Getty Images

Polina Edmunds to miss U.S. Figure Skating Championships

1 Comment

Olympian Polina Edmunds is out of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships next week due to a bone bruise in her right foot that has kept her out of competition for nearly one year.

Edmunds, the youngest U.S. competitor across all sports at the Sochi Olympics at age 15, is not expected to compete again until next season.

“We want to make sure all the red flags [with my foot] are gone for next season,” Edmunds said last month. “It’s really important for next season because it’s an Olympic season. Everything that we’re doing is fully focused on the 2018 season.”

Her absence from nationals will certainly be felt.

Edmunds finished second, fourth and second the last three years, making the Olympic or world championships teams each time. She placed ninth in Sochi and eighth at the 2014 and 2015 Worlds and skipped the 2016 Worlds due to the bone bruise.

Three U.S. women will be named to this year’s world championships team after nationals, likely the top three finishers in Kansas City next week.

The two most recent U.S. champions, Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold, are favorites, though Gold had a disastrous autumn and Wagner struggled in her last competition.

Also in the mix is 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu, the only other skater in the field with Olympic or world championships experience. Mariah Bell, who finished second to Wagner at Skate America in October, is also a contender.

MORE: Figure skating season broadcast schedule

Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future

Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

Getty Images
1 Comment

Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future