Friday, 30 April 2010

Bits and Pieces

So, it might be the off-season, but there's still some skating news to be had.

Firstly, the obligatory retirement/continuation announcements. Most skaters haven't committed either way yet, but some have - Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have stated that they will compete for another season at least! This is a fantastic decision; they might be Olympic and World champions but there is so much more they can bring to the sport. Plus, this will ensure a nice friendly "rivalry" between them and Davis and White will continue, giving them both the push to create such masterpiece FDs as they did this year. Kristoffer Berntsson has also stated he will keep competing, which is great news, and Meryl and Charlie have stated their intentions to be in Sochi!

The coaching shuffle has also started; Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates are moving to train with Zoueva and Shpilband. I think this can only be a good thing for the pair, but not necessarily for the other teams Zoueva and Shpilband coach; they might be spreading themselves a little thin, and could be in danger of being the next Morosov. Speaking of Morosov, Nobunari Oda has left him and will be coached by Lee Barkell; a very sensible decision after his disastrous Worlds.

There is also the partner shuffle happening; as predicted, Mukhortova and Trankov are over and he's been trying out with Volosozhar, but Stanislav will still be involved, as assistant coach. Also, Khoklova and Novitski are not longer skating together, and Jana has had a try-out with Fedor Andreev, the son of Marina Zoueva and former Canadian mens skater! Seems like a weird match, and a definite downgrade for Jana - it's only a tryout though, so it may not be successful. It was also assumed that Novitski was retiring due to his injury issues; however, there have been Russian rumours of HIM also looking for a new partner! Hopefully these will be false; it's always been considered that him and Jana had a very good relationship and he will definitely not be able to find a partner as good as Jana, she's such a talent. Piper Gilles and Zachary Donohue have also split.

In weirder news, Nobunari Oda has apparently got married to his girlfriend who is four months pregnant! Kind of unexpected (I think because he looks so young!) but congratulations to him. Lots of changes in his life right now!

The feud between Evan Lysacek (who seems to be doing pretty well on Dancing with the Stars over in America) and Johnny Weir shows no signs of being extinguished. Evan said, when asked about Johnny:
“Stars on Ice” is really selective of who they hire and they only hire the best of the best to skate. It would’ve been hard of them to justify hiring him, and I think he was really upset because he wanted the financial benefit of the tour. A lot of us in the skating world were really disappointed in the way he reacted, basically whining that he wasn’t chosen.

Bit harsh, I think? But Johnny is still doing the media rounds, and on the Wendy Williams Show, the quote was read to him? Johnny's response?

I'm a teenager, and even I didn't know what "slore" meant! But Urban Dictionary filled me in. Honestly, Evan's comment was rude, and so was Johnny's, just in different ways. A bit of friendly rivalry in figure skating is always funny, but when their competitive careers are basically over and they're STILL sniping? Not cool.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Figure Skating in Harlem or Dancing with the Stars?

The annual Figure Skating in Harlem event took place on April 5th - here's what Ice Network had to say about it:
It's an annual event where stars and fans meet, greet and skate under the stars (hopefully no rain this year) at Wollman Rink in New York's Central Park. This year, Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH), an organization that provides innovative ice skating and educational programming for girls ages 6-18 from the Harlem community, will honor three women who share a commitment to kids.

From the skating world, FSH has chosen Kristi Yamaguchi, who founded the Always Dream Foundation around the same time FSH came into being. On Jan. 16, the foundation celebrated the official opening of the Always Dream Play Park in Yamaguchi's hometown of Freemont, Calif. It's a place where physically challenged and able-bodied kids can play side by side.

And it seems the Stars on Ice tour bus took a pit stop in Central Park, because a lot of familiar faces pitched up to support FSH:

Also present from the skating world was Dorothy Hamill, Charlie White, Mirai Nagasu, Ben Agosto and Sasha Cohen. Donald Trump, Tamara Tunie and Christopher Meloni also attended the benefit due to their work with the cause.

One FSH regular who wasn't able to attend was Evan Lysacek, due to his commitments to Dancing with the Stars. He topped the leaderboard this week with his Quickstep:

But one person who isn't too interested in Evan's footwork? Johnny Weir, NY Mag is reporting:

"Evan is fine as a person. We've been competitors for years and years and years and that's kinda the forefront to us being people to each other," Weir said. "I think he worked very hard and he deserved that Olympic gold medal and he does a good job. He does his work. But as a person I don't really know him that well and we've never really made the effort to be nice to each other." But surely he must at least watch Lysacek on Dancing With the Stars? "No," Weir said. "And I won't."

Ouch! But who'd expect anything less from Johnny?

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Post-Season Slump

Post-season slump is inevitable, especially after the Olympic season, so to combat this Ice Addiction is look back over the 2009-2010 season, and setting a sort of skating questionnaire, asking for some of your favourites over the season. Here are the questions:

Favourite Mens Short Program -
Favourite Mens Long Program -
Favourite Ladies Short Program -
Favourite Ladies Long Program -
Favourite Pairs Short Program -
Favourite Pairs Long Program -
Favourite OD -
Favourite FD -
Favourite Breakout Star of the Season -
Heartbreak of the Season -
Skater(s) You'd Most Like to See Saved From Their Imminent Retirement -
Skater You'd Never Like to See Again! -
Best Tweeter of the Season -
...and here are my answers! Remember, this is totally all for fun, and I've done my answers not on the best score of the season, or the most talented skaters, but on the performances and people I personally adore. I'm sure that there are some stars I've missed. Basically, answers from the heart and not the head!

Favourite Mens Short Program - Jeremy Abbott's "A Day in the Life" Choreographical masterpiece! Honourable Mentions: Weir, Takahashi, Rippon, Lambiel

Favourite Mens Long Program - This was a much stronger season for short programs, I thought. But Oda, Kozuka and Joubert all get mentions from me.

Favourite Ladies Short Program - Mirai Nagasu's "Pirates of the Caribbean"

Favourite Ladies Long Program - Joannie Rochette - "Sampson and Delilah" Honourable Mention - Yu-na Kim

Favourite Pairs Short Program - Evora and Ladwig's "Love Actually". Really embodied the Olympic spirit. Honourable Mention - Shen and Zhao, Denney and Barratt

Favourite Pairs Long Program - Pang and Tong's "Impossible Dream" Honourable Mentions - Savchenko and Szolkowy, Dube and Davison

Favourite OD - Virtue/Moir and Davis/White. How could you choose between the two?

Favourite FD - Again, I could never pick between V/M and D/W. Honourable Mentions - Cappellini/Lanotte

Breakout Star of the Season - Michal Brezina. I am so hoping he maximises his potential and becomes the star that he deserves to be!

Heartbreak of the Season - Joannie Rochette, of course. Honourable (or not so) Mentions - Tomas Verner and his disaster of a season, Novitski's retirement, Joubert and Abbott's Olympics

Skater(s) You'd Most Like to See Saved From Their Imminant Retirement - Belbin and Agosto - so, so fantastic. Honourable Mentions - Lambiel, Weir

Skater You'd Never Like to See Again! - Sorry, Plushy, but my votes for you!

Best Tweeter of the Season - Has to be Jeremy Abbott! He has been hilarious to follow all year. Honourable Mentions - The entire Team USA, they all seem to be on there!

...and there you have it! Answers in the comments please - I'd be interested to know how your opinions differ.