ISU World No. 51 Oct 2013
International Skating Union Official Newsletter. For more information visit us at www.isu.org
INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER INSIDE • ISU NEWS • ISU SCHOLARSHIPS • ISU EVENT CALENDAR • SEASON PREVIEW NO 51 OCTOBER 2013 There is a word that is at the basis of many mottos for which I personally fully respect its use and I sincerely embrace its meaning. The word is UNITY. 2 From unity, derives another inspiring term: unification, and although they come from the same family, they have a different definition. I believe that there is indeed quite an important difference between the two expressions. The gap between the two words might easily come to surface, but there is something that I would like to comment on the theme of “unification”. In a few words is it better to conduct activities of different sport disciplines through one organization, i.e. one federation, or is it better to count on more than one organization? It is clear that to comply with human ambition many federations are better than only one. More presidents, more councils, more technical groups, in summary through a number of organizations/federations more people would have a role and title. But this important evidence doesn’t disclose the reality that is at the basis of the query. In fact the main question is not related to the grade of satisfaction for a large number of individuals. The true question is “Can one unified organization conducting different but similar sport disciplines obtain better results?” If the answer is yes, then there are two positive aspects: the results and the financial conditions. There is however certainly a negative output that is related to the human being’s ambition, already explained above. But the ambition of people should not take precedence over other important evidence such as the results and financial benefits. At this very moment an evident and acceptable solution is not available, but a problem remains as such until there is a decision. One might easily refer to the statistics available that declare that the more sports are divided, the better the results. Regarding the finance it might be said that currently it is not a problem, but economy has given evidence that it is unpredictable and can fluctuate at any moment. Even if at present no cause for financial concern shows up, a wise manager should anyway understand that periods with a dark horizon may always be present. It is indeed not prudent nor simple to release recommendations, therefore personal experience should prevail. While elements are missing to resolve the problem related to unification, sports people should continue honouring the sentiments and the evidence attainable through the other expression: UNITY. Ottavio Cinquanta President, International Skating Union ISU World is the official newsletter of the International Skating Union Published and produced by ISU, Chemin de Primerose 2, 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland Telephone : +41 21 612 66 66. Facsimile : +41 21 612 66 77. Editorial board : Selina Vanier, Rodney Lajoie. Designed by : moserdesign.ch Front cover photograph : Bart Swings (BEL) © Getty Images Photography : © Getty Images, © Kia Speed Skating Academy, © AFP ISU COUNCIL The ISU Council met on June 7 - 9, 2013 in Vienna (AUT) and reviewed the Membership of Armenia, Cyprus, Grenada and Morocco, confirmed the allotments for the 2014 ISU Championships and provisionally allotted a number of 2015 and 2016 ISU Championships. All Events are in the ISU calendar with their corresponding status. The Minimum Total Technical Scores for the ISU Figure Skating Championships 2014 and the Olympic Winter Games 2014 have been announced and the date of the Judges Draw for ISU Figure Skating & Synchronized Skating Championships 2014 has been held on October 9, 2013 in Zurich (SUI). In Speed Skating new World Records in the Men Sprint Combination, Ladies 500 meters and Ladies Sprint Combination have been recognized. New World Records were also ratified in the Short Track Speed Skating Men 500 meters, Men 1000 meters, Men 5000 meters Relay, Ladies 1000 meters, Ladies 3000 meters Relay and the Junior Men 500 meters. The Council endorsed a number of assessments in Single and Pair Skating, Ice Dance and Synchronized Skating that were jointly determined by the assigned Officials Assessment Commission members and the Technical Committees. Finally the Council agreed to amend the Declaration form that was included in ISU Communication No.1628 by adding a new paragraph VII) stating the following: “VII) I agree that the ISU shares with my National Anti-Doping Organization all my personal data with relevance for the Athlete Biological Passport according to the WADA Operating Guidelines. (For competitors only)” The ISU Council met in October 2013 in Paris (FRA). For more information on the decisions of the Council see ISU Communication 1797. SPORTS DIRECTORATE The focus of the Sports Directorate is on the preparation of the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Events and the Olympic Winter Games which will take place in February. The Directorate conducted a number of inspection visits for the major ISU Events in May and June. The Homologation Tests for the OWG have taken place, as well as the organization of the Olympic Qualifying Events. Meetings with the Technical Committees, the Council ISU NEWS and an internal meeting filled the calendar of the Directors. The annual ISU Global Seminar in Frankfurt took place last July where new roles and ideas were suggested and the first examination for Judges and Referees before promotion was organized. A very successful Youth Development Seminar was also included for the second time where fresh and stimulating discussions about the future and various cooperations took place. The Chair of the Sports Directorate and the Speed Skating Sports Director attended a meeting in Seoul to discuss the future Oval and Figure Skating/ Short Track Speed Skating venues for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. The ISU’s contribution will help with the planning and construction of the Olympic site. ISU TECHNICAL COMMITTEES Single and Pair Skating The Single and Pair Skating Technical Committee (SPTC) met in Italy last May to discuss the evaluation of Referees and Technical Controllers Reports received at the end of the season. SPTC proposals for the ISU Congress 2014 and preparation of the joint SPTC and SD proposals for the appointments of the season 2013/14 were discussed. Communication 1817 was prepared jointly with the Ice Dance Technical Committee. Committee Members also acted as Moderators at the ISU Global Seminar in Frankfurt and also at the Judges Seminars in Vienna (AUT) and Beijing (CHN) and the ISU Judges examination in Oberstdorf (GER). Finally the Technical Committee Members acted as Referees and Technical Controllers at various International Competitions. Ice Dance The Ice Dance Technical Committee (IDTC) met last May to complete activities for the 2012/13 Season and finish preparation for the 2013/14 Season. Draft materials were created including Handbooks for Technical Panels, Referees and Judges, and Pattern Dances. All Reports and Officials Lists were reviewed and assignments for the upcoming Season prepared. Members of the IDTC conducted Seminars and Examinations at the ISU Global Seminar in Frankfurt for appointment of New International Judges, Promotion to ISU Referee, Re-Certification of Technical Controllers and Specialists, and National Technical Controllers and Specialists. Forty participants 3 Election of new IOC President in Buenos Aires (ARG) attended the Judges Seminar in Beijing (CHN). Finally the examination for promotion to ISU Ice Dance Judge was held in Oberstdorf (GER) during the Nebelhorn Trophy. Synchronized Skating The Synchronized Skating Technical Committee (SySTC) worked on the preparation of the updates to the regulations for the upcoming season. These are designed to keep pace with the development of the discipline and to further simplify the rules. The SySTC participated in the ISU Global Seminar where new National Technical Specialist certification and examinations were introduced for new International Judges and Referees. The SySTC organized the annual Global Coaches Seminar and the Referee and Judges Seminar which both took place in Berlin (GER). The next Seminar will be held in Helsinki (FIN) for the ISU Event Officials. The Synchronized Skating season starts in October with the International Competition, Finlandia Trophy, and will conclude in April 2014 with the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Courmayeur (ITA). Speed Skating Last June the Speed Skating Technical Committee (SSTC) concluded the planning of the competition program and the regulations for the Essent ISU World Cup and ISU Junior World Cup 2013/14 during its annual meeting in Frankfurt (GER). The respective ISU Communications were published in July. The SSTC reviewed nominations for the lists of ISU Referees and Starters for the coming season and published the respective lists as issued in ISU Communication 1806. The bi-annual ISU Speed Skating Starters’ course will be organized in Inzell (GER) on October 4-6, 2013. Participation of approximately thirty five ISU and International Starters is expected at the course, which will be held in conjunction with an International Competition. The Technical Committee will also have a meeting on the occasion of this course. Short Track The Short Track Technical Committee held a meeting last May to prepare and publish ISU Communications on the upcoming Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track series 2013/14 which includes changes in the scoring system and a modified World Cups format for season 2013/14. This season only four World Cups will take place with the last two being the qualifying competitions for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. All documentation relating to the Olympic qualifying Events have also been prepared. All ISU and International Referees were invited to the Referees’ course that took place in Frankfurt (GER) last July. The course ended with an examination of all participants and was deemed very successful. The Technical Committee is also busy preparing new Rule proposals for the ISU Congress 2014 working on a number of projects which will help the development and officiating of the sports. BART SWINGS (BEL) Speed skater featuring on the front cover, he is more than a promising skater. Already on the podium in a major ISU Event, the young Belgian skater started as an inline skater talent to then become a high caliber performer within the ISU. ISU WEBSITE : www.isu.org ISU SCHOLARSHIPS 2013-2014 FIGURE SkatinG Ladies 4 1. Jenni Saarinen FIN 2. Brooklee Han AUS 3. Anna Khnychenkova UKR 4. Alisson Krystle Perticheto PHI 5. Angelina Kuchvalska LAT 6. Ivett Toth HUN Men 1. Mikhail Kolyada RUS 2. June Hyong Lee KOR 3. Pavel Ignatenko BLR 4. Luiz Manella BRA 5. Ivan Pavlov UKR 6. Slavik Hayrapetyan ARM 7. Chih-I Tsao TPE Pairs 1. Giulia Foresti/Leo Luca Sforza ITA 2. Julia Lavrentieva/Yuri Rudyk UKR 3. Marcelina Lech/Jakub Tyc POL Ice Dance Ice Dancers Rebeka Kim and Kirill Minov (KOR) 1. Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin UKR 2. Celia Robledo/Luis Fenero ESP 3. Cagla Demirsal/Berk Akalin TUR 4. Olivia Smart/Joseph Buckland GBR 5. Rebeka Kim/Kirill Minov KOR ISU SCHOLARSHIPS short track Speed Skating Ladies 1. Deanna Lockett AUS 2. Agne Serekaite LTU 3. Zsofia Konya HUN 4. Ylenia Tota ITA 5. Natalia Maliszewska POL 5 Men 1. Sandor Liu Shaolin HUN 2. Szymon Wilczyk POL 3. Roberto Pukitis LAT 4. Pierre Boda AUS 5. Mathias Voste BEL Speed Skating With the help of the ISU Development Program, the Kia Speed Skating Academy in Inzell (GER) is responsible for rewarding Speed Skating Scholarships in 2013. Ladies 1. Johanna Ostlund SWE 2. Marit Fjellanger Bohm NOR 3. Kaitlyn McGregor SUI 4. Saskia Alusalu EST 5. Agota Toth HUN Men 1. Artur Was POL 2. Yang Fan CHN 3. Livio Wenger SUI 4. Scott Andersen GBR 5. Maciej Bega POL Kaitlyn McGregor (SUI) SINGLE AND PAIR SKATING / ICE DANCE 6 Speed Skating August 27 September 1 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Riga LATVIA September 4 - 8 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Mexico City MEXICO September 11 - 15 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Kosice SLOVAKIA September 18 - 22 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Gdansk POLAND November 8 - 10 Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating Ladies: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 300 Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 5000 m November 15 - 17 Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating Ladies: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 300 Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 5000 m November 29 December 1 Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating Ladies: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 500 Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 10000 November 30 December 1 ISU Junior World Cup Ladies and Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 3000 m, Ma December 6 - 8 Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating Ladies: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 300 Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 5000 m September 25 - 29 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Minsk BELARUS October 2 - 6 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Ostrava CZECH REPUBLIC October 9 - 13 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Tallinn ESTONIA October 18 - 20 Hilton HHonors Skate America ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Detroit, MI USA January 11 - 12 Essent ISU European Speed Skatin Championships October 25 - 27 Skate Canada International ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Saint John, New Brunswick CANADA January 11 - 12 Lexus Cup of China ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Beijing CHINA ISU Junior World Cup Ladies and Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 3000 m, Ma January 18 - 19 November 8 - 10 NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Tokyo JAPAN Essent ISU World Sprint Speed Sk Championships January 25 - 26 November 15 - 17 Trophée Eric Bompard ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Paris FRANCE ISU Junior World Cup Ladies and Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 3000 m, Ma November 22 - 24 Rostelecom Cup ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Moscow RUSSIA March 1 - 2 ISU Junior World Cup Final Ladies and Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 3000 m, Ma December 5 - 8 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (Junior and Senior) Fukuoka JAPAN March 7 - 9 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships January 13 - 19 ISU European Figure Skating Championships Budapest HUNGARY March 7 - 9 January 20 - 26 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships Taipei City CHINESE TAIPEI Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating Ladies: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 3000 Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 5000 m March 14 - 16 March 10 - 16 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships Sofia BULGARIA Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating Fi Ladies: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 3000 Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 5000 m March 22 - 23 March 24 - 30 ISU World Figure Skating Championships Saitama JAPAN Essent ISU World Allround Speed Championships November 1 - 3 December 14 - 15 ISU Junior World Cup Ladies and Men: 2 x 500 m, 1000 m, 1500 m, 3000 m, Ma ISU EVENT CALENDAR 2013 / 2014 Short Track Speed Skating 00 m, Team Pursuit m, Team Pursuit 00 m, Team Pursuit m, Team Pursuit 00 m 0 m Calgary CANADA Salt Lake City USA Astana KAZAKHSTAN Quebec CANADA ass Start, Team Sprint 00 m, Team Pursuit m, Team Pursuit September 26 - 29 Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track Shanghai CHINA October 3 - 6 Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track Seoul, REPUBLIC OF KOREA November 7 - 10 Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track Torino ITALY November 14 - 17 Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track Kolomna RUSSIA January 17 - 19 ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships Dresden GERMANY March 7 - 9 ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships Erzurum TURKEY March 14 - 16 ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships Montreal CANADA Berlin GERMANY Zakopane POLAND Synchronized Skating ass Start, Team Sprint ng Hamar NORWAY March 6 - 8 ISU Synchronized Skating Junior World Challenge Cup Neuchâtel SWITZERLAND April 4 - 5 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships Courmayeur ITALY Tomakomai JAPAN ass Start, Team Sprint kating Nagano JAPAN Innsbruck AUSTRIA ass Start, Team Sprint Olympic Winter Games February 7 - 23 Olympic Winter Games Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Short Track Speed Skating Bjugn NORWAY ass Start, Team Pursuit Bjugn NORWAY 0 m, Mass Start, Team Sprint m, Mass Start, Team Sprint inal 0 m, Team Pursuit ,Mass Start m, Team Pursuit, Mass Start Skating Inzell GERMANY Heerenveen NETHERLANDS Heerenveen NETHERLANDS Olympic Winter Games Coastal Cluster in Sochi (RUS) Sochi RUSSIA 7 FIGURE SKATING 8 The Olympic 2013/14 season kicked off with the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in late August and will be followed by the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series starting in October leading up to the ISU Grand Prix Final and ISU Junior Grand Prix Final. In early 2014, the focus will shift to the Olympic Winter Games and to the ISU Championships. Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating started with the first of seven events in Riga (LAT) end of August followed by Mexico City (MEX), Kosice (SVK), Gdansk (POL), Minsk (BLR) and Ostrava (CZE). At press time the only remaining event is Tallinn (EST). The top six skaters and couples in each category will advance to the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final. All ISU Members can enter athletes for the Junior Grand Prix and more than 300 young skaters from over fifty ISU members are competing in this year’s junior series. minimum total score for this season is 3/5 of the highest score per discipline at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2013 which is as follows: Men 160.68 points, Ladies 130.98 points, Pairs 135.42 points, Ice Dance 113.73 points. The Grand Prix series will be highly competitive with all current World and European Champions and medalists on the circuit. They will be challenged by experienced veterans who make a comeback in the Olympic season and by up and coming skaters rising from the junior ranks. Three-time and reigning World Champion Patrick Chan (CAN) will start his season at Grand Prix of Figure Skating The 2013/14 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series will consist of six events in six countries with the top six skaters and couples qualifying for the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan (December 5-8). The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final and the ISU Grand Prix Final will be held together. The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating traditionally starts with Hilton HHonors Skate America in Detroit (October 18-20) which is followed by Skate Canada in Saint John, New Brunswick (October 25-27). The series then moves to Asia with the Lexus Cup of China in Beijing (November 1-3) and NHK Trophy in Tokyo, Japan (November 8-10). The fifth stop will be theTrophée Eric Bompard in Paris, France (November 15-17). The Rostelecom Cup of Russia in Moscow (November 22-24) is the last event of the series this year. Seeded and non seeded skaters are assigned to two events. The remaining spots in each event are awarded in accordance with the ranking of the 2013 World Championships and ISU World Standings and Season’s Best lists. In order to assure the high standard of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, only skaters or couples that meet a minimum score are eligible to compete in the events. The Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) Skate Canada and Trophée Bompard, while World silver medalist Denis Ten (KAZ) is slated for Skate America and Cup of China. World bronze medalist and European Champion Javier Fernandez (ES) will compete at NHK Trophy and Cup of Russia. Former World and European Champions and medalists on the circuit are Daisuke Takahashi (JPN), Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), Takahiko Kozuka (JPN), Brian Joubert (FRA), and Florent Amodio (FRA). 2006 Olympic Champion Evgeni Plushenko (RUS) is returning to the Grand Prix and is selected to compete at in his home countries. 2013 World Junior Champion Joshua Farris (USA) and World Junior silver medalist Jason Brown (USA) will debut on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. Other challengers include THE SEASON AHEAD 2012 World Junior Champion Han Yan (CHN), 2013 European bronze medalist Michal Brezina, Jeremy Abbott (USA) and Adam Rippon (USA). Headlining the Ladies’ field are European Champion and World silver medalist Carolina Kostner (ITA) scheduled for China and Russia while World bronze medalist and Four Continents Champion Mao Asada (JPN) opens her season in the USA and Japan. The challenge for the duo on the circuit should come from European silver medalist Adelina Sotnikova (RUS), European bronze medalist Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS), 2012 World Junior Champion Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS), 2012 World bronze medalist Akiko Suzuki (JPN), Canadian Champion Kaetlyn Osmond and ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final silver medalist Ashley Wagner (USA). 2013 World Junior Champion Elena Radionova (RUS) looks ready to take on the senior level skaters. Reigning World and European Champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) lead the Pairs and are slated for Skate America and NHK Trophy. Four-time World Champions and current World silver medalists Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER) will travel to the Lexus Cup of China and Rostelecom Cup in Russia. World bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) will compete at Skate Canada and Trophée Eric Bompard. Other top contenders include Olympic silver medalists Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN), three-time World Junior Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN), ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final silver medalists Vera Bazarova/Juri Larionov (RUS), 2010 European Champions Yuko Kavaguti/ Alexander Smirnov (RUS), 2013 Four Continents silver medalists Kirsten Moore-Towers/ Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) as well as European bronze medalists Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) and Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA). 2012 World bronze medalists Narumi Takahashi (JPN) and Mervin Tran (CAN) will return with their new partners to the circuit, Takahashi now competes with Riyuchi Kihara, while Tran represents Canada with Natasha Purich. 2013 World Junior Champions Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) will debut at the international senior level. World Champions Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) will open their season in Detroit and in Tokyo. Olympic Champions and current 9 Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) World silver medalists Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) are scheduled for their home event in Saint John and for Paris. European Champions and World bronze medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) have been selected for Beijing and Moscow. The top three teams will face among others two-time European Champions Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA), 2013 European silver medalists Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS), European bronze medalists Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA), 2013 Four Continents bronze medalists Madison Chock/ Evan Bates (USA), 2011 World bronze medalists Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA). 2013 World Junior Champions Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) will debut at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. ISU Championships The Europeans will determine their best at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2014 in Budapest (HUN) January 13-19 while athletes from North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia/Oceania will compete at the ISU Four Continents Championships in Taipei City (TPE) January 20-26. The World’s top Juniors will meet at the World Junior Championships March 10-16 in Sofia (BUL). The season will conclude with the World Championships in Saitama (JPN) March 24-30. Olympic Winter Games The Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (RUS) are an important highlight of the season. thirty Ladies and Men, twenty Pairs and twenty four Ice Dance couples will compete in the Olympic event. For the first time in history, a figure skating team event will be included into the Olympic program. Up to ten ISU Members qualify a team based on points earned by their best skaters at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2013 and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events and Final season 2013/14, plus other ISU Events if necessary. Each team consists of one Man, one Lady, one Pair and one Ice Dance couple. The five top teams after the Short Programs/ Short Dance will proceed to the Free Skating/ Free Dance. Teams may switch up to two members between Short Program/Short Dance and Free Skating/Free Dance. In general only skaters/couples already qualified for the individual events at the Olympic Winter Games will compete. However, in order to compose a team the NOCs, if necessary and applicable, can make one entry (for one discipline) according to the “Additional Athletes Quota”. Each team must participate in at least three disciplines. SYNCHRONIZED SKATING Synchronized teams will compete in a number of major international events this season however the highlights of the season will be the Synchronized Skating Junior World Challenge Cup in Neuchatel (SUI) March 6-8 and the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in Courmayeur (ITA) April 4-5. 10 Denis Yuskov (RUS) SPEED SKATING Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating During this Olympic season, the Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating Series will contain six Events all with a full distance program aimed at both sprinters and allround skaters. The first Event of the Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating will be held in Calgary (CAN) on November 8-10, followed one week later by Salt Lake City (USA). Skaters will then travel to Astana (KAZ) on November 29 - December 1 where the only 10,000 m counting for the starting order of the OWG will take place. From there they will go to Berlin (GER) for the last World Cup of 2013 on December 6-8. All four Competitions will count as an Olympic qualifying Event. The World Cup circuit will resume after the OWG in Inzell on March 7-9 with the World Cup Final taking place in Heerenveen (NED) on March 14 -16. ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Quebec City (CAN) will host the first ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating event from Novem- ber 30 to December 1 which is also the first Regional Junior World Cup for the American continent. The European juniors will meet in Zakopane (POL) on December 14-15 while the Asians will have a Regional World Cup in Tomakomai (JPN) January 11-12 in combination with the Regional Qualifying Event for the ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships. The Global Junior World Cup will take place in Innsbruck (AUT) on January 25-26 and the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating Final will take place in Bjugn (NOR) on March 1-2, one week before the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships which take place in the same rink. ISU Championships The ISU Championships season begins on January 11-12 with the Essent ISU European Speed Skating Championships in Hamar (NOR). On January 18-19 the Essent ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships will take place in Nagano (JPN). After the World Cup Final skaters can stay in Heerenveen for the Essent ISU World Allround Speed Skating Championships on March 22-23. Six time Men’s World Allround Champion Sven Kramer (NED) and four time Ladies’ World Allround Champion Ireen Wüst proved last season that they are the ones to beat with only a few potential challengers. Martina Sáblíková (CZE) (two time World Allround Champion) is the most successful Lady in the long distances. Russian skaters Olga Fatkulina and Denis Yuskov are ones to look out for along with the Polish team, in particular Zbigniew Bródka, and the Korean team with Sang-Hwa Lee and Tae-Bum Mo in the sprint and their teammates in longer distances. Inline World Champion Bart Swings (BEL) had an impressive pre-Olympic Season and other strong skaters on the shorter distances are Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson from the USA and compatriot Brian Hansen. SHORT TRACK Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track The Short Track season got off to an early start this season in September with the Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track series. This year the circuit is comprised of four events across THE SEASON AHEAD Asia and Europe. The format of the World Cup series differs from previous years in that there are two days of qualification instead of one, thus allowing more skaters to compete. At each competition the Men and Ladies races will be held over 500 m, 1000 m and 1500 m and single distances determine the winners. The series kicked off with the Asian competitions in Shanghai (CHN) on September 26-29 and Seoul (KOR) on October 3-6. The Series moves to in Europe for the third and fourth leg in Torino (ITA) on November 7-10 and finishing in Kolomna (RUS) on November 14-17. Both Torino and Kolomna will serve as Olympic Qualifying Competitions. 11 ISU Championships The first Championships of 2014 will be the ISU European Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dresden (GER) on January 17-19. The action then moves to Sochi in February for the Olympic Winter Games. On March 7- 9 the ISU World Junior Short Track Championships will take place in Erzurum (TUR) and the season will end with the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, which will be held on March 14-16 in Montreal (CAN). In the Ladies field reigning Olympic Champion Meng Wang (CHN) will be looking to consolidate her position this season and can be expected to face competition from team mates Liu Qiuhong and Li Jianrou. Other skaters to look out for are Elise Christie (GBR) Shim Suk Hee (KOR), Marianne St Gelais (CAN), Arianna Fontana (ITA), Park Seung-Hi (KOR), Lana Gehring (USA) and Jorien Ter Mors (NED). In the Ladies Relay Team China, Korea, Canada and Japan are strong contenders. The Men’s competition will be tough between reigning 500 m World and Olympic Champion Charles Hamelin (CAN), along with Viktor An (RUS) and Kwak Yoon-Gy (KOR). Other skaters that will be looking to get a medal are Noh Jinkyu (KOR), JR Celski (USA), Sjinkie Knegt (NED), Da Woon Sin (KOR), Olivier Jean (CAN), Wenhao Liang (CHN), Freek van der Wart (NED) and Vladimir Grigorev (RUS) amongst others. Team Korea, Netherlands, Russia, China and Canada will battle it out during the Men’s Relay races. Valérie Maltais (CAN) PAST MASTER LU CHEN (CHN): BORN 1976 Olympic Winter Games Ladies’ Bronze Medal 1994, 1998 ISU World Figure Skating Championships Ladies’ Gold Medal 1995 Ladies’ Silver Medal 1996 Ladies’ Bronze Medal 1992, 1993 Lu Chen comes from a sporting family; her father was an ice hockey coach while her mother competed in table tennis. Chen started skating at the age of 5 but it was not until the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 1991 that she won her first medal. The following year she competed in both the Junior and Senior circuit and won the bronze medal for two years running at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. She then competed at the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer and brought home the first Olympic medal for China in Figure Skating. The following year she was crowned World Champion and at the age of 21 she participated in the Olympics in Nagano where she won her second Olympic bronze medal and then decided to retire from competitive skating. In 2005 she married Denis Petrov, a Russian Pair Skating silver Olympic medalist. Together they now run the World Ice Arena in Shenzhen (CHN).