A few weeks ago I blogged about a young pairs team from Orlando—Georgia "Juju" Bush and Timmy Chapman—who were heading to the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships. I’m delighted to say—and they’re even more delighted I’m sure—that they placed fifth in the nation at the Intermediate level. Here they are waiting for their scores with their coach, Cheyne Coppage. It was fun to have a team I knew at the competition, and I followed Facebook posts about their skating, plus the official posts with results.
Of course, since I love to watch skating, I also watched the senior level competitions. I was disappointed when last year’s National Champions, Florida skaters Tarah Kayne and Daniel O’Shea, were forced to withdraw after the short program. Tarah had a bad fall on a throw jump, and when a trip to the hospital found symptoms of concussion, the doctor determined that she shouldn’t skate. The title was won by another talented team, Haven Denney and Brandon Frasier, who were silver medalists in 2015.
Timmy, who went to Nationals last year, told me that one of the fun things about being at Nationals is meeting other skaters at all levels. The picture on the left is Juju and Timmy with the 2017 National Ice Dancing Champions, brother and sister team Maia and Alex Shibutani. Below they are with the Novice National Champions, Erin Coleman and Derrick Griffin. Like Juju and Timmy, this young team trains in Florida. Juju and Timmy will move up to Novice for next year. I’m sure they’ll do well.