2016 Best Performance Edi Awards presented at Champs Camp

By Kent McDill


October 1, 2016
   In The Loop Extended Articles

There are many components that go into a successful figure skating program. Ultimately, it is the skater’s physical performance that wins the day, but the other components remain vital to the success of a program.

While U.S. Figure Skating awards gold, silver, and bronze medals to the skaters for their competition efforts, the Professional Skaters Association honors the men and women coaches who put forth the effort to create the programs and visual features for the skaters.

In order to do that, PSA created the Education and Dedication International Awards, known as the Edi Awards in honor of Edi Scholdan, the World and Olympic coach who lost his life in the 1961 plane crash that claimed the lives of the U.S. national skating team. Scholdan was the first president of PSA.

The Edi Awards consider both the totality of the performances and the individual elements that went into the performance. The awards subcommittee takes into account the elements of artistry, charisma, originality, technical proficiency, musical interpretation, audience appeal, emotion and performance quality. The Edi Awards do not take into account placement, and do not necessarily reflect the best technical score.

Sometimes, however, they do.

For instance, the coaching staff for U.S. Championships Ladies gold medal winner Gracie Gold won the Edi Best Performance Award thanks to the efforts of coach Frank Carroll, choreographer Lori Nichol, and costume designer Josiane Lamond.

Gold skated to “The Firebird’’ by Igor Stravinsky.

While Nathan Chen earned the mens bronze medal at the U.S. Championships, his coaching team won the men’s Edi Award for Best Performance. That honor goes to the PSA Coach of the Year team of Rafael Arutyunyan, Vera Arutyunyan and Nadezda Kanaeva, as well as choreographer Nikolai Morozov and costume designer Elena Pollack.

Chen skated to “Symphony No. 3” by Camille Saint-Saens

The Edi Award for Best Performance in ice dance went to U.S. Championships gold medal winners Maia and Alex Shibutani. The Edi Award honors coaches Marina Zoueva and Massimo Scali, as well as choreographer Peter Tchernyschev (along with the coaches Zoueva and Scali). Maia Shibutani also was the costume designer for the dance team.

The Shibutanis skated to “Fix You’’ by Coldplay.

Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea won the gold medal for pairs at the U.S. Championships, and their coaching team won the Edi Award for that category. The honor goes to coaches Amanda Evora and Jim Peterson. Jim was also the choreographer for the team. Dawn Imperatore and Kayne worked together on costume design.

Kayne and O’Shea skated to “Music of the Night’’ by Michael Crawford and Barbra Streisand.

The PSA also honors the top coaching team at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, and this year the award went to the Miami University Senior Varsity Synchronized Skating Team, coached by Carla DeGirolamo, Lee Ann Shoker, and Katie Bowling. Sarah Kawahara was the choreographer for the synchro program, and the costumes were designed by David Profeta.

The Edi Awards were selected by a committee of officials who attended the U.S. Championships, including the PSA President, Executive Director, and National Education Director, as well as selected members of the media and PSA master-rated coaches.

The Edi Award winners were announced at the U.S. Olympic Training Center annual Champs Camp in Colorado Springs.