I haven't heard anything about it..
Thursday, July 22
Is this the last we'll have seen of Rockne Brubaker or do you think he'll realistically be able to find a viable (and injury-free) partner for this quad?
I think he will be able to find someone, but he probably won't find anyone in time to compete this season. It sucks that they waited to split until the end of June, but then again, I don't know that splitting any earlier (such as after Four Continents) would have resulted in any other options for partners.
What happens if someone is supposed to do a jump out of footwork but doesn't? Is it counted as illegal?
It's not illegal, but the rules state that the GOE should be reduced by -3 if there are NO required steps/movements preceding the jump, and reduced by -1 or -2 for having a break between required steps/movements and jump, or having only one step or movement preceding jump.
It shouldn't really mean anything besides giving Suzuki, Ando, and Leonova a bit of a break, as they all were assigned the same two events as Yu-Na. The fields for China and Russia still remain deep, though, with Nagasu skating at Cup of China and a handful of potential spoilers (Makarova, Meier, Wagner, Zawadzki) skating at Rostelecom Cup.
As far as the whole series, it might give Asada or skaters like Ando and Nagasu some early steam, but let's remember that Ashley Wagner and Alena Leonova did well in the series last year to make the Final and basically fizzle off by the time the most important events came around. Therefore, I don't think Yu-Na's withdrawal means too much.
Well I don't know her so I can't tell you :-)
I think often times with choreographers, they let the skaters pick out some music that they'd like to skate to and then work from that. Think about it, if the skater really likes the music then the job of the choreographer becomes that much more simple because they don't have to keep trying to convince the skater of their 'vision' for a program. However, because of this, you get skaters who don't want to sit around for hours and hours looking for obscure pieces like some fans do (myself included), and we get a 'Skatings Greatest Hits' selection over and over each season. Skating to something familiar is probably also more of a safe bet than something that hasn't ever been used, and let's remember the ages of many of the judges... enough said? :-)
I know it drives some people completely insane when there is an announcement of yet another Carmen, Malaguena, or Swan Lake, but I actually don't mind it. However, I wish I was a choreographer because I've definitely heard some great pieces over the last few years. Maybe some day..
What do you think of Javier Raya's senior prospects? I always find it exciting when non-powerhouse nations produce promising young skaters.
He obviously needs more difficult jumping content before he's ever going to make the free skate at Worlds, but I was very pleasantly surprised with his short program at Junior Worlds. He has a strong foundation to his skating and the basics look very secure. I think Javier Fernandez will manage to get into the top 10 at Worlds in a year or two (earning a second spot for Spain), so hopefully Raya is able to improve by then. However, he's already 19 and aged out of juniors so I don't know how much further he will be able to go with the jumps. The flip and Lutz don't seem consistent based on his protocols, and he doesn't have a triple Axel. But then again, maybe he's working really hard this summer and will surprise me again come the start of the season.
Good question, and I honestly don't know. Switzerland is really going to have to go through a rebuilding process starting next season with Lambiel and Othman retiring and Meier making 2011 her last season, as well. There's been no real standout male skater (yet), while Romy Buhler had a really decent showing at the World Junior Championships after a so-so year. She doesn't follow along the lines of Biellmann, Krieg, and Ruh, though, as far as the spins.
Wednesday, July 21
Many people always comment on how they think figure skating is perceived outside the fandom of the sport itself, and I came across something very interesting. I was flipping through the pages of UWeekly (an Ohio State University magazine), trying to find a popular section that showcases photos from bars around the Columbus area, when I found this 'gem':
|IPhone screen shot from yours truly|
|Photo courtesy daylife.com|
Just a final thought after seeing these programs as well as some of the other lower-ranked performances. The new rules are producing similar patterns already from what I can see. The first being the removal of the second step sequence from the short program for the men. Instead of leaving more time for in-betweens and choreography, it seems like many of the men have opted to do a never-ending pattern on their one step sequence. Also, the spin rule changes have many of the men attempting donut spins now-- something we hardly saw before. This has to do with the fact that in years past, most men attempted both a flying sit spin and a sit/change/sit spin in their short programs.. something that is now illegal.
I looked back at my 2010 Worlds mens short program notes, and I made a comment during Ryan Bradley's program that he was the first skater to do camels in either his flying or change-foot spin. He skated 33rd of 48! Also, Among the final two warm-up groups there (the highest World-ranked skaters), only Adam Rippon featured a flying camel into a donut position. All of the other men did both flying sits and sit/change/sit spins. Welp, you've been warned about the possibility of some really ugly camel spin positions throughout this year!
Tuesday, July 20
Update 7/21: Anton Kovalevski of Ukraine has earned his second event, replacing Kazakov at Bompard. He also competes at the Rostelecom Cup the week prior.
Yu-Na Kim has not officially withdrawn herself from the series yet, so her name remains on the Cup of China and Rostelecom Cup rosters.
Yue Zhang/Lei Wang of China have also received their second event, replacing McLaughlin/Brubaker at Skate Canada. Unfortunately for this team, they also skate at NHK Trophy just a week before coming to Canada. The new Grand Prix schedule definitely sets up horrible traveling situations for skaters receiving back-to-back events. McLaughlin/Brubaker's other event, Skate America, has not yet been replaced, but another American pair will take their spot.
In ice dance, Italians Lorenza Alessandrini/Simone Vaturi have received Skate America as their second event, replacing the now-retired Zaretiskis. The Italians will also compete at Skate Canada two weeks prior. Czech team Lucie Mysliveckova/Matej Novak have received their first assignment at Rostelecom Cup, replacing the split Ukrainian team of Zadorozhniuk/Verbillo.
My birthday is on the 23rd so until this weekend, there probably won't be very many updates to the site. In the event that you want to know my address so you can send me presents, e-mail me ;-)
Did you see Mao's new exibition in DOI? Please let me hear your impression on it. Akiko's new SP Jalousie is available in youtube as well. I think both of them are just FABULOUS! Better to watch their 27th performances. :)
I did see Mao's exhibition and I liked it a lot more than most of her recent competitive stuff. I also liked that the dress didn't go all the way up to her neck like usual; it was really beautiful. That, along with her music choices for her competitive programs, gives me great hope that she will be back on track and happy next season.
I like Akiko's new short program. It has some crisp, precise movements that are perfect for the music. I am glad she didn't retire.. she still has a lot left in her!
Can you clarify what is meant by a "scratchy landing"? Is it meant literally - the blade scratches across the ice - or does it connote something more?
It just is a term usually used meaning that there isn't a smooth, backwards outside edge coming out of the jump. Sometimes skaters land on the flat of their blades or under-rotate the jump, and to fix it, they have to adjust the landing skate after it is already on the ice-- causing a scratchiness by trying to adjust themselves from an awkward, off-weight position to the correct position. Hope that helps!
Aw, I'm kinda surprised you didn't like Lu Chen's Beetlejuice/Unchained Melody SP. I thought Tom Dickson's odd music combo worked well... it sounded like a dream that turned into a nightmare.
I get the concept, and I love the Beetlejuice soundtrack. The problem for me was how little Chen seemed to be into the performance at that time in her career. I know that the short program had been her problem spot in 1992, but she just looked so focused and didn't really sell any of it. I was surprised that the commentators talked about how much artistic quality she had, because I would have never guessed she turned into the amazing artist she became, based on these performances!
How realistic do you think Mroz and Carriere's chances are of successful comebacks? Do you think they will be able to challenge Abbott and Rippon?
Mroz, maybe. I think he got it together by the free skate at Four Continents, but of course that was too late. I think he needs better programs this year, or at least programs that don't make him look extremely uncomfortable. There's still something flat about his skating for me.
Carriere.. eh. You can never count him out, either, but I think he's done. I never really got into his skating.
I think that Rippon is going to be the strong force for American skating starting next season. Abbott might have his typical strong showing early in the year and/or at Nationals, but seriously.. look out for Adam.
As far as the third spot (assuming Evan retires), look out for the three Junior Worlds men (Hochstein, Messing, Mahbanoozadeh) to really make their marks. Armin already made the final group for the free skate at last years Nationals but wasn't able to hold it together there or at Junior Worlds. I like Grant the most out of any of them, but he's going to need more difficult content to become a serious threat. Messing, on the other hand, is like an exact Elvis Stojko clone and doesn't have the best basics but seems to be developing very well as a jumper. Ross Miner, if healthy this time around, could also be up there.
Or was he trying to make Joubert into Yagudin 2.0? I liked Nikolai and his ideas when he wasn't used by every other skater, but I think he got very repetitive a long, long time ago-- hence the similarities, I'd guess.
The funny thing is that I think Fernandez's "Pirates of the Caribbean" free skate is one of the better programs Morozov has done in a while, even if it is still kinda empty besides the drunken footwork. It might help that Javier obviously enjoys the program, and he is a great performer.
Skaters that don't really have personalities usually have disastrous programs with Nikolai. I always use poor Takeshi Honda as the example. The difference between his 2002 "Concierto de Aranjuez" and 2003 "Riverdance" is sickening. He went from having a masterpiece of a free skate to a miserable program that he never seemed to get comfortable with (even if he did pull off three quads once with it).
Monday, July 19
Kim said in a press conference today in Korea that she'll be participating in the Worlds, nothing else, for this season
I heard. So I was wrong by... suggesting... she wouldn't compete this year. :-)
Before I get hate mail, I do like Yu-Na and I hope she remains competitive for a while still, but I still think there is a chance that she doesn't show up at Worlds. However, she said she is aiming towards that competition (in Japan), so I hope she sticks to it. I suppose if that is her first competition of the season, it will add crazy hype by her debut of two brand-new programs.
Are you a fan of the skidding spiral move that skaters like Robin Cousins and Stacey Pensgen used to perform (sorry, Stacey's the only other skater coming to mind!)?
No, I always thought it was ugly even if it was considered difficult to control and keep from tripping over the toe pick.
How would you have ranked the top ladies SPs at 1993 Worlds? I seem to recall quite a few clean skates.
I'm going to do a review of the 1993 Worlds ladies like I did for 1992 very soon!
Do the rumors about the potential Sasha Cohen & Rockne Brubaker pairs partnership have some validity in them? If it happened it seems they could be really amazing as a team, but it all seems very far-fetched.
I think they really did have a try-out, but I'm not sure how serious they were about actually pairing together if things ended up really successful. We've seen a few ladies skaters transition quickly into pairs (even those without any prior experience), but I don't see this team actually happening.
Sunday, July 18
I liked Blades of Glory a lot. I haven't been amazed by anything else, but I don't watch a whole lot of movies.
I don't watch hockey. The Columbus Blue Jackets don't exactly do well enough for me to ever take time to watch the games, so I can't really answer this question fairly. I'd imagine that the top figure skaters in the world probably have better basics than the hockey players, but they all start out learning the exact same way (either with a toe pick or not) so I could be wrong!
I like back spirals that fit with the music. Suguri did one in her 2001 "Jupiter" free skate that was just perfect, and my favorite part of Kwan's "Fields of Gold" was always the back spiral towards the end. I don't know why... they always just stick out to me.
I also love the cantilever and if there is one thing I want to accomplish some day in skating, it's definitely being able to pull it off :)
With M/B out, and E/L and D/B obviously our top two pairs, which other teams do you think will emerge as contenders?
I don't know that Evora/Ladwig are comfortably in that "top two" yet, even if they bested D/B at the Olympics. Remember how narrowly they beat Inoue/Baldwin last year at Nationals? We can never count Rena and John out as they are returning, but if anyone is going to play spoiler, I'd go for Yankowskas and Coughlin. They couldn't hold it together at Nationals and seem to have a history of crumbling, but they have this "it" factor about them in my opinion that most other American pairs teams in history have not had. I don't see any of the younger teams really making a huge mark just yet.
I haven't seen his Olympic-winning free skate since the actual live broadcast, and same with Nationals. While I agreed with his Olympic win, you might be able to tell I'm not exactly the biggest fan. Sorry for forgetting these riveting moves :-)
I had posted a few weeks ago that it might be possible she wasn't going to skate at all this season. I knew she hadn't worked on programs yet and it seemed logical that she needed some time to rest after the Olympic gold and all of the other stuff that has been happening since. If she shows up at Worlds, I wonder if that will be the only competition she does all year? The Four Continents are in Taiwan, and I don't know if she'd want to take such long trips weeks apart for big competitions. Maybe her life slows down greatly at the end of 2010 that she can get back to competitive training and working on new material.
However, not to be a total pessimist (and no hate mail- I LIKE Yu-Na), I wouldn't be surprised if she decides later on to forego Worlds this year, as well. We shall see..
Has every single score of every single portion of competition from the Olympic Games. It is remarkable.
As far as other scores/results, the last few years have seen so many great resources disappear, however--
This website by Tino Eberl has competition records that go back 20+ years. While the rankings in individual segments and the scores themselves aren't posted, it's one of the only places you can find results for earlier competitions. I have a feeling much of Wikipedia's competition results listings were taken from this site.
Hope that helps!