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News Roundup

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Some of the skating news from the recent weeks:

-The Japanese Olympic Committee is trying to help pairs skater Mervin Tran to gain citizenship so he can skate for Japan in the next Olympics. That world medal definitely made it a bit of a bigger deal that Takahashi and Tran be able to skate in the Olympics. Tran is Canadian. According to Icenetwork:

Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the JOC, said Thursday his committee "was willing to make a special request (on behalf of Tran) to the government if necessary."

Japan has strict criteria for becoming a citizen, including maintaining residency in the country for at least five years. Japan's immigration laws also rule out dual nationality, meaning Tran would have to give up his Canadian citizenship.

Tran's hope lies in something called the Nationality Act, which states that the Diet of Japan (Japanese Congress) may confer Japanese nationality to a person who has provided extraordinary service to Japan, similar to the "aliens of extraordinary ability" provision that was invoked in expediting Tanith Belbin's U.S. citizenship prior to the 2006 Olympics. This provision, however, has never been invoked in Japan.

-Todd Eldredge underwent hip replacement surgery in Michigan. 40-year-old 1996 world champ Eldredge is having his left hip replaced...years of skating and jumping have obviously taken their toll. Eldredge's fiance is pregnant with their child, according to Detroit Free Press, so hopefully the hip will help Eldredge run around after a toddler. Congrats to him.

-Last month, Evan Lysacek was named a U.S. sports envoy according to the Chicago Tribune. After being named an envoy, he made a trip to Belarus and Sweden where he performed in shows and skating clinics.

-Ice dancers Charlotte Lichtman and Dean Copely have ended their four-year partnership. They were the 2011 U.S. Junior champs and world junior bronze medalists.

-Ice dancer Kieffer Hubbell has teamed up with Anastasia Olson.