Chan frankly expressed his opinion against the timing of the competition, pointing out that all competitors practically have no choice but attend this event, when their exhaustion after Worlds, physically and mentally, is obvious. "April is way too late. I wish I could've (used this time to) prepare for the Olympics.
I have to agree. I watched this event on the ISU live feed and I felt so sorry for the athletes AND the audience, with the former desperately trying to be a good sport (making silly faces in the kiss and cry etc) and the latter waiting and waiting for a decent skate! The tickets cost $40 - 180 per day and the arena is FULL. I don't think it will be too long before people realise ISU is exploiting the Japanese market at the determent of the skaters' health.
The skaters get a good piece of money in prizes. If they don't want to go they could play sick, like Davis and White, Virtue and Moir, Bobrova and Soloviev, Pechalat and Bourzat, etc.
What the skaters should do is scale back on the difficulty, try to skate clean, and get the crowd into their performances.
In short, perform like skaters in the old spring cheesefests (Marshall's sponsored them sometimes). I went to one in Providence, RI, and it was a ton of fun.