Well, the last thing I came prepared for was misty rain. Good thing I grabbed the newspaper from the front of my door on the way out – saved my program from getting wet. J I arrived during Zamboni time right before Men’s practice. ABC is now camped to my right (where Porny Peter was the other night) and LOL – the NBC Oly crew is to my left. I caught the ABC guy in a yawn and said – HEY this ain’t so bad is it? He laughed. At that moment I saw someone with a coffee cup. I hadn’t seen any of the snack bars open on my way in. I asked ABC guy if he knew where the coffee was coming from. He said “just a minute” and talked into his little Secret Service looking microphone, and came back with “section 123 stand is open.” J While ABC guy (this one) was FAR from porny, I sure liked him.
Men’s Group A: Weir gets the overall nicest men’s practice getup award. Black pants (tights!) and black shirt. I only noticed the shirt detail up close – it had some cut outs in it where it had a black sheer fabric instead of full black fabric. Very stylish. Maybe on the subtle side for Johnny….but still so Johnny. Johnny’s jumps looked awesome – a few step outs here and there, but many nice 3A’s, 3/3’s. A cool 3/2tano/2tano, and later a 3/3/2tano. I assume the starting 3’s are 3Z’s, but don’t count on me for teknik. He didn’t do many elements during his music. Nice SL FW, nice final spin.
Jahnke did almost a full run through in “jump lite” mode (i.e. doubles that looked intentional). Jumps hit and miss in early practice – some nice loops (and maybe sals?) towards the end, including a 3/3 and 3/3/2 all edge jumps.
Smith – Did what looked like all his elements except jumps during his music. He is very pleasant to watch. He just seemed to struggle with jumps throughout the practice – rather hit and miss.
Wilson. I really enjoyed watching this guy. He’s got more of what I would call a powerful style. He’s a bit sloppy and doesn’t seem up to the other guys, but he’s just an interesting contrast to the smore smooth and subtle skating. Steenburg was no show.
Group B NBC Oly video guy comes over to where me and two other ladies I met yesterday were sitting. These other two ladies are mother and daughter, and try to go to Nationals every year. So they tend to recognize most of the skaters, and they “know the drill.” We became consultants to NBC guy at this stage. J They were obviously looking to get some practice clips of specific (top) skaters, and they had no idea who was who. In this group, he was looking for Goebel, who we pointed out and Weiss, who wasn’t there. My 2 friends mentioned that Mike usually doesn’t come to the SP practice early in the week. He came back to us for skater ID’s the rest of the men’s and ladies groups. MAN could we have toyed with that one!!! We should have told him that Rohene was Weiss – maybe Rohene would get some air time, but more on that later!!
[color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color]. This Dang Keyboard. Just lost a bunch of typing. Gotta save more often.
Goebel. He looked really good. He was up first, and did his run through sans jumps. His spins, FW, etc. looked really good to me. Much better than my impressions from previous seasons – of course from TV. Later when he was warmed up, his jumps looked very good. Lots of 3A’s, 3/3’s, and for sure 1 4/3, and I suspect other 4’s. I was a bit distracted – will get to that in a minute. I hope he skates this relaxed and happy in his programs.
Phan – I feel guilty that I didn’t pay much attention to him. He was working very hard out there, I think.
Rohene. OH MY. I’ve heard all the talk, and only seen him on one internet video download that was sort of scratchy. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS GUY!!! First the skating stuff, then the porny stuff. J I am so glad I saw this practice because this guy has so many moves there is no way he could fit them all into 2 programs. During the 6 minute warmup before Goebel’s music kicked off the programs, Rohene was doing spirals out there that IMO were better than all the ladies I saw later with the exception of Sasha. Including a Charlotte. Fast, deep edges, held positions for ages. He did a catch foot (just behind him – not B-man attempt thank goodness), than short FW on one foot, then up to a tripple. That isn’t even the FW he did in his run through. OK – highlights from run through. He does 2 full illusions during his SL FW. He does the SPLITS (yep) during his circular FW before the final spin. He does a position that must have a name, it’s like a spread eagle, but with a very deep knee bend. He bends WAY far backward, and holds it for a good while. Then up and maybe a step then into a jump. His final spin is interesting. He has so many out of the ordinary moves. I’m with many others complaining about the lack of a good scratch spin. So guess what his final spin position is. J He does amazing spread eagles. Someone who knows more than me should comment, but I’m guessing they rival Boitano’s. It is so sad that his jumps are so inconsistent. When they are good, they look HUGE. But sadly, many step outs, hand downs, etc. Only one hard fall that I saw, but it looked hard. That was towards the very end of practice. I’m praying this guy stays on his feet enough to make the cut for TV. This is a skater I could watch for days without him ever doing more than a double jump. (hmmm….maybe there should be a Rohene Rule excusing one from triples if they have THIS much cool “other stuff. He got the biggest applause of all the men in practice, (all groups) with Tim in a close second for that. Now for a quick Porny. If the spanking line gets too long waiting for Ben, get in Rohene’s line. J
The rest of this group were no shows.
Group C Of course after Rohene, I had to go smoke a cigarette. So I missed part of group C. Lysacek looks in very good form. He did a full run through inc. all the jumps, and was speaky clean from what I could tell. (of course we identified him and Savoie for NBC guy.) Savoie – I really like his skating and his style. But seeing him and Evan on the ice at the same time, Lysacek just seems to have a little more of most things. A little more speed, a little more flair, a little more jump security, etc. I still like Matt though.
La Roach (sp) does an AWESOME hydroblade. Long and low. Pennington did a full run through – only a couple minor bobbles that I noticed. He’s OK – nothing wrong with his skating, but just nothing that really stands out for me. I missed Bradley and Delmores music, but no stand outs there either.
A couple final voids – Matt’s coaches were sitting right in front of me so got to wish Matt good luck when he was retrieving his jacket after practice. I also passed Wilson in the hallway as he was leaving and got to wish him luck as well.
I am so GLAD I got to see this!! I will save this and post it, and do ladies in a separate thread.