Saturday, April 24
With the recent news that Johnny Weir is not only writing a book but also recording an album, in addition to Evan Lysacek's 'Dancing With the Stars', I was curious if you felt skaters (not just those two) should just stick to competing until they retire?
Definitely not. If you get the opportunities to do something, cash in on them now. Figure skating isn't a huge sport by any means, especially now in the United States (compared to what it used to be 10, 15 years ago). There are some skaters that just keep competing until they are overtaken and forced out of the sport due to the younger generation, and by that time they have no popularity anymore and they haven't gone to school or anything else in terms of planning for after their careers are over.
Friday, April 23
Also while you're at it, check out his Saturday Night Fever free skate from the 2007 World Championships, when he climbed into the top 10 for the first and only time in his career. The second triple Axel was absolutely perfect, as the commetator says ;-)
Wednesday, April 21
Tuesday, April 20
All top 12 ladies from the World Championships automatically earn two events, taking up 24 of the 72 spots.
The rest of the ladies in the ISU top 24 World Rankings and top 24 Seasons Best list are guaranteed one event, most of them probably ending up with two.
Joannie Rochette - definitely two events if she chooses to compete next season
Alena Leonova - definitely two events, Grand Prix Final qualifier in 2010 and top 10 in Vancouver
Kanako Murakami - definitely two events. World Junior Champion and Junior Grand Prix Final Champion
Caroline Zhang - probably two events. Four Continents medalist and strong World Ranking
Kiira Korpi - probably two events. High European Championships finish and strong World Ranking
Elene Gedevanishvili - probably two events. European medalist
Alissa Czisny - maybe just one event. There's plenty of other US ladies making their way up and Czisny doesn't have the results from the last four years to keep giving her chances
Ashley Wagner - probably two events. Grand Prix Final qualifier
Joshi Helgesson - maybe just one event. Strong World Ranking still but weaker results than last year
Jenna McCorkell - maybe two events. Strong World Championships ranking but it might be tough to get two invites as a non-host nation skater.
Elena Glebova - maybe two events. Same boat as McCorkell but she is top 10 in Europe
Haruka Imai - probably two events. Strong Four Continents finish and a host nation skater
Polina Shelepen - probably two events. Junior Grand Prix Final medalist and on the Seasons Best list
Amanda Dobbs - probably two events. Strong Four Continents finish and on the Seasons Best list
Sarah Meier - probably two events, if she continues. Just makes the Seasons Best list and had a strong showing at Europeans
Prediction? All of the ladies in this grouping will get two events initially except for Czisny. Others that might not be assigned two right away are Helgesson, McCorkell, and Glebova, but I still think all three will get them.
World Junior and Junior Grand Prix Final medalists not already qualified by World Ranking or Seasons Best lists are assured one event if they move up.
Agnes Zawadzki - probably two events. I think she'll move up and definitely get a push from the USFS
Christina Gao - probably two events. I think Orser and the USFS will push her up into seniors, as she's already been on the Junior Grand Prix podium and was 5th in Senior Nationals
The other ladies that will fill out the rosters.
Alexe Gilles - I'll guess two events
Angela Maxwell - I'll guess one event, max-ing out the US ladies with three entries in each event
Amelie Lacoste - I'll guess two events. Next highest Canadian lady in the World Standings and Seasons Best, and was the highest finisher at Four Continents
Valentina Marchei - I'll guess one event. Top ten at Europeans but nothing much else to show from last year
Ivana Reitmayerova - Disastrous results in 2010 versus the previous season, but I bet she'll move up to the Senior Grand Prix and get an event
Diane Szmiett - I'll guess one event
Min-Jung Kwak - I'll guess two events. Top 12 in Vancouver, and she now has Orser to push for her to get invites
Myriane Samson - Canadian bronze medalist and World representative but didn't make it out of the short program. I think she'll get just one event because her World Ranking is not that great
Cheltzie Lee - I'll guess one event. Gained quite a following during the Olympics and Worlds in North America, and will probably be invited to one of the two events there
Tugba Karademir - Same idea as with Lee. I think she'll get one event
Yan Liu - I'll guess two events. Best skater from a host nation and qualified to the free skate in both the Olympics and Worlds, even if her World Ranking and Seasons Best scores aren't strong
That makes 72 out of 72 spots. If Fumie Suguri sticks around (crazy, I know..), I think she'll end up with one event over one of the previously listed skaters. And it might be the only international experience she gets next year. You never know, though. She could surprise and come back strong yet again.
Other things to keep in mind are that China and France technically earn three entries for both of their events as host nations. The only French girl that might have a shot is Candice Didier if she comes back at all, and whether she's healthy. Gwendoline Didier had an absolutely terrible short program at Worlds and it looked like she didn't even try once she made her first mistake, so I don't see her getting anything. Lena Marrocco finished 11th at World Juniors but she is 14 and I have a feeling she will stay on the Junior Grand Prix. As far as China goes, Binshu Xu didn't make it out of the short program at Four Continents and the representative at Junior Worlds, Quiying Zhu, was only 19th. So China might only use the one spot in their event (if Liu even continues!). Russia could invite one or two ladies to compete at Rostelcom Cup that aren't high on the Seasons Best or World Rankings, and the same for Japan at NHK. But I don't think that is likely.
Keep in mind that we don't know what skaters like Yu-Na Kim, Joannie Rochette, Alissa Czisny, Sarah Meier, Tugba Karademir, and Yan Liu are officially doing next year. Their withdrawals obviously open up even more spots.
hey tony...i know it says to ask you about figure skating, but i was curious....did you see the comment about your hair and if you could keep it down for further videos?? it is in the ontdskating forum. sorry if you dont want those types of question.
Haha, I don't really answer silly questions since they end up directly linked to my blog and people are there to read about skating, but I just have to answer this one because I think it is so funny!
I was linked (on Facebook of all places) to the post and I was going to address it but I had a good laugh of it with a few friends and then that was that. But since you asked, I'll explain- my hair has many cowlicks, especially at the very front. It goes outwards instead of down, no matter how much work you put into it. Hence why I let it grow and then just put it all up. I've been doing my hair that way for so long that it really only takes a minute to do. The only other thing I could do would be to buzz it all off, but I don't think that would look too great :-) I usually only get compliments about it but then again, you can't please everyone every time. Now you know that whole saga.
By the way- if you want to pass along my reply, feel free!
..And then three short years later, she shows up to the World Professional Championships out of shape and obviously not completely prepared for the competition. She didn't have a total disaster of a skate, but check out how classy she is at the end when NBC's Elfie Schlegel tried to interview her. What a train wreck.
What's a recent example of a program with great choreography but lackluster music? And a program with great music but lackluster choreography?
Great question! Give me some time, and I think I'll turn this into a feature on the site with links to the performances. :)
I can see where each of the three programs had their problems-- I didn't care for the concept of the Canadians' or Italians' dances at all, and I do recognize the pattern issues with the Lithuanians' dance. Drobiazko didn't always carry the best posture, but it definitely wasn't as bad as that of Margaglio-- he always seemed like he was being dragged for the ride and was praying for dear life that he'd stay on his feet. Anyways, what do you think?
Sunday, April 18
While you're at it, check out that performance at the 2000 World Junior Championships. She was hoping for a top eight finish but earned the bronze medal behind Americans Jenny Kirk and Deanna Stellato. Sarah was somewhat overshadowed by that battle for gold, and by fourth-place finisher Tamara Dorofejev of Hungary who was third in the free skate. Also in this competition? Sixth place finisher Sasha Cohen, coming off her silver medal at the US National Championships as a senior. Todd Eldredge of all people and everyones favorite Andrea Joyce are the commentators.
By the way- she skated first in this qualifying group and you'll note that she didn't stick around to see the marks after the performance, which dropped into the 4's. She probably was preparing her plane ticket back to Moscow already.
Sorry- I forgot about this question and then just saw it. As I have mentioned before, I don't particularly care for the exhibition skating nearly as much as competitive skating.. but I'll watch some YouTube clips and if I find anything I really like maybe I'll feature it :-)
To what extent do you see Mirai Nagasu and Frank Carroll fully remedying her under-rotation issues? Certainly, she's improved, but under pressure, she she still reverts to old habits.
I think he can work it out. I thought she really did work it out between Nationals and the Olympics, but you are right-- I think that under pressure, she just goes back to her "sure" technique as we saw at Worlds. But then again, the time between Nationals and the Olympics was only a month-- maybe with a whole spring and summer of training the bigger and fully-rotated jumps constantly, she will be able to ditch that bad habit by the time that the fall competitions come around.
What are your thoughts of Morosov's coaching and his return to Russia? I'm not convinced he's the greatest coach, but maybe he could be just the thing for Russia?
I think he has (or had?) a lot of power and for a long time his name was associated with "revolutionary" or "great" choreography. I don't think so. I think that he came up with some good footwork sequences for Yagudin back in the day, but now everyone is doing stuff similar, and his choreography is usually very empty or not the best for the skater it is given to. Perfect example is the difference between Takeshi Honda in his 2002 Concierto de Aranjuez and then his 2003 Riverdance. He went from absolutely amazing choreography in the former (by Lori Nichol) to a completely empty and boring program by Morozov.
Every once in a while, to his credit, Nikolai comes up with something very good (Fernandez long program last year), but more often than not I don't see anything special. It's like he overdid himself so much in the beginning because everyone wanted to work with him, that his few ideas ran out quickly and now he just picks music and generic choreography without much thought to it. Well, that's just my own opinion..
I've been hearing rumors that proposals for limiting the 2As in the ladies FP from 3 times to 2 are in the works. Have you heard about it at all? So far, I've seen arguments both for and against it. What is your honest opinion, assuming that it's true?
I think that it is fine. The difference in points between a double Axel and a triple toe loop is less than what it is between a double Axel and double Lutz (the Axel is almost double!). I wouldn't even mind seeing the double Axel be thrown in with the triples as far as the rule about only repeating a maximum of two, and they have to be in combination or sequence if you do them a second time. It really makes the ladies strive to learn ALL the triples rather than going out and doing two triple toes, two triple Sals, and three double Axels as their seven jump passes. That gets boring!
I think he has plenty coming. I've really enjoyed him the last few years, and he's already made a huge name for himself in Europe and his home country. Remember he was invited to the Japan Open one year?! He definitely has a big following. Now, he just needs to work on keeping his stamina throughout his programs and increasing the speed and difficulty of his footwork, and he can move even higher. His quad toe loop is an absolute beauty and he likes being different-- it's refreshing :)
Which of the up-and-coming men's crop do you think will do the best: Brezina, D10, Kozuka, Fernandez, Rippon, Amodio, etc.?
That's so tough! I think that all of them have great potential, but Brezina will definitely get the push now. I wish he'd just really go back and work on his spins all summer. After that, I'd say Kozuka (my personal favorite) but probably not until Takahashi is out of the picture. Denis Ten really needs some consistency before the judges really take him seriously, and Rippon just needs to make his skating "bigger" and faster as a whole, as well as landing the triple Axel more often. Fernandez has made great strides in the last few years, but I don't think he's going to get much further than hovering around 10th place unless he changes coaches; that, or he needs Morozov to come up with some kind of masterpiece. I love Amodio and think he was underscored at Worlds but he's also already shown moments of absolute brilliance and then the complete opposite in the very next program or competition. In comparison with my scorecard, I think the judges hold him way too low on skating skills and interpretation in particular.