With time on her side, Alina Zagitova, a young woman vibrant in red, catches' judges fancy

With time on her side, Alina Zagitova, a young woman vibrant in red, catches' judges fancy

As the Olympic figure skating season moves into the national championship phase, a few more observations about the Grand Prix season and Grand Prix Final:

1.  All you Alina Zagitova detractors (that includes you, CBC) aren’t going to like this: the new Grand Prix Final winner, age 15, looks better every time I see her.

Part of it owes to the costuming and free skate program pattern that emphasize her strengths, which are jumps.

The vibrant red in the tutu-qua-dress and long gloves Zagitova wears grabs the eye, says she is portraying a ballerina and limns her movement so beautifully it is easy to forget she does no jumps in the first half of the four-minute free skate to the Russian ballet classic, “Don Quixote.”  And while I hope the rules are changed to eliminate such 100 percent back loading, who can fault her coaches for taking advantage of the point bonus that comes with those jumps?

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ISU warns Skate Canada for potentially "damaging" appearance of gift linked to its star ice dancer, Tessa Virtue

ISU warns Skate Canada for potentially "damaging" appearance of gift linked to its star ice dancer, Tessa Virtue

The International Skating Union has called Canada’s figure skating federation on the carpet for its decision to give earrings from a jewelry line created by Canadian ice dance champion Tessa Virtue as welcome gifts to skaters, judges and other officials at the Grand Prix event in Regina, Saskkatchwan last month.

The ISU’s action was prompted by a Nov. 10, 2017 Globetrotting post headlined, “Did Skate Canada lose virtue with gift pushing star skater’s brand?”

In a letter to ISU members and office holders dated Wednesday, Nov. 29, the international federation said it had sent the Canadian federation, Skate Canada, “a warning and request to abstain from similar initiatives in the future.”

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Did Skate Canada lose virtue with gift pushing star skater's brand?

Did Skate Canada lose virtue with gift pushing star skater's brand?

It is customary for skaters, judges and other officials to receive a welcome gift from the organizers of Grand Prix figure skating competitions.

But a gift provided at Skate Canada, the International Skating Union Grand Prix series event last month in Regina, Saskatchewan, has raised ethical questions.

The gift, presented by the Canadian figure skating federation, was a pair of crystal earrings from the Regina-based company that manufactures and markets a jewelry line created by ice dancer Tessa Virtue, who, with partner Scott Moir, is reigning world champion and a favorite to win the Olympic gold medal next February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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