Here is the eighth entry of my favorite figure skating moments of 2014:

3. Coach Tom Z launches When I was approached by Merry Neitlich of Coach’s Edge in July 2013 to redesign my website I never thought it would evolve into its current form. Flash forward 11 months later to its launch in June 2014 and now six months later it has passed 106K visits. Thank you to all who have visited my site, sent e-mails, submitted questions and become members! Stay tuned for some exciting new things to come in 2015!

Here is the seventh entry of my favorite figure skating moments of 2014:

4. Coach Tom Z participates in the ISU International Development Program: The ISU has previously hosted developmental singles figure skating camps in Scandinavia and most recently in Europe. My invitation to their summer camp in Ostrava, Czech Republic, as part of the illustrious faculty including Valerie and Doug Bartlett, Sissy Krick, Alexander Lakernik, Maria McLean, Stephane Lambiel and Tomas Verner was not only a highlight of my 2014 but also of my entire coaching career which has been mainly based in the US for the last 24 years. Working with skaters, coaches and officials from around Europe enriched my perspective and appreciation of our great sport. Words cannot describe the love, sharing and energy of the camp. Thank you again, Maria, for a great experience!

Here is the sixth entry of my favorite figure skating moments of 2014:

5. Coach Tom Z hosts the first ever United States Air Force Academy Figure Skating Camp: The world famous USAFA has a rich history of hosting sports camps for all sports as a way to promote the Academy to families and young people. Never before had they hosted one for the sport of figure skating until this year. Needless to say, I was honored to be selected as the lead coach for their first-ever figure skating camp. The 81 campers were treated to on-ice lessons from the likes of US Champions Max Aaron, Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu, World Junior Pair Champion Drew Meekins, Olympic Coach Becky Calvin, 2009 World Team Member Brandon Mroz, the only man to land a quadruple lutz and a special appearance by Olympic Coach Kori Ade. Happy New Year, Assistant AD Nick Kiger and thanks again for a great camp!

Here is the fifth entry of my favorite figure skating moments of 2014:

6. Adelina Sotnikova wins the first ladies Olympic gold medal for Russia in Sochi. In her first Olympic Games, Sotnikova, 17 at the time, delivered two solid performances despite and perhaps in spite of being left off the roster for the team event, where Russia claimed gold. Many previous female Olympic champions have been criticized for various reasons when certain favorites didn’t win (think Lipinski, Hughes and Arakawa), however, like those before her Sotnikova attacked every aspect of her performance with exuberance plus she actually looked like the only woman in the top 10 who wasn’t afraid or nervous to be competing in the free skate. Watch is back and tweet me if you disagree. If that isn’t a prerequisite for being a champion in sport or the prima ballerina on the dance stage I don’t know what is.

Here is the fourth entry of my favorite figure skating moments of 2014:

7. Evgeni Plushenko scores big in the team event in Sochi. In his fourth Olympic Games, Plushenko arguably delivered even better performances than he did in his previous ones. Skating in his home country his nerves of steel left us all marveling at him. His charisma and confidence begged the questions about how he could do what he was doing at age 15…at age 31 after time off and surgeries, etc. In the process we stood and applauded as he became figure skating’s equivalent of Michael Jordan.