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Figure Skating Updates

With the Olympics quickly approaching, I thought I would give you some updates on your favorite figure skaters.

Swiss skater Stephane Lambiel is attempting a comeback after being away from the sport for one season. In December, he won his ninth Swiss title. Though he struggled with his quad-toe and didn’t attempt a triple-axel, he has improved greatly since the Nebelhorn Trophy at the beginning of the season. He also won that event, but didn’t look nearly as solid. In the Swiss Championships, Lambiel received 83.91 pts in the short and 160.32 in the long program, which gave him 244.23 pts overall.

According to reports, Aliona Savchenko, who is one-half of the German favorite pairs team along with her partner Robin Szolkowy, is suffering from mononucleosis. Due to her illness, the duo may not appear in the European Championships, which are set to begin on Jan. 18. The reigning two-time world pairs champions won the last three European Championships.

French skater Brian Joubert is expected to return at the European Championships now that he has recovered from an injury to his foot that required surgery. Joubert, who won the NHK Trophy in Japan, was not able to compete in the Grand Prix Final because of his injury, but his coach insists that he is steadily improving and should be adequately prepared for the Olympics.

There may be more competition for Kim Yu-Na as her rival Mao Asada skated fantastically to win her fourth straight Japanese national title. Asada, who has struggled with her triple-axel all season, perfectly landed the jump in the free skate and later found herself at the top of the podium for the first time all season. Joining Asada in the Olympics will he Akiko Suzuki and Miki Ando.

Reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko not only recently won the Russian national title, but he did it with record marks. He won his eighth national championships with a score of 171.50 in the free skate and a score of 271.59 overall.

Russian ice dancing duo Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin are the reigning world champions, but after Shabalin sustained a knee injury, they were unable to compete for the bulk of the season. They debuted their interesting “Aboriginal” themed original dance, but they didn’t seem to have the crispness and fluidity that we have all become accustomed to seeing from them. Though they easily won the event, they skated very slowly and Shabalin struggled with his twizzles. Their free dance wasn’t any better and I would actually say that it was boring, which is not a term that I have ever previously used to describe their skating. They will be lucky if they make the podium in Vancouver.

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