Friday, 26 February 2010

Over and out

So the last medal has been decided! Yu-na could not be a more deserving champion. What a performance! Between her and Mirai, Rachael, Mao's triple axels and of course Joannie, it was quite a competition. Thoughts and analysis potentially coming soon...and now just got the gala to look forward to!

Speaking of looking forward to (Worlds), Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have announced that they're joining Lysacek and skipping Torino. This means that the Olympics was probably Tanith and Ben's last competition; we'll miss them!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Breaking News

Evan Lysacek will not be going to the World Championships. And there you have it folks! Did you see that coming? Since Stars on Ice practice clashes with Worlds, I'd say the answer was "yes".

Media Madness

So since I last blogged, the ice dance event has finished and the ladies short program has happened; two of the best events which have ever happened in Olympic history. Virtue and Moir's free dance and Joannie's incredible short program will forever live on in figure skating history; did anyone NOT cry the whole way through her skate?

But here's a round-up of some news to fill up the time between now and the ladies free skate (can you believe it's the last competitive event of the Olympics? How it's flown!)

The US team have been talking about their plans post-Vancouver - hear what Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir are planning. Evan on Dancing with the Stars would be great, but I'd rather see Johnny on it, as long as he could perform to Lady Gaga every week!

Other skaters who have been talking about their life now Vancouver is over includes Brian Joubert; after his awful result last week he has stated he plans to keep competing until 2012 and that he needs to make changes to be successful. Hopefully these plans will convice the French Fed to judge him fairly at the "readiness test" they're giving him before Worlds in March.

Across the pond, all the ladies of the US Olympic team (plus a bit of Johnny Weir thrown in for good measure) talked about their beauty routines and favourite products - definitely worth a read.

In your regular snarking update, Plushenko appears to have finally gone quiet on the skating controversy over his gold medal, but that doesn't mean it's over. On his official website, his medal from Vancouver was billed as "platinum" instead of a silver, but when the international media picked up on it and made an outcry it was swiftly change; with his "people" insisting Plushy was nothing to do with it.

Similarly, Massimo Scali has been criticised for criticizing both Virtue and Moir and the judges in Vancouver; however, Lynn Rutherford over at Ice Network quickly set us straight on how Scali's quotes were manipulated and out of context. Thank goodness!

The media really have been going skating-crazy; as Charlie White tweeted "We were made fun of on the Colbert Report!!! Woohoo, haha I've made it!! " Watch that here; it also mentions Weir and Lysacek.

Go Fug Yourself, a hilarious fashion blog, did a review of some of the costumes we've seen in Vancouver; the good, the bad and the ugly! Read it; I defy you not to laugh your head off!

There have also been other skaters in the media; most of it is US-centered (for example, Lysacek was on the Larry King Show and Davis & White are going to be on the Today Show) but Twitter is the place to be for the best updates.


Monday, 22 February 2010

Joy and Sorrow for the Canadian Team

So there is happy news and terrible news for the Canadian team in Vancouver. Tragically, Joannie Rochette's mother, Therese Rochette, just passed away suffering a heart attack on Sunday at the age of 55. Rochette still plans to compete tomorrow night, and even attended her official practice (pictured). All our thoughts and prayers are with Joannie and her family at this difficult time.

In other skating news, Virtue and Moir took a comfortable lead in the original dance section of the competition yesterday. Both Virtue/Moir and Davis/White skated out of their skins to take first and second position, pushing Domnina and Shabalin's much-talked about Aboriginal program down to third. The free dance today is going to be great; whilst the medallists appear to be set, will they move around?

It's also been confirmed that Evan Lysacek and Nastia Liukin; anyone else with me in not being suprised at all? I'm just wondering if it's too cyncical to think of it as a match made in NBC heaven.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Vancouver 2010; over halfway through!

So mens and pairs medals have been given out (my comments on which will come in a giant round-up post after all the events are over)but there is still a drama bubbling between Plushenko and Lysacek. Here are a few articles about Lysacek, Plushenko and the aftermath:

IOC President says Plushenko's behavior only an expression of disappointment - Philip Hersh, Chicago Tribune

The night they killed figure skating - Elvis Stojko, Yahoo! Sports

Timothy Goebel responds to Elvis Stojko’s Rant - Timothy Goebel/Jocelyn Jane Cox, Current Skate of Mind

How Evan Lysacek got ready to win gold
- Emma Rosenblum, NY Mag

Lysacek waves off criticism from Russian Federation - Amy Rosewater, Ice Network

Plus the compulsory dance happened last night. Whilst I still wish it had been the Golden Waltz instead, I still loved it! Full results are here. I'm going to call who I want to win right now, and get it out there; Virtue and Moir. Here's hoping! However, thought any of the top teams would be deserving of it after watching those CDs; Davis/White, Belbin/Agosto and of course Domnina/Shabalin really brought it! Original dance is tonight - check out Twitter for updates, live as they happen.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Who's your favorite skater?(single female/male) I have a lot. Despite his flaws, I'm a long-time Joubert fan. I know, I know...but I just can't help but love him. This season I've also become a massive Jeremy Abbott fan, and I'm praying he gets assigned TEB next season because I so very much want to see him live! My other favourites are Lambiel, Brezina, Kozuka, Oda, Weir, Verner, Bradley, the list goes on! Other than Plushenko (sorry!) I pretty much love them all.

Ladies, I don't have so many favourites in. Whilst I love Yu-na and Mao, my real favourite lady is Joannie Rochette. I also adore Ashley Wagner, Alissa Czisny, Sarah Meier and Elene Gedevanishvili.

Whilst you didn't ask, I think I'll tack on that my favourite pairs are Savchenko and Szolkowy, and my favourite dancers are...almost all of them! I'm a diehard Marlie and Virtue/Moir fan though.

However, readers of my blog probably know this already; I'm not too good at keeping my biases under control!

Ask me anything

Are you as drained from this whole skating thing as I am? Also, which ladies are you looking forward to seeing skate next week?

Yes, very much so. As I've mentioned, I'm totally sleep-deprived and emotionally drained from watching many of my favourites falter. But I'm drained in a good way, I think! Ladies, I'm looking forward to Yu-Na, obviously, but my favourites are Joannie Rochette and Sarah Meier, who I've been a long-time fan of, so I'm hoping they can both nail it. Rochette's long is spectacular!

Ask me anything

Monday, 15 February 2010

Pairs Short Program - Highlights and Lowlights

MSo it's started! Some quick thoughts on the pairs short program.


Shen and Zhao - These guys are just perfect.
Savchenko and Szolkowy - Whilst their short program has been criticised (the makeup and costumes, anyone?), I think they showed that this year is not just going to be the Shen and Zhao show.
Kavaguti and Smirnov - I love that program!
Evora and Ladwig - Whilst not so technically talented, I think it was just a beautiful performance. Love Actually is one of my favourite pieces of music for skaters, period.


Mukhortova and Trankov - He had a killer fall on the side-by-side triple toeloops; he cried at the end, which was heartbreaking, though I speculated that it was to get some sympathy from Maria, who has a history of absolutely "death-staring" him every time he screws up. Nice move, Maxim.
Dube and Davison - Her nerves really got the better of her, and Jessica fell on the side-by-side triple salchows. Sentimental favourites of mine, I really hope they can pull it out in the long, as their program, to The Way We Were is a Canadian classic.

That's my brief thoughts; who else is excited for the long tonight?

Friday, 12 February 2010

It's here!

Opening Ceremonies are tonight! Due to technical issues I might not be able to post during the events, but here's good luck to all the skaters competing. Enjoy!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Tango Romantica for Dummies

Another post to feed on that Olympic fever; some comparisons of the compulsories! I haven't got every top team on here (Belbin and Agosto haven't competeted the Tango Romantica yet, for example) but there's enough that you can watch and make a comparison. Ignoring the possibility of disasters, who do you think will take gold after the CDs?

Important Things to Remember; What the ISU Communication on judging the Tango Romantica Says
Skating Skills
Ice coverage without visible pushing; cleanness and sureness of steps; strongly curved well rounded lobes; lobe to lobe transitions well controlled; controlled body weight changes; light knee action; clean, tight, crisp footwork.

Perfect vertical and horizontal unison; good carriage and style; controlled body action;nicely matched free legs; balance in performance between partners.

Expression of the typical changes between the soft and strong character of the rhythm, relationship between partners reflecting the lyrical mood of this Tango. Well-defined and strong edges should be skated with a lot of character using good knee action, tight ,clean footwork with matching free leg movements. For good presentation and interpretation the body style and movements should reflect Tango rhythm.

Very precise and crisp timing, exact beat value for each step, sometimes syncopated to bring out the Tango character.

Here are some of the key players in the medal race performing their Tango Romanticas this season.

Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir

Oksana Domnina/Maxim Shabalin

Meryl Davis/Charlie White

Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali

Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte

Jana Khokhlova/Sergei Novitski

Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat

Isabelle Delobel/Olivier Schoenfelder
(from the 2006 Europeans, embedding is disabled on this video, annoyingly!)

I've also decided, as a point of comparions, to add in some of the best performances of the Tango Romantica from the past few years as a point of comparison.

Jayne Torvill/Christopher Dean

Oksana Grishuk/Evengy Platov

Marina Anissina/Gwendal Peizerat

So there you have it; everything you need to know about the Tango Romantica! Hope it was helpful.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Olympic Fever!

Now, if you're like me, you're totally excited for the events in Vancouver to start and are itching to see some skating! But to keep you going until the first event (the Pairs Short Program, on Valentines Day!) I've compiled some links/sites/videos to keep you going!


Twitter is an invaluable tool for any skating fan. There are a number of skaters who tweet, especially the American ones; my favourites are @jeremyabbottpcf, @EvanLysacek, @JohnnyGWeir, @Adaripp (Adam Rippon, in case you couldn't tell), @AshWagner2010 and @charlieawhite. There are so many more figure skaters out there in the Twitter world, so have a look at Aaron's site Axels, Loops and Spins for a full list.

There are also so many people who tweet skating news, and who, along with me, will be tweeting the Olympic results. The best, I think, are @SarahandDrew (off of Ice Network), @skating102 (Aaron from the aformentioned Axels, Loops and Spins) @blazingblades and @NBCOlympicZone. Don't forget about @Ice_Addiction either!


Skaters seem to be popping up on TV all over the place. Jeremy Abbott, who has traditionally flown under the radar in terms of promotion, was actually on the Today Show and skated a flawless program. Evan Lysacek is also going to be on the Today Show on February 10th, so look out for that. Evan was on Jay Leno (with Kristi Yamaguchi and Mirai Nagasu in the audience!). Also, the latest in the Cutting Edge franchise is going to be shown on March 14th. It's called Fire and Ice; taking inspiration from Brian Joubert/Sasha Cohen's autiobiographies?

Other Stuff

And finally, to keep you going, here are some interviews with skaters which might be interesting. There's an interview with Abbott, and then a little news piece on Nathan Chen, America's hopes for 2018 (!) There are also a few clips on Delobel and Schoenfelder from recent training!

Oh and last bit of skating news; the compulsory dance at the Olympics is going to be the Tango Romantica! Do you like this decision? Personally I was hoping for the Golden Waltz but you might disagree - comment below.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Photogenic or what?

So my first post back is some serious skating, it's actually some pretty pictures! Regardless of whether you're a fan of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir or not (and why would you not be?), you'll find these pictures adorable. Other bloggers have, as one of my Tweeters rightly pointed out, already posted some of these but I thought you needed a link to all of them because there are some gems. My personal favourites:

Here are all the photos; the incredible photographer, Myra Klarman, also shot Tessa and Scott in 2008, the images from which you can see here. There is going to be a Part II of these photos as well; I cannot wait. All credit for the pictures goes to her of course!