Four days after the ISU requested bids to serve as “substitute host” to the 2011 World Championships, the International Skating Union has announced that Worlds will take place in Moscow, Russia from April 24-May 1, nearly one month after it was scheduled to begin in Japan. In addition to Russia, the ISU received bids from five other nations including Austria, Canada, Croatia, Finland and the United States. Since Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stepped forward and promised full support of the event, Moscow had been the favored host, although Turku, Finland was also rumored as a popular choice.
Full ISU press release is posted below:
ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2011
Statement: Relocation following the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami
In its statement of March 21, 2011 the ISU communicated the decision of the Japan Skating Federation (JSF) to decline holding the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2011, initially allotted to the JSF and scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan this week.
In the meantime, the ISU has received applications to hold the Event during the months of April or May of this year from its Member federations in Austria (Graz), Canada (Vancouver), Croatia (Zagreb), Finland (Turku), Russia (Moscow) and USA (Colorado Springs or Lake Placid).
The ISU thanks those Member federations for their spontaneous reaction during these truly dramatic and exceptional circumstances emanating from the crisis in Japan and highly appreciates their efforts for having prepared an application on such short notice. The ISU reiterates that in the light of the dramatic situation in Japan the staging of sporting events becomes relatively secondary and a solution satisfying all involved is extremely difficult. Nevertheless, it is in the best interest of the ISU and its Members to hold the Championships as soon as possible.
The ISU has reviewed all applications received and after careful evaluation the ISU Council decided to allot the Championships to the Figure Skating Federation of Russia, to be held in the Megasport Arena in Moscow/Russia, on April 24-May 1, 2011.
The organization of this major Event with little time to prepare will require a high level effort from the Figure Skating Federation of Russia which has assured the ISU of its full cooperation including in areas such as easy access to entry visas and security. The preparation for the updating of all relevant details (time schedule, Announcement, entry confirmations etc) have already begun and the ISU will revert as soon as possible with the necessary information.
Under these extraordinary circumstances the ISU asks for the full cooperation and understanding of the skating community and all involved entities in making this a successful Event. The full cooperation of all participating ISU Member federations hopefully attending in full strength will be of utmost importance.
Finally, the ISU is convinced that the Japanese delegation coming to Moscow deserves and will receive special attention and respect. At a time like this, words cannot express feelings but the ISU wants to let the skating friends of the Japan Skating Federation and the people of Japan know that the thoughts and wishes of the Skating family continue to remain with them.
Ottavio Cinquanta Fredi Schmid
President Director General