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Jason Brown Stars on Ice 2019 Interview

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Photo by me; Enthusiasm by Jason

When I went to the Chicago stop of the Stars on Ice tour in May, I had the chance to chat with both Ashley Wagner and Jason Brown. You can check out my interview with Ashley here, and today I’m sharing my Q&A with Jason:

2015 U.S. Champion and 2014 Olympic team bronze medalist Jason Brown took some time out of his pre-show warmup at the Chicago stop of the Stars on Ice tour—his hometown show—to catch up with Figure Skaters Online. He only appeared in one weekend of shows on the tour to maximize his off-season training. Read on for more about his first year training with his new coaching team of Tracy Wilson and Brian Orser, and his friendships with other skaters at the Toronto Cricket and Curling Club.

Check out the Q&A interview on Figure Skaters Online!

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Ashley Wagner Stars on Ice 2019 Interview

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Photo by Robin Ritoss for Figure Skaters Online

I chatted with Ashley Wagner before the Chicago performance of Stars on Ice and got all the details on her new podcast, launching this summer! I was at the show reporting for Figure Skaters Online, and wrote a story for the site about our conversation:

Ashley Wagner doesn’t know what she’s doing.

She’s busy—coaching at seminars and the Skating Club of Boston, performing in Stars on Ice and other shows, commentating skating events for the Olympic Channel, documenting life on her new website and her Instagram account—but she doesn’t have a plan like she did when she was training for the Olympics.

It’s an unfamiliar spot for the three-time U.S. Champion, 2014 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist, and 2016 World Silver Medalist, but she says it is still an “exciting” time.

“I love writing, and documenting the transition from being a professional athlete into being whatever I’m going to be—people don’t talk about that enough and it’s a really scary, uncomfortable transition,” Wagner said during a pre-show interview before the Chicago performance of Stars on Ice in May. “I feel like in the past, for athletes, it’s kind of a shameful thing to talk about, but everyone goes through it. The more I talked to retired athletes about what it was like, the better I felt.”

So she’s launching a podcast exploring that concept, inspired by a quote from actress and comedian Gilda Radner, who said these types of transitions are full of “delicious ambiguity.” Wagner plans to launch the podcast this summer, after wrapping up the 2019 Stars on Ice tour.

Read the rest in the full story on Figure Skaters Online for more on Wagner’s podcast plans, new life in Boston, and commentary gigs. And there is more to come from my day at Stars on Ice – check back later in the week for a Q&A with Jason Brown!


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Ice Theatre of New York Spring Show Preview

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Theron James in “Presence” – Choreography by Deneane Richburg – Photo by Josef Pinlac – Image Courtesy ITNY

The Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) is the first nonprofit ice dance company in the United States, and their annual spring show takes place this Thursday, May 2. I previewed the performance for Figure Skaters Online, and talked with ITNY founder and artistic director Moira North, as well as guest performer and Olympian Misha Ge for the story.

Read the full story on the FSO site to hear more about the new pieces that will be performed in the show, and updates on Misha Ge’s growing choreography and coaching career in retirement:

Ice Theatre of New York Spring Show to Feature Misha Ge and Honor Gracie Gold


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Alex Krasnozhon Q&A: Figure Skaters Online

The World Junior Championships kick off next week in Zagreb, Croatia, where Alex Krasnozhon will represent Team USA. I caught up with him for a Q&A for Figure Skaters Online before the event:

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Photo by Robin Ritoss, courtesy Figure Skaters Online

Alex Krasnozhon gets another chance at the World Junior Championships

At the 2018 World Junior Championships, Alex Krasnozhon was in the lead after the short program, poised to take the title. Then disaster struck on the first jump of his free skate: He injured his ankle and withdrew from the competition.

After months of rehab on his ankle and a solid season on the senior level—including a fifth place finish at the 2019 U.S. Championships—Krasnozhon returns to Junior Worlds with a fresh perspective, and goals of putting a quad back into his long program. He says they will assess whether to include the quad after the short program. This will be his last competition at the junior level, and he says that he is looking forward to competing at Junior Worlds one more time.

Before leaving for the competition in Zagreb, Croatia, Krasnozhon chatted with Figure Skaters Online for a brief question and answer session.

Read the Q&A on Figure Skaters Online!


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Ting Cui Rides Nationals Momentum to Four Continents: Figure Skaters Online

What a privilege it was to attend the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships as a member of the media with Figure Skaters Online. One of my top moments (of which there were many!) was watching Ting Cui, ladies 5th place finisher, deliver an incredible free skate after a tough short program. I caught up with her in the mixed zone after her performance and wrote a story about her for FSO:

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Photo by Robin Ritoss for Figure Skaters Online

 

Ting Cui rides momentum of stellar Nationals free skate to late-season assignments

Ting Cui is going to have a busy second half of the season. She’ll be competing at the Four Continents Championships and attending U.S. Figure Skating’s 2019 World Junior Team Camp, plus she’s the first alternate for the senior World Championships team.

Such an outcome seemed all but impossible on Thursday, Jan.24, when she fell twice and failed to complete a combination in the women’s short program at the U.S. Championships. She was in 12th place heading into the long program.

But she climbed up to fifth place with a near-flawless free skate that earned a standing ovation from the crowd at the Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit.

Read the rest of the story—including how this performance will help her throughout the rest of the season and her connection to 2006 World Champion Kimmie Meissner—on Figure Skater’s Online!

And some bonus links:


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Alex Krasnozhon Interview: Figure Skaters Online

2017 U.S. Junior Champion Alex Krasnozhon starts off his first full senior season today at Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, and I had a chance to talk with him before he headed to the competition. Here’s an excerpt from the article for Figure Skaters Online:

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Photo by Robin Ritoss, Courtesy Figure Skaters Online

 

Alex Krasnozhon is taking control of his career

For his short program this season, Alex Krasnozhon is skating to a song called “Dancing on My Own” by Calum Scott.

“It’s very emotional for me,” he says. “The whole idea is that a girl leaves a guy and he has this pain in the beginning of the program and doesn’t know how to handle it, and then he comes to the conclusion that here he is, dancing on his own, strong. He’s showing that he is hurt, but he is still staying strong and showing he is independent. I’m very excited about this program because I think if it’s done correctly, it can show a different side of my skating. It is going to be a season-long project to make it better each competition.”

The program is also a fitting metaphor for his first full senior season, which starts this week at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Last season ended with pain, when he sprained his ankle on the first jump of his free skate at the Junior World Championships, a quadruple Salchow, and had to withdraw from the event. After four months off the ice and an intensive physical therapy (PT) recovery program, Krasnozhon is back on the ice with new coaches, Aleksey Letov and Olga Ganicheva in Plano, Texas, and retooling his jump technique. Plus, he moved into his own apartment and says he is taking more ownership of his skating career, calling himself his own “manager.”

For more on Kraznoshon’s goals for the season—and what he likes to do off the ice—read the full article on Figure Skaters Online!