In Finland...there seems to be some disagreement between some remarks Laura Lepistö, 2009 Ladies European Champ, and her male teammates; especially Ari-Pekka Nurmenkari. In the April Edition of the Finnish Cosmopolitan, Lepistö gave an interview where she described her Finnish male colleagues as very feminine, and "a bit that way". (I don't know if I know what that means?) She goes on to say things are different...like in France (read: Joubert's excessive manliness!). Anywho, Lepistö says that she is being misinterpreted and her comments are not directed at her teammates. Not the best time for Lepistö to get bogged down in this controversy (effeminate skating, etc.) which has heated up considerably over the past several weeks.
Here in the U.S. there is this massive coaching reshuffle taking place. A plethora of past and present U.S. Champions have all done the coaching summer shuffle. Inoue and Baldwin are now with Meno and Sand, Nagasu is now working with Frank Carroll, McLaughlin and Brubaker are taking from John Nicks, and just yesterday (thanks for the update) Jeremy Abbott announced he will leave Colorado (and Tom Zakrajsek) and take from Yuka Sato in Detroit. Don't know if it really counts as a coaching 'change' but when Sasha Cohen announced her return to competition she announced she would be working with Rafael Artunian, not John Nicks, her coach as she temporarily stepped away from competition. Lots of shuffling and it will be the topic of my next op-ed. Also, we found out the Michelle Kwan on Twitter is a fake...boo!
In Russia, Plushenko has officially stated that he is absolutely committed to competing next season. Axels and quads back under his belt, he is currently in training with Alexei Mishin in St. Petersburg. Will it actually happen this season...who can say? I will say this is the most 'serious' he's seemed about it and with the Olympics this upcoming season I think we can expect a legitimate attempt at a return. Plushenko seems to think that Stéphane Lambiel will return to competition as well. Not sure what would prompt him to say that? Nothing official yet from camp Lambiel.
Finally, in Canada...these days no news is good news. While many are still irked by the push to make skating a bit less 'frilly' on the ice, Skate Canada appears to have backed off from asking their athletes to promote the tough side of skating. This combined with the fact that Stojko's 'self-appointed press tour' appears over is causing the story to lose press steam, a fact I'm sure Skate Canada is happy with. They certainly don't want this hanging over their head come February 2010...you know...when the whole world will be in their backyard!