the trend in recent years, the ladies’ category was dominated by a Russian. Evgenia Medvedeva her third Junior Grand Prix title with a score 179.55 points and finished over 20 points ahead of second-placed Rin Nitaya of Japan. Amber Glenn of the United States hung on to bronze despite only coming fourth in the free skating.
The ice dance crown was also won by Russia with Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd claiming their first Junior Grand Prix gold. Madeline Edwards and Zhao Kai Pang of Canada were in pole position after the short dance, but had to settle for silver in the end. Anastasia Shpilevaya and Grigory Smirnov from Russia nabbed third place.
June Hyoung Lee this weekend became the first male Korean skater to win a Junior Grand Prix title. It was a decisive victory for him as he had a gap of over 8 points to Japanese runner-up Sota Yamamoto. Alexander Samarin’s bronze meant that Russia were the only country to medal in each event.
History was also made in the ladies’ event by Yasmina Elharim when she became the first Moroccan skater to participate in an ISU competition.
Young Germans Get Nod For Skate America
Annabelle Proelss and Ruben Blommaert were added to the roster for Skate America this week. The team took the spot that was vacated by Maylin Wende and Daniel Wende.