We call on the ISU to find a new venue for the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships and reschedule Worlds for spring 2011. We ask the ISU to reach agreement with the Japanese figure skating federation to allow another country to host 2011 Worlds and award a future Worlds to Japan.
We feel the greatest sympathy and compassion for the people of Japan. We recognize they are facing a terrible crisis in their nation. Due to this, it is impossible to hold Worlds in Japan at this time. And, unfortunately, safety may still be a concern if Worlds were held in Japan in October.
We feel it is vital that 2011 Worlds take place in another venue this spring. The world's skaters have been training and working toward this event all year. We feel it is correct and fair, for the sake of the skaters, that Worlds be rescheduled. The Russian and American skating federations have offered alternate cities to host this event. We call on the ISU to accept one of these alternate locations and reschedule Worlds for spring 2011.
We have the greatest sympathy for the people of Japan and the crisis they are enduring at this time. And we realize the difficulty and expense of rescheduling Worlds on such short notice. However, this is the correct and right thing to do for the skaters and their sport. The skaters have worked and trained very hard for this event all year. They should not be denied the opportunity to bring a year's training to fruition at the World Championships and the chance to make a contribution to the history of their sport. This is a time when the ISU needs to rise above political issues among its federations in order to meet its central mission, which is to provide opportunities for figure skaters to compete and take part in this beautiful sport.
We urge you to reschedule Worlds in a new venue at the soonest possible time. Canceling the event completely would be an injustice and disservice to the skaters. Postponing the event until October and keeping it in Japan does not seem like a viable option. First, safety concerns due to possible nuclear radiation may still be an issue in October. There is no way of guaranteeing that potential safety issues will be resolved by then. Also, holding Worlds in October would place an unfair burden on the skaters, since the next season would be starting only weeks later. To expect that skaters could maintain their current peak condition for the next 6 months, waiting for a delayed Worlds, while also preparing for the new season, is not realistic. Within the last day or so, several top-level coaches have spoken out against an October Worlds, reflecting these concerns.
We recognize that rescheduling Worlds to a new venue for spring 2011 is not the easiest option at this point. However, it is the best and most fair decision for the skaters and the sport, which should be the ISU's foremost concern. Please do whatever is necessary to find a new venue for Worlds and reschedule it for spring 2011.