• Ashley Wagner is more mature skater, focused on plan

    USA Today – December 27, 2013

    Four years ago Ashley Wagner missed out on a trip to the Vancouver Olympics by 4.08 points. The disappointment of that moment changed everything.

    Now the two-time national champ enters the Olympic trials in Boston in a completely different place. “I feel like I’m a totally different skater than I was four years ago,” she said during a conference call with reporters Friday. “I was a girl on the outside hoping my dream could maybe come true. Now I’m approaching it much more realistically. I have a plan. I’ve really matured and taken control of my skating, ownership of my sport. I feel like I’m a woman now, not just along for the ride.”

    Unlike four years ago, Wagner, 22, doesn’t hope just to make the Olympic team, the goal is to win a medal. And break the drought – an American woman hasn’t won an Olympic medal since 2006.

    Continue reading at usatoday.com

  • First Night Button Holders to Get Chance to See U.S. Figure Skating Team Before Sochi

    First Night Boston – December 28, 2013

    CITY OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

    Office of the Mayor
    Thomas M. Menino
    For Immediate Release:
    Thursday December 19, 2013
    For More Information:
    Press Office, 617-635-4461

    Button Holders Offered buy one-get one free deal for 2014 Prudential U.S. Championships

    This January, Boston will be the site of the biggest event in U.S. figure skating, when it welcomes the 2014 Prudential U.S. Championships, hosted by The Skating Club of Boston. As the last qualifying competition prior to the selection of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team, the Championships will feature the nation’s top figure skaters and offer a preview of Olympic stars who will compete on Team USA in Sochi, Russia this February.

    The Skating Club of Boston is offering individuals with First Night buttons one free ticket for every ticket purchased for the Opening Ceremonies/Championship Ladies Short Program event at TD Garden (upper deck) on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 7 p.m. Several members of The Skating Club of Boston, including Olympic hopefuls and last year’s U.S. pairs champions, will be appearing at the Frog Pond during the annual First Night Skating Spectacular on December 31.

    Continue reading at firstnightboston.org

  • U.S. Figure Skating Championships head to Boston, Jan. 5-12

    Boston.com – December 26, 2013

    Attention ice skating enthusiasts: The 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships are coming to Boston Jan. 5-12. Hosted by the Skating Club of Boston, this event will bring some of the best ice skaters in the country together in the last qualifying competition before the selection of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team, which will compete on Team USA in Sochi, Russia, this coming February.

    2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the championships, and Boston has served as host to this prestigious ice skating event six times in its history. Skaters will compete in several areas, including men’s and ladies’ singles, pairs, and ice dance, and will be divided into senior, junior, novice, intermediate, and juvenile levels. Featured skaters include Max Aaron, Gracie Gold, ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani, and Brookline native Yasmin Siraj, among many others.

    Continue reading at boston.com

  • Sochi 2014 Olympics: Under-the-Radar American Athletes to Watch for

    Bleacher Report – December 24, 2013

    One of those names is Max Aaron, and he’s looked very good over the past couple of years.

    At 21 years old, Aaron made a name for himself during the 2009-10 season in junior nationals, finishing in the top three in all three of his events. The next season, he competed and won in both the U.S. Championship and Southwest Regional for the junior division. This past season in 2012-13, he won the U.S. Championship as well as the international U.S. Classic, which he also won once again this year.

    Full story & photos at bleacherreport.com

  • For U.S. pairs skaters, holidays are cut short

    USA Today – December 23, 2013

    With Olympic trials beginning in 16 days in Boston, there will be no going home for the holidays for most American figure skaters.

    “I think most athletes in any other year would go home for Christmas because the U.S. championships are generally toward the end of January,” said U.S. pairs skater John Coughlin. “But to have them start just a few days after the new year becomes a little more challenging and I think more so for pairs skaters than single skaters because ice is ice. Adam (Rippon), Jeremy (Abbott), Ashley (Wagner) could, if they wanted, to go to their hometown and find an ice rink but a dance team or a pair team you need your partner to do your job so it becomes a little trickier if you’re not from the exact same city.”

    Continue reading at usatoday.com

  • American Star Watch: Ashley Wagner

    USA Today video post – December 20, 2013

    Ashley Wagner looks to make waves on the ice when the Winter Olympics take place in Sochi.

    Click to watch the video at USAtoday.com:

    USA today video screen

  • Skaters shine in outfits by Wellesley’s Yumi Barnett-Nakamura

    Boston Herald – December 19, 2013

    Members of the Skating Club of Boston are bringing a hand-sewn advantage to the ice during the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the TD Garden, starting Jan. 5.

    More than 20 designs by Wellesley resident Yumi Barnett-Nakamura will be worn there by the club’s top competitors — and possibly at the 2014 Sochi Olympic games. Among the Hub-based hopefuls wearing her pieces will be Christina Gao, Ross Miner and pairs skaters Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff, and Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir.

    “I like art,” Kyoto, Japan-raised Barnett-Nakamura told the Herald. “My father is an accountant. My background is accounting. My grandfather is a kimono artist. I must have gotten the gene.”

    Her delicate creations can include more than 2,000 Swarov-ski crystals sewn individually into mesh and chiffon, and can take a month or more to make.

    The mother of three picked up needle and thread eight years ago when her youngest daughter was active in skating.

    “Others were wearing the same thing, so I thought I will make them for her,” Barnett-Nakamura said.

    Her designs caught the eye of the skating club’s coach Mark Mitchell, who trains Gao and Brookline skater Yasmin Siraj.

    Keep reading at bostonherald.com

  • Aspiring Olympic skaters stop at Wayne’s Ice Vault

    NorthJersey.com – December 19, 2013

    With blades to ice, American figure skating legends, accompanied by several Olympic hopefuls, recently converged upon the Ice Vault in Wayne to rehearse for a show at the Izod Center in East Rutherford that was being taped for an upcoming television special.

    American figure skating professionals Agnes Zawadzki, wearing a pink shirt, and Gracie Gold were among some of the skaters that were at the Ice Vault in Wayne for rehearsals in preparation for an upcoming Izod Center show and the Winter Olympics in February.

    “The P&G and Walmart Tribute to American Legends of the Ice” will air on NBC on Feb. 1, the day before the 2014 Sochi Winter Games begin. The show also features 2011 “American Idol” champion Scotty McCreery, who will perform several songs accompanied by various skaters.

    The Ice Vault was buzzing last with the Olympiads – both past and hopefully future, including Gracie Gold, Ashley Zawadzki, and Adam Rippon. As they may not be household names now could very well be medal winners in just a few months and become the next Nancy Kerrigan or Scott Hamilton of the sport. Events such as this also allow the younger generation skaters to mix with the legends they’ve admired along the way.

    Keep reading at northjersey.com

  • Road to Sochi: Abbott Credits Family for Figure Skating Success

    Aspen Public Radio – December 16, 2013

    As the Olympic Games get closer, athletes like figure skater Jeremy Abbott are working hard to make Team USA. The three-time U.S. champion and Aspen native has yet to deliver on the world stage. Abbott wants 2014 to be the year he takes a medal. With only two spots open on the U.S. men’s figure skating team, the competition is tough. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

    Figure skater Jeremy Abbott tugs hard on the laces of his brand new, black ice skates.

    “I need the support. When you’re jumping triple and quad jumps, you need a lot of ankle support.”

    In the locker room, he warms up his muscles, stretches out and loosens up his joints before he starts skating.

    “I do the same routine before I get on the ice for every session I skate, usually three hours a day, so I do the same routine three times a day,” he says as he stretches his legs.

    Today Abbott is training where it all started. At age two, he made his way onto the ice at the Aspen Ice Garden, a few blocks from downtown. He began competing at age four.

    Continue reading at aspenpublicradio.org

  • Quest for Gold: Gracie Gold hopes to live up to last name

    Comcast SportsNet Chicago – December 17, 2013

    It’s not easy being a competitive figure skater. It’s even harder to compete at a high level when your last name is what you hope to achieve.

    After placing second in the World Junior Championships in 2012, Springfield native Gracie Gold is a favorite to earn a spot on the 2014 Olympic figure skating team.

    The 18-year-old recently switched coaches and moved to California to train with her new coach.

    Keep reading at csnchicago.com