This week: Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jean-François Ballester, a future retirement announcement, Walk of Fame inductees and the skating world gears up for the Grand Prix Final…
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Tragically, French coach Jean-François Ballester has passed away of a heart attack at age 53 after returning from an international competition held this weekend in Tallinn (Estonia). Ballester coached Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) to their Olympic gold medal in Pyeongchang this year. Our hearts go out to his family and friends, may he rest in peace.
Javier Fernandez (ESP) has confirmed that he plans to retire in 2019, with the goal of competing the European Championships at the end of January, where he will seek his seventh consecutive title. He will not be competing in Spanish Nationals, but will still skate in the exhibition gala. (source, 2, 3)
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) has confirmed that he will not compete at the Grand Prix Final this year in order to recover from the right ankle injury he sustained at Rostelecom Cup. It is expected that rehabilitation for his injury will take one month. Keegan Messing (CAN) will compete at the Grand Prix Final in his place, as first alternate. (source)
Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA) have confirmed that they will be making their season debut at the US National Figure Skating Championships in January. The dance team withdrew from both of their GP events due to Madison’s ankle injury that she sustained last season. (source)
The ITL IFP2018 team have uploaded more photos from last week’s GP. Make sure you check out our Twitter moment for more!
Sadly, ice dancers Cecilia Thorn/Jussiville Partanen (FIN) have announced their split. We wish them the best of luck in their respective future paths (source).
CS Tallinn Trophy (26-29)
Ladies - 1st: Serafima Sakhanovich (RUS) , 2nd: Ting Cui (USA), 3rd: Viveca Lindfors (FIN)
Pairs - 1st: Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer (AUT), 2nd: Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea (USA), 3rd: Jessica Calalang/Brian Johnson (USA)
Ice Dance - 1st: Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko (USA), 2nd: Anastasia Skoptcova/Kirill Aleshin (RUS), 3rd: Natalia Kaliszek/Maksym Spodyriev (POL)
Men - 1st: Maxim Kovtun (RUS), 2nd: Vincent Zhou (USA), 3rd: Anton Shulepov (RUS)
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (CAN) have been inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. Congrats on your maple leaf star! 🍁 (source)
Boyang Jin (CHN) shared some honest and confronting thoughts on this season and last in an interview with Skating China after Internationaux de France (source)
Alexandra Trusova (RUS) has uploaded a video of herself landing a 4Lz-3Lo combination in practice. This has never been attempted in international competition (source)
Check out this closing music video of the ISU Junior Grand Prix - the Junior Grand Prix Final starts soon and you can find a livestream on the official Youtube Channel.