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Thread: Thoughts on WTT

  1. #106
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    16:50~ Ladies Free

    Was so nice to see these young and promosing girls all together at 6min warm-up, who with no doubt will shine and lead Ledies figure skating the next Olympic quad towards PyeongChang.
    I don't remember if I wrote it before, but I. Love. 6min. Warm-ups., whenever I go to live competitions. SOoooo exciting, fascinating aaaand nail-biting to watch all top athletes hitting jumps at one end, then the other end all the time; simply a FEAST for the eyes of spectators!

    Loved Gabrielle's Free music, solid 3T-3T and her energy throughout. It semed, however, to me she rather skated ignoring the music a bit, maybe it's because the music was the same as Carolina's 2011-12 season SP. Ever since I saw Gabrielle at 2013 Canadian Nats on TV for the first time, I am her fan! Hope she will work more on her consistency on jumps and on presentation.
    Also felt sorry for Lenaelle. Great short, then disappointing Free, a deja vu of Euro...Slowed down in the scond half probably due to falls. She needs to build her stamina to skate clean the whole 4 minutes, I think.

    Liza, such a shame poppin the opening 3Lz and a fall on 2A-3T...Liza actually was on FIRE during the warm-up. Though she looks tiny on ice compared to other girls, she clearly does have 'presence'. Hope her knee is fine, and she will have much much better season than 2012-13 season fingers crossed!

    Zijun was GREAT. She picked up just perfect program for her Free, don't you agree? Adorable music, adorable costume, adorable choreography, and very age-appropriate; something projecting cutesy and/or fairy that only skaters who are in their very early career as senior, freshly moving from junior circiut are allowed to skate and should be allowed for once. Throughout the season I have been telling my husband that Zijun skating to Sleeping Beauty is almost 'unfair' to other big girls. And reminds me of Mao in 2005-06 season skating to The Nutcracker and makes me smile. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Yy7V-q5jc
    And for that matter, I felt sorry for Kexin who also trains under same coaches and has better jump technique, imo; she DOES need better program, music, choreo, even costume. AAAAand more SMIIIILE, please, Kexin!

    As much as I admire Kaetlyn's maturity for her age, and while I quite liked expressiveness on her upper body in the Free to Carmen, some of her edge work was a bit rough, I thought. Also, I would have more appreciated more extended/stretched-out arm movements from her.

    Zijun's and Kaetlyn's 'flutz' was obvious even from up and far in the arena, so that I had to give up counting each of their jumping passes...
    One more thing I noticed during Liza's and Kaetlyn's Free skate: while their speed appeared decent enough to my eyes, especially they were going for a jump, they did not cover the ice as much as other skaters did...Too much choreography, maybe? Any thought, anyone?

  2. #107
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    Mae skated a little tentative in the Free, compared to her at last year's WTT where she skated brilliantly. Skating free in the second group with bigger names must have gotton to her, I guess.

    We felt so sorry for Mao. Clearly appeared exhausted, struggling especially in the second half of her free. Which was sort of predictable and understandable; her free to Swan itself, done by TAT, has been such a physically-demanding program even without 3A most of the season, and lack of training leading up to WTT after Worlds must have affected her stamina-wise. She was so pale and out of oxygen right after the performance, but also a geat moment for Mao and all her fans that she stayed on ice as long as possible and tried to pick as many as flowers she could. Asked later why she picked up so many flowers, Mao answered she just wanted to do so, in order to express her appreciation to all cheers and supports from Japanese fans for the 2012-03 season. This one scene shows So sweet of Mao, as always!

    I. Loved. Ashely., because she was attacking the program the whole 4 minutes. Could have gotten onto the world podium if she had skated like this in London...Also loved the way she kept on skating after her hair got loosening; as if she telling judges 'oh my hair getting untidy...so what? I will skate anyway' attitude. That's Ashley the cookie, fearless and lively I remember and admired in 2007-08 season when she burst onto the senior scene.

    Gracie: her jumps were good again in the free. But was not selling her program as Ashley did, she either was a little nervous or focused too much on landind jumps, I guess? While her jump technique is great, a bit of a disappointing with her for me, especially her short but free as well, is her choreography actually looks like choreography, I mean she doesnot make them of her own. Also I hope she will work more on upper body, particularly on arm movements, then she can be a YuNa soon.

    Gutsy performance from AKIKO. Score a bit too high, I honestly thought, but who cares in this, say, fun, half cheese fest and stupid competition? Some of her jumps were reeeeally shaky but she fought hard for its landing one after one. A good redemption for her indeed after very dissapointing worlds, like Dai. Prior to her start, I loved how first Dai and then team Japan began clapping and yelling 'Akko!' 'Akko!!' 'Akko!!!' then a second later it spread out to the entire arena! Standing ovation afterwards, of course.

    Must be hard for Adelina that she had to skate right after Akiko and in front of crazily shouting audience. On behalf of Japanese fans, my apology to her. I loved her short, but I did not get her free program thru-out the season, to tell the truth...I hope TAT will choose the best music and do choreo to highlight her strength for the upcoming Olympic season on her home turf. Same with Kovtun.

  3. #108
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    Placements Day 3 performance-wise by judge #10

    Pairs Free:
    1. Volosozhar/Trankov
    2. James/Cipres

    Ladies Free:
    1. Suzuki Loved the last choreo sq. Noone can sell that program as Akiko does.
    2. Wagner
    3. Li

    FINAL RESULTS:
    1. USA
    2. Russia, supposing Menshov could have skated his free till the end and placed 1st overall in Mens comp.
    3. Japan

  4. #109
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    Other awards:

    -Best Team Award: Russia Loved the way Maxim T and Tatiana V cheering and encouraging russian younger skaters all the time. Taniana was almost like The God Mother! :biggin:

    -Best Performer Award: Madison Chock Two completely different characters on ice in Short dance and Free dance!

    -Best Dresser Award: Ashley Wagner; on behalf of my husband because he's been telling me all season how much he loved the color of Ashley's free costume. oh I am such a good wife!

    -Best Looking on Ice Award: Andrew Poje sorry Daisuke...and my hubby...maybe not that good a wife after all...

    -Fighting Spirit Award: Akiko Suzuki, Kevin Reynolds, Konstantin Menshov

  5. #110
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    deedee, given that two awards went to dancers Chock & Poje, I'm guessing you and your husband did not find the dance event a total loss, despite the fact that the 3 medallists from Worlds, plus P&B, and I&K and C&L all were not at WTT.

    BTW, Madison is an amazing performer I totally agree!
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 04-30-2013 at 06:26 AM.

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    deedee, given that two awards went to dancers Chock & Poje, I'm guessing you and your husband did not find the dance event a total loss, despite the fact that the 3 medallists from Worlds, plus P&B, and I&K and C&L all were not at WTT.

    BTW, Madison is an amazing performer I totally agree!
    If this thread has served no other purpose, it has prompted me to revisit some of Madison Chock's programs.

    I have to agree, she is stunning, and I don't know how I've missed it before.

  7. #112
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    Thanks deedee for all of your great reports and I love the way you personalized your reviews.
    You get the Best Reviewer Award from me.

    It is amazing how much C/B have improved under Igor. They are right in the mix with the other top teams
    that will be fighting for Bronze at Sochi.

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    deedee, given that two awards went to dancers Chock & Poje, I'm guessing you and your husband did not find the dance event a total loss, despite the fact that the 3 medallists from Worlds, plus P&B, and I&K and C&L all were not at WTT.


    Quote Originally Posted by demarinis5 View Post
    You get the Best Reviewer Award from me.
    (in a whisper) thank you.

    It is amazing how much C/B have improved under Igor. They are right in the mix with the other top teams
    that will be fighting for Bronze at Sochi.
    So true. And The Shibs was the one who must have gotton impacted the worst by their move to Igor's camp...What would have things turned out differently for The Shibs if they had gone to Igor instead of staying with Marina, I wonder.

    I really enjoyed lots of Dance programs done by Igor this past season, which is quite a pleasant surprise for me. A different program with different character/taste for each of dance teams with a different level/tier, strength and nationality. Since I have not been following Ice Dance so long myself and IIRC many GS members told a couple of times that while Shpilband was great as technical coach, it was Zoueva who created/brushed up amaging programs for V/M and D/W. I would not have realized that Igor as choreographer was this great, unless he parted ways with Marina. This season Igor has proved/established himself as one of the few great choreographers who can create programs that are interesting to watch and still collect as many points as possible. I hope more single skaters will go to him for choreography in the future. They should!

  9. #114
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Igor must have had a lot of programs that he wanted to do for all these years, but Marina was the choreographer

    He was, after all, the choreographer for Silverstein & Pekarek 2000 FD Great Expectations
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL0dxsVnrdw

  10. #115
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    I think Gracie going to Igor would do her a world of good with her posture and presentation skills. He seems to have a knack for improving skaters overall skills. This is who Gracie's coach needs to send her to.

  11. #116
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I think he sent her to Zoueva instead?

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    I think he sent her to Zoueva instead?
    Isn't part of the reason for that is that Zoueva is working with Oleg Epstein, who previously worked with Gracie's team previously?

  13. #118
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    First of all my apology for such a delayed post. But as I am seeing growing numbers of views of this thread every day, though just a couple of them per day, I feel sort of obliged to finish my post-comp thoughts. I want do to so anyway in order to end 2012-13 season for myself. Let me allow to comment on a couple of topics which I want to leave here the most, please.

    -Required Step Sequence:
    Now the rule allows skaters to do their required step sequence in whatever pattern they like, but I for one would much prefer skaters stick to traditional patterns such as circular, straightline or serpentine, especially in Free Skate (since Free now does have the choreo sequence where they can do whatever steps and/or moves in the field they like and without worrying about its 'level', you know). The most fascinating thing for me when I go to a live comp and looking forward to is very simple; to watch/enjoy them skate in front of my eyes. They just amaze me by how effortlessly they can accelerate and decelerate speed while doing such complicated steps and with upper body movements. If you watch it up from the arena during warm-up, you can compare all six skaters, and it clearly shows in their simple crossovers or inbetween steps, which appear easier, softer, more elegant and silent. That's why I love 6min warm-up. Another remarkable thing (for me) to distinguish top skaters from lower-level skaters is step sequence. At this WTT, I was pretty impressed by its 'speed' and 'size' of circular steps of Daisuke's Il Pagliacci AND Patrick's La Boheme. On such a day of comeptition, I can easily understand why these skaters, when they have good skates, can earn and deserve higher PCS and agree with judges. I hope many skaters will remain to pick up one of traditional patterns for one at least of the two step/choreo sequences.

    -Progress and mature with time:
    One of big reasons I love going to live competitions, though mostly one competition per season for me at best just because I can't afford such high price tickets and/or unable to win its drawing/lot thru internet ticket sales in my country ...is I can witness with much admiration one same skater to improve on something one season, and on some other thing next season. And one day, sometimes gradually over time and sometimes all of sudden!, the skater pleasantly surprises me how mature s/he is on ice. To most of long-time skating fans including me in Japan, Daisuke Takahashi denifitely was one of them; Dai in his late teens was never strong as a competitor, even though having won the very first Mens Jr World title in 2002 and his superior skating skill was no denying back in the days. His first three seasons on the senior circuit was just far from desirable ones as the junior world champion. We all expected him to soon surpass Takeshi Honda who was 2-time world medalist and leading Japanese male skaters, but it took Daisuke forever, it seemed, to skate to his full potentials at actual comps, you know. He, like a bolt from the blue, surprised everyone by winning his very first senior Grand Prix at Skate America in autumn 2005, and made his name as sole Torino Olympic candidate from Japan. You know the rest of the story. At this particular WTT, Venessa James and Takahito Mura are definitely such skaters for my husband and me. We were so happy for Vanessa to see her, with her new partner, skate brilliantly with much joy on her face. And for Takahito, too, us remembering his struggles by being have to compete with back pains in 2009-10 season when aiming for an Olympic spot, losing it at Nats, then he almost gave up his competitive career...It's a strange feeling maybe, but as we the skating fans see skaters get compete, witness them progress or go thru their hardships from season to season, we may find our feelings tend to 'overlap/synchronize' with their feelings, in spite of the fact we are none of their family members nor friends in real life, you know. That's why we often get feel 'happy' or even 'congratulant' for rival/opponent skaters for their having great skates, regardless who we are actually rooting for the most. I also love watching other sports such as basball soccer rugby football, but the way we feel like this is very remarkable, compared to other sports where beating the opponent player/team is the goal.

    -The timing and venue of the competition:
    This has been actually my third WTT to attend them live. Thanks to all those concerned in the past, World Team Trophys always turned out to be very good competitions with less intense/pressure, more relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the arena both for skaters and audience, also a great opportunity as redemption for some skaters who are having a disappointing season, and as learning experience for younger skaters who had lesser opportunities to compete with top skaters or to skate in front of big audience. And my belief is it was Team USA and France in 2009 who did succeed to set the perfect tone/atmosphere for this type of half cheesy/half serious competition (when no one had any idea how it was going to be like back then, you know). And if allowed to name a few, it was Evan Lysacek, Benjamin Agosto and Nathalie Pechalat, I think. And it is really a good opportunity to promote this wonderful sport as a whole to the majority of 'light/casual' skating fans in Japan where a lot of people may take it figure skating=singles skating only, and they seldom get to watch pairs/ice dance competitions. For instance, when Maxim threw Tatiana high and straight up into the air for a triple twist, I heard a lot of people goshing, some in a pure horror, ^^;, and when he threw her far and horizontally for a triple throw, I saw many people's jaws drop by its height and distance ^^)v. I love moments like these!
    OTOH, it was also VERY hard for every skaters, more or less, to participate this competition at the end of its season both physically and mentally. Also VERY risky for potential injuries (so sorry again for what happened to Menshov at Mens comp;;; ). Though I, and the entire audiece, too, enjoy it and appreciate it a lot, I feel for them, too...If it's ISU's intention to continue and promote this event in the future, I hope ISU will soon re-consider its timing and venue. I agree with eyria, who perfectly speaks for me on this matter:
    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    That said, there is one thing I agree with him on, which is that the ISU is mismanaging the World Team Trophy event. The ISU needs to decide if it wants the team event to be a serious, legitimate, world-level competition. If they want it to be a legitimate event, then it should become part of the World Championships (held at the end, after the singles events). Also, it should use the same rules as the Olympic event. Only then will it gain legitimacy. Right now, they're treating the event almost like a pro-am, holding it weeks after Worlds, giving it to the same country every year for financial reasons, calling it a "Trophy" event instead of a world championship, using different rules than the Olympic event, and, yes, allowing top skaters to opt out. All this detracts and makes it seem like not a "real" event. Cinquanta has talked about adding the team event to Worlds eventually, but I don't think they should wait. Just add it now, if they're committed to it. This would also allow skaters to complete their season at Worlds, without having to continue training for several more weeks and traveling long distances to another competition.
    It does not have to be at this time of the season, nor always in this country...When I see/hear negative comments from its participating skaters, it makes me believe that all these time and money we (skating fans in Japan) are to spend for this event may not help at all for the sake of participating skaters in the end. My heart hurts. So much. Though it's been announced next WTT will be held in 2015 again in Japan, I am not so sure at this point if I ever want to go there. Tickets here are so expensive. You probably would be surprised to see there were number of people among audience, not only at this WTT but any competitions here, who were willing to buy a ticket worthy of Euro100 (and over) but also brought self-cooked/prepared lunch boxes to save pennies, ate it in the sofa area of the basement prior to the start of the competition. Getting tickets thru on-line lottery, especially for big events such as Grand Prix Final Worlds, or even for smaller comps such as NHK Trophy Nats where either or both of Mao and Dai to compete, appears just hopeless. I remember I had to try to log in its pre-sale site, literally gazillion times, to purchase tickets for 2011 Tokyo Worlds (though canceled due to Earthquake), and succeeded for two days only (Mens SP+Ladies SP) out of whole 5 days...Besides, the popularity of this sport may be 'decreased' big time by then (assuming the likes of Asada Takahashi Suzuki Oda even Kozuka are to all retire after Sochi season ). Please take this event to some other countries, say Canada and/or Russia where this sport is still very popular, attracts lots of viewers, gets more love from more devoted fans, or gets new sponsors/more $$$, before we will see numerous empty seats in the stands. Sorry for my sounding pessimistic a bit too much, but is my honest feeling at the moment i guess.

    Closing speech from 0:32 by Takahashi on behalf of all participating skaters at WTT 2013:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeBS0Peh-gU
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "First of all, we would like to thank each one of you for all your support!
    2012-13 season comes to its end, finally, and all skaters here must be feeling 'relieved' I would imagine. This World Team Trophy was such a great success, and we believe it would not have been so without all those cheers and full support from you. Again thank you so much!
    There will be the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia next year. My belief is all of us; not only these skaters here today, but also all skaters in the world are aiming for the Games and will work very hard in order to get compete there. So I would appreciate a lot if you will continue supporting us and rooting for all of us, please. Once again we thank you so much."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Gosh, I too am glad that such an exhausting nerve-wracking nail-biting pre-Olympic season finally over! Skaters have already left the season behind, that must be full of joy and smiles to some, of regrets pains and tears to others, and are focusing on the new season. So do fans. Let's leave this season behind, objections or no objections to results placements CoPpoints and/or levels we may have, focus on the future that sure is full of dreams and infinite potential to all skaters in the world, and wish them best of luck, shall we?

    To younger skaters:
    It's been a true treasure for my husband and me to encounter each one of you at this competition! We will always remember all of your performances here, and look forward to seeing you in the new seasons to come and get surprised by your future performaces! So please stay healthy.
    For you, let me allow to copy and paste a message of my favorite skater, which was originally directed to Japanese younger athletes who dream of competing at the Games and I translated into English:
    Quote Originally Posted by deedee1 View Post
    "Everything that happens to you along the way has a meaning, regardless if you're aware of it or not. It's all up to you how meaningful it can be or just meaningless it shall be. And don't rush yourself. One step at a time.
    I believe there is nothing meaningless that happens to someone, though it may appear plain meaningless (to the person at first or to someone else), and I would rather see such a things is 'necessary' on its way to progress (as an athlete/person). Looking back my path so far, I did things which at first appeared meaningless. I made many mistakes, too. But if you are afraid of making a mistake and hesitate going for it, it may stop you from progressing. That's how I, at least, have progressed as a skater all these years. Mistakes that I made in the past helped what I am today. I have never been scolded for making a mistake by my coach. <in a small voice...well, it said so, clearly on her face a couple of times, though...(laugh).> Haste makes waste in the end. We sometimes need a roundabout route in life."
    To all skaters:
    Thank you so much for coming all the way to Japan in spite of your fatigue right after the World and for giving us all your performances full of your heart at this WTT. Been a month already but we both are still talking about this competition when we have time, because we truly enjoyed every second of your every performances. Hope you also enjoyed yourselves, at some point during your stay here, as much as all skating fans in Japan did, and hope all of you safely went back home with at least one good memory.

    With lots of love admiration and gratitude,
    deedee at 20:00 local time May 24th, 2013

  14. #119
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    What a lovely end of season essay! Thank you deedee1!

  15. #120
    Custom Title yuki's Avatar
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    That was wonderful to read. Thank you, deedee1, for being such a great fan of the sport!

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