View Full Version : 'ICE' ISU Open Pro-Am series planned for 2012 (Scott Hamilton's brainchild)

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06-09-2011, 06:00 PM
From ISU Communication no. 1671 (dated April 19, 2011):

The ISU Council gave its agreement in principle to create a series of annual Open International Competitions which shall be skated over a period of three separate television competitions, to be held on three separate weeks in three different geographical locations, in principle one in Asia, one in Europe and one in North America. The participants in this series may be among eligible and ineligible skaters and should be a medallist of either a ISU World Championships or Olympic Winter Games in their respective discipline within the previous ten years.

The initiative was presented by a United States based organization called ICE - International Cup of Skating Excellence, LLC (hereafter called "ICE"), who includes as its Chief Creative Officer the 1984 Olympic Figure Skating Champion, Mr. Scott Hamilton.

Subject to receiving a satisfactory detailed proposal of ICE (location, dates, confirmed cooperation/understanding with the concerned ISU host Members, invited skaters, event format and technical package (free skating only), prize money etc), the ISU is available to sanction three competitions during the season 2011/12 that cannot be in conflict with any ISU Event and/or national championships of the concerned host Members.

Further details and the Announcement shall be released as soon as the specific ICE proposal has been received and approved.
I just came across what looks like an official site for this project: http://icechampionship.com/

Select group of skaters invited from all four disciplines: Ladies, Men’s Pairs and Ice Dance.
Three-week competition: Two rounds on consecutive weeks, then the finals.
International series: A different country hosting each week of competition.
Nine hours of compelling TV programming: Three, three-hour programming blocks.
Fresh and unpredictable: Skaters perform new routines in first two rounds.
Head-to-head finals: The top two in each discipline qualify for their championship.
Exciting, fan-friendly performances featuring contemporary music.
Innovative and interactive presentation of elements and scores for television and live audience.
Cash bonuses for landing technically difficult jumps.

Frau Muller
06-09-2011, 06:02 PM
I love the idea of "cash bonuses for landing technically-difficult jumps."

I just hope that the invitations are not skewed towards SOI skaters, as Scott is in charge of both ICE and SOI. I'd love to see Johnny Weir doing this but I'm not sure that SOI/Scott will send an invite (or that Johnny would accept).

06-09-2011, 06:03 PM
I am all for bringing back the professional circuit in some way. With Scott being in charge I fear it will become nothing more than a huge promotional tool for SOI and all the professional skaters, and most of the amateur skaters, will be on his tour. I hope they will branch out and bring in many skaters, not just those on SOI.

06-09-2011, 06:05 PM
Dare we Kwan fans get a flicker of hope? Maybe an exhibition? Something? Anything? Come on Scott. Offer her enough money she can't refuse. We just want to see that missing LP just once.

06-09-2011, 06:06 PM
I am all for Kwan doing something like this. However, I don't think that LP will ever surface. She will just create new programs and the format will probably be like other professional or pro-am events where we have a technical and an artistic program. I doubt we see any true competition style LP's.

Frau Muller
06-09-2011, 06:09 PM
I am all for Kwan doing something like this. However, I don't think that LP will ever surface. .....

Kwan Fans must be treated to the never-seen 2006 Olympics Bells of Moscow LP! (Same music as Mao Asada used for her LP last season!)

06-09-2011, 06:11 PM
Fresh and unpredictable: Skaters perform new routines in first two rounds

I wonder if there are any length and format rules? It seems to me like it's exhibition vs. SP (SD) and LP (FD).

06-09-2011, 10:00 PM
I am all for Kwan doing something like this. However, I don't think that LP will ever surface. She will just create new programs and the format will probably be like other professional or pro-am events where we have a technical and an artistic program. I doubt we see any true competition style LP's.

But, we really don't care do we? She could skate to the ABC song and we'd do the happy dance. :lol:

06-09-2011, 10:31 PM
I love the idea of Pro-am competitions.

I'm thrilled for the use of contemporary music.

I'm just leery of Hamilton having control. Is he the bigot he's reputed to be? If so, he needs to step back and let those more reasonable and appropriate determine the invited skaters.

If he is not a bigot, then more power to him.

I hope it doesn't turn into a vehicle for SOI skaters only.

06-09-2011, 10:35 PM
Here are a few select posts from the original discussion that originated here in April with the publication of the ISU Communication:

A list of women eligible based on those rules listed in the ISU Communication:

Joannie Rochette CAN
Laura Lepisto FIN
Carolina Kostner ITA
Fumie Suguri JPN
Shizuka Arakawa JPN
Mao Asada JPN
Miki Ando JPN
Yu-Na Kim KOR
Irina Slutskaya RUS
Elena Sokolova RUS
Sarah Hughes USA
Michelle Kwan USA
Sasha Cohen USA
Kimmie Meissner USA

A list of eligible men:

Jeffrey Buttle CAN
Patrick Chan CAN
Brian Joubert FRA
Stefan Lindemann GER
Takeshi Honda JPN
Daisuke Takahashi JPN
Alexei Yagudin RUS
Evgeni Plushenko RUS
Stephane Lambiel SUI
Timothy Goebel USA
Evan Lysacek USA
Johnny Weir USA

Eligible Pairs:

Jamie Sale / David Pelletier CAN
Jessica Dube / Bryce Davison CAN
Xue Shen / Hongbo Zhao CHN
Qing Pang / Jian Tong CHN
Dan Zhang / Hao Zhang CHN
Aliona Savchenko / Robin Szolkowy GER
Elena Berezhnaya / Anton Sikharulidze RUS
Tatiana Totmianina / Maxim Marinin RUS
Maria Petrova / Alexei Tikhonov RUS
Yuko Kavaguti / Alexander Smirnov RUS
Kyoko Ina / John Zimmerman USA

Eligible Ice Dancers:

Albena Denkova / Maxim Staviski BUL
Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir CAN
Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon CAN
Shae-Lynn Bourne / Victor Kraatz CAN
Isabelle Delobel / Olivier Schoenfelder FRA
Marina Anissina / Gwendal Peizerat FRA
Kati Winkler / René Lohse GER
Galit Chait / Sergei Sakhnovski ISR
Federica Faiella / Massimo Scali ITA
Barbara Fusar-Poli / Maurizio Margaglio ITA
Oksana Domnina / Maxim Shabalin RUS
Jana Khokhlova / Sergei Novitski RUS
Tatiana Navka / Roman Kostomarov RUS
Irina Lobacheva / Ilia Averbukh RUS
Elena Grushina / Ruslan Goncharov UKR
Meryl Davis / Charlie White USA
Tanith Belbin / Benjamin Agosto USA

So bottom line, according to the rules, ... 11 Pairs, 12 Men, 14 Ladies, and 17 Ice Dance Teams have won a world or olympic medal within 10 seasons.

As for the ten years limit, it says they "should be" medalists of the past ten years. This doesn't sound like there can't be any exceptions. We'll see. I don't think they'd turn down someone like Ilia Kulik should he choose to apply for participation.

The Japanese (federation, TV stations, skaters) might also love the idea of a Pro-Am competition. Takahashi and Ando will retire sooner or later. Also Yuna and the South Korean TV stations etc. might also like the idea. They will definitely raise the bar.

A lot of skaters are still interested in competing, but don't want to commit to the lifestyle of an eligible skater anymore. I think they'd love to do it. It's a great way to keep them in competitions.

Debbie S
06-09-2011, 10:46 PM
In theory, it sounds like a great idea. And I am one of those who would love to see the Kween skate again. :)

But in reality, I imagine most current eligible skaters on that list wouldn't want to do it b/c of the travel and demands of creating and practicing a new program along with their comp programs. There's no time frame given but if the comps can't conflict with GPs/JGPs/Senior B's or any nat'l champs, this would have to occur between April and September. So it would likely be skaters who are retired from comp, but would those skaters want to compete again (and do they have the time)? Scott would probably be able to attract entrants, but as others have pointed out, would they all be SOI and IMG skaters.

It will be interesting to see if this actually comes together. But in order for people to watch it, it will need a large geographic representation (not just U.S. and Canadian skaters) and the judging will have to make sense to the masses. And the programs will need to look like the skaters actually practiced them.

06-09-2011, 11:02 PM
I'm happy that an attempt is being made to revive Pro skating - and to provide opportunities to see skating on television - even if they are spearheaded by Scott Hamilton.

06-09-2011, 11:48 PM
I think a lot of the interest will depend on the judging system used.

06-10-2011, 01:43 AM
I'm really excited for this.. I loved the pro-am events around 1999-2000!! I hope it can work.

06-10-2011, 05:52 AM
If IJS would be used for judging, ineligible skaters won't have a prayer againts eligible skaters.