In Russia, Mao Asada is the buzz this week as she trains with Tatiana Tarasova in Moscow. I cannot find a translated version, but @tokitama69 has posted an interview with Fuji T.V. Mao gave in Moscow on her blog.
Canadian Joannie Rochette has just returned from Peru with some eye opening experiences. She was there to help World Vision Canada get their message across and to see firsthand how Canadian contributions to World Vision are impacting life in Peru. "It wasn't too hard. There was only one time that I cried because it was too much but, even though the people were very poor, they were happy to get help from World Vision and you could really see the difference it made in their lives," Joannie told Ice Network. Also in Canada, casting has begun for CBC's "Battle of the Blades." The show will pair hockey players with female figure skaters and I'm sure hilarity will ensue.
In Japan, Johnny Weir is entertaining fans in Kanazawa, Japan. He's been tweeting about how much he loves it there and how he is looking forward to rocking Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face" for his fans. Also in Japan, Daisuke Takahashi (Looking quite posh! Love the tan and hair!) has resumed his training (jumps still look a little rusty) and @tokitama69 has also posted that video as well.
News out of Italy is reporting that Carolina Kostner is trying out with a new coach for two weeks...that would be Frank Carroll! The Italian national sports newspaper "Gazette of the Sport" is saying while Kostner hasn't made her final decision, she will be in L.A. with Carroll for the next few weeks to try the partnership out. Carroll is also quoted as saying he'd be happy to train her and "Carolina is a lovely girl, she only needs to be more consistent".
Lots taking place here in the U.S. First a happy story! Caroline Zhang had her luggage, complete with skates, stolen from her at the airport just yesterday. After nearly a day of police searching, her skates were recovered. I tweeted her saying she should "pull some celebrity cred, flash some Junior World bling, and ask the officers to hurry." she didn't think that would work, but glad all is resolved. Ice Network is spilling the beans on tons of music choices for next season, you can check it out here, but I will mention that we cannot go a single season without someone using "Carmen." Ugh! Mirai Nagasu has chosen to use it this upcoming season for her free skate and that makes me sad. Finally, Kimmie Meissner (Sounding more confident and looking very fit!) is looking to famed ballet instructor Gyula Pandi to help her with her style. "It was a shock, at first, when I met him," Meissner said. "I was, like, blown away by everything he told me. He pulls out these words of wisdom all the time. And I just soak it in. He brings so much to what I do because he helps me realize little things that can make [my performance] 10 times better."
A final bit of news from Azerbaijan, Ice Dancers Fraser and Lukanin have retired from competitive skating citing physical stress and financial hardship.