At the rink. Again.
Her jumps are not small and ugly. If they were small, she wouldn't be checking out on the way down. I think a lot of people think her jumps are ugly because of the brand of boot she wears where her toes don't ever look pointed.
Gracie is slow now? If anything she's one of the fastest skaters out there right now.
Originally Posted by karne
Yeah Gracie is fast. She reminds me of a wild horse, from her speed, presentation, her jumping technique, almost everything she does on the ice apart from her spiral. I like that about her skating.
Gracie reminds me a bit of a younger Kostner when Carolina didn't have control of her speed.
I did say that in her defence I'd just come from watching a Max Aaron video, and he's faster than anyone else, so it could very well have been an optical illusion.
Maybe I'm just used to watching men, but her jumps really did look small to me. And her leg positions in them seemed hideous though I wonder how much of that is also an optical illusion of light-coloured tights vs dark-coloured pants that the men wear.
I'm just a little bemused that this is what everyone was falling over themselves for this season.
Oh yeah, that was the question I was going to ask last night: do all ladies bow that pretentiously?
Gracie has a lot of things to work on still, but her jumps are anything but small and she has a lot of speed, if anything maybe a little too much. The choreo isn't good, her smile is plastered and pageant-y, she sometimes skate through the music and gest that auto-pilot zombie-look, and the stiff airplane arms need to be softened - but those are what I see as her flaws. Power, speed, and big jumps are her assets and she has those in spades. The presentation can be addressed and will likely improve with time. Her speed and strong basics have enabled her to get pretty strong PCS already though so really she is on the right track. Anyone who says her jumps are small need to watch again.
Let me finish my comment on the second group of Free Dance, you guys, please.
Monko/Khaliavin: I really loved their Flamenco FD, especially the first minute! Their passionate step sequence to percussion instruments was just fabulous. Wow! They did draw me and all audience into their performance. Completely. Did you hear, thru your PC screens, that all those claps and cheers from audience eventually grew/got bigger and louder as they doing steps? This was the best moment, of the entire Ice Dance comp, for me! Figure skating is very popular in Japan, but often Fs simply means Single skating for most of Japanese fans, you know. Meaning, it does not happen at every competitions of Ice Dance and Pairs that audience actually get 'drawn' into their performances, sad to admit...In this regard, a moment like this proves how much 'this audience that night' loves figure skating in its true sense.
I am sure Ksenia and Kirill succeeded win quite a number of audience's hearts by their wonderful FD! Ksenia here reminded me of Anjelika (now Mrs. Pasquale) a lot.
Weaver/Poje: Their FD was so lovely. A lot of us 'sighed' everytime they hit beautiful positions with their lifts. And the one, after combination spin, Andrew bending low and holding her horizontally was just ! After the performance, a lot of ladies shouted 'Poje-sama~~~', we heard. Sorry about the fall, other small mistakes here and there. From where we saw, however, their speed was slower and program a bit transitionless, compared to Chock/Bates', we thought.
Chock/Bates: Great. They skated really BIG; faster, smoother, lighter and flying! Surprised to see Madison actually covered more ice than Evan in their twizzles, though she is much smaller in height. And Madison here, due to her dress, looked just like the white version of 'Little Red Riding Hood' folk tale from the arena.
Upon the end of their performance I had to leave my seat without seeing their score to come up. But I was 200% sure they would place 1st.
On my way to the basement hearing all the noises of running down the stairways, it seemed every ladies to rush into ladies rooms...in order to prepare for the main course of the Day 2...including myself.
-19:00~ Mens FS
What I loved the most during Men FS was every boy went for quad. , though some popped or fell.
At this competition Ponsart got recognized by Japanese fans I think. During 6min warm-up I heard many say 'Dai's costume''Garden's costume!'. And my hubby now calls him 'Monsieur Lettuce', though in French 'romaine' actually, not exactly the same as his first name. But adding e or not does not make a big difference to my husband I guess. Romain, please forgive him for his unpoliteness. He seems have come to like your skating very much, so that he calls you Monsieur Lettuce in a freindly manner with admiration at least.
First time to see Ponsart and Wang skate live, but they had pretty good musicality we thought, considering their age and which country these young boys come from. In spite of a couple of unfortunate mistakes, they did not give up the performance till the end. Was also nice to see audience clapped throughout. I hope Yi will get 3A in his jump arsenal soon, then he can be competitive on senior circuit.
Thank you, Romain and Yi, for coming to Japan to skate at this competition. Must be very hard for you to skate in front of huge crowd and have to go against all big boys here, but was indeed a good opportunity for us to get to know you as very very promising skaters, which we so agree, from your country!
Han Yan. What can I say...a 50-carat raw diamond, which needs some polish. He is the one who skated biggest among 12 boys. He needs to learn to control speed going into jumps. With better programs and choreo, some more maturity and if only he can control his nerve...wow, can't wait to see him dominate Mens discipline after Sochi!
Kevin Reynolds was the first one to skate clean (well, almost) and got the standing ovation!, though a couple of <s were visible even from where we sat. Laying down on ice at the end was so precious moment for both Kevin and the audience, with all smiles and applause everywhere.
Brian Joubert: I. Love. Brian's Tornado-like Quad. My husband and I are big fan of Brian. But we didn't talk to each other during his performance, because we knew this might be the very last opportunity for us to see him skate at competition (probably may not come the Tokyo Worlds nest season, sad to admit...). We didn't want to miss any second of his Free skate, and I can tell you, there were many fans who felt exactly the sam way among the audience that night. Though he skated a little heavier and appeared exhausted towrads the end, he did his best by skating without any big mistakes. Got another standing ovation, lots of flowers and lots of cheers. He has been loved so much and admired by Japanese skating fans for many years. (let's hope Dai, seeing all those flowers and hearing all screaming audience, does not get jealous of brian.) Thank you so much, Brian, for coming here once again and show us your fabulous skating!
His love for Alexei is so obvious, btw. Hopefully, Brian will pick up something newfor his last Olympic season. no more music from Alexei's selection, please.
We enjoyed Maxim's free pretty much, and with admiration. Because he skated as a senior this time, compared to last year's WTT where he looked a bit nervous, tentative and less confidence. I hope he works on building his stamina (he clearly looked tired and lost speed during the second half). ALso needs some work for his entrance into quad, which is a bit distracting.
I love watching sports in general, while I don't do much myself. One of the fascinating things for me to love and watch one sport for many years is we get to see its players/athelets/skaters to grow/progress/mature as time goes. Not all of them can win OGM and/or championships. Some may never reach to the top, some may get injured and have some setback, or their career shortend by injury sometimes, they may have to face some misfortunes that eventually force them to give up. But they do it anyway; train hard day in and day out, and try to show their best at actual competitions, regardless its results/outcome are to be desired one or not. And we, its fans root for them anyway. Maxim that night sure reminded me again why I love watching sports.
As for second half of Men Free skate, I thought I had lots of things I would like to share with you, but I find it hard to go on my writing, sorry.
Let me write just two things which I want to the most.
What an awful fall on 3A for Konstantin...He started his free greatly by hitting 2 quads. Before Mens Free, I soooo wished him to skate lights out and come on top out of all boys. Hope he gets well soon and FULLY. And I really hope Konstantin will have the best season in his whole career in the upcoming Olympic season, so that he gets a spot to skate on his home turf. If not happening, then I would ask the skating god to have him skate at Worlds Tokyo instead. I am sure he is gonna get the 'loudest' cheers, to the same degree for Dai, from the Japanese audience, or at least from my husband and me, once his name is announced during 6min warm-up at Mens SP. I was so relieved to see him at Kiss&Cry the next day, smiling and rooting for his team mates, which I found very considerate of him and comforting for me to see, I so much appreciated. Go Konstantin!
Another thing I sincerely hope is Patrick did notice how the audience who were there that night tried, with their big claps along, to encourage him to go on upon a couple of unfortunate mistakes. I also want him to know that his fans in Japan, especially those who can't afford traveling abroad to see him, appreciated a lot that he came and competed at this competition and enjoyed his skating.
Placements Day 2, in performance-wise by judge #10
1. Chris Reed ...sorry Cathy but I couldn't help it
04-22-2013, 09:45 PM
Thank you for sharing your reports! I'm jealous that I wasn't there. I love reading skating reviews from the everyday fan like myself.
Originally Posted by deedee1
I find the snippet I pasted above to be noteworthy.
04-23-2013, 06:45 AM
04-25-2013, 02:46 AM
Thanks karne! I am not tired of writing actually, but rather a bit tired of reading these comments, those comments, and its responding comments on a couple of topics lately...
Originally Posted by karne
Re Max Aaron's free, he skated the fastest as Icey says. Everytime he hit a jump, audience including me held our own breath for a second, for its height and distance, then roaring with excitement, and all cheers claps got louder and louder. However, a bit of problem with me is all those amaging jumps aside, Max did not do anything between each of elements; he either stopped or literally 'walked' on ice and snapping his fingers/counting the rhythm, for spins or for deep breathing, you know. His free choreos mean so little when it comes to 'presenting a program as a whole'.
The way of his skate were, say, of an ice hocky player (which is true cause he once was!), or of a sprinter on ice. And massive speed of his approach going to a jump were of a gymnast-like approach going for a vault at top speed. The way he sets himself for a jump at one end, then speeding up to the other end was...what can I say, as if I were hearing 'Ready' 'Go' of a sprint race, and finishes by landing a huge jump. Then another set-up, another 'Ready'&'Go', another perfect landing...for 4 and half minutes...hopefully you will understand what I am trying to say with my limited English vocaburary.
But he was very exciting watch, indeed, and his personality on ice stood out for sure! I was pleasantly surprised by Han and Max with their FEWER crossovers than other boys, in order to pick up to its top speed.
04-25-2013, 12:34 PM
deedee1 are you going to give a report on the Ladies LP too?
04-25-2013, 03:17 PM
Wicked Yankee Girl
04-26-2013, 04:55 AM
It's nice to know there are kind GS members who patiently wait for reading my very delaying, least-professional reports. Thanks everyone!
DAY 3: Sat, Apr 13th from 15:15~ local time
As expected the Arena was FULL.
-15:15~ Pairs Free
Everytime I see Simon with other skaters, his height surprises me...even worse was during Pairs 6min warm-ups for two days (she did the same the day before), the lady announcer tells audience that "Mr Shnapir is actually 41cm taller than his partner", then audience went like oh.my.gosh!. Seeing him (and thinking of my favorite Japanese single skater), I silently thanked Simon in my heart that he is not a single skater. Simon surely would be towering up on that skater, you know.
Simon is much much taller than Marissa when they stood still on ice for the music to start, of course, but once the music started, their difference in height was not a problem/distractive at all to audience, i mean, did not affect their skating performance, thanks to Marissa's pretty good skating skills, good speed, good musicality, good stretched out postures/lines/positions.
Cheng & Hao: Wow to a quad twist! Unfortunate fall on 2A from Cheng, such a shame, but she saved other landings. Well-done, Girl!. A funny thing to spectate from the Arena's ceiling was during their Free eprformance, audience got a bit noisy and noisy in a commotion...because of their music. Clearly there are quite a number of skating fans in Japan who believe Peota forever belongs to Stephane!
I loved Vanessa & Morgan the best. Another clean skate, kudos to them! 4th finish at the Euro was no fluke, they proved. I was very very happy for them. especially for Venessa, because iirc I saw her for the first time at NHK Trophy in 2008, which btw was very first competition for me to get to see at arena, watch live!, there she skated with her former partner, and they performed poorly falling all over the ice. Falls on throw jumps particularly looked painful and I remember I felt so bad for them. Here at this WTT in 2013, Vanessa, along with her new partner, skated beautifully, skated very elegantly with this music, and most importantly, she skated much much 'happily' I thought. Good for her!
Tatiana & Maxim was GREAT again in spite of a fall on solo jump. Got another standing ovation. They just OWNED the ice. I can't get enough of their Free to Ikuko Kawai's Muse violin music.