Jacob Casey, 15, a silver medallist at the British Figure Skating championships who has represented Great Britain, has resorted to perfecting his double axels on the driveway of his home in Bedworth, Warwickshire.
He said: "Skating is all about gliding and you can't jump and land and glide backwards on concrete.
"It's quite a big set-back because we can't train and therefore we stop improving as much. It's been good to work on fitness but it has been really hard."
British Ice Skating, the national governing body for the sport, said on Friday it has been working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to lobby against the continued closures.
14-year-old Kamila Valieva will miss the junior test skates (August 18-19), but she will perform with adults in September.
This resonant decision was made by the federation (FFKR) exclusively for Valieva - so far the strongest skater from the new galaxy Eteri Tutberidze.
“The athlete has such a level that it makes sense for her to compete in adult competitions wherever possible. I think it would be correct, ”explained President Alexander Gorshkov. It looks like this is a full-fledged Olympic bet: by the 2022 Games, Camila, who is already performing quadruple jumps, will be 15 - the ideal age in modern curly realities.
Why did the federation arrange everything? What about our other juniors, who, apparently, are less trusted? And finally, is this for the benefit of Valieva herself?
I wouldn't be surprised at all if Camila's promo is a notion on the advice of TV and PR people.
Well, you know, so as not to repeat the history of previous Olympic cycles, when the whole country (and hence sponsors) learns about the existence of an athlete on the day of her victory. So Lipnitskaya became a symbol of figure skating after Sochi-2014, Zagitova - taking personal gold in Pyeongchang.
And it's difficult to sell such an image in advance: what kind of sponsors can a noun-name have? And then there was a great chance to change everything (even if the Olympics in Beijing are postponed): they are trying to present Camila to the public in advance. After the transfer of Kostornaya, this is especially important - it was not just that a strong reason for the transition was called the desire for sponsorship contracts: Alena did not have them in Tutberidze's group, but Plushenko will certainly provide.
The fact that Valieva's coaches agree is also obvious: you need to put someone other than Shcherbakova and Zagitova against the departed Trusova and Kostornaya. Moreover, there is no firm confidence about Alina and the continuation of her career. We already rarely saw her in a photo from Novogorsk, and admission to the full-time RANEPA form only increased doubts.
Plus, Tutberidze probably keeps in mind that as the athlete grows up, there are non-illusory chances of parting: the expectation curve is a stubborn thing and does not bode well for Eteri's headquarters. The career of a skater is now fleeting - you need to do everything until you come of age. Therefore, they began to promote Kamila now, look for sponsors now, and form an army of fans of the main contender for the gold of the 2022 Games now.
With Valieva's personal admission to adult skates, an ugly choice emerges: “do and repent” versus “do not do and regret”.
1. This is a typical favoritism of the federation and pushing the rest of the juniors. Bets are placed - no more bets! And yes, Camila is beautiful, I like her data, but why so clearly? The rest what now?
Unfortunately, we are already accustomed to the fact that it is so accepted in men's singles: the federation in different years artificially promoted either Alexander Samarin or Mikhail Kolyada, and the same Plushenko noted - perhaps his selection for the Sochi Olympics cannot be surpassed . But in the junior team, such shenanigans look especially defiant and wild.
2. The pressure on the girl is also completely abnormal. The set with fans usually comes with an appendage of opponents, do not forget about this (and our federation still does not know how to work with social networks and journalists). And it's just too early to hang the burden of responsibility - 1.5 years before the Olympics: all this time invisible medals are pulling to the ground much more than it seems.
3. It is also bad that the situation with Valieva is not a precedent at all: our functionaries have already twisted and adjusted the rules of internal tournaments, selections, and skates so many times that you are not surprised.
• At one time, Tuktamysheva was released for rent with adults. What logic were they guided by?
• At the Russian Championship - aka the selection for Europe - Trusova, Shcherbakova and Kostornaya were warming up in the status of juniors, for whom the path to Euro was still closed.
Formally, there is a loophole in the rules: juniors can be entered for some internal competitions. But the main question is always why? Juniors have their own rentals, their own championship. Participation in an adult tournament is, of course, fun, but the essence of any national championship is selection for the main starts; and here there are even geeks, but outside the selection - it's wonderful. What is the practical point of this?
• And the Russian Cup final was also a qualifying stage for the World Cup ... How does it work for them?
And if the matter now concerns only the admission of juniors to adults, then I would advise you to adopt the North American system, for example, and not to suffer, not to explain yourself. In the USA and Canada, a junior and an adult is a status that is not tied to age, as in our country, but to the level: you pass the test for the adult level and at the age of 13 you can become the US champion among adults, like Alice Liu - and everything is official.
But no, our federation lives and thinks differently. Next time something new will come out - they too like to make decisions at secret meetings.