Castile, Okolski to miss Cup of China
Injury forces pair to sit out first Grand Prix
|Castile and Okolski hope to compete Nov. 20-23 at the Cup of Russia. (Getty Images)|
(10/31/2008) - U.S. Figure Skating announced today the withdrawal of U.S. pairs team Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski from the upcoming Cup of China. The event, taking place Nov. 6-9 at the Beijing Capital Gymnasium in Beijing, China, is the third of six competitions in the International Skating Union's (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Castile fell during practice last week while attempting a triple split twist, suffering a severe contusion to her right heel. "Though [her injury] has greatly improved, she can not yet skate on it without severe pain," said her physician, Stephen I. Goldman, of the Novi Center for Manipulative and Sports Medicine. Johnny Johns, the team's longtime coach, believes the decision to withdraw from the competition is the right one. "I felt it was in the best interest of Brooke's recovery, and the best interest of the team, to pull her off the ice for the remainder of this week to give her foot more time to heal," Johns said. "We are hoping with rest and therapy she will be ready to go for the [Cup of] Russia." Castile and Okolski are scheduled to compete Nov. 20-23 at the Cup of Russia in Moscow. Castile and Okolski withdrew from both of their Grand Prix Series events last season, also because of an injury to Castile's foot. They came back to win the bronze at both the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. The pair will be replaced in Beijing by Chelsi Guillen and Danny Curzon. The team won bronze at the 2008 U.S. Championships as juniors and finished 10th at the 2008 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. "We are disappointed for Brooke and Ben, because they are great skaters and great friends of ours," Curzon said. "But we are excited for the opportunity to make our senior debut at the Cup of China, and we are confident that we will be able to compete on such short notice."