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Kwan Comeback Unlikely; ISU Changes to Competitor Numbers

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Tribune Company's Philip Hersh's latest column is worth a read. It has some information about Michelle Kwan turning down an assistant "chef de mission" role, which sounds a bit like a logistical position who coordinates things for the Olympic team. He goes on:

One thing seems certain – there’s an oxymoron, seeming certainty – about those plans:
Unlike Sasha Cohen, who confirmed last week she would try to make a third Olympic team, Kwan has not replied affirmatively to U.S. Figure Skating’s invitation for a place at the Skate America Grand Prix event this November.

Kwan has until May 30 to tell USFS whether she would like to skate on the 2009 Grand Prix circuit. Her agent, Shep Goldberg, said the skater has yet to rule anything out, but a Kwan comeback is unlikely.
Also unlike Cohen, who has a spot in the 2010 U.S. Championships field as a medalist in the most recent Olympics, Kwan would have to qualify for nationals. That could involve competing in a regional qualifier (but not necessarily sectionals) and a Grand Prix event.

I didn't realize invitations had been given out for Skate America. I am going to have to read up on the whole Grand Prix selection process because I am a bit confused. But, I think at this point, even though it honestly never really looked likely, it's pretty safe to say Kwan will not be competing this season. (Now, watch her make me eat my words!)

Another thing Hersh mentions is a recent ISU decision to cut the numbers of competitors in certain events. Instead of cutting the total entrants in things like the world championships, where there are some competitors who are clearly not qualified, there was a decision to cut some pairs and ice dancers out of the free dance at worlds, among other changes. You should read his column for more.