1) My adrenaline went so high seeing Plushenko back on the ice. Loved it all, the excessive wiggling and the arrogance included. Sure there's room for much more in-betweens, but with him, Takahashi and Lambiel back the men's competition is looking a lot like Lillehammer: the newbies vs. the camback kids!
2) Agree with Tracy WIlson about Kozuka- a skater's skater but hee needs a bit of an oomph to get out there.
3) Loved the young Russian guy- Artem!
4) Granny's (sort-of) comeback! She looked amazing, the skating and the hair
5) Miki's first internaional win since 2007 Worlds! She looked much better in practice clips, so here's hoping she'll skate with her 3lz/3lp (to me Miki isn't Miki without it) with more speed across the ice later this season. Her arm movements and positions in the elements looked lovely!
6) Mao's meltdown I'm not gonna write what's been discussed by so many people here, but just a few things. TAT did bring something positive to her. Who would've thought Mao would skate with beautiful arms, expressive face and strong solid balance between upper and lower body a couple of seasons ago? That said, I hope she will get a nice rest, stop being in denial (re: Her interviews), make radical changes (coaching, programs, etc.) get those jumps back. Can she do all these by February? I sure hope so.
7) Discovery of TVU broadcast!!!!!!!!!!!! If only I knew earlier that I can enjoy skating LIVE from Down Under!
Ladies only, of course:
- Asada has truly hit rock bottom. An event that she should have easily won, or at least grabbed a silver behind a strong Ando, and where does she finish? OTP!!! This is almost reminding me of Meissner's decline. Not one, but TWO former world champions quickly becoming irrelevant. That said, a true champion uses this as motivation and bounces back stronger than ever. I don't think we've seen the last of her by any means. (Same with Meissner, actually!)
- As many posters have hinted at already, Wagner was a highlight for me. She really surprised me- a very strong performance, but for Olympic team/medal contention she'll have to step it up a notch- (i.e. rotate all jumps) Still, for the first event of the season, she made a statement. She's definitely in the mix and we'll have to see how the other Americans do. Hopefully everyone can make it to Nats, this could be a classic.
- I was actually impressed by the fight I saw in Czisny during her FS. Normally, she falls once and that's it, she wipes the ice. Not this time- she really fought for everything and didn't let the mistake unravel her.
- Leonova: the new Russian to keep an eye on?
On the Ice
On cloud nine and refusing to come down!
i think she is used to this monkey by now- or i hope so. with asada flaliling fast i think miki may get this new attention again slowly
Originally Posted by skfan
I'm not even a Johnny fan but am sad he feels the need to apologize to those who are. I'm sure they don't expect it and feel disappointed FOR him not IN him.
Originally Posted by gold12345
Like his style or not, he's worked hard all his career. Hope he finds the joy again.
Spoke about Johnny earlier. Will add this. He doesn't at all appear to be enjoying himself; he looks confused out there. He needs to be true to himself, but with all that's been going on in his life, I'm not sure he even knows what that is right now.
As for the competition itself, except for a few standouts, I was underwhelmed. Mostly a splatfest in the singles that was very distracting and disappointing. If I wasn't already an avid figure skating fan, this would've left me of a mind not to come again.
No denying Plushenko can jump, but skating is more than jumping for me and I don't think he has much else in his. Arrogance doesn't replace skill and is what put me off his skating the last time around. Same this time. As one poster said, I do hope his being in the mix imspires the others to step up their own games and that everyone brings their A-game to the ice the rest of the way out.
Delighted for both Ashley and Alissa! Ashley has one of the ingredients I loook for in skaters that has little to do with skill - joy!! It makes everything else shine a bit brighter. So happy that Alissa was able to hold the rest of her jumps together after the fall. I don't recall URs for her before, so am hopeful after the strengthening of her fighting spirit I saw here, she'll pull it all together next time. As opposed to EP she has all the skating skills for the other elements anyone could hope for. And a bit of the joy too. Hope to see that back in full force next time.
So disappointed for Mroz's SP. Glad he came back to fight for the free.
So so sad for Mao! I'm not sure TAT is the best all around coach for her though working with her has upped her expression level. Not sure they're a good mix headwise. Two strong-willed people each trying to prove they are right??? Not sure what's going on here. Mao needs to find the joy!
Davis/White - amazing!! Lyrical, expressive, energetic, joyful - the list goes on. Ice dancing at it's best! The rest of the field had better watch their backs.
Pairs - not a big fan for some reason, but M/B were a delight. I do think they are thinking too much sometimes - but a solid outing nonetheless this early. I enjoyed Kavaguti/Smirnov. She's sparkles! Pang/Tong - not so much - too serious for me, though can't doubt their ability. (See - that joy thing again for me
All disciplines are deep in the US and Nationals will be a real treat for skating fans. I think that along with those who are virtually guaranteed a spot on the Vancouver team, the fight for the remaining spots will be in for a few surprises.
Hopefully the striving will spur all skaters to get better not have the opposite affect and make them all a bundle of nerves instead.
Wagner and Rippon have really stepped up to the plate with their showing so far. Denney/Barrett in pairs are surely a threat, and I love Samuelson and Bates as well. Will be interested in the juniors coming up as well. Really glad I'll be spending that week in Spokane!!
Next up: Cup of China. Can't wait to see what is revealed there. Bring it!
L'art pour l'art
^^gopatrick, I love your banner!
After being spoiled by TEB, I have to say that overall Rostelecome Cup of Russia is lackluster.
But there're still a few highlights for me:
1) Pang and Tong. They're simply gorgeous to watch. I especially love their LP, the performance was so passionate, that was probably the only performance in the whole competition that truely touched my heart.
2) Davis and White. I was so looking forward to the showdown between Dom/Sha and D/W, as well as Plushy and Chan. Oh well... I couldn't care less about any competition dominated by just one person/team. But I have to say that D/W are great, if B/A can't bring their A game next week, D/W could very possably replace their position as the No.1 ice dance team in US.
3) Ashley, Alena, Miki and Alissa. Ashley is probably the biggest pleasant surprise in Moscow, her medal shakes up the whole situation of the US Olympic team selection.
I'm so tired of the whole Yuna/Mao debate, the ladies' competiton isn't just about Yuna and Mao, there're so many talents out there, they deserve some attention! And a big thumb up for Julia, I have so much respect to this lady no matter where she ends up on the final list.
4) Plushy is back! His 4-3 and 3A are still the best in the field even after 3 years of break. But that's pretty much it. Probably the only other nice discovery here is Borodulin. It shows a good sign that Russian Men are back on track.
Hopefully Cup of China will be more exciting. Can't wait to see Shen and Zhao, miss them!
Last edited by ae9177; 10-25-2009 at 12:19 PM.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I really enjoyed D&W's Indian OD-what a lot of detail they brought to it! It may or may not be true 'Indian', but it still was a dance with a fully realized theme, not just a collection of skills.
And like Imaginary Pogue, they made me not hate Phantom for 4 minutes-perhaps an even greater achievement!
Re D&W as 2nd best team in the US (or not), the ISU (not icenetwork) overall standings were just updated:
For this week at least, D&W are the 2nd place team in the world. Next week, B&A will surely overtake them (barring a meltdown and K&N winning CoC). However for this week, they are tops.
Also, if you check D&W's bio, their best ever scores list shows that they got their highest international scores ever at Rostelecom Cup in both the CD, FD, and Overall. And very close in the OD.
This considering both the OD and FD have one fewer graded skill than last year. Checking out their PCS, they are much higher than last year. At Nebelhorn, I thought these scores were just an artifact of the system, but at a Grand Prix event, typically scores are lower than Worlds/Olympics.
They appear to be in prime physical shape, and are one of the few teams that had the power to have the 2nd iteration of their CD have the speed/size of the first.
It will be very interesting to see what B&A and K&N bring next week in dance!!
Dance: I thought it interesting that D/W had higher scores for presentation of their OD and FD than the technical elements. I think its awesome and just a testiment to all the hard work they have put in to improve their presentation and connection to each other. Shpilband and Zoueva have given them great material to work with this year.
I can't wait to see and compare B/A and K/N's programs at Cup of China.
Pairs: P/T look really good for so early in the season. I really like that FD and can't wait to see how it will look by the Olympics. K/S---I much preferred their SP version last year. This new version---not so much. Other than that I just can never get into their long programs. At this point, I prefer M/T over them. M/B--I really hope they get their act together. They are so talented but if they don't fix the technical side of their skating D/B could win the pairs title over them at Nationals.
Men: Not a fan of Plushenko but I do respect that he came out and did exactly what he had to do to win with almost a 4- year break from the sport. That is not an easy thing to accomplish. Weir and Mroz I feel bad for. I hope they can work hard and improve for later competitions.
Ladies: So happy for Wagner. She's improved a lot in her presentation, holding her moves, and better choreography. Congrats to Ando and Leonova for medalling. I feel sorry for Sebestyen. I was happy for her after the SP and was hoping she would hold on to win or medal. Sorry to see her drop off like that in the LP. Czisny---not a shocking result at all. She has struggled with her jumps for years now. I don't see her getting a spot on the Olympic team with inconsistent performances like this.
ETA: I am still stunned over how badly Asada is struggling. Tarasova should get a technician in there to help like Paul Wylie suggested. I would also think about maybe switching the LP because that heavy dramatic music doesn't seem to be helping Asada.
Well, at the same time, it wasn't a disaster either. It's only the beginning of the season. I thought she actually showed improvement in that she fought for the program after her fall, when normally she'd just deflate.
Originally Posted by dancefan77
All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!!
Well the Rostelecom Cup was amazing. Congrats to Meryl Davis and Charlie White, what fantastic dances. Congrats also to Evgeny Plushenko as he skated two programs as if he never retired. they are already calling him the early favorite for Olympic gold but his scores are beatable. I am really worried for Mao Asada because of her fifth place finish she will most likely not advance to the Grand Prix Final. I think she is focusing to heavily on the triple axels and Congrats to Qing Pang and Jian Tong for getting the program components scores they deserve.
Also a shout out to Paul Wylie's return to television commentating!!!!!!!!!!