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Historic move: Figure Skating minimum age raised to 17

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In a historic move, figure ice skating has raised the minimum age to 17 for senior competitions

The International Skating Union has raised the minimum age from 15 to 17 for senior ice skating competitions, coming into effect for the 2024-2025 season.

In total, 100 countries backed the move, and just 16 opposed it. Rounds of applause filled the room as the decision was announced.

The ISU says the decision has been on the table for years but concerns over adolescent athletes’ well-being have cemented it into action.

“This is very important decision, I would say a very historic decision.”

ISU President Jan Dijkema

The medical advice given to the sporting body said that raising the age limit would ‘benefit the athletes both mentally and physically.’

“I feel as administrators of the sport of skating it is your moral obligation and duty to provide these young skaters with the opportunity and time to develop the skills they require in order to be successful at the senior level,”

Dr. Jane Moran from the body’s medical commission

It follows a drug scandal at the Beijing Winter Olympics drugs involving 15-year-old Russian figure skater, Kamila Valieva.

Valieva failed a pre-Games drugs test, with the global spotlight on the adolescent and the lengths she was willing to go to.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (12806945lo) Kamila Valieva of Russia reacts before the Women’s Short Program of the Figure Skating events at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, Beijing, China, 15 February 2022. Figure Skating – Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, China – 15 Feb 2022

Before the vote, the ISU director-general Fredi Schmid encouraged countries to enforce the change saying “the moment of truth is obviously today because the credibility of the ISU will also be scrutinised”.

“The life of an athlete is short and intense, their experience in this short phase sets the platform for the rest of their lives — physically, spiritually emotionally,” said the Canadian, who won a pairs gold at the 2018 Olympics.

“While I hear the concerns of certain nations about the immediate difficulty that they might face with this proposal being passed … is a medal really worth the life of a young athlete?”

ERIC RADFORD, ISU ATHLETES COMMISSION MEMBER

The countries that opposed the move argue that raising the age will negatively impact athletes’ ability to reach elite levels.

But countries including Ireland counter these arguments saying “they are children first and athletes second,”

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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Tech giant could bid for Man Utd

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Apple could be the next owner of English football giant Manchester United.

Reports suggest the American tech giant is considering a billion-dollar bid to take over the club.

It was confirmed earlier this week that the American Glazer family’s ownership of the football club is set to end.

The family sent a note to the New York Stock Exchange saying they’re exploring “strategic alternatives” for the English football club.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is apparently keen to explore opportunities that owning Manchester United could provide, and is weighing up an official bid for the club in the region of $7 billion.

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Japanese fans help clean up Qatar stadium, in pure class act

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In a show of good faith, Japanese soccer fans stayed back to clean the stadium

Japanese soccer fans stayed back to clean up the Qatar stadium, where they even had their own plastic bags with them.

The supporters of the Samurai Blue are earning praise for cleaning up their mess after the game.

Japan had a stunning win over Germany in their opening match of the FIFA Men’s World Cup.

It’s become a common sight at some stadiums and events in Japan.

It’s a very common sight, according to one Japanese fan, who says the practice is not unusual.

FIFA has also posted an image from the Japanese change rooms after the game, with no mess in sight.

Japan beat Germany 2 – 1 in the match. They will now take on Costa Rica in Group E.

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Cristiano Ronaldo has played his last Man Utd game

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Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is set to leave the club with immediate effect.

The two parties mutually agreed to go their separate ways, in the wake of the 37-year-old’s recent interview with Piers Morgan.

In that interview, Ronaldo criticised the manager for not playing him as often and the club for ‘not evolving’ since returning for his second stint.

Ronaldo has not appeared for the Red Devils since picking up an illness in early November.

United are fifth in the Premier League, with the season taking a break for the World Cup in Qatar.

This all comes in the wake of Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, looking for investors after 17 years of ownership.

It has not yet been revealed whether it will be a full or partial sale of the club, or a strategic partnership.

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