Alex how did the norwegian girl Camilla Gjersem do today?
Alex how did the norwegian girl Camilla Gjersem do today?
Sorry that I couldnt reply, the moment we looked up the Golden Spin results the internet crashed!
It just came back
As for Camilla
She is like her twin, always smiling and having a good time, but I believe Anne smiles a tiny bit more. She skated to come together of the beatless. Nice red dress, do they both have the same - size shouldnt be a problem I suppose She does nice Piourettes as well!
She came 9th and I think a top 10 is definately possible!
Once the Judges scores are available I will write the review.
BTW. I am so happy Vera recovered from what happened this morning, poor girl I was so scared! But she smiled on the podium like she always does!
Many of the pairs though had major issues with some of their elements, they had to abord lifts quite often. Reminded me of Bern 2011, when it was equally "difficult" there.
I am also very happy for Elena, she was great and she enjoyed the rest of the evening watching the pairs and some Snowboard on my Laptop together with Igor. Next time though I must get him some Shawn White movies :D
Really got to say that the NRW so far is absolutely a blast, its what I was missing at Oberstdorf a few weeks earlier, when all that security was there... The atmosphere here is really great, you can sit together and just have a great time.
1. Polina Agafonova 53.59
The Russian opened her programm with a good triple Lutz - double Toe combination and I tell you, her Piourettes are absolutely breath taking. Her Camel and Layback spin, both level 4 - it looked fantastic.
Not so awesome was her triple Sal, she really had to work this one hard to stay on her feet, the double Axel later went ok. Nontheless a very elegant skater, she is a joy to watch and her whole appearance including that dress in combination with the music, wow! Like a snow flake, floating over the ice.
2. Michelle Couwenberg 42.01
She is such an elegant and mature skater, definately a young lady you would ask for a dance at the bar. I have seen her perform that SP live a few times now and its always great. You want to jump on the ice and dance with her
Her elements were a mixed bag today, she touched the ice at her double Axel and fell at the triple Sal, but the combination of triple Toe - double Toe was fine.The step sequence was great as you can imagine, that fire in her eyes!
3. Jana Coufalova 35.50
Remember her from back in the days when she was that tiny little girl in the juniors, also know her brother from those days, Peter. Nice and friendly family! As for her programm today, well her jumps were quite together, but she performed a nice triple Toe - double Toe, but also her Axel was nice! Sadly the triple Sal didnt happen... In general you wish that she would smile more on the ice - still I enjoyed her Step sequence a lot and she has potential, I said it last time and I will say it again.
4. Elizaveta Ukolova 46.11
Was on Podium before in Dortmund, last year at the juniors which she won! This year however in her first senior year, winning the NRW is probably too much to ask for. Her performance was nice however, especially the Axel late in the programm and those spins that all were level 4! She looked very cute in that light green dress, you just wish that this young lady would smile more. She is performing for herself all the time, its such a pity. But easier said than done, I am not a clown either ^^
5. Anne Zetzsche 40.13
She has a powerful jump, that triple Toe - double Toe went nicely at the start, not much wrong with the Axel either and her step sequence was great. She is a really attractive young lady and our costume police could discuss many days about her outfit. If you want to know how she looked like, you can find pictures on the official website - its worth it!
6. Kim Bell 35.70
It was a nice programm, the whole choreo and her outfit in white with a bit of gold and that music - it worked well together. Unfortunately didnt the jumps, her flying sit spin was level four though!
7.Nicole Rajicova 48.31
Wow! Thinking about her programm is like thinking about your favorite moment in a movie that you saw in the cinema weeks ago. The way how she moves on the ice is just magikal. Every piece of her body is performing, there is nothing misstimed or out of place - it just looked amazing!
She made the impression that it was her very last dance on the ice, so much passion in her performance - just stunning. Nicole also skated for everyone, she wanted everyone to have that moment with her, might sound cheesy for you guys - but thats how I felt.
Her Rittberger didnt work today, but she made a really lovely double Axel and all those spins and piourettes - wow! I can just say watch the video of her, you wont regret it!
8. Monika Simancikova 44.52
I am a fan of that girl, since years. She has something that I just really like and that wont change any time soon I guess. Her spins are always great and if she then smiles which she still doesnt do often enough in my opinon, than the sun is going up.
Her outfit today was really great, I loved what she did with her skirt. It fit so lovely to that Latin music, that step sequence... wow that speed, she was really flying and on fire! Also her triple Sal - double Toe went nicely, just the Rittberger was a problem today.
9. Ami Parekh 33.56
I just love how she never stops smiling! She was dressed in a very traditional dress, but also some paintings or is this just what women call Make up? Sorry, I really suck at such things, so please forgive me if I said something wrong now.
As for Ami herself, she is great. I love how she enjoys her time on the ice, she has a fantastic personality and you just see that she is a girl that is living her dream on the ice.
It doesnt matter where you come from or who you were, if you do something that you can enjoy, then there is no reason why you shouldnt do exactly that. She did some high level spins and it looked just great!
10. Minami Dobashi 31.35
The German was wearing a blue dress with loads of different colours on it. Her performance reminded me of the wizard of Oz, when all those things are caught in that big whirlwind and whirl and whirl around. Really enjoyed the last elements in her programm, especially the foot changing spin that was rewarded with a level 4.
11. Fleur Maxwell 48.26
She is one of a few Skaters I dont take pictures of. Reason is, that she just always skates so elegant that you just want to enjoy it and not waste any second of it. Her flexibility, the Piourettes, her skating skills its just fantastic. She had a lovely dark - pink dress, she also executed the jumps very good, we all know that Fleur tends to struggle with those a lot.
That was a pure Fleur, just without the usual falls and the triple Toe - double Toe actually went really nice for her. The day she retires and she did so years ago before her comeback, will be a sad day for figure skating.
12. Sandy Hoffmann 46.88
Love how she moves on the ice, such a great style. She has full control over each of her body parts and she was in great harmony with the music. Her step sequence was amazing, also her piourettes and the spins! She finished with a double Axel which was not bad either! Looking forward to her LP, great skater!
13.Ilaria Nogaro 34.17
She started with a traditional triple Toe - double Toe combination, but she was really close to the edge there. A bit closer and she could had collided with the end of the ice rink. It always amazes me how a skater can manage such situations, I would had crashed for sure. She is a very nice skater on the ice, with great Piourettes.
14. Elena Glebova 55.22
Damn she was really on fire today, dressed like one, skated like one, performed like one - a movie star. She just got the skills that guys like One of the guys behind Elena is her coach Igor Krokavec who I met today, a very friendly guy - we watched some snowboard together during the ice resurface. He really gave her that push that she needed I think, she made a big step forward in the past 1-2 years.
Her performance today besides the obvious great spins and piourettes, featured a great triple Toe - triple Toe that she pulled of nicely. I am looking forward to Cleopatra tomorrow, definately not going to miss her practice skate and then of course the competition.
15. Priscila Alavez 25.99
She was smiling all the time and absolutely enjoyed her stay on the ice. Nice choice of music with the irish elements, good Piourettes and a great dress as well. She performed a nice level 4 spin and she attempted a triple Sal - double Toe combination.
16. Caterina Andermacher 30.75
Bar the scores by the juges, I think she did great. She spun so fast at times and interpret the music so well, that it was a very enjoyable performance to me. She fought very hard at her double Axel, but she managed - nice fighting spirit there.
17. Maria del Rocio Reyes Quintero 27.77
I felt she had it hard today, but she fought bravely through it!
18. Eva Lim 36.20
The young lady from Holland started with a double Axel that she pulled off nicely, also enjoyed her lay back spin that received a level 4 - sadly the Toe and Sal were both downgraded.
Eva is another case for the costume police at GS, but I liked it a lot! She put a lot into her stepsequence, I liked that and she also gave us a smile once in a while! Nice!
19.Jenny Urban 38.24
The begin of her programm was really difficult, the Loop combo didnt happen today and her triple Toe was also a tough cookie.At the moment of her step sequence the whole performance got a push and was soo much more enjoyable. I loved how she played with the rythm of the music, also a great smile!
20. Oh god Inga! 34.94
What happened again? She is such a gorgous skater and then she has those total blackouts sometimes. She dressed in an oriental red dress, everything and everyone was ready for the golden Inga moments and then, while they happened at her spins and Piourettes, they sadly didnt at her jumps. Such a shame, she has so much talent - just needs to put it on the ice more often.
Inga was unable to pull off her triple Lutz combo that she did so well in practice before, just the Axel worked today. She was close to give up, all the fire in her eyes, was gone - but she fought bravely through and finished the programm. In general she needs to enjoy her time on the ice a lot more, at Oberstdorf she did that and smiled the second day, lets hope she will do the same tomorrow in her LP. Such a great young lady, Inga at the LP you must really go hard girl!
21. Nadia Geldenhuys 31.30
She really had a bad fall at the other side of the ice, glad nothing bad happened - but those girls are so tough! They just always stand up again, respect! She had a nice glitter dress in black and made some really enjoyable level three spins.
22. Camilla Gjersem 43.74
She is like her twin, always smiling and having a good time, but I believe Anne smiles a tiny bit more. She skated to come together of the beatles. Nice red dress, do they both have the same? I am sure they changed clothes as childs to fool the guys in school!
Her performance today started with a fall on her Loop, but she recovered nicely from it and performed a triple Toe - double Toe very clean and also her Camel spin was great and received a level 4. Axel also looked solid and received a highlight distribution bonus, steps she does like her sister. Heads up and just smile at everyone you come across!
23.Kaat van Daele 45.32
Absolutely love that skater, she is such a happy face. Very elegant skater, performed a nice triple Sal - double Toe, but had to fight hard with her triple Toe later. What I liked a lot in her choreo was the whole music part. At the end it faded out slowly, really slowly and it just hit the nail on the head. She was the last skater, the last girl we could look at so to speak and the music got quieter and she got quieter as well, it was a fantastic final moment. She is a lovely person, also off the ice - always smiling and those level 4 spins, wow. She really knows her stuff and how it looks amazing.
Final result SP Ladies
1 Elena GLEBOVA EST 55.22
2 Polina AGAFONOVA RUS 53.59
3 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 48.31
4 Fleur MAXWELL LUX 48.26
5 Sandy HOFFMANN GER 46.88
6 Elizaveta UKOLOVA CZE 46.11
7 Kaat VAN DAELE BEL 45.32
8 Monika SIMANCIKOVA SVK 44.52
9 Camilla GJERSEM NOR 43.74
10 Michelle COUWENBERG NED 42.01
Short practice review.
Brian working hard on some of his jumps this morning, he has a really great last minute in his LP.
Manol, such a funny guy. He always has breakfast when I usually go, very funny person. He did lay backwards on the ice and then just jumped up to his feet.
Camilla has a heavily strapped knee, not sure what happened there.
Polina, wonderful LP - she seemed to be in good shape as far I can tell.
Fleur, just amazing.
I did not see Sandy and Inga.
What happened at the men yesterday:
My favorite was Franz Streubel. The german was a Majestro on the ice! His whole attitude, looks, performance and interpretation was absolutely amazing. I am seldom entertained that much with the men to be honest. The german came 4th, with lovely spins of level three and four - a very good performed triple Axel and a triple Lutz - double Toe comb. I can highly recommend his skate to everyone out there!
he struggled on his Axel a lot. He also practiced it this morning intensivly. As for the combo, a triple Toe - triple Toe. Fun about him was that once he warmed up a whole ton of japanese came into the hall and tried to get a peak of Brian. His presence on the ice is really great, even I as a guy have to say that at this point. Seen him before a lot, but he just grabs the whole ice and attention of everyone when he skates.
Also liked the performance of Jorik Hendrickx - the skater from Belgium had a wonderful attitude on the ice - so positive and he performed a triple Lutz - triple Toe - just the Axel was shacky - rest really nice.
Our quad of the day went to Majorov, he showed a quad Toe, fell on the Axel though. He had a really nice step sequence and interpretation of the music - I enjoyed that a lot.
Balam Labbarios was also fantastic. He received only about the half points of the big guys, but it was great how he tried to get the crowd involved at all times. Such a positive guy, loved it!
1 Brian JOUBERT FRA 72.02 1
2 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL 69.32 2
3 Alexander MAJOROV SWE 67.84 3
4 Franz STREUBEL GER 66.23 4
5 Sergey BORODULIN RUS 63.78 5
Thanks Alex for your reports!
Camille no longer taped and skating in a minute.
Thanks Alex, did catch her on the live stream, didnt go so well today unfortunately... :/
As you might noticed, Petr Coufal had to drop out, his boot broke during the warm up.
Currently leading is Paul Fetz with a very solid performance, second is Martin Rappe also Germany and third Anton Shulepov, Russia.
Final group starting in about 10 minutes.
1 Alexander MAJOROV SWE 217.95 3 1
2 Brian JOUBERT FRA 206.50 1 2
3 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL 190.84 2 5
4 Sergey BORODULIN RUS 188.09 5 4
5 Franz STREUBEL GER 187.23 4 6
6 Paul FENTZ GER 186.27 8 3
We saw two quads, the better by Mojorov who started with a Toe, while Joubert´s attempt received negative GOE, so did his second attempt which was underrotated. Majorov on the other hand had to open up his Lutz - Toe combination, making it a single - triple.
In general the jumps today were all a bit off, at least if you expect big & clean ones, so to speak. Joubert took his triple Flip attempt with a nasty smile, Borodulin took his performance even with a shrug.
Majorov won the LP and Joubert only came second with about 16 points less. A common agreement among those I talked to was, that it was a brave decision by the judges.
Personally I agree there, Majorov just did less mistakes and the so called "B-Note" couldnt save Brian today, Alexander put a good show on the ice, while without his hood today - he still only lost about one point versus Brian in the programm components.
Ladies LP Review:
1. Priscila Alavez 77.63
I like her positive energy, while her takeoff doesnt bring her sky high, she still enjoys her ride. The Mexikan who was dressed in a red top, with a black skirt sadly fell on her triple Sal, but made a lovely combination spin of level 4. I am sure she enjoyed Dortmund a lot!
2 Nadia Geldenhuys 83.99.
The south african started well with a double Axel, but sadly totally missed her triple Sal that even saw a downgrade. Right from the start, the way how she was in the air - it just couldnt end good, sadly.
When she also fell on her double Axel I was really worried about her. She crashed right on her left arm, that must have hurt so much! But she and all the other figure skaters, are not made out of sugar - she took it like a women and just kept going and this not bad! She made some nice spins of level two and three, but also 2 nice double Flips which received a highlight distribution.
The way how she glides over the ice, is great and it worked so nicely with the different moods of the music. It was great to see! After she was done, she had a totally red left arm, but as I said - these girls are tougher than all we guys together and if I would have had a cap on, I had pulled it for her.
3 Maria del Rocio Reyes Quintero 88.39
She performed a wonderful triple Sal early in the programm, but also her double Axel and the flying foot spin were not bad! She had a lot of glitter on her dress which quite many of the girls actually do.
4 Caterina Andermarcher 91.31
What I liked about her was how the flowers on her dress, were also in her hair. It looked really lovely and the way how some of her jumps came without any preperation + raised arms for bonus, was great. She also did some high level combination spins at the end and a nice double Axel - double Toe combination. Her performance was like a chilling italian summer night, with a beautiful young lady.
5 Minami Dobashi 91.12
If not mistaken then she did skate a Flamengo and I really liked it when she bend her knees to make a "bow" from time to time. Her music was not that easy to skate to I think. There were loads of changes in the tempo, to express those changes in the performance is really difficult and the judges only gave her a 3.50 there.
Minami did a nice triple Toe and a double Axel - double Toe combination and was wearing a red / black dress.
6 Ami Parekh 104.07
She is such a lovely person to be honest. When I came to the practice she was just finished and gave me a smile while we met, I always like that when skaters do this, after all they do have such a tough job and tons of people around watching them and from my own experience I know how hard it is to keep that smile up, at all times.
The Indian performed a nice triple Toe and really lovely piourettes, especially the combination with the foot change and she can be very proud for her triple Sal - double Toe that she managed to land. Not sure if I will be able to see her again this year, but I am curious what direction she is going to take next.
7 Kim Bell 98.25
Kim was in a slight blue dress and performed two double Flip - double Toe combinations and a triple Lutz and triple Toe. While receiving deductions - still difficult elements and I remember a figure skater who once explained me the jumps, that he couldnt do a triple Lutz.
8 Ilaria Nogaro 105.75
Really liked the start with her layback spin, great idea! Her programm was a bit like a cat sneaking and it was a very elegant cat for sure. I had tons of fun watching her movements on the ice, nice young lady in her black dress full of bling bling.
9. Inga Januleviciute 106.06
Our stadium announcer always has some issues with that name and I am honest here, I still do and I am a big fan of that young lady since years. I wish she would tell me some day how it is actually pronounced.
Inga did better today. Sadly, it still wasnt that lovely golden Inga that I know she can be. She hardly cracked a smile again, its such a shame. A shame it was as well, that while she did all those wonderful piourettes like the camel or the lay back - she had really big issues with landing her jumps and the triple Sal - double Toe was one of the better elements there. At those moments you just want to help her somehow, because you know that she can do it. She got it all what it takes in my opinion.
Her skate to the wonderful track by Judy Garland (somewhere over the rainbow) - is a cracker, she just needs to put it on the ice. I still believe she can win at least european medals, if she believes in herself that is.
10. Jana Coufalova 96.48
Her flying sit spin was definately lovely and also her last few elements in the program like the spiral, looked really nice.
11. Eva Lim 107.52
At the end of her performance she was totally destroyed, grabbed her back right in front of my eyes - taking a deep breather. Her music was quite dramatic I would say, so she had to work very hard to express that and I think she did not bad there. The judges gave her a 5.00 for it and she made a lovely sit spin quite early in her programm as well.
12. Kaat van Daele 126.69
Kaat happy after her performance, giving her a fist pump. I said it before and I say it again, she is very elegant and a real Lady on the ice. Her music and skating style are so relaxing, its a great joy every time. Today she not only skated well, no she also offered some nicely executed jumps like her triple Rittberger and triple Toe - double Toe and that level 3 step sequence brought a smile into my face as well.
13. Jenny Urban
What I liked about Jenny was her expression towards the different variations of the music. She tried to express those changes by using her arms, feet and hands. It was a great pleasure to see, sadly she only managed one triple jump today, the Toe.
14. Camilla Gjersem 120.03
At the practice this morning, she had a heavily strapped left leg (knee area). I believe that during her LP; that somehow was in her mind. Still she smiled a lot and compared to some, she was the sun and they the night.
Her triple jump combination of triple Sal, double Toe - double Toe was almost in a circle on the ice. I have absolutely no idea how this actually worked out for her, but she landed those jumps - the Sal was underrotated though. That she can do nice combination spins we all know, they were again level 4.
What I found impressive was how quick she always recovered. She fell and was already on her feet, that was good to see.
15. Anne Zetzsche 115.34
That young lady started with an incredible speed in the first minute, wow! She was flying over the ice - she never stood still, everything was always in motion like her hands. While she lost some of her power through time she still performed a nice triple Toe - double Toe and some great spins that ranged from level 2 to 4. If she can work on her stamina a bit, that programm will rock.
16. Michelle Couwenberg 119.93
Her first double Axel was amazing. No effort at all, she just nailed that one on the ice. Wow! If you consider that there are many girls who struggle with that element, she could make a lot of money by opening the Michelle Couwenberg school for Axel jumps. Her music had some more sneaky elements and she performed those very well, also her expression in the face changed from first in pain and scared to smiles when it got more uplifting in the end.
17. Monika Simancikova 120.40
She looked really gorgeous in her red dress, she even smiled today when the music allowed it - wonderfull! What impressed me a lot today was how much faster she got with every second. She just interpret the music amazingly, you really felt that energy when she was racing past your nose.
While her jumps didnt work out all that well, I still think she is on her way up. I believe I see her again at Oberstdorf soon.
18. Polina Agafanova 141.34
She played the pink panther today and oh god, was she in the zone! At the moment the lights went out, she was the pink panther! She was sneaking and hiding, totally in her role. It was really great to see, all those emotions in her face, in her movements - great. Her spins like Layback and Combination were fantastic, but only received a level three today and sadly her double Axel and the double Toe in combination with the triple Lutz were downgraded.
What I like about Polina is her natural flow, if she plays a role then its not a play - its just there. Great ability and I hope she will return to Germany very soon, I am already a fan yes.
19. Elizaveta Ukolova 132.01
Eliza while still an Iceberg and our little girl so to speak, did perform a nice triple Lutz - double Toe - double Loop combination and her spins were all level four.
While she is our special patient with the non existing smiles, she seems to enjoy skating like that and if she does, we have no right to complain.
20. Elena Glebova 150.80
She had a really good ice coverage I think, she was so close to me that she almost slapped me in the face. I liked the tempo changes in her routine and she also managed to put a triple Sal - double Toe quite late on the ice, but also a decent double Axel and a wonderful lay back spin. She looked quite happy on the Podium later and she proved me wrong! I said Polina would win and nobody could beat her, guess I shouldnt write Estonian girls off that easily - sorry Elena!
21. Fleur Maxwell 136.71
I could again write a lot about her and how she touches me with her performances and maybe I should do exactly this. After all she deserves credit for what she does, her flexibility, those spins - its just unique. She is skating to music by Ludovici Einaudi and it fits her personality so wonderful. Fleurs movements, the way she is gliding over the ice - its just amazing.
Her jumps today were unfortunately often underrotated like the Rittberger and the Sal - but she is one of a few skaters that as I said, can skate without any jumps and it never gets boring. Her combination spin, was full on 2 and 3 - her Layback at the end 1 and 2, so was her stepsequence. The judges probably could had gone even higher there in my opinion.
22. Sandy Hoffmann 128.90
What I loved about her was the whole outfit and styling she had. She skates to Evita and she was an Evita. She had a ruby in her necklace, her haircut was Evita like, her dress was - I loved it! She had a nice step sequence and a level four combination spin - she tried hard until the end no doubt, sadly the elements received some high deductions there like her triple loop that was underrotated.
23. Nicole Rajicova 139.23
Her double Axel in the combination with the double Toe, damn that was a big jump forward! So late in the programm and still such power! Amazing! Also amazing were the spins, she really looks lovely in those. She is one of the "new" girls to me, that will stick in my head for sure. Also off ice, a very nice person and well deserved third place today.
Final results Ladies:
1 Elena GLEBOVA EST 150.80
2 Polina AGAFONOVA RUS 141.34
3 Nicole RAJICOVA SVK 139.23
4 Fleur MAXWELL LUX 136.71
5 Elizaveta UKOLOVA CZE 132.01
6 Sandy HOFFMANN GER 128.90
7 Kaat VAN DAELE BEL 126.69
8 Monika SIMANCIKOVA SVK 120.40
9 Camilla GJERSEM NOR 120.03
10 Michelle COUWENBERG NED 119.93
11 Anne ZETZSCHE GER 115.34
12 Jennifer URBAN GER 108.07
13 Eva LIM NED 107.52
14 Inga JANULEVICIUTE LTU 106.06
15 Ilaria NOGARO ITA 105.75
16 Ami PAREKH IND 104.07
17 Kim BELL NED 98.25
18 Jana COUFALOVA CZE 96.48
19 Caterina ANDERMARCHER ITA 91.31
20 Minami DOBASHI GER 91.12
21 Maria del Rocio REYES Q. MEX 88.39
22 Nadia GELDENHUYS RSA 83.99
23 Priscila ALAVEZ MEX 77.63
The NRW Trophy has always been a highlight for me, as it covers that friendly atmosphere that makes figure skating to such an enjoyable sport. People are almost like family and even if you didn´t know them before, they will gladly welcome you among´s their own.
It didn´t took long before I was asked about what I am actually doing there, sitting at the cold ice rink all day long, writing my reports and stuff. While its a basic question with a very easy answer, it usually was the start of a longer conversation and it showed me that people really care and respect what you do, just like you do yourself if it comes to how great they organize things every year, usually not making any money out of all of this.
But not only the officials, also the Athletes make the stay worthwhile. I remember Ami Parekh who just never stopped smiling if you came across her, or the time out with Igor Krokavec watching some Snowboard and how I met Manol Atanassov at every breakfast that I had in the hotel lobby. Its those things that in my opinion make the whole figure skating so much fun, you don't watch it from miles away, but from a very close view.
New kids on the block
As with every competition that involves young competitors it is a great joy to see who is coming next, who might be that big talent that you can write about in future. Therefore it was with great joy to see the naughty performances of Annika Hocke who came second in the advanced novice girls, behind Kalina Lewicka who had a very powerful performance on day two with a triple Toe - double Toe combination and a wonderful expression on the ice, while freezing to death at the victory ceremony.
What impressed me so much about Annika however was not only her great talent in figure skating, but also her amazing versatility and attitude on the ice. I don´t think that she ever stopped smiling during those two days that I saw her, while on the first day performing very naughty the second was almost chilled and modest - but of course with a few naughty elements still.
Another name I will remember is Jule Groenert who convinced me with her open minded attitude on the ice, she was really performing for every single person at the ice rink, even for those who prefered to read a newspaper or take a nap. The young girl who is competing for the EV-Krefeld came second behind the very elegant skater Gabija Ganatauskaite who was leading a whole armada of great figure skaters from Lituania including Aleksandra Golovkina who came third in the juniors with a FS that put goose bumps all over my body so cold her expression was to the Tango that she performed.
hype & underestimation
After I saw Polina in the practice, it was clear to me. She wont be beaten this time! Her spins, the jumps, the choreography, it was all rock solid and great.
Now after the competition is over and one of my favorite girls on the tour, Elena Glebova won it with her lovely performance to "Love in Three Act´s / Cleopatra", I feel like a schoolboy who suffered a rebuff. How could I underestimate Elena? Polina yes, that girl is a great skater no doubt and I am definitely a fan of her by now - but I was a little bit to impressed by her actually and forgot those that I supported since years.
Its been a bit like in school, you like a girl and then a new girl appears and you automatically think she is the one, while you forget that there has already been "the one" so to speak.
While the Ladies and girls were in a strong majority, we also had men and those that want to be one in the next few years. Someone I remember from the Basic Boys was Jimmy Atila, while not winning the competition, he seemed to have the most or should I say loudest fans in the hall, performing a double Flip - double Toe combination but trailing by less than 0.4 behind the winner Titus Spangemacher with his single Axel - double Toe combination.
The men himself, Brian Joubert however did not win the competition! No he lost to our "cap guy" from Sweden, Alexander Majorov who while not putting on his cap this time, still managed to nail a quad Toe on the ice, convincing with a very entertaining and powerful performance that consisted of many level 3 spins and a triple Axel.
Axel´s were definitely not Brians thing however. The French practiced those so hard and still - it wasn´t his Axel day for sure, but he took it like a men with a nasty smile!
One minute of bruises & broken blades
There are always special moments at an event like this, that suddenly don´t get out of your head anymore. While many of those moments are directly linked to a performance by a figure skater, some have absolutely nothing to do with the skate itself.
One moment that shocked me was how Vera was hit by Yuriy in the face, totally accidentally of course during the practice. I still have the picture in my head how she almost fainted after that hit, it was so devastating.
Just compare the body measurements of these two athletes, Yuriy that Russian bear who always looks at me like he wants to eat me alive and Vera that small elven like figure that she is. At moments like these I realise how vulnerable each of those young ladies actually is, while they take a beating every day either by the ice itself or by one of their partners like Jessica Dubé in 2007 did and still - they keep going strong every second of their skating life and beyond - just impressive!
Also impressive was how Luc Economides from France managed to break his skating boot after the actual skate, resulting in him coming one footed to the victory ceremony. Another person who broke his blade was the Czech Petr Coufal, sadly for him he still had to skate as it happened during the warm up.
Warm up actually leads me to something I found utterly funny. When Brian Joubert was warming up, about 50 Japanese followed him into the ice arena! It was a bit like with those Lemmings which gather once a year and then do Kamikaze, just that those here didn´t try to jump of a cliff, but follow Brian blindly, which If I think about it - might still could have the same outcome actually.
Last but not least I have learned that one minute at Dortmund, just passes so much quicker than anywhere else and that Maylin definitely has the pants on in her marriage with Daniel - after all she just slapped him in their FS!
4 * 2 = 8
Talking about Pairs, one of my favorite competitions is besides the Ladies exactly this - the Pair Skate Competition. I just love that combination of men & women on the ice and that´s why I was so looking forward to it here at Dortmund especially since my favorite pair Basanova and Larianov was about to compete.
That said, we unfortunately also had a few casuals on our way to the SP. Annabelle Prölß & Ruben had to retire due her being sick with an Angina, Vanessa James & Morgan Cypres also - reason unknown to me - so did Stefania Berton and Ondrej, who made my day this year at Zagreb with their Dirty Dance!
Still 4 couples were left, two German, one from Bulgaria and the Russian with Vera and Yuriy. Latter also won the competition before Wende / Wende with a quite interesting program. Interesting because I only knew their very emotional skates, their passionate performances that always filled my heart with warmth - yes call me a romantic guy if you want to.
Their SP & LP while having some of those elements, was more dramatic and also funny at times - all combined with tons of difficulty including the triple throw Flip and two level 4 lasso lifts (backwards / reverse). While they might not be happy with the points, it is a competitive program for sure and I am definitely looking forward to the Euro´s and their performance there.
Fleur, Inga & Nicole
There are many skaters who I didn´t mention yet, but who still enhanced my time every day I saw them. One of those is Fleur Maxwell, she was so good at Dortmund and still didn´t manage to get on that Podium. Her flexibility and that attitude on the ice, just always amazes me. She is one of those real Ladies and to not see her at Sochi is a real shame, same with Inga Januleviciute. While she didn´t had her best days, she is one of those that I see on top in a few years - that said, she must find her skill at competitions and not just practice. I will keep rooting for this girl whenever I can and the day she gets on that Podium, will be the day when I make a big Yahoo!
Last but not least Nicole Rajicova. She is also trained by Igor, like Elena and she impressed me a lot, especially with her SP. It was like watching a movie, that you can watch 100 times and it never gets old. What grace and attitude she had, was absolutely breath taking. She was skating to "Papa Can you Hear me" and I had tears in my eyes during the program!
Questions needs to be answered
I am writing this 3 days after the last skate was performed at Dortmund and again I notice how hard it is to get a few information about specific skaters, usually those from outside of Germany - but not always. This includes a BIO, their current program, the elements they tend to do and of course video material of previous competitions. Not only are many official websites not updated yet with the 2013 / 2014 programs (adults excluded), no also YT seems to not offer that much from official side.
Wouldn´t I be stuck in that type of situation since a while now I would actually ask about my own tracking skills, but the truth is - there is just nothing to track.
How great would it be if we would have a simple section on the ISU webpage where every skater is listed, with a profile picture, a small bio that consists of more than just "skating & cooking" and especially what type of program they are usually performing including their elements.
Another point is the media coverage of figure skating that is so sloppy in many countries of this world. Quite often you either have no coverage at all or you have just one or two groups. At Dortmund the organizers had to put their own media coverage up, so that those skating fans who couldn´t come were actually able to follow their favorite skaters.
You cant thank them enough for that, but you also must ask the question if this is how it should be? Shouldn´t TV stations actually broadcast more sports, instead of silly reality shows where everything is faked anyways?
I am sure that there are many people in this world who agree with me that the coverage of the figure skating events has seen a major decline in the past 10-15 years. Talking to representatives at the TV stations always leads to a basic and dull answer "its not worth it - nobody wants it etc."
This attitude needs to change and everyone must work hard on that change. You cant have a Brian Joubert, Yuna Kim etc. skate without TV coverage, after all those are the big stars of the scene and still - not big enough for a 2 - 3 hour block in the TV program... that is just very sad!
Without all the volunteers, figure skating wouldn´t be able to exist, therefore we must say a big thanks to all of those who made Dortmund but also other events possible!
Thank you, Alex D, so much! It's a lovely read, and it feels like having been there with you!
And Yes! to your final words! Honestly, it annoys me so much, that saying that people "don't want" figure skating - however will they know anything about it if they are never exposed to it?! It's not like they are going to stumble upon it unawares and go: "ooo, this looks nice!", is it? I do think that Eurosport's coverage has increased - at least that's the impression I've got - so at least that is something...
I have their player, but for some reason they never show the full FS events there on those "extra channels" - like they do for instance with tennis and their court coverage. I don't even need a commentator, all I would need are the pictures
ES wont show the Olympics though I believe - at least not live.