Lots of little newsbits to report on.
First, three cities have been officially accepted as bid cities for the 2018 Winter Olympics:
PyeongChang, South Korea; Munich, Germany; and Annecy, France.
These three cities now go through a long candidature process that involves heavy evaluation. A winner will be chosen in Durban, South Africa at the IOC Session in July of 2011. Olympic insiders say that PyeongChang is the early favorite to win the bid (but many said the same thing about Chicago 2016...sad face). In the end, the city that can put forward the best bid proposal, cost effectiveness report, environmental sustainability goals, and produce the most public support should win. Geographically, PyeongChang looks like a winner.
Portland, Oregon was selected to host Skate America today. The event will take place November 11-14 at the Rose Garden Arena. "We're thrilled to bring 2010 Skate America to the city of Portland," Chris Oxley, general manager of the Rose Quarter, the district in which the Rose Garden is located, told U.S. Figure Skating. "Portland has shown that it is a very strong figure skating market, evidenced by the success of the 2005 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. With the Olympics being held in the Pacific Northwest last month, the region is ready and excited for another opportunity to host an event of this caliber."
Joannie Rochette has withdrawn from the World Championships. She then asked the ISU to "bend the rules" a little to allow her to skate in ABC's Thin Ice without Skate Canada facing sanctions because of her withdrawal. The ISU agreed (shockingly!). "We appreciate the ISU worked with us to find a solution for this situation," said William Thompson, Skate Canada’s CEO. "They have agreed to relax ISU rule 136 for Joannie in this instance, due to the unique and extenuating circumstances of this particular request. We want to thank the ISU for their consideration and understanding in reviewing this in light of Joannie's situation." International Skating Union rules state an athlete can't choose an exhibition performance over an ISU-sanctioned event. If they do, their federation, in this case Skate Canada, can face sanctions. They ISU relaxed the rule for Rochette who will skate a tribute to her late mother on the show.
Finally, here in the U.S., for the first time, the World Championships will be broadcast entirely on Universal Sports. This also means for the first time, the World Championships will be broadcast on a network that not everyone has. The upside of that is Universal Sports is showing the entire competition live on it's website. Downside...many of the events are in the wee hours of the morning because the event is in Italy. I'm crossing my fingers that Universal Sports will archive the competitions online so they can be watched on demand. Universal Sports, if you read this...please make it happen!