And as soon as I’m about to say “It’s time to get back to business,” there’s some skate-breaking news of the U.S. variety: Belbin & Agosto have withdrawn from Nationals. The back injury of Agosto’s that forced them to withdraw from GP Finals last month has prompted the withdrawal; they simply say it needs more time to heal.
And if that news isn’t telling enough of Davis & White’s chances to claim the title this year, check out this article from the L.A. Times about the Belbin/Agosto withdrawal… which, at least at the time I’m looking at it, clearly can’t tell B/A apart from D/W. (Come on, LA Times… I know skating isn’t getting the press it used to, but couldn’t a major newspaper like you do a tiny bit more research?)
Over in Cleveland, folks are getting ready to welcome the U.S. figure skating community to town as those 2009 U.S. Nationals take place later this month at the Quicken Loans Arena. For any of you that might be traveling to Cleveland for this event yourselves, take note of the Ought Nine Nationals blog, which is chock full of info to help get you in, out, and around the Cleveland area in as enjoyable a manner as possible. Recent entries include information about discounts for “locals”, copious restaurant information, and fun polls (such as voting for your favorite “beef” about attending Nationals, with categories from “Draconian camera policies” to “Arena food” to “Casual fans behaving badly”… heh heh).
Even if you have no plans to attend (yeah, me neither… sigh), you might want to check the site out. Especially if you’re jonesing to vote on who’s going to win—the polls are already open over there!
To get you in the mood for more Nationals stuff, here’s a clip of the day that features Mirai Nagasu’s gold-medal free skate from last year.