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  1. #1

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

    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/
    http://icechampionships.blogspot.com/p/about-us.html
    ICE CONCEPT
    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.

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    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).

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    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.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    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.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    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.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    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!)
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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    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).
    Sometimes I think I lost something really important to me, and it turns out I already ate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    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.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    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.
    Last edited by centerpt1; 06-09-2011 at 10:33 PM. Reason: add

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    Here are a few select posts from the original discussion that originated here in April with the publication of the ISU Communication:
    Quote Originally Posted by Visaliakid View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eislauffan View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan26 View Post
    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    I think a lot of the interest will depend on the judging system used.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    I'm really excited for this.. I loved the pro-am events around 1999-2000!! I hope it can work.

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    If IJS would be used for judging, ineligible skaters won't have a prayer againts eligible skaters.

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    let's see how much camera time these 'contemporary' bands will mug away from the skaters. can you imagine korean fans tolerating the camera cutting away from yeonah's ina bauer in order to zoom in on some aging rock star? unless of course SBS and MBC had their own camera people, not subject to the contract speedy and speedy's minions signed with the 'contemporary' bands.



    if scott and co. decide on the band, that limits what music the skaters are able to choose. that's another thing i find questionable about the format.

    even if these contemporary bands weren't 'live' and the camera stayed on the skater, there still would be constriction of the skaters' artistic freedom in the choice of music. i hope countries like japan and canada where skating still thrives will provide skaters like joannie and daisuke (when he's ready to quit amateur competitions) with more alluring opportunities than this, to be honest.
    Last edited by skfan; 06-10-2011 at 06:10 AM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    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.
    Michelle has moved on to a new phase in life and is doing work which is more important in the grand scheme of things than figure skating. Her fans should applaud her for that.

    And Michelle is already a wealthy woman. If more wealth was her motivation, she'd did be doing all she could to milk her fame, like some other retired skaters. That she isn't is another things her fans should applaud her for.

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    Four Continents and Europeans are classified as ISU championships. So the skaters such as the Kerr's and Sarah Meier can be eligible...there are more i'm sure i've missed but just listed recently retired skaters.

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    KATY TAYLOR!!!
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

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    opps i read it wrong it says only worlds...however they should extend it to ISU championships... i'm sure that will allow for more eligible fan favourites such as Drobiazko and Vanagas, and still amateur eligible skaters such as amodio, pechalat/bourzat, kiira korpi, and verner.

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