Congrats to Jason, a huge fan on the 1997 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. After years of abuse from the Ranger/Devil fans (especially in 1995), Jason finally has his moment to shine.
After spending the summer preparing two new competition programs, Kyoko and Jason were ready for this year's season. Kyoko and Jason are coached by Mr. Peter Burrows and Mary Lynn Gelderman. This year's programs were choreographed by a variety of people. Lea Ann Miller started their programs. Marina Koulbitskaya and Alexander Esman also worked with Kyoko and Jason to develop their programs. The short program is called "Kodo", it is Taiko drum music. The long program is selections from Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite." Their exhibition is Dolly Parton's version of "I Will Always Love You." They are also doing an exhibition to "Havana." The first event of the season was an inaugural pairs event at the Vienna Cup. They placed first and got a chance to visit with coach Evelyn Roussoukhi-Schneider. Evelyn is an Austrian coach, who brings a number of skaters to Sport-O-Rama during the summer. Immediately after the Vienna Cup, Kyoko and Jason flew to Edmonton for the Continents Cup. They finished second out of the four teams competing. Their performance was hampered by the travel involved to attend the event. They were not originally schedule to compete in Edmonton, but had to fill in for the injured team of Jenni Meno and Todd Sand. Their first point scoring competition in the Champions Series was Skate Canada. Kyoko and Jason finished second in the short program, with the most difficult lift of the event. Jason over-rotated his triple toe-loop. They finished the event with the bronze medal. The long program was not as smooth as it would be later in the season. Kyoko put her hand down on the throw triple salchow and there were some timing problems. All of their top moves were packed at the beginning of the program. At their next Champion Series event, Nations Cup on Ice, Kyoko and Jason performed a completely different long program. This program had the moves spread out among the four and half minutes. Kyoko and Jason finished first in the short program, ahead of Eltsova/Bushkov and Woetzel/Steur. Despite their newly designed long program, Kyoko and Jason ended up with another bronze medal. Their last international event before Nationals was NHK Trophy. This was a non-scoring event for Kyoko and Jason. It was also their first head-to-head match up with Meno/Sand. Unfortunately at this event Meno/Sand had the advantage in this competition. Kyoko and Jason received another bronze in Japan.
Some of this material was found in the January/February issue of 'Blades On Ice'.
Kyoko and Jason competed at the World Figure Skating Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland from March 16-March 23.
The pairs short program was March 18. They were fifth after the short program and reports are that they skated clean and landed their triple-toes. They were definently affected by the early starting position.
The pairs long program was March 19. Again Kyoko and Jason were hindered by their early skating position. Although with the exception of Jason's step out on the landing of the double axel, their program was clean well skated. Kyoko and Jason placed 4th in the event. This is ahead of Jenni Meno and Todd Sand. It is also the highest they have ever placed at Worlds. 4th place puts them in very good contention for a medal next year.
These pictures are from a practice session at the 1997 US Figure Skating Championships. Robert Kabele's Skating Pictures: Source of photos