Crisis in Japan and the subsequent postponement of Worlds
The Absolute Skating crew would like to express our sorrow over the recent events in Japan and offer our condolences and thoughts to all those who were affected. In light of this tragedy, many are uncertain whether the already postponed World Championships that were scheduled to be held in Tokyo next week should be held at another time in a different location or if they should not take place at all.
Recent articles have suggested postponing a month or two and holding the event in another country or pushing Worlds off until the beginning of next season, which almost everyone is against. Considering the training regimen of a skater, the events in the fall, the uncertainty of Japan's future and simply the tragedy at hand, the decision cannot be taken lightly. Several countries (the site linkeshas gone inactive since. For those interested what happened to the site, take a look here! - ed 2020) have offered venues for holding the championships. The ISU is planning to give further information on Friday March 18 or Monday March 21 if possible.
We've compiled reactions from skaters responding to the current crisis in Japan and the subsequent postponement of Worlds.
John & Sinead Kerr:
We think it would be inappropriate to hold the World Championships in Tokyo when there has been so much devastation and so many lives lost close by.
For us, things have felt strange as we had been about to withdraw due to injury - I dislocated my shoulder. Now we don't know if maybe we will be able to compete after all if it is re-scheduled to a later date. Our personal feeling though is that the Championships will not feel "right" taking place somewhere else and we believe it should be cancelled out of respect for the Japanese people.
We have been in touch as much as we can with our Japanese fans via Facebook and I know there will be plenty more amazing skating events to look forward to there in the future. All skaters love performing in Japan probably more than in any other country so we will all be back at some point.
I read some of the opinions of the skaters.. I think all of us, who were taking part at this major event like Worlds, trained so much all season to be in the best shape to perform the best. For all of us Worlds is the biggest goal of the season. Everything is planned to that day..so I think they should postpone the event and hold it in another available place, as soon as possible--not later than few weeks. Basically, if it is going to be in more than a month, it would mean having to organize again all the training in order to stay in shape for the new date; and if it is going to be in October, it would be a problem for the preparation for the next season..what would this mean?! Give all our best already at the beginning of the season?!...this is crazy! I think we should skate for the people in Japan, give them all our heart, supporting them using our passion...this is all we can do...prayers and thoughts are with Japan, and all people involved in this dramatic situation. God bless them.
Kevin Van Der Perren:
"Of course it is a shame that the World Championships have been cancelled.
In comparison to what the Japanese people have been through, the cancellation is only trifle and we all have to respect that. I hope the country will recover soon. I wish all stricken families a lot of strength in these difficult times."
"I want to express how sorry I feel for the entire Japanese nation. I couldn´t believe my eyes when I watched the news when we got to Toronto. I am deeply concerned about all the people being hit by such a massive earthquake and tsunami. I have no idea if there will be any World Championships this year or not, but this is the last thing on my mind that I am worried about.
I will be with you in my thoughts and I wish there was something I could do to make things better for you. Watch out for yourselves and try to stay safe!!!
On the morning everything happened I was on my way to a competition here in Sweden and didn't realize what a big tragedy it was. I have now seen and heard alot about it. I am really sad for this, for all the Japanese people who has been affected by it. My Japanese friends, skating friends and everybody else, I am worried about you and my heart and thoughts are with you!
I know Japan is a strong Nation!! I believe they will recover soon from all the bad things that happened... it just makes me sad to see it!!! Also I'm sad because I can't go even though I was looking forward to it so much... I hope I get to go to Japan for the GP next season!!!
Well, I'm keeping the SP for next season too, so I really want to skate it for you IN JAPAN!!!!
I am really sad for this, for all the Japanese people who has been affected by it. My Japanese friends, skating friends and everybody else, I am worried about you and my heart and thoughts are with you!