Since we've had those for a number of other countries now, I have tried to gather some news on the recent developments in Polish skating, for the most hardcore OES fans amongst you. Ladies Anna Jurkiewicz (2010 Senior Silver Medallist) fortunately didn't let the dissapointing perfomance in Vancouver get her down and has decided to continue competing. She moved from Oswiecim to Torun where she now lives and trains with Dorota and Mariusz Siudek and Sylwia Nowak. In addition to her own training, she has also taken up some coaching duties and works with the kids on their basic skills. Unfortunately after the disappointing last season, she has been dropped from the National Team. I hope she can make a successful comeback next season, however. 13-year old Ola Kamieniecki (2010 Junior Silver Medallist) is finally going to be old enough to perform internationally at the Junior level next season. Ola is Polish-American and lives and trains in the US, where she's coached by Alexander Zaitsev (2 time olympic pairs gold medalist and 6 times world pairs champion). She also gets some support and guidance from the MKS Axel club coaching team (Siudeks and Sylwia Nowak). She is a good jumper but needs to work a lot on the non-jump elements and the overall polish. You can watch her Free Skating performance from 2009 Warsaw Cup here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPv38-0yGhc (You can see the spins definitely not meeting some of the requirements but she’s improved a lot on that since then) More information and photos on her website: http://www.olakamieniecki.com Agata Kryger is our another hope for the future. She is 12 years old and will have to wait until the 2011/2012 season to be able to perform internationally as a Junior. She is both Novice and Junior 2010 National Champion and has by now managed to master the 2axel, 3toe and 3salchow. At the recent National Top Jump contest, she has also tried the 3loop, 3flip and 3lutz and whilst she has fallen on all of them, you could see she is quite close to mastering those harder triples too. She's very elegant and an overall good quality skater and trains with Siudeks and Sylwia Nowak in Torun. Here is her Free Skating performance from 2009 Warsaw Cup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RROlOb4wBv0 (Very bad 3salchow attempt here but it’s improved a lot since then) Men Przemyslaw Domanski (2009 Senior Champion) is spending the Summer in Blackpool, UK performing in the Hot Ice show. Once the choreographers found out he can land all the triples, save the axel, they’ve given him a primary role, putting all into the routine. He’s also going to perform a lot of spins so he’s definitely staying fit. He’s very happy with the work on the show so far and from what he’s been saying it’s going to be huge fun to watch, so if you’re going to be anywhere near, go and have a look. Maciej Cieplucha (2010 Senior Champion) has posted a video on his Facebook, showing a step sequence from one of his new programs. http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1370187692125&ref=mf He’s off-time (it’s just being choreographed so fair enough ) but the steps look very impressive. Sebastian Iwasaki (2010 Junior Champion, Senior Bronze Medallist) has been flourishing under the new coach Alexei Fedoseev, beating his two PBs to place 18th at 2010 Junior Worlds (an improvement from 26th the year before). You can watch his 2010 Junior Worlds SP here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYQZoXJYylY (Only just found it, had no clue that it existed!) He’s passed his secondary school final examinations very well and has been accepted to study Physical Education in Warsaw, where he lives and trains. I've also found this video today. I heard that he used to land 3lutz/3loop combos but had no clue that one got recorded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxAA-krXgw4 Pairs Joanna Sulej/Mateusz Chruscinski are living pretty much full-time in Montreal, Canada training with Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte. Joanna has posted a video of their first throw triple flip on her Facebook and it’s absolutely gorgeous! I hope they are going to include it in their programs next season (they already have a consistent throw triple salchow). They’ve also been working on side-by-side 3salchows and 3flips. Chruscinski has been a decent single skater so he has those in his arsenal but Sulej never had any consistent triples when she was competing in singles so those would be new for her. Elizabeth Harb/Patryk Szalasny are not skating together anymore. Elizabeth has gone to medical school and Patryk has already managed to find another partner in the US. Krystyna Klimczak/Janusz Karweta have split last season. Krystyna is now a single skater and has placed 5th at 2010 Junior Nationals. Janusz has teamed up with former single skater Katarzyna Banburska and went to France to train under Stanislav and Olga Leonovitch but apparently that partnership hasn't worked out. Magdalena Klatka/Radoslaw Chruscinski have split after she has suffered a very serious leg fracture. He has been searching for a new partner and might have found one already (I'll ask). Anastasia Levshina/Jakub Tyc have now split. He has already found a new partner (some young Polish skater, I will confirm the name once I find out who it is). We also have a new pairing of Aleksandra Malinkiewicz/Sebastian Lofek who took part in the ISU Pairs Seminar (they won't be Junior-eligible until the following season, as she is still 12). There are also two Junior Pairs who have continued skating: Natalia Kaliszek/Michal Kaliszek and Magdalena Jaskolka/Piotr Snopek. Considering we have 6 JGP spots, it looks like we can give 1 to each of the above age-eligible teams. Ice Dance Our only Senior Ice Dance team, Anastasia Vykhodtseva/Jan Moscicki have been at the centre of a failed doping test affair during 2010 Three Nationals. Moscicki tested positive for marijuana. If I remember correctly, it only remains in urine for a few days following consumption and you would think it’d be something you’d think about, considering you can be tested at any event. Very silly. As it definitely isn’t a performance enhancing substance (quite the contrary ), the suspension wasn’t long and got subsequently reduced (only 6months, in the end, if I remember correctly). Following that, Moscicki decided to quit competitive skating to take up coaching at the Euro 6 Warsaw club. I’ve heard they have resumed training a few months ago, however, and we’re hopefully going to see them compete next season. I was very glad to hear that because they are both (her especially) very decent, young skaters with a lot to achieve still. Here are their programs from 2010 Three Nationals: Original Dance - Polish Folk Dance Free Dance - Beetle juice (Soundtrack) Both choreographed by Sergei Petukhov and Alexei Gorshkov. V/M regularly travel to Odintsovo to work with them, in addition to working with their primary Polish coach (Bozena Bernadowska). Anna Rechnio News Some updates on the amazing Anna Rechnio. As Poths said: 'A champion that never was.' Possibly the fastest female skater ever. An amazing jumper with a technique that's hardly ever seen today. Many skaters start to rotate before they even take off and then finish the rotation on the ice. Anna would first jump high up and only then start to rotate, finishing the revolutions with plenty of room to spare for the landing (similar to Harding, if not quite as good). Unfortunately, the inability to deal with the mental stress of competing has severely hindered her career and she has remained the champion of practices. Perhaps the most amazing was the FS practice at 1999 Worlds. Rechnio skated an almost clean program run-through, featuring a 3toe/3toe combination in the second part of the program, attracting more attention than Michelle Kwan. Following her competitive career, Anna has performed in a variety of shows and it’s there where she has met her current partner Alexei Fedoseev. After finishing their professional career, they have arrived in Poland to take up coaching jobs in Warsaw. I have observed them coaching, at a skating camp and I was extremely impressed. They were very involved, very dedicated and both on the ice, showing their skaters all the movements by either performing their themselves or guiding their bodies to correct positions. At the same camp (in Summer 2009), I could also observe Anna training (once most of her skaters left) and it was an incredible sight. Her speed was still as amazing as it’s ever been and after a very short warm-up she did a 2axel and then started doing ALL THE TRIPLES. Well save the 3toe because a past injury prevented her from that. I was totally shocked. She just kept landing huge, perfect triple jumps. It took me a while to pick my chin up from the floor (she was 31 at the time and hasn’t competed since 2000). Afterwards, I suggested to her she should return to competition as skating like that, she could easily win a medal at Europeans. Unfortunately she thought she has moved on and like just skating for fun now, without all the competition stress. Some time afterwards she got pregnant and was seen still demonstrating double jumps to her skaters when in advanced pregnancy (she’s just incredible!). On 9th July, their daughter Maria was born. Both the mother and the baby are healthy and doing very well. Some of the best vintage Rechnio performances: 1994 Olympics SP (9th) 1994 Olympics FS (12th, 10th overall) A very decent debut. Didn’t have all her triples yet, though 1998 Worlds SP (2nd) 1998 Worlds FS (5th, 5th overall) The SP was just amazing (shame that video is such low quality). Especially in the context of pretty much everyone totally bombing. Shame she has imploded at the end of her FS, could definitely medal there. 1999 Worlds SP (6th) 1999 Worlds FS (7th, 6th overall) Ridiculously robbed in the SP, where she has delivered a very strong, practically clean, performance, whilst others have faulted. Imploded in the FS again, though, unfortunately.