Monday, November 8

Costume Problems: What Are the Odds?

Photo from
So, what are the odds of skaters having serious costume issues two times within one competition? Luckily for the ice dancers and their elaborate outfits, not that often. However, Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali started their season at Cup of China last weekend, and suffered that unfortunate fate.

Before that, highlights of two pairs teams of the past that also had their own problems.

First, a little bit of a comical incident that happened to American pair Jenni Meno and Todd Sand at the 1994 World Championships. Already having a less-than-spectacular free skate, Meno caught her blade in Sand's costume not once-- but two times within 20 seconds. The "malfunctions" happen around the 2:35 and 2:55 marks. Come on, you know it is a little bit funny.

Let's not forget another classic, from the 2002 World Championships. Eventual Olympic Champions Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin were in the middle of their their long program when his outfit, luckily very stretchable, got caught on her toe pick. While it didn't affect the program, it was a humorous moment in an otherwise very serious and emotionless performance. Fast forward to 6:05 to watch the incident in slow motion and hear Dick Button lose himself in laughter.

Now, Faiella and Scali's problems from Cup of China. The problem in the original dance happens near the 1:55 mark in this video-- right in the middle of one of their required Golden Waltz pattern steps. These steps are the part of the short dance segment that replace the now-dead compulsory dances, so losing eight seconds of timing and content didn't exactly spare them any points.

So we move on to the free dance. This time it was her dress getting stuck in his outfit during a dance lift, causing both skaters to fall over (2:50). While it's hard to tell from the angle on the video, it looks like the same thing happens seconds later as they try to continue the lift (3:05). However, their 'experience' with the situation seems to allow Massimo to quickly unhook the dress and continue without another disaster.

Bad luck? Certainly. And I am sure the Italians didn't want to start their season, as World bronze medalists mind you, with a 20-point loss to the French team of Pechalat and Bourzat. Luckily, the costumes were the problem much more than the skating.


Anonymous said...

That flamenco seemed to never end.

Tony said...

I can't say that I love either program. Then again, I don't really like very many of the short dances this year.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe we all need some time to get used to this new form of dance, SD.

How about writing a SA preview, men especially, Tony? ;)

Stuff like, Adam's medal color?

Tony said...

I have two more days off after today. I am finishing up the last bit of Cup of China and might post something real quick, but there hasn't been a lot of amazing stuff so far. I'm guessing people will live if I just don't comment on it. :-)

I am definitely planning a little preview of Skate America, though. The ladies competition is almost a repeat of the unpredictable NHK!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Tatiana and Maxim were awful back then!

Tony said...

Well, they were good enough to be 4th in that Olympics and then 2nd after this World Championship performance, but their lack of speed and connection to each other and the audience improved by 2006. I liked their short program the following season to Peer Gynt, but found their Cotton Club free skate to be extremely slow and emotionless again.

Anonymous said...

I thought you'd mention Maia and Alex Shibutani's incident at the NHK cup as well. It sure affected their SD.

physics girl said...

I found the Cup of China to be such a bizarre competition that I was really hoping someone would have a really in-depth analysis. The Italians' wardrobe malfunctions were definitely the lowlight for me though! Hoping to see some shorter dresses at their next appearance, I really like this team.