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Top figure skating moments to celebrate National Get Up day

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Every year, the figure skating community marks the end of National Skating Month (January) with National Get Up day on Feb. 1.

U.S. Figure Skating is celebrating the third annual Get Up day in 2019.

“The first lesson in skating being how to fall down, and more importantly, how to get back up again, a lesson all participants can apply across all aspects of their lives,” USFS said in a press release.

All are encouraged to participate using the hashtag #WeGetUp on social platforms, sharing stories of those who are doing inspiring work in their communities or their own journeys.

That being said, with the U.S. Championships already in the books, let’s examine the best Get Up moments of the past 12 months.

Nathan Chen bounces back after rough short program to win the free skate in PyeongChang, and ultimately finish fifth in his first Olympic Games

Nathan Chen debuted at the PyeongChang Olympics in the team event, winning bronze alongside Maia and Alex Shibutani, Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu, and Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim.

His individual skates, however, told a much different story. He dug himself into a hole by finishing 17th in the short program. But his free skate showed the Chen his longtime fans were used to. He attempted six quads, cleanly landing five, and ultimately won the phase to finish in fifth place overall.

Read: Nathan Chen on his ‘emotional roller coaster’

And, if that wasn’t enough, Chen continued his season at the world championships – and won by more than 50 points. He plans to defend his title in a few weeks.

Read: Nathan Chen wins world title by nearly 50 points after everyone falls 

Jason Brown went from fifth at nationals and missing the 2018 Olympic team to win bronze this year

Jason Brown said of the 2018 Olympic season, “It was kind of like my nightmare happened, and I survived. I’m not afraid anymore.”

The Sochi Olympian and 2015 U.S. Champion returned to 2019 nationals nearly reinvented. In the past year, he split with his longtime coach, moved to Toronto and has been steadily rebuilding all year.

He overcame a small costume mishap – leaving it behind when he won a December competition in Croatia – to win bronze in Detroit behind Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou.

Read more: Jason Brown gaining traction in Toronto, building base for quad jumps

Madison Chock and Evan Bates return to U.S. podium despite abbreviated season

Madison Chock’s ankle injury – that she pushed through last season because “the Olympics were the most important thing” – finally was taken care of… even though it meant sitting out from competition for 10 months.

The couple, which owns two Worlds medals and have been to two Olympics together, didn’t compete for the first time this season until January. Then, they had the national championships to contend with.

The 2015 U.S. champions earned silver medals in Detroit and a spot at both the Four Continents Championships and the world championships.

More from U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone: Madison Chock and Evan Bates are Just Getting Started

Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc’s plans to win nationals and compete at Worlds were nearly derailed when she suffered a concussion after a fall in competition

Ashley Cain fell on her head during a fall in competition in Croatia in December. She said later that she followed every concussion protocol in order to be ready to compete at nationals. The long-term goal was to compete at the world championships, but it had seemed at the time like a long shot.

The pair became first-time national champions in Detroit, though, and will be the U.S. representatives at the world championships, looking to win back more U.S. pair spots.

“We’ve been working toward that all year,” LeDuc said in an interview with us on Sunday.

“None of the pressure changes or anything like that,” Cain added. “Yes, we know now we’re the U.S. champions and we have a responsibility, but I think at this point we are ready to take on that responsibility. This is the year it was supposed to happen.”

More: Ashley Cain recovering after falling on her head at figure skating event 

Ting Cui rallies from 12th to fifth at nationals

Ting Cui fell twice in the short program in Detroit, but rallied with seven clean triples in the free skate for a fifth place overall finish. Her free skate, which scored 139.66 points, was third in the field.

And the year before, in the junior division, she rallied from 11th to win a bronze medal. It wasn’t a situation she was unfamiliar with.

“It’s one of my best programs in performance (quality) and one with the hardest jumps I’ve ever done, with the triple Lutz-triple toe loop and triple flip-half loop-triple Salchow,” Cui said afterward. “Definitely the best program in my career probably so far.”

More on Cui from our Reporters’ Notebook from nationals

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, sidelined over the summer with a concussion, have their best season to date

Jean-Luc Baker is now relatively symptom-free, he said, but the team missed a chunk of training over the summer while he was recovering from a concussion. The team had recently moved to Montreal to train.

Instead of losing that time, the team has come back this year stronger than ever. The 2018 Four Continents champions won their first Grand Prix gold medal at NHK Trophy in Japan and qualified for their first-ever Grand Prix Final. They had never been higher than fourth at U.S. Championships, but in Detroit, they broke through for a bronze medal.

Their season isn’t over yet, either; Four Continents and Worlds are still to come.

More: Kaitlin Hawayek, Jean-Luc Baker signal ice dance arrival at Grand Prix Final 

Mirai Nagasu, a two-time Olympian, has hip surgery and finds a new role in the sport

She didn’t compete at the U.S. Championships in January, but Mirai Nagasu still played a role. She had surgery on her hip in September but made her commentary debut on the Bridgestone Ice Desk as an analyst.

“For me to be given the opportunity to be a part of the Ice Desk, is something I am really grateful for,” she told NBCSports.com/figure-skating in Detroit. “I’m grateful to my skating and to have found it at such a young age; I think that’s where I’m at right now – being humble and being grateful for everything I have in my life.”

Read: Mirai Nagasu makes commentating debut at U.S. Championships

As a reminder, you can watch Four Continents and the world championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire

Maia, Alex Shibutani extend break from ice dance competition

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Brother-sister ice dance duo Maia and Alex Shibutani will not compete next season, the Olympic bronze medalists announced via U.S. Figure Skating on Friday.

“We’re healthier and stronger than we were after the Olympics, and we’re continuing to push ourselves,” Maia Shibutani said in a press release.

“We’ve continued to skate a lot, and we feel like we’ve benefited from some time away to create in different environments and focus on experiences that can help us grow,” Alex said.

The “Shib Sibs” won the U.S. title in 2016 and 2017. They won their first world medal in 2011 (bronze) before reaching the world podium again in 2016 and 2017 with silver and bronze, respectively.

They most recently competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they earned bronze both individually and in the team event.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are now the second ice dance medalists from PyeongChang to announce they’ll sit out at least part of next season. Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will tour instead this fall and are not expected to return to competition.

The siblings haven’t stayed away from the ice entirely in their break from the sport, though — they’ve also been touring and performing in shows.

The Shibutanis became the second set of siblings to earn Olympic ice dance medals after France’s Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay in 1992.

MORE: How Gracie Gold landed in Philadelphia, thoughts competitive return

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