I have been getting messages all day long and now into the evening from skating fans wanting to know about the ISU World Figure Skating Championships taking place in Tokyo in the next 10 days. As might be expected of the ‘extended skating family” the notes show genuine concern for the tragic losses as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. Also characteristic of the hard-working people who make up the travelling ISU family, they have gotten the word out as quickly as possible; with the following note being having been posted on the International Skating Union website this morning:

Earthquake, Tsunami in Japan
11 Mar 2011 10:32

As you probably are aware an earthquake and a so defined Tsunami hit the territory of Japan today March 11, 2011.
The ISU received an e-mail message from the head office of the Japan Skating Federation (JSF) informing that one of their representatives had visited Yoyogi stadium and considered it suitable to host the World Figure Skating Championships 2010/11.
The said communication from the (JSF) informs that the situation in Tokyo is settled and seems to be in-line for conducting the Championships.
However the message of the head office of the JSF points out that the Narita Airport is closed.
Further information will be given to the ISU by the JSF, in the meantime the ISU wishes to remind that the ISU World Figure Skating Championships are scheduled to commence with the practice sessions on March 20, 2011.
The ISU, while expressing its sympathy to the Japan entities, is confident that the local conditions will permit to regularly conduct the Event.
The ISU is planning to issue another Communication in the next days.

Ottavio Cinquanta
ISU President

The Japanese have been wonderful hosts on the four occasions I have been there working and I am so sad to think of my friends at this difficult time. I know that the skaters are looking forward to coming to Tokyo, not just because it’s Worlds but because the reception from the fans is second to none. I don’t know what is going to happen in this situation – but I do know that an untold number of hours from dedicated organizing committee people and a legion of volunteers has gone into this event and that if it’s possible to have it run, it may go a long way to providing a welcome distraction at a difficult time.

In the meantime, try and send a few good thoughts their way; I know I am – and if I hear anything else, I will pass it along.

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