Monday, March 21, 2011

What We Knew A Week Ago

ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2011 – ISU World Team Trophy 2011
21 Mar 2011 07:04

Since the outbreak of the crisis, the ISU was and remains in close contact with the Japan Skating Federation (JSF) who in turn did likewise with the competent Japanese authorities. After having explored all possible options to maintain the 2011 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Japan, the JSF has now informed the ISU that regretfully and reluctantly they must decline hosting the Championships in Japan. Also, the JSF agreed to the postponement of the ISU World Team Trophy initially scheduled to be held in April 2011 to be held instead in April 2012 in Japan at a place and exact dates to be agreed upon. The ISU agrees with this conclusion.

While the ISU gave priority to find a solution to keep the 2011 ISU World Figure Skating Championship in Japan, the ISU fully understands the JSF decision. As we all struggle to come to terms with the unimaginable tragedies following the monstrous earthquake of March 11, the ISU reiterates its expressions of grief and sympathy to all those affected by loss of life, injury and loss of homes. The ISU admires the resilience, strength of character and faith of the Japanese people in recovering from this tragedy.

In light of this catastrophe, the consequences on sports events and in particular the ISU World Figure Skating Championships and ISU World Team Trophy become relatively secondary. Nevertheless, it is the ISU’s duty to find the best possible solution for a possible rescheduling and relocation of the Events taking into account all points of view.

Based on spontaneous proposals from ISU Member federations received to host the Championships and possibly additional Members who might be interested and available, the ISU Council is evaluating the different options taking into account all relevant aspects and points of view. This primarily involves the tremendous logistical challenge to organize and conduct such major Event on short notice. Also, the Council cannot ignore legal and contractual constraints as well as timing conflicts with other skating or sporting events.

Considering the scope and complexity of the situation, quick evaluations and decisions were and remain extremely difficult to make and the ISU counts on the understanding of the Figure Skating community for taking a minimum but reasonable amount of time to reach conclusions in cooperation with the concerned ISU Members and entities. 

The ISU Council is conscious that a solution satisfying all points of view is probably difficult to be achieved and begs all involved for their understanding and cooperation in these truly exceptional circumstances. 

An update of the situation will be communicated in the coming days.
Ottavio Cinquanta          Fredi Schmid
President                        Director General


  1. So the World Team Trophy has been canceled, its inclusion in the Olympics has probably been put off for another cycle.

  2. First, thank you for not adding 20 random gymnastic videos to this post, AJ.

    Second, they seem to have abandoned the idea of having worlds in october. Which is great if true.

    Even if worlds are in april-may there still going to be schedule and contractual conflicts for skaters involved in shows. Which is not so great.

  3. I wonder if JSK are actively working behind the scenes to prevent South Korea, China, and Taiwan from holding Worlds? It would make sense logistically for JSK to push for Taiwan since it's so close for Japanese skaters and fans. I can understand why they wouldn't want South Korea to hold it even if South Korea could or would want to hold it. To be honest, there are still some tension between Japan and all its former colonies and nations it tried to invade, especially true between Koreans and Japanese.

    Why not just hold it in Russia? Large number of enthusiastic and knowledgeable fan base there unlike here in the U.S., not even last-minute Worlds will help FS garner new fans.

  4. What We Knew A Week Ago:
    The ISU is kissing the butt of the JSF.

  5. At this point, how many of the Japanese skaters are still in Japan?

  6. International Stupid Union
    Japan $ Federation
    It was so amazing.

  7. @Anon 4:31PM - I think they did consider Korea at one point and I think Korea declined. As for Taiwan, did you see the turnout for some of the events at 4CC? Tons of seats went unfilled. There is almost zero interest in figure skating there.

    As well, as much as we can ramble about the tensions between Japan and its former colonies, they only really appear in ultra-nationalist movements triggered by some sort of offensive event. In terms of the economy, Japan is one of Korea, China and Taiwan's biggest investors. As much as they CAN hate each other, they can't deny that their economies are inextricably linked and the scope of their nationalistic/anti-Japan sentiments can only be limited to small-scale property damage, a temporary boycott of Japanese products and riots.

  8. Yes, it was so funny.
    Cinquanta was outspoken.

  9. Cinquanta said,"You can't always listen to the skaters. Some are even minors.”
    What the hell does that mean, 'minors'?

  10. rinksidecafe, what you said is very true. But what is also true is that sports and sporting events are exactly where these so-called old tensions rear their ugly heads. It's actually incredible that these Asian economic powerhouses and their people are able to get along so well. I mean, Japanese are crazy for Korean popstars and pop music, Taiwanese people of ALL ages absolutely loooove the Japanese and Japanese culture, and Chinese tourism to Japan are at highest level.

    That said, all the old animosities and prejudices come to the forefront during sporting competitions between Japan and its former enemies. It always makes for interesting viewing during Asian Games, especially team comps like baseball. I'm talking not only about actual games but also invariably the fallout or aftermath when the games ended. My Taiwanese grandfather is perfect example of this mindset. He speaks Japanese, respects the Japanese and its culture, and in fact considered himself Japanese citizen at one point since Taiwan was a Japanese colony for about 50 years.

    But whenever the national baseball teams (Japan and Taiwan) play each other, my grandfather and his friends suddenly become rabid Taiwanese nationalists. Then after the storm calms, he goes back to saying nice things about Japan. I have a feeling it's like that in Korea and Japan as well. It's really funny how sports, history, and politics are linked whether we want to admit it or not.

  11. "What We Knew A Week Ago"
    Really? We knew a week ago that the ISU would make a reasonable decision?