Press Release

Castile, Okolski to miss Cup of Russia

Injury forces 2007 U.S. champions to pull out of second Grand Prix Series assignment

Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski are back on top at Indy.
Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski are back on top at Indy. (Kathy Slack)

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(11/19/2008) - U.S. Figure Skating announced today the withdrawal of U.S. pairs team Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski from this week's Cup of Russia. The event, taking place Nov. 20-23 at the Ice Palace Megasport in Moscow, Russia, is the fifth of six competitions in the International Skating Union's (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series.

Castile is suffering from an injury she sustained while attempting a triple split twist during a practice session prior to the Cup of China. She suffered a severe contusion to her right heel, leading to the team's withdrawal from that event.

"We tried to get Brooke's foot ready right up until today," said Johnny Johns, the team's longtime coach. "Her bone bruise is still affecting their jumps and throws, making them inconsistent and painful."

While the withdrawal is a disappointment to the team, Castile and Okolski believe they will be ready to compete at the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships taking place Jan. 18-25, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Ben and I are very disappointed to withdraw from the Cup of Russia," Castile said. "We're remaining positive and optimistic. Sports injuries happen, and this is just a hurdle we plan on jumping on the way to U.S. championships."

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 medal at both the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.