Saturday, March 27 You've mentioned that Joannie Rochette has really good basics. Can you explain what it mean? I'm not at all familiar with the mechanics of skating. Also, among the current top men and ladies, who have the best skating skills apart from Joannie?

For me, the thing about Joannie is her ability to do crossovers and not move her arms in the slightest, which shows me that she's exactly where she needs to be on her blades. She gains speed very easily, and she has nice deep edges throughout everything she does. She doesn't really do as many crossovers, obviously, since the new system started up, but you can still get an idea of how effortless it all looks. Well, at least to me.

Carolina Kostner's ability to gain speed is great too, and she obviously has the best speed of any of the ladies, but her long arms and legs are sometimes distracting to me. Still, she's also very good in that aspect. Yu-Na and Mao are also very good, but I have little problems with each of their basics. Mao really doesn't lift her free foot up too much within the pushes of her crossovers, she more just drags it just above the ice. Yu-Na hides her somewhat not perfect basic skating by adding transitions and turns, but they both move effortlessly. Mao can improve her speed, though.

As far as the men go, Patrick Chan, Takahiko Kozuka, and Jeremy Abbott are probably at the very top of the list, with Daisuke Takahashi just a bit behind.

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