It’s been a while, but keen figure skating viewers can ignore the heat, blast the air-con into arctic temperatures and pretend they are in the northern hemisphere over the summer holidays.
SBS are bringing figure skating back to our television screens every Saturday afternoon from December 19 after securing the Australian broadcast rights to the six-series Grand Prixs, Four Continents Championships and 2016 World Championships.
Only the world top-ranked ladies, men, ice dancers and pairs can compete in the prestigious Grand Prix series, vying for a place in the GP Final.
Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu from Japan is back in form and also returning to international competition is Canada’s Patrick Chan, who was the Sochi silver medallist, but watch out for the young Chinese, Boyang Jin. The ladies events are wide open as new stars rise to the top and push the technical barrier even further.
Ice Dance (think Torvill and Dean) has always been a firm favourite and these days, it’s the American and Canadian teams taking it to the Russians.
The 90 minute shows kick off on Saturday, December 19 at 2pm on SBS with Skate America from Milwaukee, USA featuring OWIA athlete and four-time Australian Champion Brendan Kerry competing in his first-ever Grand Prix.
Five of the six Grand Prix events will be televised, the Grand Prix Final over two broadcasts plus the ISU championship events.
Saturday 19th December
1400 – 1530: ISU Grand Prix America
Saturday 26th December
1400 – 1530: ISU Grand Prix Canada
Saturday 2nd January
1400 – 1530: ISU Grand Prix China
Saturday 9th January
1400 – 1530: ISU Grand Prix Russia
Saturday 16th January
1400 – 1530: ISU Grand Prix Japan
Saturday 23rd January
1400 – 1530: ISU Grand Prix Final (Mens and Pairs)
Saturday 30th January
1400 – 1530: ISU Grand Prix Final (Ladies and Ice Dance)
Saturday 6th February
1400 – 1530: European Championships (Mens and Pairs)
Saturday 13th February
1400 – 1530: European Championships (Ladies and Dance)
Saturday 20th February
1400 – 1530: Four Continents Championship (Mens and Pairs)
Saturday 27th February
1400 – 1530: Four Continents Championship (Ladies and Dance)
By Belinda Noonan/Burwood Scene
OWIA figure skater Brendan Kerry defending his national title at Penrith last week. Photo: Michael Santer Oz Skater