Kimmie Meissner Withdraws From Her Grand Prix Assignments
Kimmie Meissner, the 2006 World champion and 2007 U.S. champion, has withdrawn from the 2009 International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series because of an injury.
Kimmie Meissner

Meissner had been assigned to the Rostelecom Cup (Oct. 22-25) in Moscow, Russia, and NHK Trophy (Nov. 5-8) in Nagano, Japan.

“After much thought and consideration for what is best for the U.S. Team and my career, it is with great regret that I have decided that I must withdraw from my assigned Grand Prix events,” Meissner said.

Meissner began experiencing pain in her right knee during training earlier this year. “My knee had become chronically inflamed, swollen and painful,” Meissner said. “After some testing, along with an MRI, I was diagnosed with severe patellar tendonitis and a partial dislocation to my right kneecap.”

Though she has undergone physical therapy the last six weeks, Meissner does not believe she is ready for competition.

Kimmie tweeted on the subject stating. "As you may know I had to withdraw from my GP assignments. It was a VERY hard decision. Thank you all for sticking by me through all of this. I'm sorry to let you down, but I want to reassure you that I'm not retiring or anything crazy."

“I started adding triple jumps about two weeks ago, and my Salchow, loop, toe and Axel are pain free,” Meissner said, “However, my flip and Lutz still cause pain in the center of my knee.”

After consulting with an orthopedic specialist, Meissner made the decision that, in order to prevent chronic or further damage to her knee, she will withdraw from her upcoming Grand Prix assignments.

“For the United States to be represented properly, especially during an Olympic year, I feel I must put my personal desire to compete aside,” Meissner said.

Meissner did not receive an automatic invitation to the 2010 U.S. National Championships because she did not place in the top five at last season's Nationals (she withdrew) and did not medal at either the most recent Worlds or Olympic Games.  She received a bye that was contingent on competing on the Grand Prix series.  But now that she has withdrawn, the bye is no longer valid.  And since medical byes are not granted, Meissner will miss Nationals.

The Figure Skating Grand Prix and US Nationals are both an important competition series because the Grand Prix Final in Tokyo is part of the selection process for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Meissner can still petition to be selected for the Olympic team in January. Nancy Kerrigan was chosen for the Lillehammer in 1994 and Michelle Kwan was chosen for Turino in 2006 as a result of their petitions due to injury. Given that she has not medaled since 2007 it is doubtful a petition would be granted. Also, based on he tweets she would not put her wishes to compete ahead of what is best for US chances for a medal.

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