The ISU has announced the Grand Prix assignments for the fall. Given that so many of these skaters will withdraw and others will be added in their place, it is difficult to make too much of them just yet. I was shocked to see Beverly Smith writing an article about Plushenko having another season in him given the Grand Prix announcement. I'll eat my words if he shows up, but Plushenko has been scheduled to have surgery this summer. What we do know is that Evan Lysacek and Joannie Rochette will definitely not be competing in the Grand Prix.
Nicole Bobek plead guilty to her role in the crystal meth distribution ring. She will be sentenced on August 5 and can face anywhere from probation to five years in prison.
My adopted daughter, Maddi Desch, finished second behind Va Zam in elite compulsories at the Bieger Elite Qualifier and wound up qualifying all the way through to the National Championships. Grace Williams, who won JOs (Maddi was 4th, 1st on UB at JOs) will have to qualify for Championships at the US Classic.
The ISU officially eliminated the compulsory dance and implemented scores of other changes. Suzanne Bonaly was a US Rep at the council summit. It is unclear to what degree he failed us.
A few things happened while I was away for a few weeks. The major story was that Sale and Pelletier divorced but decided to still skate together. This surprised approximately no one. Oddly enough, articles about their divorce included quotes about how they knew they were meant to be during their '98 tryout. For anyone who witnesses their amateur career, it was obvious that they'd never last each and every time Jamie missed yet another side-by-side jump and David screamed at her. It is likely that a cheap shot during a Love Story snowball fight may have been the last straw.
Mao Asada has chosen music for her new programs. She will be skating to Alfred Schnittke's 'Tango' for her short program and Franz Listz's 'Liebestraum' for her free skate. Mao's new jump coach is Hiroshi Nagakubo. Liebestraum will be heaven on Mao Asada and will help erase the memory of The Bells of Moscow. Tango is a welcome addition to the skating music vault.
Tony Wheeler saw Johnny Weir and others perform on Saturday. Johnny managed to reel off a few triple toes. He is a page out of the Yamaguchi book on a sustainable professional career. Tony was not pleased with famewhore manager Tara Modlin who nastily eschewed autograph seekers in order to bring Johnny to another D List autograph session where autograph seekers were forced to pay. Michelle Kwan never charged for her autograph. Frankly, these sessions are reminiscent of Tonya Harding charging $15 for her autograph. I believe that P.T. Barnum used to charge admission for their freak show ($5 for the elephant man.) A few videos were recorded.