Shpilband, Zoueva likely part ways

Igor Shpilband with Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

Off-season is just begun but it already has loud and unexpected news. The famous ice dance coach Igor Shpilband, who collaborated with Marina Zoueva, was fired yesterday from the Arctic FSC. The general manager of the Arctic Edge Arena Craig O’Neill said Sunday that Shpilband is no longer in the club.

According to Detroit Free Press, in Canton, which always was considered as a very friendly place, there is a quite tense atmosphere that has been going on for over a month. Shpilband was informed about the dismissal yesterday evening at the meeting with club’s general manager and the rink owner. He did not conceal that he was shocked by this news.

As one of the reasons for the dismissal could be the desire of Shpilband to have and train his own ice dance teams, while the club management has opposed this proposal. Also, the reasons of this absolutely unexpected decision of Arctic Skating Club leadership may have been affected by other factors.

The famous coach has not decided yet what he intends to do next, saying that he needs some time to regroup. What is clear is that very successful collaboration of two great coaches Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband most likely comes to its end.

Also, it is possible that Shpilband will create his own group of ice dancers but in a different skating club.

Igor Shpilband was born in Moscow, USSR. At the beginning of 1990 he took part in the ice show in the United States and after that decided to stay there. He got a position of a coach in Detroit Skating Club. In 2000 Shpilband became the United States citizen. His daughter, Ekaterina Shpilband, competes at the junior level in the U.S. Shpilband coached many U.S. and international athletes for all major figure skating events.

Among his most famous students are 2006 Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin/Benjamin Agosto, 2010 Olympic champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir and 2010 Olympic silver medalists and 2011 World champions Meryl Davis/Charlie White.

Photo: The Rinkside Cafe

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