Tag Archives: Brandon Mroz

Most Popular of All-Time – 100k Edition

22 May

Unveiled in the days before Skate America last year, the purpose of the SKATING magazine blog was to provide the types of coverage and stories SKATING magazine has provided for 89 years. The SKATING magazine blog has now surpassed 100,000 hits, and we’d like to thank everyone who continues to read and share what they see here at skatingmagazineblog.com!

The Top Five Posts from SKATING magazine Blog (Based on views)

1. Official 2012 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships Program

In the lead-up to the 2012 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the official event program was posted online and free to all fans in a digital format for the first time. The program includes stories, editorials and bios on all of the competitors at the 2012 U.S. Championships.

2. Michelle Kwan – Hall of Fame Class of 2012

The most decorated figure skater in American history, she’s also the most photogenic too. Michelle Kwan has been featured on more SKATING covers than anyone else. Take a trip back through time with her first seven SKATING covers. Kwan was also featured on an eighth cover when she was elected to the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

3. Canton Fun and Games in Quebec City

Thanks to a tweet from @AlexShibutani, this playful piece by Lynn Rutherford at the 2011 Grand Prix Final received a lot of attention. Relive the story behind the “Canton-ooga Choo Choo” with this blog entry.

4. The ISU Recognizes Brandon Mroz Quad Lutz

On Sept. 16, 2011, Brandon Mroz laded the first quad Lutz in competition in Colorado Springs, Colo. After more than a month, the ISU officially recognized and confirmed the feat. Click above to read the story and re-watch the history.

5. Four Minutes

How can your life change in just four minutes? The amazing first-person story, written by Gwen Abbott Asmussen, sister of U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, about her brother’s 2012 U.S. Championships free skate and everything that occurred on and off the ice.

Weir Back in PA at Holiday Dreams on Ice

29 Dec

By Lynn Rutherford

Old and new friends nearly 7,000 miles apart gathered in Philadelphia the night before Christmas Eve to watch Johnny Weir headline the second annual Holiday Dreams on Ice, held at University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 1923 Arena.

The three-time U.S. champion and his parents, Patti and John, welcomed more than 60 well wishers from his hometown of Lancaster, PA, who bused into town especially for the show.  The Pennsylvanians met 20 of Weir’s Japanese fans visiting from Tokyo for a long holiday weekend in New York and Philadelphia, capped by front-row seats for the performances and a post-event party.

“I’m excited about this show; they literally ran out of printed tickets,” Weir said. “It’s my first time performing in Pennsylvania, my home state, in forever. I’m thrilled so many old friends are here.”

Weir gained standing ovations for an outrageous routine to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and his traditional holiday number “Ave Maria,” highlighted by special designs from Vincent DiGiorgio’s Digital Lighting, who created the Christmas lights for the White House this season.

The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus kicked off the evening with a singing of “Sleigh Ride.”  More than 100 young local skaters hit the ice to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Former Israeli champion Tamar Katz, a student at Penn, skated to Adele’s “Someone Like You,” while 2010 U.S. silver medalist Brandon Mroz offered up two numbers: “Mack the Knife” and “Greased Lightening.”

Mroz is taking a short break from Colorado Springs to spend the holidays in his hometown of St. Louis.

“I can’t wait to see my grandmother,” he said.

Two-time U.S. bronze medalist Ashley Wagner shone in programs to Jessica Simpson’s “What Christmas Means to Me” and Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor.”

“I had the [“What Christmas Means to Me”] music before and I thought it was really cute,” she said. “I feel like a lot of Christmas stuff is kind of slow and I wanted something that was going to wake the audience up. I picked it a couple of years ago and then I just re-choreographed it [with Philip Mills]. I get bored with programs so if I have something new it’s much more fun to perform.”

Wagner took a short break from training under coaches John Nicks and Mills in California.

“I begged and pleaded Mr. Nicks, and then gave him no other option, but to let me go home for a week,” she said. “I am spending Christmas in Annapolis with my mom, my brother [Austin] and my boyfriend.”

“My dad is traveling right now for business, so it’s kind of a bummer not to have him home for the holidays, but I’m so excited to just slow down for a couple of days before getting back into training for nationals.”

Wagner, who hopes to win her first U.S. title next month at the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, isn’t letting her guard down over the holidays.

“After Christmas I am going up and spending the rest of the trip in Philly, so I am training at University of Delaware for the rest of the week,” she said.

Armin Mahbanoozadeh, who is spending a quiet holiday with his parents in Virginia, performed “Summertime,” then unveiled a new Christmas number he choreographed just for the show to Michael Buble’s “Cold December Night.”

“I put it together quickly and had fun with it,” he said. “I had a great time. We had a long day full of practices and rehearsals but it was a great experience, it was a great crowd. There were a lot of enthusiastic kids who are just getting into skating. So it’s nice to see if we can kind of encourage some of the new skaters.”

For pictures, courtesy of Michele Mansoor, click here.

2011 Rostelecom Cup – Viewer’s Guide

24 Nov

Useful Links

icenetwork.com (LIVE stream of the Rostelecom Cup)

Starting Order/Results Page  Twitter

TV Schedule/Competition Notes (PDF)  Photo Gallery
2011 Rostelecom Cup

Friday, Nov. 25
6:00 a.m.: Ladies short program
7:35 a.m.: Pairs short program
9:45 a.m.: Men’s short program
11:20 a.m.: Short dance

Saturday, Nov. 26
5:00 a.m.: Ladies free skate
6:45 a.m.: Pairs free skate
8:25 a.m.: Men’s free skate
10:25 a.m.: Free dance

From Russia With LoveRachael Flatt competes at Rostelecom Cup for first time since winning silver in 2008. She began the season at Skate Canada.

Senior YearChristina Gao continues her first international senior season in Moscow. She opened the year with a fi fth-place showing at Cup of China.

Step UpAgnes Zawadaki looks to make a step up onto the podium this year in Russia. She finished fourth at this event a season ago. Zawadzki began the 2011-12 campaign at NHK Trophy two weeks ago.

Go for the GoldJeremy Abbott looks for his second gold of the season after winning Cup of China in early November. Abbott is the reigning Rostelecom Cup bronze medalist and competes here for the third time (4th in 2008). A medal of any color will allow Abbott to qualify for the 2011 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in December, an event he won in 2008.

Back in ActionBrandon Mroz started the season at NHK Trophy a few weeks ago where he landed the first ever quad Lutz in an ISU competition during the short program. He competes in Russia for the first time since placing seventh at this event in 2009.

First TimersAshley Cain & Joshua Reagan make their Grand Prix Series Debut in Moscow. The 2011 U.S. junior champions started the season by finishing fourth at 2011 Cup of Nice. They have not competed in Russia before.

StreakingMeryl Davis & Charlie White look to make it eight straight gold medals with a win in Moscow. Dating back to the beginning of the 2010 Grand Prix season, the duo has won seven straight competitons. They are the reigning Grand Prix Final champions and a medal here will earn them a fourth trip to the Final.

Last WeekAlissa Czisny qualified for the Grand Prix Final thanks to a third-place finish. Czisny is the reigning Grand Prix champion. Adam Rippon and Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig finished fourth while Madison Chock & Evan Bates placed fifth.

Team USA Nets Two Medals at 2011 NHK Trophy

12 Nov

Useful Links

icenetwork.com (LIVE stream of the NHK Trophy)

Starting Order/Results Page  Final Protocol (PDF) Twitter

TV Schedule/Competition Notes (PDF) Photo Gallery

2011 NHK Trophy

Team USA enjoyed a strong show in Sapporo, Japan, which includes a gold medal win from Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani and a bronze medal finish for Ross Miner.


Results Page

Ross Miner battled back from sixth place after the short program to earn the bronze medal, his first career Grand Prix Series medal. He was joined on the podium by a two representatives of the host country, gold medalist Daisuke Takahashi and silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka. After falling on his “Blues for Klook” program-opening attempt at a quad flip, Takahashi executed five triple jumps and two level four spins to net a season-high 169.32 points for the segment. He assured his spot in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final with his second medal of the season and netted 259.75 points overall. Kozuka, skating to “Nausicaa Princess of the Wind,” produced two triple Axels and a total of six triple jumps. His attempt at a quad toe was two-footed on the landing. He totaled 235.02 points for the weekend (155.25 for free skate). Miner skated to music from The Untouchablessoundtrack. The program was highlighted by two triple Axels earned 141.24 points. Though he was fourth in the free skate segment, his overall score of 212.36 moved him into third place. American Armin Mahbanoozadeh, the finished eighth. His teammate Brandon Mroz sat in third after the short program, thanks in part to a landed Quad Lutz. He suffered some errors in the free skate and went on to finish ninth.

Ice dancing

Results Page

A week after earning the silver medal at 2011 Cup of China, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won their first ever ISU Grand Prix Series gold medal and did so by battling back from a third-place showing in the short dance to win the free dance and the competition. The outcome sees the Shibutanis and silver medalists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada book their tickets to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in December. Shibutani and Shibutani edged the Canadians by just 0.09 points for the gold medal. Russian’s Elene Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, who were in first after the short dance, took home bronze. Performing their free dance to “In the Mood” and “Moonlight Serenade,” Shibutani and Shibutani earned level fours for five out of seven elements. The reigning World bronze medalists posted a new season’s best of 92.83 points and totaled 151.85 overall. Weaver and Poje’s skate was highlighted by difficult level four lifts and twizzles. They earned the silver with 151.76 total points. Ilinykh and Katsalapov danced to an arrangement of “Ave Maria” and had level four lifts and twizzles. Their free dance score of 87.65 dropped the team to third place at 149.48 points. Americans Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt finished the weekend in sixth place.


Results Page

Japan’s Akiko Suzuki captured the gold and a spot in the Grand Prix Final as teammate Mao Asada claimed the silver medal. The bronze went to Russia’s Alena Leonova, while Americans Ashley Wagner and Agnes Zawadzki finished fourth and eighth, respectively. Skating to “Die Fledermaus,” Suzuki, who won both segments of competition, performed a triple Lutz, double Axel-triple toe and triple loop. With 119.43 points she was ranked second in the free but was able to hold on to first place at 185.98 points. Asada’s “Liebestraum” free skate included five triple jumps and three level four spins. The 2010 Olympic silver medalist was the free skate winner with 125.77 points (184.19 points overall). Leonova landed a triple toe-triple toe combination and two triple flips in her program. She scored 108.92 points for the free and accumulated 170.68 total.


Results Page

Russia’s Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov rebounded from a fifth-place showing in the short to win the pairs title followed by Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran of Japan and German’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy. Overcoming a rough short program, Kavaguti and Smirnov produced a triple toe, triple twist, triple throw loop and Salchow in their “Clair de Lune” free skate. They earned scored 122.49 points, setting a season’s best, and totaled 177.51 points. Takahashi and Tran’s program to “Concerto de Quebec” included a triple twist, level four spins and lifts as well as a throw triple Salchow. They maintained silver medal standing and earned 172.09 total points. Short program sinners Savchenko and Szolkowy opened their program to the Pina soundtrack with a throw triple flip, but they made errors on the side by side jumps and did not perform a planned lift. The reigning World Champions received 112.45 points for the free and 171.68 overall. Americans Caydee Denney and John Coughlin placed fifth (163.75 points) in their second outing of the season while teammates Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir finished seventh.

2011 NHK Trophy – Viewer’s Guide

10 Nov

Useful Links

icenetwork.com (LIVE stream of the NHK Trophy)

Starting Order/Results Page  Twitter

TV Schedule/Competition Notes (PDF)  Photo Gallery

2011 NHK Trophy

Schedule (all times Eastern):

Friday, Nov. 11
12:55 a.m.: Short dance
2:45 a.m.: Pairs short program
5:15 a.m.: Ladies short program
10 p.m.: Free dance

Saturday, Nov. 12
12:05 a.m.: Pairs free skate
2:30 a.m.: Men’s short program
5:00 a.m.: Ladies free skate
10:55 p.m.: Men’s free skate

1…2…3Ashley Wagner competes for the fourth consecutive year at NHK Trophy (4th in 2008, 3rd in 2009, 5th in 2010). She also looks for her second medal of the 2011 Grand Prix season after winning bronze at Skate Canada two weeks ago.

First TimerAgnes Zawadzki is the 2011 World Junior bronze medalist. She made her Grand Prix Series debut a year ago, fi nishing sixth at Skate Canada and fourth at Rostelecom Cup. NHK Trophy marks the fi rst time Zawadzki will compete in Japan.

Seasoned Vets Armin Mahbanoozadeh and Ross Miner continue their seasons after already competing at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America and Skate Canada, respectively, to open the year.

Lutz SkateBrandon Mroz was recently credited by the ISU with executing the first ever quadruple Lutz in a sanctioned competition. He accomplished the feat Sept. 16, 2011, at the Colorado Springs Invitational. Mroz, who has competed on the Grand Prix since 2008, won a pair of medals in two Grand Prix assignments last year (silver at Cup of China; bronze at Trophée Bompard).

Third Time’s a Charm?Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir begin their third season on the Grand Prix circuit. The Boston-based duo enjoyed their strongest finish, fourth, at 2010 Skate Canada and are looking for their first international medal.

Sneaky, SneakyCaydee Denney & John Coughlin were within two points of sneaking onto the podium in their Grand Prix Series debut at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America. They won bronze at 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy to begin their competitive careers together.

2-for-2 – Both American ice dancing teams take the ice for the second consecutive week with the hope of medaling once again. Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani were silver medalists at Cup of China last week in Shanghai, while Lynn Kriengkrairut & Logan Giulietti-Schmitt won gold at Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria. The Shibutanis were bronze medalists at this event in 2010.

Skate Canada Notes

31 Oct

Skate Canada Links

icenetwork.com (For complete coverage of the event)

Results Page

Skate Canada Notes (Exclusive to SKATING magazine blog)

by Lynn Rutherford

Quad Lutz Contest

Brandon Mroz landed a clean quad Lutz at the Colorado Springs Invitational in September, and the four-revolution jump was recognized by the International Skating Union (ISU).

That threw down the gauntlet to Adam Rippon, who has been working on the four-revolution jump since March. Now the race is on to land the first quad Lutz in ISU international competition.

“I think I’m on the right track for later in the season,” Rippon said. “The Grand Prix are great competitions to go out and try those new elements. My goal is nationals, so every competition I do is a stepping stone to that.”

In Mississauga, the quad Lutz was the first element in Rippon’s Bach free skate. Although it didn’t go as well as it does in practice, he was happy with the attempt.

“It was my first time trying it in competition so I had a little bit of a nervous feeling about it,” Rippon said.

“I think it will only get stronger, more like what I do in practice at home. I got [downgraded] but if I just held into the jump a little bit more, it would have been fine. I stood on my feet and that was a goal coming in.”

Russian-German Face-off

The world’s top two pairs – Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, and Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Max Trankov – seem to have taken firm aim at each other at their respective first Grand Prix events, Skate America and Skate Canada.

At Skate America, the Germans tried a throw triple Axel in their short program, saying they thought they might need the element, with its hefty 7.5-point base value, to stay ahead of other teams. It didn’t work; Savchenko took a hard fall.

In Mississauga, the Russians unveiled a re-worked free skate to Evanescense’s “Bring Me Back to Life” with all three lifts and two throws crammed into the second half, to earn maximum bonus points.

“We completely changed our second half after Oberstdorf [Nebelhorn Trophy] and Slovakia [Nepela Trophy], and we have three new lifts,” Trankov said.

“We didn’t want to show our lifts [in those earlier competitions] because last year, when we skated in small competitions in Russia, other pairs take our lifts and use them for the season. We didn’t want to make some new lifts for other couples.

“When we were in Oberstdorf, five couples did the same lifts we did last season.”

Both teams won their opening events, with the Russians far outscoring the Germans, 201.38 to 183.98. Trankov scoffed at early-season comparisons.

“If our scores will be better than the Germans in Europeans and Worlds that will be good. Now we are at Skate Canada, they were at Skate America, the judges are different, and we don’t think it’s special to compare scores. When we are competing together, for sure.”

Still, Trankov couldn’t resist adding, “Plus, we made mistakes here at Skate Canada; we still don’t know how many points we will have when we skate clean.”

Anonymous Internet Fan Does Good

Sometimes skaters and coaches spend weeks scrounging through  CDs and iTunes, trying to find the perfect piece of music. And sometimes the right selection falls right into their laps.

Take Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s “Je Suis Malade (I Am Sick),” for example.

“Someone sent it to us anonymously through the email on our website,” Weaver said. “This person sent it to us with a YouTube link and wrote, ‘I think you should listen to this music.’

“I had no idea what it was and I was kind of like, ‘Should I open this?’ I wasn’t sure. But I played it and I heard the Lara Fabian      version and I was so taken with it, I brought it to Andrew and our coach, Pasquale Camerlengo, and they loved it. We had Karl Hugo arrange certain parts of the music with a rhythm, to have an ebb and flow, to fit with the rules. I think we came up with a beautiful program.”

The suggestion was especially timely, because as Weaver tells it, “We were completely at a loss for free music ideas.”

The only problem is they don’t know who to thank.

“I don’t know who he or she is, but that person is out there somewhere and they have great music choices,” Weaver said. “I’m hoping that maybe [he or she] will come forward once they see that this program is our season’s free dance.”

Nuggets from Skate Canada

by Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz

  • The most popular T-shirt at the boutique seemed to be a long black sleeve tee with the Canadian Maple Leaf and the Skate Canada insignia. The ice sweepers even sported them all weekend.
  • Many people were trying the signature Canadian french fries called Poutine at the Hershey Food Vendor booths. It’s french fries covered in gravy and cheese. I guess it was pretty popular during Olympics too.
  • Many female fans who attend skating events here in Canada bring their knitting along and work on it between events. They knit socks and hats and sweaters. One woman told me it is very relaxing and a way to pass the time, but as soon as the skaters come out they assure me they drop their knitting and cheer them on.

The ISU Recognizes Brandon Mroz Quad Lutz

26 Oct

Earlier today the International Skating Union (ISU) officially recognized the quad Lutz Brandon Mroz landed on September 16, 2011 during his free skate program at the Colorado Springs Invitational, a U.S. Figure Skating sanctioned event. Below is the statement from U.S. Figure Skating:


– Team USA member Brandon Mroz executed jump at Colorado Springs Invitational –

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 26, 2011) – The International Skating Union (ISU) today officially recognized and confirmed the first quadruple Lutz done in a sanctioned competition. On Sept. 16, 2011, Brandon Mroz (Broadmoor Skating Club) executed the jump during his short program at the 2011 Colorado Springs Invitational, a U.S. Figure Skating sanctioned competition.

Mroz, who placed second over the weekend at the 2012 Southwestern Regional Figure Skating Championships, is set to make his international season debut at NHK Trophy, Nov. 11-13 in Sapporo, Japan.

Mroz is the second American man to be recognized as the first to perform a quad jump in competition. Timothy Goebel is credited with the first quad Salchow, which he performed at the 1998 Junior Grand Prix Final.

To read the ISU’s official statement, click here. To watch the video of Mroz’s quad Lutz, click here.

For those of you wondering, the quad Lutz carries a value of 13.6.


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