And me, too!! I loved Rachael's programs this year. She is so charming and expressive. I think she is enjyoing skating a lot more than before. Having no pressure form school work must be really helping her. I am not sure what she is going to do from next year since she has to start Stanford and it is really difficult to balance both study and skating. I remember Dereck Delmore skated internationaly and studied at Stanford. I am sure Rachael can manage it well.
One more thing I wanted to say, Carolina Kostner's classical soft program didn't come across as well in person as it did on t.v. And not just her, but slow classical performances don't seem to translate well in person that much, except if you're Oksana Baiul that is. Seriously, to go from Rachael Flatt's high voltage audience pleasing "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" to "Afternoon of a Faun" was a huge contrast. The former made you sit up & be part of the journey, included the audience, while the latter was more introspective, self-contained. And to go along with the slow music Carolina might've had to tone down her speed imho. This is why she didn't appear like a speed demon to me. Just some thoughts...
Also, my older sister, whom was watching from her home, said that Carolina really came across as a tall, elegant, balletic danseur, with long lovely arms & legs. She loved it! But in person it didn't capture the audience imho. And I'm definitely a Carolina Kostner fan.
And as regards Kanako Murakami, yes, I might be biased, but I honestly went to Skate America with an open mind & heart. And she honestly did not impress me whatsoever. She jumps the way Caroline Zhang used to, with her chest almost touching the ground & a high mule kick. As God is my witness she kicked up the most ice during practice. It even flew on us, the audience. Her lavendar dress, at least I think it was lavendar, seemed to be as non-descript as her. I saw no charm, no personality, nothing during either the practice or her skate. The only thing I did like was her 3/2/2 combo., same as Rachael's.
And I am not lying when I say Rachael was by & far the favorite amongst the audience, and rightfully so! Btw, in my original post I made a mistake, I actually saw Rachael for the very first time at 2007 US Nationals (she was 14 yrs. old), wherein she made a HUGE impression on me (which should be in the archives). Her effervescene & joy reminded me of Oksana Baiul, and that 3/3 combo. she did in the SP (which was called UR, but the replay showed it was NOT) was outstanding!!!!!!
I am new in this forum and I feel privileged to post here.
My first post is about Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
I am a very average skating fan. Not much knowledge about technical details, but enough to love the sport. Just like millions of others.
I loved Meryl and Charlie. Really loved them. Great pair!
After SA 2010 - tiny, tiny bit less....
Why? I think they came to the competition without caring much about it. And without caring much about the fans either.
First warmup - no chemistry. Other pairs were warming together, talking about last technical details, cheering each other, being aware of each other. Maryl and Charlie? Didn't see each other in the box before entering the rink, then during the warmup skated one mile from each other. At the very end of the warmup they finally acknowledged each other a tiny bit.
The two competitive programs - nothing spectacular. Just nothing new. Expectations were high, they aim to be the best in the world, but their programs were just average for their level. They didn't try. They won because they had to win, there was no other choice. But the programs were shaky, not polished, they tripped twice - once in each program.
The autograph signing was actually nice. They chatted, they looked relaxed.
Then the gala. The biggest disappointment. To me, an average skating viewer, they came to the rink in their practice clothes, skated around the rink with no purpose, and left.
No artistry, no chemistry, no choreography. Probably their practice sessions look better. Other skaters gave their best at the gala to entertain the public. Maryl and Charlie - didn't care.
And the public gave them what they wanted - a polite and rather cold applause.
Armin Mahbanoozadeh and Adam Ribbon got roaring ovation. Kanako Murakami the same. How entertaining! Aliona and Robin - spectacular! They won Portland's hearts!
Maia and Alex - I am in love with them! And so is entire Portland!
Even Carolina, who to me has rather little personality, tried to entertain.
Maryl and Charlie - nothing. Just just came and left with no impact.
Well, I understand they take a break after the exhausting olympic season. But why did they come to Portland then? For the fans this is the only occasion to see them. No matter how tired and burned you are - when you come to a city with a performance you give your best! Or you don't come at all!
Anybody has similar observations?
P.S. I will post some photos later. I already posted them in my first try, but then run to some problems with the site's automated administration. I will try later after the server gets used to me and starts treating me like a friend...
she takes the audience on her journey of emotions
Why should it be surprising that Rachael was the favorite among the fans, though? She is the U.S. champ skating on home soil. And she won the free skate. It's hard to imagine any of the other skaters in that field being the fan favorite. There was no big international star here.
Originally Posted by Nadine
I can see what you mean about Rachael's girl-next-door appeal. I see it more this year than last year. I can even sort of (SORT-OF) get the comparison with Oksana in the joy department. The problem is that Rachael is just not the natural dancer that Oksana was. However, you are not the first person I've heard say that Rachael is more exciting in person so that's interesting to note. Totally jealous that you were there. I can see how Carolina's slower program would have been a bit of a downer after Rachael, especially if Caroline didn't nail it. Carolina: she's graceful and fast. But is she exquisite? I've always been a little ambivalent about her.
Last edited by Layfan; 11-16-2010 at 12:33 AM.
Cezar, your thought was exactly same as mine. D/W did not seem to care about anything. Their exhibition was the worst last night when compared with other skaters. They slapped the audience faces by just stroking around with few boring elements. There was no choreography, no costume, no preparation or what soever. They did not care that these people bought the tickets to watch the gala and cheering on their athletes. They are typical "big head" athletes, IMO. The audience appreciated so much when S/S. Murakami, Armin Mahbanoozadeh and Adam Rippon skated. The judges also were slapped on their faces when they gave them boring programs with several falls and mistakes, and still recieved high PCS and TES.
Holy Cow, Cezar, your photos are absolutely drop dead gorgeous!!!!! Are you a professional photographer? Or do you have one of those fancy very expensive cameras like the guy sitting next to me had?
I can't wait to see more of your pics ~ simply exquisite!
During the autograph signing I was chatting with them. Both with D/W and S/S. Maia and Alex are beyond adorable!
Originally Posted by samba
Anyway, I wanted to ask Meryl and Charlie if they would consider dancing to Dark Waltz. But then I didn't ask - I just didn't have the courage. Later I regretted I didn't ask, but at the end of the competition - I didn't regret.
I think I changed my mind. I want Maia and Alex to dance Dark Waltz. Sang by Jackie Evancho or Hayley Westenra, and danced by Maia and Alex. It's going to be the most beautiful piece of art ever!
Cezar, those first three photos were amazing! Wow! What kind of camera do you have? I love taking photos when I go to concerts and such (and I'm planning on attending Nationals in 2012) so I'd love to have a great camera.
And I agree about D/W. I watched part of NHK and well, I don't know. I didn't feel like they connected. Then again it was my FIRST time watching Ice Dancing so I don't know. I do know the two young (Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein) who got bronze (I think) at Skate Canada seemed to connect more with each other than D/W did. Again, I'm not an expert just what I felt watching them.
No, I just checked my tickets, and we weren't sitting next to you, lol. We were in the very first row, of course, but not your section. (:^)
Btw, how did Rachael do in the gala event afterwards?, which was scheduled to start at 5PM. Did she skate to her hearbreakingly beautiful number "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"? by the Beatles, but sung by a guy from the t.v. series Glee.
And Caroline Zhang, what did she skate to? Thanks for your answers in advance.
I wanted to get home before dark, which is why I didn't buy tix for the gala event. Now it gets dark at 4:30PM. Also, of course, I've been very sick with the flu (though feeling better today, just a little phlegm).
It's been a joy viewing your pics, Cezar, because right now there is a huge windstorm going on in Seattle, my lights are flickering, and the News said that it's going to be like this tomorrow as well except with possible SNOW! (8^O I just knew it was going to come early, which is why I bought my tickets to SA very very late, the day before. Even in Portland it was fleezing cold with rain & fog (similar to Seattle), and the afternoon we arrived at our hotel it honestly looked like rain mixed with snow. I'm just glad we got back safely to Seattle at 6PM the other night.
It is Nikon D700 + 70-200/2.8 VR. It's kind of risky to bring this equipment to events where it's unclear if they are allowed. This is why I din't bring it with me on Saturday, because I thought they would not let me in.
Originally Posted by jnoble82
But then I saw people with their DSLRs and big lenses everywhere, so I brought mine on Sunday.
Here is the link to the entire gallery. Hopefully the server will let me post it. Feel free to comment in the boxes under the pictures. I am a passionate hobbyist and comments of others are my biggest reward!
Wow, Cezar, your pictures are really amazing! I especially love the three photos of the medal ceremony! Rachael, Kanako and Carolina all look so beautiful!!
Great pics! I think you folks pretty well summed up SA Portland. I would only add that Rachael was the only skater that deserved an explosive standing ovation. I have no idea how she went out there with pain from her foot to her knee and did that program, after experiencing tendonitis myself. I just hope she heals fast. Tendons can take a long time to heal up.