Saturday, May 21, 2016

Summary of My Experience Writing About Skating for About.com



On September 16 2005, my husband Dan was in a horrible accident.  The accident was so severe, that I was told he would not survive, but he did miraculously recover.  My life changed forever on September 16, 2005.

During a time of my life that seemed surreal, I began looking for ways to help ends meet by using my writing skills.  I had been told by Susi Wehrli-McLaughlin (Director of Basic Skills at US Figure Skating at the time and now US Figure Skating's Senior Director of Membership), that "words about skating just flowed out of me," so during the time that Susi asked me to do some writing for US Figure Skating's Basic Skills Parents webpage, I stumbled on an advertisement from About.com that announced that the then owned New York Times Company was seeking a "Figure Skating Guide" and editor.

Application Process and Training:

When I read what was required for the "job," I knew it fit me like a glove.  I was familiar with About.com because I'd been in contact with former About.com's Inline Skating Guide Kathie Fry and also with About.com's former Figure Skating Guide Paula Slater for several years.

I applied sometime in March or April of 2006 and soon was told that I would compete against others in May for the position.  I knew my extensive knowledge of skating and my passion for the sport would make it impossible for me to not be seriously considered by About.com and was determined to become About.com's Figure Skating Guide and expert.

The two week trial process and "competition" began sometime in June of 2006.

For two weeks, I created a sample About.com Figure Skating site from scratch.  My mentor at the time, About.com editor and trainer, Madeleine Burry, was so supportive!  She gave me suggestions on what to write, and also gave me corrections and editing help.

Before I knew it, in that two week period, I had created a "masterpiece" that included a complete figure skating glossary, a blog, and links to articles on famous skaters, how to purchase skates and equipment, how to get started at figure skating, ice skating techniques, coaching, etc.

I was told that what I created would go live if I was selected as About.com's Guide to Figure Skating and that I'd get paid for those two weeks of work if I was selected.

JO ANN Schneider Farris - About.com's Figure Skating Guide!:

Only a day or two after that "trial period," I received the happy news that, yes, I was going to be About.com's new Figure Skating Guide!  Of course, I was totally thrilled!

I was told the day I was chosen to just keep working and adding content to what would be the live About.com Figure Skating site until the target date of going "live" happened which was July 15, 2006.

July 15, 2006 arrived.  I will never forget how happy I was on that day.  It was a Friday, I recall. Immediately, I edited my first Figure Skating Newsletter on that day and set my Newsletters to go out to my readers every Tuesday.

Wow!  Was I excited.  One of the favorite pieces I wrote at the time was about child ice skating show star and now skating coach Janet Champion.  I couldn't wait to give Janet and other people in figure skating I knew the credit they deserved!

Once my site "went live," I was so, so happy!  It seemed like I literally "ran and rushed to the computer" each day, at every free moment, to create About.com Figure Skating content.  I wanted the world to enjoy my extensive knowledge of skating and put my heart and soul into everything I wrote for About.com!  There were times when I wrote articles from morning to night.  (My poor kids and husband wondered what had happened to Mommy, but were also so happy for me.)

JO ANN's Early About.com Guide Days Were So Fun!:

Caryn Solly was the "New Guides Editor" at the time.  Every morning, I'd receive emails from her to a group of "newbies" and that group seemed like a supportive family.  All of us (there were probably 15 new Guides in July of 2006) wanted so much to make our sites the best on the internet.

At the time, in 2006, there was no Facebook or Twitter or anything really, so what I wrote about skating was totally unique.  There were a couple other figure skating websites, but none included original content that I just kept adding to.

Top of the Internet!

I was in "total heaven" when I saw my articles at the top of Google searches!  Friends and coaches at the rink would approach me and thank me for writing about them and skating parents would approach me and tell me they regularly read all my articles.  Wow!

When Olympic figure skating Silver Medalist Paul Wylie came to the Colorado Springs World Arena to mentor US national champion Jeremy Abbott, Paul immediately told me he was one of my fans.  World pair skating champion Tai Babilonia told me the same thing!  I was so, so honored to hear their comments.

By 2010, I had quite an audience and following and had built up so much confidence as a journalist. I'd interviewed many famous skaters and seemed to discover that I had a wealth of knowledge about the sport of figure skating that really did flow out of me!   My page views hit the thousands and just kept growing!

JO ANN Goes to the Olympics!:

When I was asked by the Sports Editor of About.com, Fred Meyer, to represent About.com at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I was determined to go even though I did not really have a lot of money to travel.  All seemed to come together though, and off I went to Vancouver with my daughter Annabelle.

After that Olympics, I returned home to Colorado.  One day, I casually looked at my page views in early March of 2010, and I hit over 4 MILLION PAGE VIEWS for the month of February during the 2010 Olympics!  I was paid by About.com based on my page views, so wow, that was a big check!  (I felt like I just won the lottery!)

I put the money I earned at that Olympics to go towards funding a trip to Sochi in 2014, but unfortuatelly, I was not ever able to get that many page views again, so I was not able to represent About.com again at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Page Views Drop - Am I On Probation?:

Sadly, staff at About.com may have changed that did not know me.  The newer staff did not have a memory of how hard I had worked to build the figure skating site up from nothing.

About a year after the 2010 Olympics, I recall receiving an email that said my page views were dropping and that my site was "under evaluation."  I tried to explain that figure skating has "two weeks of plenty" followed by four years of famine," but I'm not sure if those looking at "site metrics" ever really understood that.

Even though my site may have been "watched," and I may have been in "danger of being let go" I just kept writing and writing about skating for About.com.   I was sad that I was no longer a "hero" in the eyes of About.com's management team, but still, I was determined more than ever to not allow people that did not really understand skating to take away the joy I had when I wrote about the sport.

Monthly Requirements:

I am not sure exactly when requirements changed or when yearly contracts were implemented, but probably about four or five years ago, I remember getting communication that at least six to eight articles a month that averaged 600 words was required.  Blogging  to promote each article was in the contract too.  

Originally, I recall, when I was "hired" in 2006, I just had to write a good piece of Evergreen (content that does not ever get outdated) every two weeks and blog one to three times a week.  Weekly Newsletters had to be edited each week.  I never missed editing an About.com Figure Skating Newsletter in my 10 years writing for About.com.

I always wrote "way more" than was required and found it hard to stop writing about skating when I was on vacation, and it was common to find me working even on Sunday nights!  Rarely did I go to bed without finishing up articles.

I loved About.com's recommedation of embedding links to my own content, so after completely an article, I almost always spent another hour adding links that would keep my readers reading my content.  I never thought about making money, I just wanted my content read since I enjoyed writing about skating so very much!

Attened New York City's About.com Events:

I waited and waited for an About.com Guide Event to come to Colorado, but that never happened, so finally in 2013, I decided to take the trip to New York City to attend my first About.com Guide Event.  I was so nervous too!  I knew so many people through their computer personas, but going to a conference and seeing these people face to face in New York City seemed almost frightening to a "Colorado girl."

The best part of attending the About.com events then in 2013, and also in 2014 and 2015, was the face to face and personal contact I made with others who worked for and wrote for About.com.  It also made me so proud to be associated with a website whose headquarters were right under the ball in Times Square in New York City!  At the 2013 About.com Guide Event, we were told we were now called "Experts" instead of Guides.

I Loved Writing About Figure Skating!:

Anyway, as the years passed, the "blessings" of being About.com's Figure Skating Expert were more than I could have ever imagined.  I've interviewed Olympic figure skating champions and medalists and ice show stars.  I was treated "like royalty" by Stars On Ice and by the new World Figure Association when the inaugural World Figure Championship took place in Lake Placid, USA, in August of 2015.  I have made skating friends from all over the world and I have been determined that everything I write helps promote the sport I love so much.  I have been told that I changed certain skaters' lives!

All Good Things Come to an End:

In late April, 2016, when About.com launched VeryWell.com, a new "vertical" that highlights About.com's medical content, I noticed that there seemed to be "no room" for one person writing about any one topic.  Yes, the authors were credited for their work, but the original About.com model of "one expert writing about one topic" was gone!

"Gulp...I thought."  I wondered if my topic, Figure Skating, would survive, since it just seemed like sports would not fit in with About.com's new focus.

My About.com yearly contract was always usually renewed at the last minute, in June, about a month before July 1 of each year, so I sort of put a idea in my head that I may receive bad news in June 2016.

Then, what is called "Black Tuesday," by many former Guide-Experts, I, and what seems perhaps to be about 100 others, received an email that our subject would no longer be included on the About.com network.  Immediately we all discovered on May 10, 2016 that we were unable to get back into the software which was so sad for me and others since it would have been nice to be given a couple weeks of notice to make last minute edits or improve photos, etc.

The suddeness of being "locked out" and "fired" was and is a shock for many.  Some About.com Guide-Experts had written for About.com for 17 or 18 years, from the very beginning when the company was called The Mining Company.

10 Years at the Same "Job" - A Record for JO ANN:

Writing for About.com was the "longest job" I've ever stayed with.  I may have stayed with About.com for another 10 to 20 years, if I'd been allowed to stay.  I love writing and About.com gave me the platform I needed to share my passion.

I even kept About.com's Inline Skating blog for a period during the time that the company was "between" Guides for Inline Skating. Later, I was delighted to become online friends with Carlesa Williams, who took over About.com's Inline Skating site.  Sadly, Carlesa informed me that the topic of Inline Skating was discontinued by About.com near the end of 2014.  Every year, around the winter holidays, Carlesa would call me and we'd chat about the work we did for About.com.  She too, was passionate about skating!

About.com gave me the incentive to write for other websites.  For a time, I had a regular Figure Skating 101 column on icenetwork.com and I wrote articles for Rainbo Sports.  My autobiography, the ebook version of My Skating Life: About My Fifty Plus Years of Skating includes links to at least 100 of my About.com Figure Skating articles.  I continue to contribute to Examiner.com.

I Will Keep Writing:

At this time, I'm not sure I want to continue writing for financial profit, but I will always be writing something!  Thanks to About.com, I think I've written at least two to three thousand skating articles!

I do know my goal is to make sure my 10 years of figure skating articles that were and are still on About.com Figure Skating continue to be available for those interested in the sport.  Some of that content has been redirected, but fortunately, much of About.com Figure Skating is archived on the Internet Wayback Machine which makes me so glad that all my work will not completely disappear.

Anyway...Thank You!:

Thank you to my readers, family, and friends for being so supportive and thank you for appreciating all the work I have done through my writing about skating!

Happy Skating!

JO ANN Schneider Farris
May 21, 2016

Further Reading:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Reunion With Morry and Elda Stillwell! Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Today, 5-17-16, my dad and I reunioned with Morry and Elda Stillwell!

Morry is a past president of US Figure Skating and a national figure skating judge. Elda is a national figure skating accountant.

Their daughter Lisa Stillwell was also a high level skater and is one of the biggest fans of my book, MY SKATING LIFE: About My Fifty Plus of Skating and Morry wrote the Foreword to my book!

We have known the Stillwells since the mid 1960s. And...they are a HUGE PART OF MY SKATING LIFE and my family's skating life! What an incredible day it was!

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

My son Joel made it through another year of ice and snow and sun too!

My son, Joel did it!  AGAIN!

He's just completed his second year of the Disney On Ice Frozen tour!  This second year of touring was much "warmer" than the year before since the tour mostly was on the west coast of the USA. The latter part of the tour went east again and the last show was on Sunday, May 15, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Next Frozen will tour Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.  Joel has to be in Japan on June 27 to begin rehearsals and this third tour ends on August 20, 2017.



Joel tells me he has skated and performed in 877 ice shows since he left home on July 21, 2014.  During this second season, he made a wonderful group of friends with some of the cast members and the kids did a lot of fun things together, including sky diving, skiing, pool parties, going to shows together, skate boarding, and just sitting on the beach.

The Disney On Ice: Frozen show was and is so popular that he and the cast and crew worked so hard and traveled and traveled and skated and skated and made thousands of people happy!

Our whole family is so proud of you Joel! "You made it AGAIN through the snow, rain, sun, and ice!"

 "You made it through the rain (and ice), and found yourself respected by the others who got rained on, too, and made it through..." 

Can you imagine hearing and skating to "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" and "Let It Go" more than 877 times!??

Way to go, Joel and way to go to the entire Disney On Ice Frozen cast! You are all "my heroes!"

 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Great News - JO ANN's New Skating Website Coming Soon!


Good and Wonderful and GREAT News! It looks I will be launching my own Figure Skating website in a week or so.

Out of the blue, a wonderful ( and anonymous) skating and Facebook friend contacted me today and asked me if I wanted to write about skating on my own website!

This person is funding the project and doing all the work. All I have to do is write about skating!

And....as you all know, I love to write about skating! How very cool is that??!!!!

I CAN'T Wait!

So...

Every person, skating product, and/or skating story that I wrote about in the past 10 years will be re-written and will be LIVE and available for the entire world to read. Yay!

And.... many more skating articles by JO ANN Schneider Farris will be written and published in the future!

HAPPY SKATING!


Friday, May 13, 2016

Highlights of 10 Years of Writing About Figure Skating – 2006 to 2016



On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, I was informed that the topic of Figure Skating would no longer be part of the About.com network due to a mass restructuring of the About.com website. 

Figure Skating is one of many subjects that will be discontinued, but I am hoping that the hundreds of articles I wrote in my 10 years with About.com will still be live and available for those who want to learn about the sport I know so much about.

It was sad for me to hear the news from About.com, since I began my journey as About.com’s Figure Skating Expert in June of 2006 and it has been a wonderful, productive, and rewarding 10 years!  I have enjoyed writing for About.com so very much and I’ve met so many wonderful people in our sport because of this writing adventure. 

Anyway…

I’ve decided to list some of the favorite articles I’ve produced so that those interested in figure skating can travel with me on what I consider to be a wonderful writing and skating adventure!

Enjoy my list which is below.

Happy Skating!
May 13, 2016

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Figure Skaters -  technotr – E+ Collection / Getty Images

The figure skating world is certainly a “crazy world.”   I joke about this sometimes, but the figure skating world is somewhatlike Harry Potter’s world since figure skaters live in the “usual places” and look just like everyone else, but sort of exist in a parallel existence!  And…figure skaters are linked in some unusual and magical-like way.  (They even have their own lingo!)  Family and friends may ask, "Why are you doing so much skating?"

Harry Potter can’t fit into the "normal" world and the same goes for those involved with figure skating.  A skater's parents sometimes have two or three jobs so they can financially support a child's figure skating dream.  They put off retirement.  Family dinners around a table rarely happen. 

Adults that ice skate are not understood in the “real world” since they may skip eating lunch to skate during their lunch hour.  There is no doubt that every figure skater’s life is “very different.”

Below are 10 things that you may not know about the figure skating world that I discuss in Ten Things You May Not Know About The World of Figure Skating:


  • Almost all figure skating coaches are self-employed
  • Competitive figure skaters give up a “normal life.”
  • Figure skating competitions and skating tests are very stressful.
  • Male pair skaters and male ice dancers are sometimes “bought” by female skating partners.
  • Some figure skating parents are like “dance moms.”
  • Gossip and bullying may go on behind the scenes.
  • Cults and the figure skating world have some things in common.
  • Figure skating is very, very expensive.
  • Figure skating takes more time than other competitive sports.
  • Ice skating show skating or professional skating careers may replace or delay college. 


  • A Young Ice Skater -  Westend61 / Getty Images
    An accomplished elite figure skater and skating coach asked me to put together an article about how much a figure skater needs to skate and train that also explained how much money would be needed to pay for every level of a skater’s training. 

    It is shocking to hear about how very expensive figure skating is and how much time it takes, but this piece has been one of the most widely read articles ever!  (In the first week it was published, I believe it was read over 6,000 times!)

    The cost of ice skating for beginning ice skaters is reasonable and manageable, but parents of serious figure skaters can expect to spend at least $20,000 a year on figure skating, but may spend much more.


    Ice Skating Is Fun!  -  Jo Ann Schneider Farris Personal Skating Photo Collection
    The average length of a “figure skating life” is about 10 to 15 years, but I’ve skated much longer since I have skated for over 50 years!   My own story, My Skating Life: Fifty Plus Years of Skating, tells how I began to ice skate as a young child and how I became a double-gold medalist and competed and medaled at the national level.  I went on to become a skating coach and passed on my love of the sport to others including my own three children.   And… as About.com’s Figure Skating Expert, I had incredible skating adventures since I met so many people that love our sport as much as I do.  I especially enjoyed meeting and interviewing Olympic figure skating champions and the stars of ice skating shows!



    Jo Ann Schneider Farris Skating With Her Daughter Rebekah 1998 – Schneider-Farris Family Personal Skating Photos

    Are you a figure skating parent?  Are you prepared to give up a “normal life” and spend hours and hours in an ice rink, do a lot of driving, and spend a lot of money?  Then, the job of being a skating parent may be right for you! 

    My own three children became accomplished figure skaters and US Figure Skating Gold Medalists.  (My two daughters earned multiple gold medals in fact!  And…my son went on to perform professionally in Disney On Ice: Frozen.)  I loved every minute of being a figure skating parent!   

    Parents from all over the world who have read my article on how to be a figure skating parent tell me much of the time that they really don’t want to know “what they are getting into,” since my article warns them of the commitment (and money) involved, but they are also glad to know that all parents who have children who skate seriously love their kids very, very much! 


    Olympic Figure Skating – Matthew Stockman / Staff / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

    I went to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver as a member of the media.  Before that Olympics, I began writing articles about Olympic figure skating and put that content in one place so it would be easy for my readers to learn everything about the sport. 

    The most popular of my Olympic figure skating content is a list of the most famous Olympic women figure skaters in ice skating history since women’s figure skating is the highlight of every Winter Olympic Games.


    Disney On Ice: Frozen – Photo Courtesy of Feld Media

    The 10 bits of figure skating trivia I list in 10 Figure Skating Trivia Facts  are just a few interesting tidbits about figure skating.  There are many more.

    Did you know that before Sonja Henie appeared in the figure skating world, female ice skaters wore black figure skates? She was the skater that introduced the idea that women and girls should wear white ice skating boots.

    And….did you know that figures are not really a part of figure skating anymore?

    Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Olympic Winter Games – Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

    The Tonya-Nancy figure skating scandal could be the most bizarre story in figure skating history since that saga involved lying, cheating, the FBI, and even a get away car and a hit man!  It really did happen!  In my “Step-By-Step Tour Through the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan Saga,” I take the reader through the highlights of what should be a fictional movie, but was and is very real.

    Jersey On Ice – Photo Courtesy The Learning Channel

    The ice skating reality show, Jersey On Ice, featured three coaches in New Jersey.  The show aired on The Learning Channel on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. After the pilot, the figure skating world was in uproar.

    I was in a minority since I really enjoyed the pilot television show!  Although the skaters were not high level figure skaters and the coaches seemed to not act “perfectly,” what I saw was somewhat realistic. 

    Also, what was not shown in the TV pilot was the incredible “journey” of one of the coaches featured.  Figure skating coach Deana Sroka had begun a weight loss journey.  Later, I wrote an article about Deana Sroka since she lost over 200 pounds!  In 2016 Deana triumphed even more when she competed and qualified for the US Adult National Figure Skating Championships.  Her daughter, Valerie, competed and qualified for the US National Figure Skating Championships in 2016, so that meant that both a mother and daughter qualified for the US Championships during the same year! 

    Christian Hendricks – Personal Photo
    I have been told that my writing changed a figure skater’s life!

    As a competitive figure skater, Christian Hendricks competed nationally and went on to be a successful ice show skating star. Tragedy struck his life in 1993 when Hendricks found out he was HIV Positive, and in 2009, “full-blown AIDS” took over his body.

    Hendricks had been very sick.   Before the inaugural 2015 World Figure Championship which took place in Lake Placid, New York, he’d been confined to a wheelchair.  He was told he’d never walk again.

    Then something magical happened!  Christian Hendricks was invited to compete in the 2015 World Figure Championship and somehow was able to get out of his wheelchair and back into his skates.  

    When I heard about Christian Hendricks’ determination, I interviewed him and I put together an article called World Figure Championship Gives an AIDS Sufferer Hope: Figure Skating Returns to Christian Hendricks Life. That article helped Christian get enough financial donations which made it possible for him to compete and he told me that I helped change his life!

    Figure Skating Helps Hockey Players. Hero Images / Hero Images Collection / Getty Images

    In 1998, the US Women’s Ice Hockey Team won gold at the Winter Olympics.  After their win, I decided it was time for me to learn about ice hockey and give skating in hockey skates a try. 

    I was surprised.  It was so easy for me, a figure skater, to skate in hockey skates.  I began fooling around on my hockey skates and came up with a very extensive list of drills that I have used to help hockey players learn to skate and gain power. 

    Of course, I enjoy fooling around with my son, Joel, (who is a hockey player and also a figure skater) at Sticks and Pucks sessions.   All figure skaters should try skating in hockey skates, but hockey players should know that figure skating skills help hockey.   Enjoy my list of ice hockey skating skill secrets!

    Jo Ann Schneider Farris Personal Skating Photo Collection

    I have signed every weekly Figure Skating Newsletter that I’ve written for the past 10 years with “Happy Skating!”  My goal was to share my knowledge and love of our wonderful sport with the entire world and I believe I’ve succeeded.  

    I received the following letter from one of my readers in 2015:

    “Hi Jo Ann, I'm happy you write so many articles about figure skating! No one else does. I can never find much about ice skating in the book stores. You address it all! Keep up your good work. I can no longer skate, but still enjoy learning about it through all that you write! Thank you!” – Joanne Dillon Coyle

    The above thank you letter showed me that my goal of spreading the happiness of skating through my writing and extensive knowledge of “all things skating” has certainly been met!

    I’ve made hundreds of skating friends through social media, and I invite you, the reader, to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest.  Also check out my personal skating blog or email me at joannfarris@yahoo.com

    Happy Skating!

    Further Reading:

    Thursday, May 12, 2016

    Remembering JO ANN's Figure Skating Blog

    Here's a link and copies of some of the posts of the memories of the figure skating blog that I kept from June of 2006 through April, 2011.

    Figure Skating

    By Jo Ann Schneider Farris,

    I guess if you want to win a medal at Worlds in ice dancing you need to move to Michigan...

    Saturday April 30, 2011

    2011 World Ice Dance Medalists

    April 30, 2011 will be remembered as the  day when the ice dancing students of Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband swept the podium at the World Figure Skating Championships!  I guess if you want to win a medal at Worlds in ice dancing you need to move to Michigan...
    Michigan Figure Skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Coaches Marina Zueva and Igor Shpilband, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani Sweep the Ice Dance Podium At the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships - Photo by Alexander Nemenov/Getty Images
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    Were the Germans the Only Pair Team at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships That Entertained?

    Thursday April 28, 2011
    Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy - 2011 World Pair Skating Champions
    As I watched pair after pair compete as I tuned into icenetwork for the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships, I kept thinking to myself that what I was watching was great, but not entertaining.
    (Believe it or not, I missed the commentary!  I didn't realize, until today, that commentary helps viewers enjoy an ice skating event by bringing drama to a competition. )
    Then...
    The German pair team, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, took to the ice.  They were dressed in bright hot pink and blue costumes and skated to The Pink Panther.  They made interesting "faces" and gestures, and they danced as they performed.   They did more than the usual pair skating moves such as throw triple jumps, twist lifts,  death spirals, pair spins, and incredible pair skating lifts.
    I think the German pair team's example needs to be followed by all figure skaters.  Our sport should not just be about the technical; otherwise,  there will be less and less figure skating fans watching skating events.
    What are your thoughts on this issue?  Is it just my opinion, or was the pair skating at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships kind of boring?
    2011 World Pair Skating Champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy  - Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/Getty Images
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    Photo of the Week: Patrick Chan of Canada Wins the Men's Short Program At the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships

    Wednesday April 27, 2011
    Patrick Chan of Canada Wins the Men's Short Program At the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships
    Patrick Chan of Canada Wins the Men's Short Program At the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships - Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/Getty Images

    Check Out the World Figure Skating Championships On Universal Sports Television

    Monday April 25, 2011
    Mao Asada's Wining Performance At the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships Was Shown On Universal Sports
    I wish I had unlimited funds and time so I could be at this year's World Figure Skating Championships that is taking place in Russia, but I can at least get a bit of a feel for what it is like to be there through Universal Sports.  For only $9.95, viewers can see the entire event live and on demand.  Also, those who have Universal Sports cable television can watch the event from the comfort of their couch and on TV!   Today I got to see Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-Na practice her short program via Universal Sports!
    Watch the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships On Universal Sports Television - All Times Eastern - Schedule Subject to Change
    • Wednesday, April 27, 2011 6 pm  Men's short program, pairs short program
    • Thursday, April 28, 2011 6 pm Men's free skate
    • Thursday, April 28, 2011 8 pm Pairs free skate
    • Thursday, April 29, 2011 6 pm Ladies' short program, Ice Dance short dance
    • Friday, April 30, 2011 6 pm Ladies' free skate
    • Friday, April 30, 2011 8 pm Ice Dance free dance
    Mao Asada's Wining Performance At the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships Was Shown On Universal Sports - Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
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    Easter and Skating Go Together!

    Sunday April 24, 2011
    Ice Skating With the Easter Bunny
    Happy Easter!  Many ice and roller rinks hold special events related to the holiday.  What could be better than skating with the Easter Bunny?  Also, since Easter should be a day of happiness, it is a perfect time to watch inspiring figure skating performances. Happy Skating and have a wonderful holiday!
    Ice Skating With the Easter Bunny - Photo by Carlos T. Miranda/Pantagraph.com
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    Icenetwork and Universal Sports Will Broadcast the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships

    Friday April 22, 2011
    Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin, Competitors, 2011 World Figure Skating Championships
    Icenetwork subscribers can watch the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships via a special event subscription fee of $4.95; non-subscribers can watch for $9.95. Also, Universal Sports is streaming live coverage of the 2011 World Championships for $9.95.
    I've received several emails from figure skating fans who are disappointed that "Worlds" will not be shown on television, but I'm glad we get to see the event at all!

    icenetwork.com LIVE broadcast schedule (subject to change)

    All times Eastern
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011
    5:30 a.m.: Men's short program
    10:45 a.m.: Opening ceremonies
    11:30 a.m.: Pairs short program
    Thursday, April 28, 2011
    5:00 a.m.: Men's free skate
    10:00 a.m.: Pairs free skate
    Friday, April 29, 2011
    5:30 a.m.: Ladies short program
    10:30 a.m.: Short dance
    Saturday, April 30, 2011
    5:30 a.m.: Ladies free skate
    10:30 a.m.: Free dance
    Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin, Competitors, 2011 World Figure Skating Championships - Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
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    Photo of the Week: Kitty and Peter Carruthers - 1984 Olympic Pair Skating Silver Medalists

    Wednesday April 20, 2011
    Kitty and Peter Carruthers - 1984 Olympic Pair Skating Silver Medalists
    Kitty and Peter Carruthers - 1984 Olympic Pair Skating Silver Medalists - Getty Images

    An Ice Skater's Ten Commandments

    Monday April 18, 2011
    The Ten Commandments for Figure Skating Parents
    Today, I wrote the central part of what could be a included in a figure skater's bible: Ten Commandments for Figure Skaters.  If you follow these guidelines, you will not only succeed in figure skating, but you'll succeed in what you do in your life.
    The Ten Commandments for Figure Skaters - Courtesy Professional Skaters Association
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    Figure Skating Inventor Nick Perna Invents a New Jump - The Baxel!

    Sunday April 17, 2011
    Nick Perna is a figure skating inventor.   He has recently invented the Baxel jump.   It is essentially a backwards Axel jump. The jump takes off from a back outside edge, rotates one and a half revolutions, and lands on a the opposite foot's forward outside edge.
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    The Platter Pair Skating Lift Is a Cool Figure Skating Move!

    Saturday April 16, 2011
    Platter Lift
    The platter lift looks scary, but....if a girl is lifted by a strong guy who is a good skater, not only is the lift fun, but spectacular!
    Platter Lift - Photo by David Madison/Getty Images
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