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Dolensky wins fi rst Fleming Trophy event BY TROY SCHWINDT


Tim Dolensky, seventh at the 2018 U.S. Championships, won the inaugural Peggy Flem- ing Trophy event on June 22 during the Broadmoor Open in Colorado Springs, Colora- do.


T e 26-year-old from


Kennesaw, Georgia, performed his 3 1/2-minute program to the song “Evermore” from the soundtrack to Beauty and the Beast. A total of 27 ladies and men competed against each other in the unique competition that rewards artistic expression within a framework of eight technical elements. Scores were driven by artistry, creativ- ity and originality, with a special component for the overall artistic/creative value of the program. Seven current World and Olympic offi cials judged the event. Dolensky (Atlanta FSC) fi nished with


a total score of 109.04. For his triumph, he received the Peggy Fleming Trophy, which is a commissioned sculpture of Fleming performing her signature layback spin, and $3,000 in prize money.


“T e experience was really awesome,”


Dolensky said. “Without the pressure of having to do the hardest jumps and having more time in the program, it really opened it up for the skaters to have some freedom to do some of our more interesting elements and moves that don’t always make it into a competitive program.” One of the eight required technical


elements was a “signature” move; Dolensky planned a backfl ip but was told a day ahead


of the event that it wasn’t allowed.


“I had to think quickly about what was happening in the music during that section and I changed it to a hydro- blade instead,” Dolensky said. “T ere was a long note in the music right before the climax where I was going to do the backfl ip that worked perfectly for it. I think I fooled the audience that that was the way


it was supposed to be all along.” U.S. junior champion Camden Pulkinen


(Broadmoor SC) placed second with a score of 100.14; he received $2,000. Jordan Moeller (Northern Ice SC), the 2014 U.S. junior silver medalist, secured third place with a score of 97.50; he collected $1,000. A group of international and national


offi cials worked with Fleming and her husband, Greg Jenkins, on the competition structure, which went through many permutations over the last year. One of the goals for the event is for U.S. Figure Skating and the ISU to someday adopt a similar format for its events, in which artistry and technical prowess retain a proper balance. “I’m thrilled with the fact that we are maybe going to change this sport,” Fleming, the 1968 Olympic champion, said. “I think this is going to be the future of skating. I don’t want artistry to be put to the wayside in the future. I think it’s the balance, and that’s why skating is so beautiful and unique. T is is a test event, and we’ll learn a lot. Skating has always been part of my life, and this is something important to me


World of Ice Dance International special airing on public television


“T e World of Ice Dance International” (IDI) is airing on PBS stations nationwide. T e American Public Television special, produced by IDI and Stellar Adventure Media, is part one of a two-part series. T e second show will air in the spring of 2019. Set in Sun Valley, Idaho, this compelling


hour showcases the beauty of dancing on ice to classical and modern music, with stunning imagery and entertaining choreography. T e program weaves in informational segments on IDI and the people who have made the move- ment possible. Olympic champions Dick Button and


Dorothy Hamill make appearances throughout the program to share stories of how this type of performance skating has evolved and become a joy for audiences everywhere. Skating celeb- rity and three-time U.S. pairs champion JoJo Starbuck cohosts the special with 2011 U.S. champion Ryan Bradley. T e audience journeys through balletic performances choreographed by a master of


36 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018


American ballet, Edward Villella, and IDI artistic director Douglas Webster. T e repertory ranges from the classical Balanchine tradition to a contemporary work with music by Moby. T e program includes documentary segments on Sun Valley, Villella, and John Curry, the 1976 Olympic champion who started the movement of ensemble skating more than 40 years ago. T e show is dedicated to Debbie Gordon and Mari- lyn Kasputys, who both passed away in 2017. IDI’s goal is to provide a professional home for the top skaters in the world. T is special showcases many of them, including reigning Four Continents champions Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, who are featured in Villella’s “Visions of Emeralds: An homage to Mr. Balanchine.” T e special also features fan favorites Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, fi ve-time U.S. champion Naomi Lang-Strong, U.S. junior champion Todd Gilles, Olympian Beata Handra, and U.S. medalists and compet- itors Carly Donowick, Jonathon Hunt, Erin Reed, Jordan Cowan, Joel Dear, Mauro Bruni,


Peggy Fleming and her husband, Greg Jenkins, introduce the inaugural Peggy Fleming Trophy during the Broadmoor Open.


and important to the future of our sport, so I hope this makes a diff erence.” Gale Tanger, referee of the event and one of


the architects of the competition structure, said the format served its purpose, with the individu- ality of each skater emerging on the ice. “I personally felt I had met 27 individual


skaters with diff erent personalities,” Tanger said. “As Peggy often states, ‘T e music should become your best friend during your perfor- mance.’ T ese athletes embraced that concept, and arrived on ice with their best friend. What a wonderful event to regain the artistry of our sport and allow the audience an evening of engaging performances.”


(l-r) Ryan Bradley and Erin Reed, with Brent Bommentre and Kim Navarro, perform in Edward Villella’s “The Three Smokers.”


Ian Lorello, Anastasia Olson, Lauren Farr, Adam Kaplan, Natalia Zaitseva and Neill Shelton. Bradley performs to an Artie Shaw piece called “Back Bay Shuffl e.” Part two will feature a new work by dance


luminary Trey McIntyre, along with a quartet of men to Dave Brubek’s “Take Five” by up-and- coming international skating choreographer Benoit Richaud, along with new works by Webster. For more information about IDI, visit their website at IceDanceInternational.org.


PHOTO BY DIANA DUMBADSE


PHOTO BY CHUCK BIGGER


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