Since I started writing this blog back in February 2013, I've interviewed hundreds of incredible skaters, reviewed competitions, written editorials and researched figure skating history... and I've loved almost every minute of it. That said, I wanted to announce some important changes that are coming with respect to content on the blog going forward.
OUT WITH THE NEW
For starters, last season I spent hours upon hours recapping and reviewing current ISU competitions. Although I got to enjoy more than my fair share of phenomenal skating, I'd rather just enjoy watching some of the competitions this season at my leisure. Picking apart skater's "GOE" or "PCS" scores and lamenting over the IJS judging system isn't something that appeals to me personally nor is it a direction I want to take with the blog going forward. I want to again recommend Jackie Wong's Figure Skating Examiner site and Claire Cloutier's A Divine Sport blog. They are two of several sites that offer some wonderful resources in this respect.
Standalone interviews are another area that I'm going to be stepping away from going forward although interviewing may continue to be a component of certain historical blogs when relevant. There are literally hundreds of amazing interviews with skaters from all around the world including dozens of Olympic Medallists and World Champions that will remain (with all of the content) archived in searchable format on the blog. I've saved some of the very BEST for last... and I think you're going to love the final two interviews with Olympic Bronze Medallist and European Champion Petr Barna and Olympic Gold Medallist, European Champion and World Professional Champion Robin Cousins. Although Petr's is short and sweet, I was so thankful for the opportunity. Robin's is quite in-depth and one that I have always wanted to do. Both will be posted this week.
IN WITH THE OLD
So, you're probably thinking ''if he's not doing event recaps and he's not doing interviews... what IS he doing?" Oscar Wilde once said that "anyone can make history. Only a great man can write it." I don't think it will come as any shock to any of you that my real passion lies in researching and studying figure skating's rich history. Throughout the 2015/2016 season and beyond, you can expect and count on AT LEAST two new blogs a week exploring a wide range of eclectic stories from skating's rich and colourful history... everything from anecdotes to revisiting competitions, shows and tours of yesteryear to skater biographies, lesser known factoids and shocking stories. Rather than follow in the vein of the majority of 'mainstream' skating blogs out there, I will continue to take MY inspiration from wonderful podcasts that follow in the exact same structure like Stuff You Missed In History Class, Footnoting History, Nate DiMeo's The Memory Palace and countless others. Which brings me to my final announcement...
I don't think it's possible for me to be any more excited about this one! Later this summer, the blog is going to be collaborating with The Manleywoman SkateCast on a unique six part audio series about skating history called Axels In The Attic. Allison Manley and I will be sharing 6.0 absolutely unique and deliciously little known stories from skating's decadent history in short form podcasts that you can download from this blog, Allison's site and hopefully iTunes and Stitcher.
I hear from readers of the blog how they enjoy reading new blogs as soon as they come out, catching up on weekends, in bed or in the case of loyal reader Jim, reading on commutes to and from work. The Axels In The Attic podcast series will allow you to even more freedom during the busy summer months to listen on the go while you're out walking, camping, driving, biking or just being your fabulous selves in the sun and as the episodes are quite long form for blogs but short for podcasts, you'll only be devoting ten to fifteen minutes of your day to learning about figure skating history... which is nothing compared to the time I've been spending the last couple years, believe me honey. On the blog, each episode of Axels In The Attic will also be accompanied with show notes which will consist of the full text transcribed as well as pictures, videos, etc. when available and pertinent to the topic... so if you're a visual learner more than audio one, you've still got the option to read along as you always do on the blog.
Two last points to make about all of this exciting news! Number one... please forgive my (sometimes thick) Nova Scotian accent. Number two... I'm going to stress again that the subjects of the Axels In The Attic series are just unbelievably fascinating listens. As always on the blog, I will not ever ask for compensation for my time and efforts in putting this all together but as The Manleywoman SkateCast is listener supported and the hosting of audio files is just insane in terms of bandwidth, it would really make me smile if you supported Allison's project if that's something you're able to do. Even if you're not, enjoy this series as much as Allison and I have in putting it together for you!
I hope you appreciate the changes in direction I will be taking with the blog going forward! The best is absolutely yet to come and I want to thank you ALL for your support!
Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' on the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.