5 June 2012

The Canton Gate continues

Figure Skating From The Boards
In case you missed it, the Arctic Club of Canton gave the boot to Igor Shpilband while his coaching partner, Marina Zoueva, will continue to coach there.

U.S. Figure Skating announced today that Davis and White along with the Shibutanis intend to continue training under Zoueva. Virtue and Moir have yet to make a comment about the situation.

"Our experience with Igor has been very rewarding," Alex Shibutani said. "He is a great coach, and we appreciate everything he has done for us."

“After a long and rewarding partnership with Igor Shpilband, we hold the firm conviction that Igor’s expertise and investment in our career have been integral to our success,” Davis said. “We will have nothing but fond memories and sincere appreciation for our time with Igor.”

Harry How/Getty Images
Davis and White's decision in particular seems surprising as they have seemed closer to Shpilband over the years. However, it's safer for the top pair to stay at their current rink, since it's not sure how quickly Shpilband will be able to find a new rink.

On Sunday night, Jacqui White, Charlie’s mother, posted a comment on the Free Press Facebook page in response to a comment from a reader who had called the Canton dance teams “spoiled brats”: “...I’m afraid you don’t know what you are talking about. This wasn’t initiated by the skaters, they are obviously only trying to hang on by the skin of their teeth to continue training while the coaches battle to the death and when convenient, use them as pawns in the fight. This is an old story of ‘who has control,’ where egos come into play and team cooperation erodes. The skaters in this scenario are not brats, but victims caught in the crossfire.”

The Russian sports website allsport.info.ru reported that Valentin Piseev, president of the Russian federation, would welcome Shpilband: “We are pleased to accept and give him everything in working conditions.” But it seems that Shpilband said that he wanted to remain in Michigan.

With the Sochi Olympics just two years away, how the coaches are able to handle the transition and provide consistency for the skaters will be essential.

Sources: Detroit Free Press and Icenetwork.com

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