Who is Alexander Uspenski?
As I found myself checking the always inevitable line-up shake-ups of Grand Prix events I found this young Russian suddenly scheduled to compete next week in Everett at Skate America.
FYI, Ian Martinez of Canada has also been added to the Skate America line-up, Chengjiang Li of China withdrawn.
But back to Uspenski...I thought maybe I had heard the name possibly in passing before but I decided to do a bit of research. He's been the Junior Russian National Champ a couple of times and most recently finished fifth at Russian Nationals in the Senior Division. He also competed in the Senior Grand Prix last season in both China and Russia.
He also has some spiffy new programs this season choreographed by Nikolai Morozov.
To be sure, he is certainly one of the up and coming male skaters in Russia that are trying to fill the vaccum left by Plushenko (and Yagudin and Abt if you really consider it). It would appear Plushenko's much anticipated possible return is on hold and it will be up to guys like Uspenski to keep the men's program in Russia going.
Next week, I'll be sure to keep an eye on this skater.