I am really astonished at how much coaching changes have transformed Christina Gao and Bobrova and Soloviev in just a few short months.
Gao used to have flashes of brilliance here and there in her skating programs but I have never been fully impressed until now. Her coaches Mark Mitchell and Peter Johannson have helped her improve just about every aspect of her skating. Her musicial interpretion has improved tremendously. She now hears the music and uses it to her advantage. Her audience connection has improved. Her ability to perform has improved (she seems far more aware of the audience now). Her stroking and ice coverage seem greatly improved. I love the improved speed and flow in her skating. I love the improvements in her spins...they are much faster and centered better and the positions are superior to anything we have seen before. Gao's posture looks vastly improved as well. Her jumps look cleaner and higher. The rotation looks tighter and more efficient. I see more joy in her skating than I have ever seen before. Christina Gao seems like a brand new skater out there. She reminds me now a great deal of Lu Chen...she skates with the same kind of grace, speed, flow and musicality. I am truly amazed.
Furthermore, I don't even recognize Bobrova and Soloviev this season. They look like totally different people and they skate like totally different people. Their new coach, Alexander Zhulin has toned down their previously over the top costumes and make-up (I never knew that there were two such attractive skaters hiding underneath all of that). It's like they have been revealed for the first time.
Moroever, their coach has toned down their previously frantic choreography so that it's now possible to appreciate their great body-line and matching extensions. Their edging and flow looks far better. Their unison and posture look vastly better. Their connection to each other and to the audience seems to have improved 100%. I don't even recognize them anymore. They seem like brand new skaters. All the changes have been for the better.
I can't wait to see what other miracle transformations this season has in store.