Tuesday, 28 July 2009


First piece of news; Lambiel is returning to competition!
"I feel really good, both physically and mentally, and I am determined to take on the Olympic challenge and score a top result in Vancouver," the 24-year-old said in his comeback announcement.

Lambiel held a short press conference on Sunday at the Zurich airport before boarding a flight to Toronto, where he will train for two weeks with Brian Orser, coach of world champion Yu-Na Kim and two-time world junior champion Adam Rippon.

After this trip, the skater said he plans to return to his regular training base in Geneva to work with longtime coach Peter Grütter.

However, it's not going to be easy for Lambiel:
In Lambiel's absence, the top Swiss man at the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, Jamal Othman, did not qualify for the free skate and failed to secure an Olympic spot for a Swiss male skater at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Therefore, Lambiel will compete at the Olympic-qualifying event, the Nebelhorn Trophy, in Germany from Sept. 23-26 in order to gain his country a spot.

In other news, "The Ice" show took place in Japan last week - check out John Kerr's Facebook or Tanith Belbin's Twitter for pictures.

Evan Lysacek also did what can only be described as a fantastic, if a little racy, set of modelling shots. He looks absolutely amazing, definitely a fallback career for him! The pictures can be viewed on his site, and there are some others at the DNA models website.

Jennifer Kirk also posted a new, informative blog about the quad, which was definitely interesting to read, even if you do not necessarily agree with her opinion.

Hope that's a good enough round-up; in a day or two I will be posting Youtube videos of all the new programs that have been performed so far, to give you a taste of next season!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Evan Lysacek's music choice

Lysacek's LP music will be....Scheherazade.

This music choice gets a bit of a thumbs down from me, I have to say. Evan isn't exactly know for picking unique music (he's used Carmen, Tosca, Bolero and Gershwin medleys in the last few years) so maybe we shouldn't expect too innovative. But this announcement from Lysacek just cements my view that this Olympic season is going to be a lot of the same old, same old when it comes to music choices. We've already got a Scheherazade this season (Zhang/Zhang), 3 Romeo and Juliets (James/Bonheur, Sarah Meier and Kimmmie Meissner),3 Carmens (Dube/Davidson, Mirai Nagasu and Ross Miner) and 3 Phantom of the Operas (Patrick Chan, Weaver/Poje and Yukari Nakano)

I can see why skaters pick such music which has been used repeatedly in the past. They know it is going to be successful, as it has been skated to many times before, and the Olympic year is not the one where skaters want to take risks. Furthermore, it is easier for the audience to get behind music if they recognise it, so from thatperspective tried and tested music is a winner.

However, it seems that the negative aspects of using overused music totally outweight the positives. Firstly, it is easy for skaters and judges alike to make comparisons between the skater and those who have skated to it before; for example, though I'm sure Meissner and Meier will both be successful in their interpretations of R&J, doing it at the next Olympics after Sasha Cohen's iconic OSM-winning LP to the same music will lead to comparisons. This could also even lead to criticism for Meissner and Meier, as IMHO neither can emote quite like Cohen did, and this will clearly be demonstrated when they use her music, albeit to a different cut. The other problem with using famous music is that it instantly conjures up thoughts of the skater who "made it their own". After all, who watched Lysacek's Bolero SP without thinking of Torvill and Dean? I bet you no-one. And that is why some music is better off left alone and should be retired.

What do you think? Are the music choices this season unoriginal, or should skaters be allowed to be given the opportunity to interpret iconic music?

Monday, 6 July 2009

New Skating Blog

A blog written by a former competitive figure skater is always going to an interesting read, and Jennifer Kirk's, the 2000 World Junior champion, is no exception. Her latest blog entry covers the issue of skating eating disorders, and it makes sobering reading. Kirk says:
I saw a skater eat the cheese off of a Cheeto and then throw the leftover chip on the floor of the tour bus in order not to ingest any carbohydrates. I found leftover vomit in the toilet. A skater once told me that they had almost missed the finale because they were busy throwing up their dessert in the bathroom, and another told me that their coach was more weight-obsessed than they were and told the waiters at restaurants that she was allergic to butter and oil in order to make sure no fat would touch her lips. The chatter of non-fat, low-carb, splenda vs. real sugar never ceased.

She also admits to an eating disorder which she attributes partly to her involvement, as well as her retirement from the sport. The post is almost brutally honest, and discusses how many skaters suffer from an eating disorder. I think it should be compulsory reading for all skaters, to show them that actually there is a negative side to skating that they should be aware of.

The full article is available here. Program of the Day is Kirk's 2001 Hershey's LP.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Michelle Kwan takes to the ice again

Michelle Kwan had been mentioning a comeback recently with little conviction, but this announcement will get people talking about it as a real possibility:
Five-time world champion Michelle Kwan will join Kim Yu-na at Ice All Stars 2009.

IB Sports, Kim's agency, announced Thursday that the American star figure skater has confirmed her participation in the ice show, scheduled to take place from Aug. 14 to 16 in Seoul.

It will be Kwan's first action since she quit the sport due to a hip injury in 2006.

All I have to say to this is...wow. This seems to be a literal message from Kwan that she is ready to get back on the ice and take on the best; I'll believe an actual competitive comeback when I see it but this seems like a logical starting point. Maybe she'll take that TBA spot at Skate America, maybe not. In my opinion, Kwan, as 9-time National champion, has "had her time"; her career was one of the most impressive of any skater in history, but I believe it will be difficult to her to keep up with the younger skaters, though inevitably Kwan has the dubious advantage of extensive experience on her side. However, I believe she should be pleased with her lot and give others, who have been solidly training and competing in the seasons up to these Olympics, their chance to shine.

I might not be pro a Kwan return but you can guarantee many other skating fans will. This is a show that fans will be stoked about, to say the least, - on internet forums many people seem to be prepared to fly from America just to see this, at obviously considerable expense!

Aside from Kwan's appearance, it's going to be a fanatastic show anyway:
American Evan Lysacek, Jeffrey Buttle of Canada and Switzerland's Stephane Lambiel, who have won each of the men's singles titles over the last four World Championships, will perform along with world silver medallist Joannie Rochette of Canada and Turin Olympic winner Shizuka Arakawa of Japan.

What are your thoughts? Comment below. Full article is available here.