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2023 World Figure Skating Championships wrap up in flames of glory in Japan

Japan has long produced world and Olympic medalists in singles figure skating, both male and female, but pairs skating and ice dancing have garnered little international attention. That is about to change as Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara have just won doubles gold in Saitama. For nearly a decade, ice dancing in Japan has been dominated by brother-sister duo Cathy and Chris Reed (their older sister, Allison Reed, now skates with Lithuania’s Saulius Ambrulevicius, who was seventh in the event on Saturday). Cathy retired after the 2014–20 season to focus on coaching and choreography. Chris partnered with Kana Muramoto, and skated together for three seasons; in 2014, she announced that the partnership had disbanded and that she was looking for a new partner. (Chris Reed, who announced his retirement the following year, died of cardiac arrest at 2020 at 37.)

Daisuke Takahashi, now 20, has been a single skating star for 20 years. In 2010 he became the first Japanese man to win a figure skating medal at the Olympics, winning bronze in Vancouver; the following month he became the first to win gold at the World Championships Asians. He withdrew from competitive skating on 2014, but announced his return on 2014 and won a silver medal in the Japanese national skating competition. The following year, he announced his switch to ice dancing and skated with Kana Muramoto. To make that change, Takahashi had to reinvent himself, developing the upper-body strength needed for dance lifts and twists. He often expresses his admiration for ice dancers, especially U.S. Olympic and world gold medalist Meryl Davis. Now, he and Muramoto train with Marina Zueva, her coach with Charlie White and other ice dancing champions. In their second world, Takahashi and Muramoto are placed at after the rhythm dance and end up in that position, even though they are free dances , won the place with “The Phantom of the Opera”.

Team USA’s Cristina Carrera and Anthony Ponomarenko change coaches after the pandemic, join Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon in new Ontario team with Scott Moir, Madison Hubbell works with Adrián Díaz, retired champions who are now coaches. At the end of last season, Ponomarenko underwent ankle surgery and required three months of rehab, while Carrera continued to work with Moore to sharpen her partnering skills. Carreira and Ponomarenko won bronze at the U.S. Nationals in January but were not named to the World Team; Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, who withdrew from the Nationals due to health issues Baker) get goodbye. But Hawayek and Baker also had to withdraw from Saitama, leaving Carreira and Ponomarenko at Worlds for the first time, where they finished th.

It was also the first World Championships for US silver medalists Caroline Green and Michael Parsons, who finished sixth. They trained at the newly formed Michigan Ice Dancing Academy, run by Charlie White, his wife Tanise (née Belbin) and Greg Zurlein (Madison Chock’s former partner) . Canton, Mich., has been a hotspot for the U.S. champions for the past decade, with Davis and White, Belbin and Ben Agosto, Maya and Alex Hibtani, Jock and Bates and Tessa Virtue and More was there to train with Marina Zuva and/or her ex-partner Igor Shpilband. Whites and Zuerlein hope to revive and break Gadbois’ hegemony.



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