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What is in the Ice in Michigan?

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Update: I just realized this is also being blogged about at Axels, Loops, and Spins!

Jo-Ann Barnas of the Detroit Free Press extols several of the region's skater successes. Many of these skaters didn't actually come from Michigan, but they do train over there.

Among her highlights:

• Alissa Czisny keeps surprising me. Two years ago, the Detroit Skating Club ladies singles skater won the bronze medal at the U.S. Championships. Last season, she dropped to ninth. When I saw she was competing at Nebelhorn, I was hoping for her sake that she performed well enough to regain her confidence for nationals in January in Cleveland. Check that off the list -- Czisny won the ladies crown in Germany.

• 2006 Olympic ice dance silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, who left the Arctic FSC in April after taking fourth at the world championships, are settled in at their new digs at the IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston, Pa. So, too, is their competition: European champs Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin arrived in Aston to train two months after Belbin and Agosto relocated there.

• Although Belbin and Agosto aren't in Michigan anymore, there's no drop-off in senior talent at the Canton rink. Not with Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who won the ice dance silver medal at worlds last March, and reigning U.S. silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

Barnas also mentions the pack of junior ice dancers who train in Michigan who are making quite a splash right now on the Grand Prix circuit - Maia and Alex Shibutani of the Arctic Figure Skating Club in Canton (Junior Grand Prix opener winners), Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein of the Arctic FSC (took home gold in Merano, Italy), and Madison and Keiffer Hubbell, of the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club, who won gold in Mexico City.

I guess Michigan is not a bad place to be right now for aspiring skaters - especially ice dancers!