Figure skating champs at the highest level
The 2011 World Figure Skating Championships, which are under way in Moscow, have already deserved appreciation of both participants and guests. They have especially noted the hospitability of the Russian capital and favorable accommodation, training and performance conditions. According to the tournament’s organizers, the Moscow championships should be inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the one prepared in an unprecedentedly short period of time - less than a month.
Spokesperson for the International Skating Union (ISU) press service Tatyana Vlada annually visits dozens of figure skating championships in different parts of the world. The Moscow event, she says, has been organized at a very high level. Tatyana Vlada and her ISU colleagues are glad to once again visit the Russian capital city and regret only one thing - the tragic circumstances that forced the relocation of the tournament.
"Like anyone else, I was shocked by the Japanese disaster. What a grief! Although it was absolutely clear that the championship will be cancelled, all of us still hoped for the better. Then the ISU started considering other candidates to host the event, and when I found out about the bid of our country, I thought this would be the best option. We have both experience and state support," Tatyana Vlada said.
Those were the most difficult weeks for figure skaters themselves, who first had been preparing for Tokyo worlds and then anxiously followed the situation in Japan. Uncertain whether the championship will be held, relocated or cancelled, everyone sighed with relief having found out that it will take place in Moscow. Delayed but not cancelled, the season’s main figure skating event takes place in the country considered to be a trend setter in figure skating, which makes it an honor for any athlete to perform before the Russian audience.
World vice champion Patrick Chan of Canada says he likes lovers of this sport in Russia, calling them real figure skating connoisseurs.
"They are very educated, have a good grasp of figure skating and artistic impression, and are acquainted with many technical details. They can perfectly distinguish between a good and a poor performance, high- and low-quality jumps. Last time I visited your country to participate in the Cup of Russia in November 2010. I was only second that time unfortunately, but I hope not to repeat my mistakes. This is one more chance for me to perform well," Patrick Chan said.
Czech figure skater Tomaš Verner is also glad to be back in the Russian capital following his victory on the Megasport Arena, which was the first time for him to win a stage of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. The sportsman believes that the Moscow ice will bring him luck once again.
"The main thing it’s great, it's really great. I have to congratulate everybody from organizing committee, because the job they did in one month is amazing, it’s awesome how they prepared venue for holding such a competition as World Championship is."
Enjoying special attention this time are naturally figure skaters from Japan. One of them, bronze medalist of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and current world champion Daisuke Takahashi, was going to end his carrier with a performance at the domestic championships in Tokyo. Hundreds of his Japanese fans arrived in Moscow to support him. They are also glad that the tournament is taking place despite everything, providing them with another chance to watch performances of their favorite figure skaters.