|Photo courtesy daylife.com|
He's not competing the rest of the 2010 calendar year. I'm pretty sure that most of us figured that out on June 13th, the day that the fall Grand Prix assignments were listed by the ISU; Lysacek was absent from the list. What he does go on to add? Evan says that he's not ruling out the US National Championships in January yet, but will probably wait until late December to determine his readiness. It is the beginning of September.. is Lysacek done with his tour of off-ice activities and ready to start training seriously again? As much as he says he really misses competing and he doesn't feel like it is time to retire yet, I'd be really surprised to see him competing in Greensboro.
Something that might help Lysacek ease into a return to the ice would be to bring back his Espana Cani short program that he used for four consecutive seasons. That should be long enough to rely on muscle memory, no? :-)
Speaking of the Grand Prix, host-nation Federations are filling in the final slots for skaters competing in the series. A new tactic seemed to be used this season where the top skaters (ex. Florent Amodio) weren't automatically assigned to their home-country competition right away. Rather, they were only given one assignment in hopes that amongst withdrawals, they would be replaced at another one of the six events. This would leave more options for lesser-known or unranked skaters to receive at least one event and gain international experience.
A full listing of host-nation competitor additions:
Japan: Takahahi/Tran, Reed/Reed
Canada: Jeremy Ten, Amelie Lacoste, Myriane Samson, Duhamel/Radford
China: Peitong Chen, Jialiang Wu, Bingwa Geng, Qiuying Zhu, Yu/Wang
USA: Armin Mahbanoozadeh, Alexe Gilles, Castelli/Shnapir, Kriengkrairut/Giulietti-Schmitt
Russia: Konstantin Menshov, Sofya Biryukova, Gerboldt/Enbert
France: Florent Amodio
There are also a few more spots throughout the series that are available. Yu-Na Kim's previous spot in Russia has yet to be replaced; France still has two ladies TBA's, one pair TBA (two actually, as James/Coia are listed when their partnership lasted five minutes), and one dance TBA; USA and China each have a TBA in pairs. The first event, NHK Trophy, begins seven weeks from today.
I was most impressed with Mahbanoozadeh's short program at the Liberty Open competition in July, so I'm glad to see he received Skate America. Watch how effortless the triple Axel looks, especially when you consider the steps leading into the jump!
Finally, I e-mailed the ISU via their "Contact" page several days ago, hoping to get a comment on both the Walter Toigo judging drama and the Evgeny Plushenko status while competing in the Japan Open confusion, but I, of course, have received no reply. Has anyone had luck contacting the ISU and receiving some kind of response? Please do share your secrets with me!