Friday, May 14

What a Difference a Day Makes Part Deux

I didn't want to leave Duhamel all alone in this feature, so I looked up the disaster that was Daisuke Takahashi at the 2004 Trophee Eric Bompard. The point difference between his short and long programs? SEVEN points. 64 in the short (that put him in third place), and just 71 in the free skate. He moved all the way down to 11th and last place overall. Typically we see long program scores that are nearly double what skaters earn in the short program. Pretty disastrous barely sums it up! By the way, for those of you who really analyze all of the numbers-- his total elements score was seven points higher in the short program.


What a Difference a Day Makes..

Meagan Duhamel at the 2005 Canadian Championships.

Day 1- Pairs Short Program

Day 2- Ladies Free Skate

What do you think about the 6-3 split at Nagano in favor of Lipinski? Do you think it should have been more/less close, or that Tara should not have won at all?

Well, as someone who grew up with the 6.0 system (I was 11 during those Olympics), I always thought that Tara won fair and square. That was also before I, myself, started skating and learning more about the basics. I look back now and I think I probably would have given it to Kwan with IJS. But under the previous 6.0 system, I think Michelle was tentative just enough to let Tara really steal the show.

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What does Mirai have to do to get better PCS?

Well, the judges have shown that at this point, if she's on, she's going to get PCS that is right around what the top skaters are getting. Or close enough. But personally, I thought that her Carmen free skate from last season still had hints of junior skating throughout, so I'm hoping that she comes back with two new programs that really fit in as really competitive senior material, and I have no doubt that she will be rewarded in the PCS (as long as she rotates those triples!)

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What lesser-used piece of opera or ballet would you like to see get more play as a competitive program?

I'm not into opera or ballet music enough to know any of the obscure pieces. Sorry! I am surprised, though, that pieces like Musetta's Waltz from La Boheme aren't used more often. It's a beautiful song.

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How fast are the fastest women skaters? Are they faster than some of the men? Who are the fastest in general?

Kostner and Kim both fly around the rink. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone else competing at the moment that skates nearly as fast as them (but someone please feel free to correct me!) I guess that Caroline Zhang, and formerly Viktoria Volchkova and Jennifer Robinson, can also be thrown into this list...

Just kidding! But Laetitita Hubert was probably the fastest of them all, but she was always so wildly out of control while she did it.

As far as your second question, yes they are faster than some of the men, but I don't really know which men I would consider the fastest these days. I'd have to go back and watch their programs only from a speed standpoint than all of the little nit-picking things that IJS has made me analyze to death. Feel free to share your own thoughts on this one!

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What do you think of Becky Bereswill skating pairs with Trevor Young?

I'd have to see them before I make any judgements..

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Who do you think failed to capitalize on their potential more, Bobek or Harding? Which one had more potential?

Definitely Tonya Harding. Check out my posting about her from the 1991 National Championships a few posts down. She really had all the goods. Too bad it only really lasted for about 12 months (January-December 1991).

Nicole, on the other hand, will always be one of my favorites for her ability to sell the hell out of a program and sense the music like no one else, but she wasn't as technically sound as Harding (even though she really did have spirals and some spins that blew most of the other skaters away pre-IJS).

They both had plenty of wasted talent, but never did I think that Bobek would be in worse shape than Harding in her personal life. It's really unbelievable.

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It's a bit late for this question, but I just found your blog/formspring! Could you explain in more detail why you didn't think Johnny Weir was underscored in Vancouver (and, in fact, thought he was slightly overscored?)

I just thought that his programs were pretty empty in transitions and choreography, and while he had stories behind both of them and how they really had a deep meaning, he really was just stroking around or doing simple skating mostly throughout while pretty much every guy ahead of him really had a strength in one of those areas. I've always thought that it looks like Johnny is doing things methodically rather than letting go and really selling the programs, and I thought it was really apparent during his free skate. Even though he landed the jumps, I just didn't feel any excitement.

What it all comes down to, in my opinion, is that everyone else has improved or adjusted to make the new judging system work for their style of skating. Weir looks pretty much the exact same that he did before the IJS was even around, and I think that's why I really felt he was basically judged pretty fair in Vancouver.

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Wednesday, May 12

What Could Have Been...

I posted this on my Facebook earlier today and actually got many responses from non-skating fans! Seriously, though. On top of the triple Axel, look at the distance and height on the Lutz, flip, and especially the loop. I read once that Tonya was doing quadruple loops during a commercial rehearsal, and I have no doubt about it. Her spins have great stretch and nice speed, and the middle section to Send in the Clowns shows that she once upon a time really did attempt to listen to the music. Bad music cuts aside, this long program from the 1991 US National Championships really is AMAZING.

And by the way, her short program from the same year (1991) fit her skating perfectly. All I can do is sigh. The quality of this (and all of the rest of the videos) from the World Championships isn't the greatest, but you should still be able to enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 11

What Was That Music?

I've come across a few findings of obscure pieces used by skaters in the last few weeks, and I thought I'd share for those of you that have as big of an interest in the music as I do! These listings, especially the ones with the *, (to my knowledge) have never been listed or were incorrectly identified on TV broadcasts or websites, or didn't have the correct artist noted.

Maria Butyrskaya 1993 free skate:
The final piece is Calypso by Jean-Michel Jarre

Anna Rechnio 1998 free skate:
La Cumparsita/Tango Please by David Herschfelder & The Bogo Pogo Orchestra
La Cumparsita by The Columbia Ballroom Orchestra
*Moonfire by Richard Clayderman

Maria Butyrskaya 1998 exhibition:
*Adagio by Jose Zariz

Diana Poth 1999 short program:
*Black Velvet by Gerry Parker

Stephane Lambiel 2002 free skate:
*Abracadabra by La Trabant/Sebastian Libolt
Carrousel/Zydeko from Quidam by Cirque du Soleil

Drobiazko/Vanagas 2002 exhibition:
*Adagio by Eleni Karaindrou

Julia Sebestyen 2004 short program:
*La Vie Est Belle by Andre Rieu

I think I'll turn this into a recurring feature :)

Julia Sebestyen Retirement

There has to be a video tribute to this Hungarian lady who first competed on the senior international level at the 1995 European Championships! The first time Julia was shown on American television was during the free skate at the 1999 Skate Canada. She completely fell apart, but it was hardly a sign of things to come. Among the highlights of her career: a 7-triple free skate at the 1999 European Championships; she made the final long program skating group at the 2000 World Championships, the 2002 Olympic Games, and the 2004 World Championships; and she has two medals, including a gold, from the European Championships. Here are some of my favorite performances from Julia:

2002 Olympics short program

2003 European Championships free skate

2004 European Championships gold medal-winning free skate

While We're On the Topic of US Ladies..

After my Beatrisa Liang retirement tribute post, I remembered back to the first time I saw her: the 2001 US National Championships. The free skate at the event was really something, with all of the top ladies bringing their best. In particular, Angela Nikodinov (who finished third), and Amber Corwin (who finished fifth), really had memorable skates.

Michelle Kwan - First Place

Sarah Hughes - Second Place

Angela Nikodinov - Third Place

Jenny Kirk - Fourth Place

Amber Corwin - Fifth Place

Monday, May 10

Re: spiral sequence in SP. What if they adopted a similar practice to the proposed FS spiral amendment? I hate catchfoot and fan spirals, too, but I feel like the original arabesque position does require they show a mastery of edge control.

I'd rather them just have the option to fill the time with whatever they choose, to help relate to the music and/or tell a story. If that means some transitional spiral positions, then that's great. But I definitely won't miss the ladies doing the exact same spirals routine after routine. :)

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Do you know if the suspected 1.1 factor for combinations is going to go into effect next year? Also, do you know if someone does a combination after the halfway point, will it get multiplied by the 1.1 factor twice?

The plan is to have it start next season if this passes, and as far as I understand, yes, there would be a double factor.

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Will you be attending Skate for Hope? I hope so. Would love to read your review!!!

I do not have tickets yet, but I really should attend. I skated with all of the local skaters for a while and the cast once again this year is a pretty strong one. We will see.

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