Bad news arrived last Tuesday when it was announced that three-time defending national champion Satoko Miyahara has suffered a slight fracture to her left hip and would be forced to withdraw from both this week’s Four Continents Championships and next week’s Asian Winter Games in Sapporo.

It is unfortunate enough that Miyahara will have to miss the Four Continents, a warmup for the world championships, and one of the marquee events in Hokkaido, but there looms a much larger issue.

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