Guys, I saw a portion of the broadcast today, and for what it's worth, here's my assessment:
Angela Nikodinov - It was wonderful to see Angela win the gold medal, and to see her land several beautiful, long jumps. She looked strong and confident, and though she tired at the end of her program - doubling a planned triple and singling a planned double axel - her overall presentation was first rate. Good for you, Angela! I hope you have a successful season and make the US World team.
Sasha Cohen - Bad news! Sasha withdrew from the competition due to her recurring back injury - the one that kept her out of competition the entire 2001 season. Here's hoping that Sasha rebounds quickly. She is still scheduled to compete at the next Grand Prix event, so perhaps this time around the injury isn't quite so severe.
Michael Weiss - OK, I'm not exactly a Michael Weiss fan, so I'll try to not be overly critical. However (!), the guy still cannot land triple axels, and he fluffed his two quad attempts. Granted, he was skating with one new boot and one old boot, but his technique still isn't what it needs to be, IMHO. He wore a rather unusual shirt - it was flesh-colored, and looked as though it was filled with tatoos. Later, he said he was happy with his performance. I guess that consistent medicracy is acceptable in his camp. He managed to win the bronze medal. Oh well, just my two cents.
Brian Joubert - How in the world did he WIN this competition with that sloppy, sloppy long program? Ugh! Fall outs on all of his quads, several misses in his triples, etc. Just a low-quality performance for Joubert. He skated to "1492", the same music that Elvis Stokjo used so successfully a number of years ago, and his costume was supposed to be a ship - with "sails", "rope", and other stuff thrown in. It looked kind of wierd and more than a little bit uncomfortable. In the kiss 'n cry area, Brian looked a little sheepish at his victory. He is such a terrific skater and competitor, but this wasn't his best performance, not by a long shot. If he skates like that at Worlds, he won't be close to the podium - unless the rest of the field crashes and burns as well.
Ryan Jahne - This guy is so, so elegant, and he skates with fire and passion, but he, too, has problems with his triple axel. He missed both of them but landed all of his other triples with confidence. The last half of his program was very strong, filled with triples, spins, and great choreography, and Ryan won his first-ever Grand Prix, the silver. Good for him! But please land those triple axels in the future!
Peggy Fleming - Is Peggy ill? She looked unwell, and she did not sound like her usual, articulate self during this competition. I hope she's OK.
Crash of Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin - A clip was shown of a terrible crash suffered by the reigning World champions as they competed at Skate America. Tatiana was in the air, being lifted by her partner, when he stumbled and she fell, head first, onto the ice. Tatiana lied motionless, in a fetal position, and she was transported to a local medical center. Susan Wynn interviewed the hospital spokesperson who said that Tatiana was being admitted and that she was in good condition. Thank heavens. Peggy Fleming said, "This was the worst fall I've ever seen in a skating competition." All the best to Tatiana for a swift, complete recovery.
Sarah Hughes - It was reported that 2002 Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes, who finished her freshman year at Yale, is now skating with Stars on Ice. Sounds as though her college education is on hold for the time being