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Originally Posted by deedee1
Thanks again deedee! Great summation on your thoughts and feelings on the elite men at this competition.
Do whatever you like. But don't say the judges were wrong on focusing on the feet the most.
Originally Posted by let`s talk
What a lovely imperative tone. Says a lot about some Chan ubers. As for the judges and feet, other skaters have feet too, but also the upper body movements, face expressions, feeling of music and connection to the audience. That's why the Nice judges got booed. Hope that finally helps.
Originally Posted by Bluebonnet
Overall thoughts on World Team Trophy
10) Ice coverage, speed and presence on ice:
When watching a competition live, one thing I enjoy and appreciate is speed and ice coverage by skaters. Without any knowledge on the rules or requirements for levels, these things are clearly visible even to the eyes of casual fans like myself, as well as successfully landed jumps and/or well-executed spins/step sq.
Unless we are from a wealthy family, we can not afford to buy rink-side tickets all the time. For most of the spectators who sit far and above in the aerna, they just can not see skater's facial expressions or complexity of choreography. But they can see whether s/he skates with the music or just goes through the music, whether s/he skates with the decent speed that the music requires or not, whether s/he skates big or not. (They can also notice connecting steps, moves inbetween, or complicated transitions in and out of each jumps/spins/lifts, if they look for them intently, of course. But they need to be more familiar with rules, first.) So they tend to be more appreciative for speed and ice coverage. Patrick, Meryl/Charlie. Tessa/Scott, not so much with Funny Face program this season, unfortunately. Presence on ice is also appreciated. Daisuke, Brian, Florent, Ashley this season, all have it. Jeremy prior to the start of music, less presence, maybe. Music choice and its choreography are important. Carolina and Jeremy, hands down! But in order to reach the audience, it is more important for a skater to make his/her music and choreo his/her own's, and show the audience his/her take on the program. For me at this WTT, I got to see many great performances, so I don't name them all here, but Kevin, your SP is definately one of them!
I would like young skaters who competed with big guns at this WTT for the first time in their career; namely Kovtun and Bush from Russia, or Silete, Meite, Popova and Massot from France, to realize what the audience love and enjoy. They can also learn these things from their fellow (elder) skaters at this WTT, who are definately the top skaters of the world, not only how to land a quad/3A or how to get levels for spins.
Also, I would like to encourage members here on this board, if you never got to see competitions live yet, please go when there is a chance. There is nothing like live competitions! I can assure you it's worthy to pay for a ticket. And if you get to see a lot of skaters back to back, you may discover good things in your non-favorite skaters, or a reason may come to your sense one day why, what do you say in English, 'X skater gets love from judges no matter what'?, before complaining in front of PC.
Okay, everyone. Here goes the Award time by deedee!
-Best Team Award: Team France & Team Italy!!!
WTT would be never be the same without you guys!
-Best skater Award: Daisuke Takahashi & Meryl Davis/Charlie White
Thank you for two flawless, lovely, passionate performances full of your heart!
-Best crowd pleaser Award: Brian Joubert
How much Air France had to charge him for extra luggage full of stuffed animals? I don't know.
-Best dancer on ice Award: Florent Amodio, Jeremy Abbott (SP) & Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (SD)
Florent, you beat Dai this year. But better watch out, Dai will beat you back next season with his cool 'Sweat' EX.
-Best dresser Award: Carolina Kostner & Tessa Virtue!
Hands down. No complains from ya, for this one, right?
-Most improved skater in recent years Award: Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran & Kevin Reynolds
My hubby and I still remember Narumi crying like a small kid, and Mervin cradling her as if he were a big brother after their disappointing LP at 2009 WTT. But this time around, your performance to Imagine was so beautiful and literally made us cry. Thank you so much for representing Japan as sole pair team over the years. And many congratulations for winning the first world medal on your second appearance at the senior worlds! We are so proud of you!
As for Kevin, I hope he heard all the shouts and cheers every time you went for quads. My wish is judges will finally notice how Kevin has improved over the years, and reward you with higher PCS next seasons.
-Young skater Award: Yretha Silete
Adelina and Gracie already got lots of recognitions by skating fans. So, let deedee go for a dark horse. I just love her huge jumps and her unique LP this season. I always love great jumprs, and she reminds me young Miki of pre-senior. She has goods. With a good coach to help her improve skating skills, spins, steps, postures, and mind set for comp (yes, yes, I know, there are still loads of work ahead of her), and proper packaging with the right music and its choreo which suits her strength, she has potential to become something around 2018.
And the most important award finally!
-MVP Award: Nathalie Pechalat!!!!
No one can beat Nathalie the Captain.
Last edited by deedee1; 05-08-2012 at 06:17 AM.
Deedee, thanks again for the reviews!
We should have you be our special correspondent. I really like to hear your thoughts on international individual events.
In WTT, the individual event winners just couldn't hold this long to be 100% present there. However, this event did serve as redemption opportunity for the skaters who did not win at individual event - I'm not talking about only men's skating.
Last edited by Bluebonnet; 05-08-2012 at 12:40 PM.
11) World champions and medalists:
What made most remarkable about the second World team Trophy, and so that made this competition the most exciting and the worthiest to witness for all the spectators, is we had all reigning world champions from all 4 disciplines; Tessa Vitue and Scott Moir, Patrick Chan (2-time champion!), Carolina Kostner (many congratulations for finally winning the title which you so deserve, Carolina!), and with many thanks to Aolina Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany (four-time champion!!) who came all the way to Tokyo just to perform in the Gala. As for the reigning world medalists, we had all 3 medalists from Ladies and Ice Dance, 2 medalists from Mens and Pairs, only missing 2 medalists who had to withdraw due to injuries. We also had the former champions; Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Daisuke Takahashi and Brian Joubert.
What else opportunities could we have had except Worlds and/or Grand Prix Finals?, I wondered. What a feast for all the long-time skating fans in Japan who remember the old days when this sport was less popular and they had to search for small articles in sports section of every major newspapers, dying for the results on their favorite skaters on the international competitions, with no PC, with no online streamings, no ISU's online results, and/or PBP from core skating fans!, I thought to myself.
Without doubt, these champions and medalists made this 4-day competition really special for all the spectators and skating fans in the world, and helped a great deal to attract good sponsorships, media attention/coverage and casual viewers in Japan.
I am sure a lot of people among the audience felt the same way. So, from the the moment when Nathalie the Captain and team France stepped onto the ice, atmosphere in the arena and audience atittude was very welcoming and friendly, with expectations and appreciation, to every skaters regardless of nationalities, rivalies, and favorites or not, throughout the entire comp. We tried our best to show our gratitude to all skaters and coaches, judges, tec panels, ISU officials, TV crews, backstage staff, oh and Go-chan!, by clapping, cheering, shouting and throwing in flowers and stuffed animals for 4 days. While we felt sorry for the skaters who fell on jumps or did not get to perform as they wished for, we did not get disappointed or annoyed by its outcome at all. I hope it showed on TV/PC screen for you.
This comp also helped to promote Ice dance and Pair desciplines in particular, which are less popular in Japan, I believe. Normally, we can expect TV stations to cover single competitions, but seldom cover ice dance and pairs (maybe except NHK Trophhy.) What I observed from the upper deck this time was all the fascinating and smiling faces of the audience who seemed to be impressed by world's top dancers on th ice and to be wowed by big tricks by the world's top pair skaters. Tickets sold well overall. Full house on Saturday and Sonday. High TV ratings proved ISU's PR strategy to promote this event was successful.
I agree that this WTT was a great success as an individual event. But if we see it as an experimental event to prepare for Team event at the next Olympic Games which is only two years away, I have other thoughts and concerns, just like you.
Can I continue some more? Maybe I should change the post.
Last edited by deedee1; 05-09-2012 at 03:02 AM.
At the same time, I really felt for all the skaters. The long and exhausting season nearing to its end finally and right after the Worlds, it must have been very hard for skaters to concentrate on this half cheesy half real competition. Especially those who could accomplish their goals such the world title or medals; it was obvious as some of you mentioned earlier. Every skaters more or less suffer injuries; we can easily imagine. Thank god there seems no visible big injuries during this comp!, me remembering Jessica Dube's scarey fall from the twist lift in the Gala three years ago...
Not only physically, because for younger skaters, it must have been financially demanding to cover for their coach for this additional comp, too; I worry, though I donot know whether their feds would cover.
As some of you suggested, this WTT should be moved to the beginnig of the season. If ISU's intention is to hold it every other year, it should be in the Olympic season and its intermediate season; e.g. 2014 and 2016. Very helpful and worthwhile for participating skaters and its coaches to try out in front of int'l judges and tech panel and get the feedback for their programs in the Olympic season.
I am all for ImaginaryPogue's geat idea to give participants senior B points, so, at least partially, that can ease the burden on skaters, both physically and mentally, for preparing 2 new programs get fully ready pior to the actual Prand Prix season starts.
As for the venue, I do not like ISU's idea to hold it in Japan three time in a row, though it's already announced so by ISU. Reasons why the recent two WTTs in Japan turned successful are obvious. Money. This sport got suddenly popular ever since Shizuka won the sole Olympic medal for Japan which was gold in 2006, as well as emergence of wonder kids dominating on the junior circuit in the early 2000, such as Dai, Yukina, Miki, Nobu, Mao and Taka. Japan has been a powerhouse in single disciplines since then. Tickets go sold out in a minute for almost every competitions and ice shows where either Miki, Mao or Dai enters. First WTT had both Mao and Miki. Second WTT had only Dai, but his fan base is diverse. It also covers, almost identical I would say, Mens skating fans and long time figure skating fans in general.
It's off-topic but let me explain a bit regarding long time skating fans in Japan like myself.
Some of us as young girls got interested in this sport thru TV coverages every 4 years (= Winter Olympic Games), by seeing foreign boy skaters in beautiful costumes, tall and slim with blue/green eyes skating and dancing to beautiful classical music, while landing huge jumps effortlessly and smiling. Mostly Russian or American skaters because they were dominant. We wanted to see them as princes in the fairy tales we used to read as little kids, maybe.
We had great skaters such as Nobuo Sato and Minoru Sano in the past. We had Takeshi Honda, a great jumper and excellent at steps. We very much rooted for him and wished him to be very successful, while feeing sorry for the fact he had to compete against kings like Alexei and Evgeni. We of course rooted for other Japanese skaters, both girls and boys, but mainly because they were our countrymen/women and seldom expected good results or did not pressure them out to do so, except Midori (who looked to anyone to have enough potential to be the champion) and maybe young Takeshi and young Shizuka (especially at Nagano 1998 and at SLC 2002).
I am not sure how you see it from other side of skating world, but to those fans, emergence of young Daisuke was quite a shock. It was not because he won the first junior title ever by a Japanese skater at the age of 16. Because he skated to the music, danced with the music while landing hard jumps. What he did on the ice was we never expected from Japanese boys, or never dreamed we would have a boy skater like Dai one day. For that matter, a lot of his fans can easily imagine how Utako sensei, his long time coach, felt when she discovered 14 y.o. Dai on the ice, because we share the same feeling. That's probably one of reasons Dai fans spread out to every generations, including 'Aunties' . Dai's presence on the scene over the years also helped to attract and increase more male fans in Japan, who used to believe figure skating as a sport was for girls, only...how shall we call them, 'Uncles'?
Dai has enthusiastic fans devoted young girls, too, of course. But there are a lot of others; skating fans or mens skating fans first, then became fans of Dai's skating later. And at this WTT we had more of these fans, compared to three years ago, I guess.
Get back to topic.
My point is, popularity of this sport is a bubbly boom in Japan. It may not last forever. The circumstances may change drastically once 'star' skaters like Mao or Dai retires after 2014. Of course we have Yuzuru, definitely a star quality who is younger and appreass even more talented, but who else after Yuzu?, I am afraid.
If ISU is really serious about developing this team event into a new discipline of figure skating as an Olympic sport, and serious about making this sport more popular again and attract more media attention/TV coverage, sponsorships, viewers, and most importantly, to attract more kids (potential future elite skaters) and their parents (because of $$$ they have to pay for ice time, coach, traveling fees, etc.), my suggestion is (if they ask me...), they should make turns among the Continents. In the Olympic season, should be same venue/city/country, preferrably at the Olympic ice rink if it's ready enough. Then, in the intermediate season, they can circulate among the continents: e.g. North America -> Europe -> Asia. If they worry about ticket sales and sponsorships, they can designate either Japan or Korea, instead of Asia anytime. And once they succeed to regain the popularity of this sport, they need not worry about Europe and North America, I would say. Powerhouses such as US, Canada and Russia hold lots of young talented skaters in all disciplines standby. Surely they will raise their hand and beg ISU to hold the event.
I really hope ISU does not go after so-called 'easy money'...
I wrote it in a rush. Sorry in advance for mistakes in grammar or English words if any. I may edit it later...
Last edited by deedee1; 05-09-2012 at 09:37 PM.
Reason: Deleted some part in order to more focus on participants at this WTT. Sorry.
deedee, I have been meaning to join the others who already have thanked you for all your firsthand reports and perspective on WTT. (BTW, the ISU just added new photos of the WTT exhibition to its Facebook page. My favorite is the one that captured Takahashi and Tran mid-whirl: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...1190874&type=3)
Originally Posted by deedee1
The next WTT is scheduled for April 2013 in Japan, so it seems that the plan for "every other year" would skip the the 2014 Olympic season as well as 2016.
As for the venue beyond 2013, alas, which country other than Japan will ever be able to pay the prize money, expenses, etc.?
Thanks a lot, golden!
Originally Posted by golden411
I am doing it more for myself for a record, I guess, so I am writing it down so randomly...sorry for that.
btw, I liked that photo, too!
They were amaging at this comp, indeed, they have improved since the last WTT. For me they were the best in unison among six pair teams.
And thanks for WTT schedule. Yeah I know...if it's in Tokyo again next year, I will probably be going, but still...a little disappointed I feel.
They can not depend on Japanese fed and its sponsors forever. It does no good for this sport in the long run, you know. Seriously, there comes the time they need to work out how to promote this sport sooner or later.
13) Japanese skaters
Even though Japanese skaters had been in advantegeous positions prior to the comp, such as no traveling, no jetlag, no stress on hotel/food/water/language/customs/culture, etc. and of course, huge home crowd and a bit of home cooking once got started, I think they really did great.
Here is my thoughts and hoping on our boys and girls.
Let me start with the Reeds because they so deserve to be 'honorably' mentioned first!
How gutsy of them not to withdraw from the comp and to have skated two clean programs (with no visible big mistakes), fighting through the pains! It was so good for them, too, to able to skate their Free program, which unfortunately they had to miss at Nice Worlds, in front of home crowd. (I was so heartbroken over Cathy's tears in the backstage in Nice on TV...)
We were so much proud of you, Cathy and Chris! Hope you heard our shout-outs after your performances.
Please have good rest as much as needed, Chris. Hope you will recover from headaches soon, Cathy. Please take good care of yourselves during the off season.
I loved your free dance to bollywood music! I normally do not like top skaters to carry over programs. But because you had to withdraw from comps a couple of times this season, I hope you will keep it if possible.
-Narumi and Mervin:
They were probably the one who improved the most among our skaters to me, compared from three years ago. And it was indeed a good opportunity to showcase the characteristics of pair discipline to not only skating fans, but casual viewers in front of TV in Japan.
Narumi and Mervin, congratulations again for winning the bronze medal at the recent Worlds! We hope and believe(!) this medal is the very first one for you two, out of many medals you are going to get in the future.
Mervin, thank you so much once again for having represented our country over the years.
I am sure that the presence of you and Narumi on the int'l scene definitely inspire and encourage kids in next generations, so that there will be kid skaters who want to follow your path as pair skaters.
I loved her SP this season. She does not look juniorish with this one anymore.
I always admire her willingness to give her 100% at every comps she enters. At the same time I worry about her fatigue and burnout; she does a couple of domestic comps while fully competitng on Grand Prix circuit for the last two years. She can't compete like that forvever. I am afraid it may evantually lead her to potential injuries...
Kanako, I adore your cheerfulness!
Please slow down a bit. Please work on your stamina in order not to lose stream towards the end of your Free. And if possible, with the help from a good jump coach, such as Mr Nagakubo or Takeshi, I hope you can rework on your toe kicks and your entrances to jumps. You may get your foot injured if you keep on hitting the ice so hard for your Flip and Lutz...
I loved his SP. I really liked what David Wilson did for him, and helped Taka to out of his comfort zone. On the other hand, his Free not so much. I mean, when he announced his music choice, it was a kind of 'predictable' to me how the program was going to look like...
This season has not turned out as Takahiko and his team anticipated for or hoped for, due to boot problem. Also, my guess is he must have pressured himself out too much after such successful 2010-11 season.
Tahakiko, thank you for that 'cool' short program to Inter Urge, which I really enjoyed!
Do not be disappointed too much with this season...Most of the champions, including your big bro Daisuke, have been through, more or less, the similar path as yours at some point in their career before finally climbing up to the top. Hope you regain yourself and surprise us again next season!
-Akiko and Daisuke:
I think I have already wrote a lot about these two, who are so special as skaters to me. And I am sure I will write more in other threads in The Edge. So, I guess not much to be said here, except:
Congratulations, Akiko and Daisuke, for winning the WTT! Without your proper captaincies, especially Akiko's 'shadow' captaincy , it would have not been possible.
Thank you so much for having given us, all skating fans all over the world, such many great performances full of your heart and soul over the years. And thank you so much for not retiring from competitive skating yet.
We all are aware how hard, both physically and mentally, demanding to you to stay eligible and keep competing. Regardless of Olympic title/medals or not, you already ARE skater's skater, but if it's possible, we really would like you to give another try at the next Olympics. Our only wish is to see both of you, Akiko and Daisuke, on the Olympic ice and to see your broad smiles after your performances there!
Last edited by deedee1; 05-10-2012 at 04:38 AM.
No worry! Mathman will endorse you, I'm sure!
Originally Posted by deedee1
I agree with golden. It might be the only option for ISU to have WTT in Japan at present time. Lucky you guys! I so envy you! If YuNa Kim were still competing, it could be held in Korea too. Anyother places have already had enough GP events. From the view point of ISU, it doesn't make any sense to add a WTT in any country but Japan.
Last edited by Bluebonnet; 05-10-2012 at 12:33 PM.