Comings, goings and questions as coach Rafael Arutunian looks to next season

Comings, goings and questions as coach Rafael Arutunian looks to next season

LAKEWOOD, Calif. -- In an upstairs locker room at Lakewood ICE, a skating facility with three rinks 21 miles south of Los Angeles, each dressing stall has a plate above it with the name of a figure skater or coach who regularly trains or teaches there.

On a recent afternoon early in what passes for the (brief) off-season in figure skating, odds and ends of clothing lay in the dressing stalls assigned to Team USA members Nathan Chen, Ashley Wagner, Adam Rippon and Mariah Bell. Michal Březina of the Czech Republic and Romain Ponsart of France have their fair share of personal belongings in the locker room as well, as do their coaches, Rafael Arutunian and Nadia Kanaeva.

Which of those skaters will be using the stalls next season remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: there definitely will be some new ones working with the only person who has coached U.S. singles skaters to World Championships medals since 2009 - Chen's gold last month and Wagner's silver in 2016.

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Accepted by Yale, world champion Nathan Chen faces big decisions

Accepted by Yale, world champion Nathan Chen faces big decisions

Talk about your happy coincidences and good omens.

Nathan Chen swings through Hartford with Stars on Ice on Sunday, April 22, before the tour has four nights off.

Bulldog Days, the three-day information session for newly admitted Yale students, begins April 23 in New Haven -- just 40 miles away from the Connecticut capital.

So Chen will be in the right place at the right time to speak to the right people at Yale about how -- and if -- he can begin his college career with the 2018 fall semester and simultaneously continue as a competitive figure skater.

"Going to Yale next fall is the goal right now," Chen said via telephone Tuesday morning from Fort Myers, Florida, where he is rehearsing for the Stars on Ice opening show Friday night. "I am going to Bulldog Days, where I will talk about everything and try to figure things out."

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