This week’s bombshell in the world of skating news was something of a corker, you might say. You surely know the headlines by now (paraphrased in this case):
+ Igor Shpilband Fired From Arctic Edge Ice Arena
+ Shpilband Stunned, Searches for another Michigan Rink
+ Marina Zueva (his now-former coaching partner) cites a “Conflict of Interest” on Shpilband’s Part
+ Top Two U.S. Ice Dance Teams Announce They Will Continue with Zueva
+ Skate Canada Confirms that Virtue/Moir Will Also Stay with Zueva
(Oh, and let’s not forget Vladmir Putin’s invitation for Shpilband to return to Russia... nice!)
I think many of us expected a headline like this to emerge from the Canton quarters eventually:
+ Something Had to Give: (Virtue/Moir OR Davis/White) Part Ways with Shpilband/Zueva
+ Shpilband/Zueva Require Twizzle Contest Between World Gold & Silver Medalists to Choose Who They’ll Stick With Through Sochi
+ Scott Moir Finally Challenges Top U.S. Dance Men to Parking Lot Fistfight; Winners Take Shpilband/Zueva
... OK, maybe that middle one wouldn’t happen. In any case, the reality of the situation is Zueva 3, Shpilband 0. What on earth happened?
There are certain headlines we just kind of expect over time...
+ Ottavio Cinquanta is re-elected ISU President
+ Johnny Weir Comes Out of the Closet in New Memoir
+ TV Ratings for Figure Skating are Down From 10 Years Ago
And then there are the shockers—ones that leave us wondering if we’ll ever know what really happened... even if it’s none of our business...
+ Kwan Dismisses Longtime Coach (Frank Carroll)
+ Jennifer Kirk Announces Retirement From Competitive Figure Skating
(NOTE: No, it’s not a coincidence that I’m mentioning this the week after Kirk elaborates, via her blog, on the real reasons for her untimely retirement. If you haven’t read her new writings yet, go do it now. I’ll be discussing it more on a different post.)
And of course...
+ Orser No Longer Coaching Olympic Champion Kim
From Kim’s angry Tweet at Orser to Orser’s early “reveal” of Kim’s 2011-12 program information, this particular story got ugly in a hurry.
Which is just one reason why I hope the Shpilband/Zueva fallout is somewhat merciful. A Sunday afternoon “firing” of one of the most influential names of the current ice dance world doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. But there’s still time.