Like subtlety in ice dancing
All 6 bronze winners were first time World medalists! Which one's your favorite?
One of the most remarkable things about this World Championships is that all four winners/winning teams won their very first World medals ever! They're all at very different stages of their careers, and they all have very different stories. But all of their wins were inspiring.
In ice dancing, we have Nathalie and Fabian, who overcame a freak nose break injury to win! The veteran team has been tipped for the podium before, but never managed to climb on board until now. But they managed to do it when Worlds is in their home country, giving their countrymen a massive thrill! The team may well retire after this, which would make their victory here a lovely sendoff.
In pairs, we have Takahashi and Tran, who overcame inconsistent SBS jumps and PCS lowballing to win! The team is almost at the very start of their senior careers, this being only their second trip to worlds! But they have long been fan favorites, winning over hearts and minds with their sweeping elegance (really, the word that comes to mind when I watch them skate is that it's... SWEET!). The win is even more remarkable when you consider that despite Japan's success in singles, the country has almost no history or basis in pairs. In fact, T/T are the only pairs team Japan sends to Worlds, even though they have one more spot! Let's hope Japan starts giving pairs some love now. And let's hope Tran's Japanese citizenship gets fast tracked (which won't be easy in anti-immigration Japan), so the team can compete in the Olympics.
In mens, we have Yuzuru Hanyu, who overcame stamina problems to land every planned jump to win! With his commanding charisma and mesmerizing style, he's been a fan favorite for a while, even though he just got started in seniors! This is his very first trip to Worlds, and he delivered on every promise his skating has shown previously. I predict and hope that this World medal is the first of many.
In ladies, we have Akiko Suzuki, who overcame being the redheaded stepchild of Japanese ladies figure skating to win! Akiko has always been a bit out of place in Japanese ladies skating: she was never the wunderkind, nor was she ever the veteran with the well established record. But for many fans, she has always stood out as one of the most exuberant, joyful and charming skaters ever. Her footwork sequences always feel like a party. The joy she exudes is special in this sport: it's not the kind of joy that associated with youth and naivete, it's the knowing kind that comes after experience and wisdom, and is all the more comprehensive for it. Akiko, who has battled an eating disorder and years of unsatisfactory results, has seen and felt the dark sides of skating. But she's overcome them, and she loves the sport more than ever and isn't afraid to let it show. The international judges never quite seemed to share in the fun, giving her so-so PCS. But she made herself impossible to ignore at this championship with her technical abilities! And at long last, at an age when most ladies skaters have retired from eligible competition for years, Akiko wins her first World medal! And it may be the first of many. Akiko is actually skating better with more difficulty than she ever has, and just capped off the most successful season of her career. I hope she continues in the sport and continue to delight audiences and win over those grumpy judges.
I'm happy for all the winners. But the one I'm most especially extra unbelievably happy for is Akiko. She won me over the first time I saw her during the 2009-2010 Olympics season. But as hard as she worked, she never quite got the best results on the biggest international stages, always coming just a little short. Not this time! When it all finally came into place, it's all the more satisfying for the wait.
So which first-timers do you like? And what do you see in their futures? Edited to add: which victory is your favorite? This could be different than which of these winners you like!
Last edited by Serious Business; 03-31-2012 at 04:18 PM.
the Golden Era
I'm happy about Hanyu, but I'm thrilled beyond anything for Suzuki. What a marvelous achievement. I love your description of her footwork as being like a party.
Takahashi and Tran!
YUZURU FOR SURE. His LP was the first program that made me cry! He's so likeable. I can see a lot of endorsements coming his way.
Like subtlety in ice dancing
I should've clarified in the original post that I meant to ask which victory is your favorite (as opposed to which victor is your favorite), oh well I edited that in now. Yuzuru Hanyu is one of my fave skaters now, and his win made me very, very happy. But Takahashi and Tran, skaters I also like but not as much as I like Hanyu, had a win that nonetheless felt just as great to me. T/T's win was a lot more unexpected. There were so many great pairs teams with much better records, and T/T never seemed to get the benefit of the doubt from the judges. They're also a team that hasn't had the best consistency. So for it to suddenly happen in their second outing at Worlds is just deliriously delightful. Plus, did you see their reaction? Takahashi was jumping up and hugging everybody!
Off the ice
Nathalie and Fabian. They've worked so hard and so long for this. I stopped watching ice dance for several years and then I tuned in in 2008 and was blown away by their FD (I still maintain they were undermarked). I've been a fan ever since and I'm so happy the injury didn't stop them. And unless they've suddenly changed their minds, they're not going to retire.
But all the bronze medalists are very likable! How can you not cheer for the 27 year old first time medalist and for the kid from Sendai, both of whom have had to overcome so much, or the adorable T/T with that hilarious K&C reaction?
Against all odds - T/T. Look at the field, and their inconsistencies....very very few people would've predicted their placement. It was very nice to see Narumi's reaction at the K&C
Hanyu had an outside shot of a medal. I predicted him for a Bronze, but that was more wishful thinking at the time :P I am glad he pulled through, and proved that I am not delusional! So so happy for him.
Akiko had a real shot at Gold, so it was not a total shocker
P/B - happy that they won at home in France. They almost had to withdraw, and it's the courage to fight back and skate two amazing programs that places them on the podium =]
World-class athletes, all of them.
Always supporting skaters :)
I really can't pick one. I'm just thrilled for all the bronze medalists; I did love Narumi and Hanyu's reaction though--priceless!!
T/T for me. Then Suzuki. Then Yuzuru. Then the French (I still think W/P did better and should have won bronze)
Aw, I like all of them.
But I guess if I had to rank them...
T/T (K&C reaction makes it awesome. Also they made history. Also I love their fist bumps)
Akiko (Because she never gave up even though her path to success was a slow one. Also she has to be one of the oldest medal winners in FS history, if not the oldest.)
Yuzuru (His FS was AMAZING! He did leave it all out on the ice..)
P/B (Glad the finally earned it!)
Last edited by Mrs. P; 03-31-2012 at 05:02 PM.
I'm going to go with T and T because it was such an unexpected set of performances and for the absolute joy of the medalists. All of them were delightful, though.
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
I'm thrilled about all of them except P/B where I felt home cooking and sympathy vote for her broken nose enabled them to get the medal that W/P earned.
It was a great Worlds for Japan and it's lovely that there is little or no controversy around any of their medalists -- they were all fantastic and did their best, demonstrating the quality that their fans have been excited about all season.
Big thanks and congratulations to them all!
Pechalat & Bourzat. Long overdue and should have happened last year but for a freak 2 person fall.