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Thread: 2016 Bavarian Open Feb. 17-21

  1. #81
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    Aliona and Bruno's SP is great, but their LP needs work. I like it, but it needs to be more fluid + have more choreography.

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    A quick update in regards of Erika, she does have a nephritis, so speedy recovery to her. Will write the review now, until then.

  3. #83
    Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps el henry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex D View Post
    There were some really cool performances at the men, mostly because of these awesome characteristics that some of them have. Great and very sympathetic and they showed some real emotions or funny moments, nice!

    Ivan is leading with 84.47 infront of Franz with 75.08 and Ryuju Hino 72.18. My favorites were Romain Ponsart and Tomy Pulkkinen, so fun to watch and very emotional. More a bit later, pairs soon, here is the starting order
    Hi Alex, thanks for the updates! I am particularly interested, if you have a chance, in Romain's programs. I am wondering if they are new, as I believe Rohene Ward may have contributed some choreo since he moved to 7k.

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    Day review, with Senior men and Pairs

    So,

    day 4 is already over and we have two more to go! It was a day, where I was asked a lot what I would do all day, sitting there at the middle of the ice, watching skaters do their thing and then hammering the buttons on my laptop.

    If you ask my friends, then they might say, he is a fool - why doesn't he hang out with us or play DJ set´s for a lot of money? Why waste his time at that cold ice rink?... Well, maybe I am indeed a fool, I don´t get anything out of that, but if you sit there and a skater comes along and tells you, that they loved your feedback, if I see the people here at this very forum, enjoying the read, pr those smiles like of Aimee today, then this is worth more than any money you can get. I might die poor, but happy some day

    So ya, this should answer that question.

    A really big question, however, is about what we can do, to bring the skating action back on TV, as we don´t have any TV crews around and honestly, even with Aljona and Bruno skating, we are only one German Journalist from the Piourette, two photographers for said magazine, another photographer of who´s intentions I have no idea and a very vocal Italian photographer and ya, of course I am here as well.

    Personally, if I watch figure skating, I feel really good, as I enjoy the stories that skaters have to tell and even if some might look like "I will kill you", others smile and make a happy face and two of those awesome guys, did compete at the men´s competiton.

    The first fellow is Romain Ponsart, from France. You guys know, I am not the biggest fan of the men, but with skaters like him, I could become a huge fan. He is just a super handsome guy and did skate to Je suis malade and he was not afraid at all, to show what this skate meant to him. What a huge expression, it was astonishing and his step sequence, wow - such big emotions and it wasn't just a role, it was what he felt at this moment, impressive.

    While his quad toe attempt didn't work out and the other jumps were not super either, it was still a performance with level 4 modifications, especially the last spin was spot on and his skate, just stood out and I think, that we men don´t need to be afraid, to bring out such a side of ourselves.

    Another of these awesome guys was a Fin, Tomi Pulkkinen who achieved 47.71 and is super sympathetic! At first, he crashed so horrible on his triple Axel attempt and then he also lost another jump and ya a spin, while nailing the last, but still, this guy was just fun to watch, how he did interact with the crowd after his skate, he really enjoyed being out there and was happy that people came watching.

    Something else that stood out, was his step sequence, you all know how I love skaters that attack these steps and turns and this he did, very nicely! Oh yes, those Fin´s - they just always make my day, be it the ladies as you can read above, or the men. Valtter sadly had a not so happy day, but he is cool as well!

    Super friendly people over there in Finland, keep it up boys and girls!

    Of course, in every competition there is a winner and this winner at least for day one, is coming from Italy, or Russia or Oberstdorf... Well, he was a Russian, then competed for Italy and now does reside at Oberstdorf. So he is like a "Gerrustalien"? Anyways, Ivan Righiniscor ed 84.47 points, with his "you raise me up" performance and I was really impressed how he interpreted that story and used the various musical phrases for his elements.

    But not only his choreography and the interpretation was strong, no also his step sequence was greatly attacked and those spins, it´s incredible how low he can go at his sit spin, that´s massive, so was the height at his jumps (triple Lutz - Toe, Flip and Axel) and yes, he did not have a quad, which proves that men can make good programs without!

    Full results,

    http://eiskunstlauf.bev-eissport.de/BO2016/SEG001.HTM


    As for the pairs,

    as mentioned Minerva and Nolan have again improved, their transitions and the footwork is much better again and it seems all to be much more fluent these days, even if she still looks like a shy kitten when up in the air
    Their SP, is to "music" by John Miles and I have said this now so many times, but their choreography by Paul Doll is really well done and tomorrow with Romeo and Juliet, it get´s even better and honestly, today there was only one mistake on the side by side Sal and that throw Sal, was fantastic and their twist looks pretty decent now as well.

    It´s just so nice to see a pair progress, oh boy if I remember the first skate I saw at NRW and now, they are on two with 52.06 - what a progress, great pair these two from Berlin!

    Great is not enough, to describe the legacy of Aljona. She is just a damn awesome pairs skater and with Robin, they won so many hearts all around the world, that many fans were crying and sad, when they knew, it´s over!
    After a long period of about 18 months, Aljona was back, back on the surface, that means the world for her. She isn´t alone, however! No, there is this guy, Bruno and they are pretty good already, huge height on the triple Twist, lovely throw flip and really good choreography! When you see the way she looks, the way she enjoys being on the ice, it means the world to her and she seems to have found someone, with whom she can compete at the top level, coming second at Europeans.

    Right now, Aljona is super dominant in that pair, something that is understandable, but needs some work. They need to get a bit more artistry out of Bruno me thinks, they need to find a nice balance and of course, they also need these levels, like on the twist, something they have been working on and again, it wasn´t the level they wanted, but the DS is a four now, so changing a few things since Euro´s did help, but it´s still a long road for them to skate.

    Since I have only seen them once this season, I can not give much more insight about their progress, but maybe, I will have another chance, I mean - they are competing for Germany right, so as a German, I should move my ***, to their practice sessions more often, shouldn't I?

    What I also should, is mention something absolutely amazing that I saw today. There was a pair from France with the name of Lola Esbrat and Andrei Novoselov and they did a DS and transitioned right from said element into a pair spin. So she came out of said DS and instantly, progressed into the pair spin with her partner. It didn´t just look super awesome, no it was that "detail" that I so love in figure skating, if it comes out.

    Be special, be unique and don´t have gaps in your program, thank you very much!

    Last but not least, there was that super cute couple from Croatia, Lana Petranovic and Michael Lueck. They are so cute on ice. She is tiny and super happy and he is the strong and big guy, I love how that looks on the ice and how playful they were in their no touch sequence!

    Pair skating and also Ice Dance, is just super awesome if the stories and personalities are allowed to find their place, among the super high difficult elements.

    Erika Smith an AJ, were sadly forced to withdrawn, as she is a bit sick, so speedy recovery to her.

    Full results, here

    http://eiskunstlauf.bev-eissport.de/BO2016/SEG005.HTM

    If you now wonder, what? No ladies with Alex, who loves them so much?

    No guys, the ladies were already featured and you can find all the details about them here.

    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...=1#post1375240

    and the advanced dancers,

    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...=1#post1374585
    Last edited by Alex D; 02-19-2016 at 04:45 PM.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    Hi Alex, thanks for the updates! I am particularly interested, if you have a chance, in Romain's programs. I am wondering if they are new, as I believe Rohene Ward may have contributed some choreo since he moved to 7k.
    It was the first time this season, that I saw him, so I can not say if anything has changed to before. I might can ask tomorrow, but no promises,

  6. #86
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    Are there any videos from this competition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NaVi View Post
    Mishina/Mirzoev are the junior pair that receive the most love from internal Russian judges... and they're good but I've always thought that international judges would disagree at least for the SP.
    I don't think you can say that yet, as this is only their second international competition, and unfortunately their JGP event was kind of a disaster. They're really good, so if they skate well I foresee them doing well. I don't love their programs but they present well. Out of the Russian juniors, they seem to be the most consistent with their SBS triples.
    Last edited by oleada; 02-19-2016 at 09:02 PM.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturnalis View Post
    Are there any videos from this competition?
    Sadly non official.

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    Advanced Ice Dance, the conclusion

    Day 5 advanced ice dance

    Around 6.00 AM my day had started, the usual shower, my pasta that I eat every morning, some nice tea and a new clean shave, as today is a special day - the ice dancers are coming and I cant look like a dork all the time, not that it helped much, but at least I am trying, right?

    To try and make the dance look effortless is one major goal by the dancers, but there is much more required for a high score. As for example, you need to have a strong in character skating, if you portrait a love story, then don´t dress or look like a truck driver, holding his woman like the steering wheel of his vehicle.

    Besides that, the judges want to see a stepsequence, either straight line or curved, with good, deep edges and in hold, performed on one foot, an element that can for instance be performed as a circular step sequence, as seen by the Russian winners Maria Marchenko and Egor Pozdniakov, who achieved 91.29 points in total. Said pair with lots of Drama and great facial expression, especially by him performed an excellent curve lift at the end, in which Maria used her great flexibility to make it look super ace. The Russians topped all their levels, gaining the maximum possible of three and showed good speed. There was, however, a mistake at their twizzle sequence where she had a few issues on the first two.

    Said twizzle sequence, requires a strong attack and good syncronisation, which was excellently shown by the britisch pair Emily Rose Brown and James Hernandez, who skated my favorite Free today. It was a wonderful love story, greatly interpreted by both skaters. The way Rose looked at him - loosing herself in his eyes, always in close hold, while skating absolutely effortless, almost flying, with very good transitions, well aligned to the phrasing of the music.
    The Brits came 4th with a total of 75,47 points, a great achievement.

    But before we move on to the juniors, let me tell you a thing or two about the US skaters, like the Greens, who came second with a super balanced program, tight and speedy twizzles, a great position in the spin and I love what she is doing with her arms and how the more uplifting phrase of music was reflected in their skating, like with the rotational lift.

    Said lift, was also present with Emma and Caleb who came third and started their program with a great twizzle sequence and i love their outfits and his hair cut is just super awesome! I think they have a very good musical understanding and feel for the music, it looks very smooth and is nicely used to their advantage like in said twizzle, but also the spin and they got their level three´s just like Maria and Egor.

    As I said yesterday, those Americans can really sell their programs beautifully, but they also attack their elements, like Katherine and Cameron who are both very present and she is just always smiling, great kid!It´s fun if you think about it, on ice they look so mature and off ice, you realize that they are just kids, like you see them every day on the street.

    Last but not least, I enjoyed Polina Pankova and German Shamraev as well, even with the mistake on the twizzle where he kind of gave up after two and she with all her expression, just smiled it away. In general, they had a more funky free dance for us and I loved how she was toying with him and that he was still so present, even though she is such a naughty girl!
    Thanks to all the wonderful skaters, I took two pages of notes - so it must have been good, right?

    Full results,

    http://eiskunstlauf.bev-eissport.de/BO2016/CAT014RS.HTM
    Last edited by Alex D; 02-20-2016 at 06:36 AM.

  10. #90
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    Junior Ice Dance SD

    We do have a current leader from Russia, with Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko, who gained 60.68 points and I tell you, their twizzle sequence was such a rocket, they went into that element, perfectly aligned, with huge speed and all of that, in seating position, just wicked! Another aspect that I like a lot was the variety in their artistry. The first part, was all about them, they kept close eye contact, while in the second part they were skating for the crowd.

    Nice skating for the crowd came also once again from the Brits, Mia Jowitt and Peter Beaumont, who at first looked like in the wrong category, as they are so tiny, but super cute on ice, I loved how well balanced they are, great couple.
    Another cool couple are Anna Vakulenko and Egor Trasenko, coming 5th with 51.12, she is such a beast on the ice, that expression is fantastic and she almost hit me, as they came so close to the end of the ice a few times, really good ice coverage there, not afraid of the silly men in the blue jacket!
    Egor, is the total opposite of her, super focused and more cold and when he messed up at the twizzle, she was just smiling it away. What I really enjoyed was the smooth transition between rythms, it´s similar to Chock / Bates - who have the same ability in their short with their Foxtrot and Waltz.

    Another couple who I greatly enjoyed were Ekaterina Fedyushchenko and Lucas Kitteridge, who let us in the crowd be part of their program, great artistry, nicely aligned and wonderful personalities.
    Of course, if we talk about personality then we always talk about Americans! We had an American couple here as well and even the Russians who were coming over, said "Маладец" while Eliana and Ian were skating, showing their admiration to their competitors.
    Huge attack on the their first twizzle, very close, well aligned and fast, granting them a level four, huge expression thrughout the whole skate, nice hold and lovely straight line lift. Their performance granted them an overnight position on the podium as third, with 56.84 points.

    Last but not least, a huge shoutout again to the italian dancers, especially Sara and Giona, who looked absolutely phenomenal and balanced on the ice. I so love how these Italian guys, skate with their ladies, they carry her, they care for her and, they put her in the spotlight, being proud to have someone so beautiful on their side. A super relation to each other, while securing the level 4s at both starlight waltz, twizzles and the great finisher, the rotational lift.

    A greatly enjoyable competiton, with of course much more that has happened, but as usual, time is my enemy, so laters!

    http://eiskunstlauf.bev-eissport.de/BO2016/SEG017.HTM

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    Question Senior Ladies preview

    The big question for me is, will we finally have a Fin again on the podium, with Emmi currently on three with 50.10 and Liubov on four!? Maybe, even two Fins and if so, will I survive that But also, how will Tanja do, currently on 8th and what about Yuka, is she going to enchant everyone again and will Olivia make me cry again... What outfit will Michaela bring today and will Lutricia keep her cool?

    So many questions which will be answered in about 30 minutes, when we will start with the Ladies Senior competition.


    StN. Name Nation Current Rank Points
    1 Yasmine YAMADA SUI 16 35.45
    2 Alina MAYER GER 15 37.32
    3 Netta SCHREIBER ISR 14 39.62
    4 Olivia TUUVA FIN 17 33.42
    5 Mariia GAVRYLOVA UKR 18 29.54
    6 Tanja ODERMATT SUI 8 45.49
    7 Elizaveta UKOLOVA CZE 10 43.13
    8 Karly ROBERTSON GBR 12 41.56
    9 Aimee BUCHANAN ISR 9 43.40
    10 Fleur MAXWELL LUX 13 40.44
    11 Katarina KULGEYKO ISR 11 42.85
    12 Lea Johanna DASTICH GER 5 47.33
    13 Michaela HANZLIKOVA CZE 7 45.93
    14 Emmi PELTONEN FIN 3 50.10
    15 Yuka NAGAI JPN 1 65.42
    16 Liubov EFIMENKO FIN 4 49.84
    17 Lutricia BOCK GER 2 60.14

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    Update

    As I was informed, Emmi is not going to skate what now... Alex sad Also out are Nathalie and Katarina Kulgeyko.

    ... sad face.

    Go go Liubov

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex D View Post
    As I was informed, Emmi is not going to skate what now... Alex sad Also out are Nathalie and Katarina Kulgeyko.

    ... sad face.

    Go go Liubov
    The ladies today, all have such emotional music and another one has withdrawn, Aimee Buchanan. Tanja did pretty good though, slightly behind her PB with 129.30. It´s a very enjoyable program, I like it when she is skating to a more quiet piece of music, she isn´t a "Rampensau" either, so it fits well to her personality.

    Elizaveta did nice, she even gave away a little smile towards the end, but ya so many quiet programs today, fits the day with all the withdrawal's, not the most happy day for figure skating fans, speedy recovery to those injured!!

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    Yuka in tears!

    What a skate, that was so courageous.

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    “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    I wish this was live streamed!!!!! 4CC's, Russian Cup Final, YOG, and Bavarian Open would make for a very fun day of being a fan.

    Thanks for the updates Alex

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    I will sum up the Ladies later tonight, but Yuka did her lutz toe flawlessly, also the double Axel - triple toe and triple Lutz - 2 toe and 2 loop. She so rocked that ice today, she was in tears, I love how she went for it.

    Liubov sadly couldn't skate on to the podium, which is incredible sad and I so hope she will not give up, I love her program so much!

    More later

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    Post Thoughts about day 5

    You know, there are days when I sit at the ice rink and shake my head, for reasons that I do not want to explain any further. That said, without these wonderful skaters I would probably not sit here anymore, as they always lift me up when I feel down and they deserve to be supported, especially in Germany, where nobody talks about the hard work they do.

    Today, was again such a day, a day in which I couldnt watch my favorite senior pair, Minerva and Nolan, who i follow since 2014 when they teamed up and already back then I saw their huge potential for beautiful programs and they have proven me right, especially with their Free Skate. Said Free skate, however, I couldnt watch so that my final column now has a gap, a gap that is just there, as the skate is over and I have no footage of it in my memory.

    If you follow a skater or pair for that matter and miss a skate, it just suxx, especially as they did so wonderful in the short, having improved again and their Romeo & Juliet is just beautifully crafted and I am sure they gave it all again and even achieved a new PB and it makes me sad to have missed that today.

    However, life goes on right, so we just have to carry on, no matter how many obstacles are thrown at us ....

    So ya, let´s take a look at the senior ladies competition which I was able to attend. The winner of the day, was Yuka for sure and her tears after the music had stopped said it all, she just did it, her best skate ever to August's Rhapsody. A total of 185.93 points at the end and a Japanese lady, who could finally show, what she is capable of.

    The start was massive, with her triple Lutz - triple Toe combination and she really did that so called "effortless" skating justice, as for instance her choreography had very quiet parts and one of these parts was right after the double Axel - triple Toe combination and she nailed that landing and instantly transitioned into said quiet part, like it was nothing. No matter to which phrase of music she skated to, her body language and facial expression, but also the elements like for instance her spin with the drum pattern, were spot on and she just grabbed you, with her eyes as she was going for a very strong interaction with the crowd and I was able to witness that first hand, several times during her program.

    For me, it was an absolute pleasure to witness the Japanese here at our event and it´s performances like these, that keep me going, but also those like of my Tanja, who achieved a new PB with her Muse program. As a dad of many skaters, I was very proud of her, she is quite a character, with that gorgeous smile but also these shy eyes and I really enjoyed how she was attacking today, with beautiful lines and a very emotional performance, in which she was able to land four triples. (two Sal, once in combination with a double toe, a triple Loop and her triple toe - double toe - double toe combination) You should have seen her smile at the VC, priceless and she was once again showing her lion heart, when the two Axels gave her a few problems today.

    So ya, Tanja did well and another skater of my "family", sadly did not, as she didn´t even compete, Emmi. She was my hope for a Fin on the podium, but so was Liubov and while Emmi couldnt skate, Liubov gave her best, but it just wasn´t a day for "love" I suppose. It is you know, so sad, as her program is really beautiful and it totally grabs you, but as she noted, her head just didn´t work today, but she will come back, like all the Fins do and at the VC, she was already smiling again, these kids are tough cookies and I wish I would be so tough, as again, a year has passed, without a Finish lady or girl on the podium and I am just so sad, you know! It just all came together today...

    Anyways, there were a few ladies on the ice, who might not have played a big role at the front positions, but their programs were super emotional for me and they really touched me and this because it was also so intsense for them like with Karly Robertson and you know, it fit my day.
    Karly, is expressing, that no matter what happens in life, no matter what obstacles we face, we can take them and go on. It´s programs like her´s, but also of Olivia Tuuva, which just mean so much to me as well and I think this is the "beauty" of them, we all were in these situations, where we lost someone or maybe didn´t had a good day or whatever... Sadness is a part of life, as without sadness, we wouldnt know what happiness is, either.

    Filled with said happiness, two German ladies were, Lutricia and "the smile" Lea Johanna. It is always special, if you meet a skater when they are like 12 and a few years later, you have a woman standing in front of you and you just think, wow! Lutricia has matured so much, she looks like a million dollars now, has a super friendly off ice appearance and, grace on the ice. Lutricia did attempt six triples of whom she landed five, including a nice triple Lutz - loop - triple Sal combination and she already practiced posing together with Yuka later at the VC, coming second with a very different program, naughty, funny and then with great tempo at the end. She is quite impressive if you see her skate, a very natural appearance and friendly, not giving you that "i will hunt you down" look, that some skaters probably practice every morning in front of the mirror.

    Lea on the other hand is different, a very naughty and vocal young lady, who was doing all these funny things at the kiss and cry today, while waiting for the scores. She seems to like, to react to scores and her smile after every landing is just gorgeous.

    There are people who think that we in Germany need a skater like Gracie, Lipnitskaya & Co. and hey, I love these skaters, Gracie is with Adelina my number one, but I really think, we have some cool skaters in our country too, from advanced up to senior level and I can not wait to see how they all progress in the future.

    This concludes my write up for today and those who wait for pairs or dance, I just don´t feel like I can contribute in a good way to both competitions right now and it would not make sense, to just write for the sake of writing, so I will just say that I was greatly entertained again, by our Croatian pair Lana and Michael, who are just absolutely fantastic and super charming and they definately helped me today and ya Aljona and Bruno - they got work to do and with Ingo they will be drilled for sure, to fix the errors from today, several two footed landings at the throws and no triple side by side either. That said, their SP shows what they are capable of and they were already joking around backstage, so I think they go with optimism into their next skates.

    As for dance, we do have Penny and Nicholas leading, as usual with great expression and they just always get the crowd moving and I also want to mention the pair from Georgia, Tatjana and Aleksii, as I absolutely loved how he presented and took care of her. Last but not least, I really like Katharina Müller and Tim Dieck, such a funny program and they have lovely ice coverage and of course the others were awesome too and I really hope that I can write more about them tomorrow when I feel a bit better.

    So, thanks again for all the great skates and pictures, tomorrow is another, hopefully better day !

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    Small heads up for today,

    due VC´s and the schedule, but also mostly because I don't like writing while skaters are on the ice, I will publish something in the evening.

    As far the day went, we did start with the junior pairs and it was a great event, with the Russians going first, while our "vampires", came second and Italy was on three. I don´t know about you, but I just don´t need quads not at the mens and not the pairs, but I know what you will think again now, Alex is silly and maybe I am, but I come for the great stories and of those we had many, in all forms and sizes, just like the skaters

    Big shout out again to the British pair, you just rock!

    We then had the men and yes, Alex watched all of them and saw the "local" Italian win, with Franz coming second and the Japanese on three.

    Then we had junior Ice dance with a Russian victory

    tBC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex D View Post
    Small heads up for today,

    due VC´s and the schedule, but also mostly because I don't like writing while skaters are on the ice, I will publish something in the evening.

    As far the day went, we did start with the junior pairs and it was a great event, with the Russians going first, while our "vampires", came second and Italy was on three. I don´t know about you, but I just don´t need quads not at the mens and not the pairs, but I know what you will think again now, Alex is silly and maybe I am, but I come for the great stories and of those we had many, in all forms and sizes, just like the skaters

    Big shout out again to the British pair, you just rock!

    We then had the men and yes, Alex watched all of them and saw the "local" Italian win, with Franz coming second and the Japanese on three.

    Then we had junior Ice dance with a Russian victory

    tBC
    the conclusion....

    and a very charming couple from the US, Eliana and Ian, who did skate the second best FS today, moving up from three and I tell you a secret now, since I always sit there at the middle of the ice at events at Oberstdorf, a lot of people see my role at these event´s as "go ask Alex, if you want to know something", so ya - quite a few people came over and asked me about this US pair, as obviously, they were very impressed with them and so was I.

    I even met Barry today, proud dad of Eliana and it´s always a pleasure to know that there are people around, who follow these "blog" posts and actually don´t want to throw a skating boot at me, for what I write

    Anyways, about 2 hours ago, the senior Ice Dance finished, with a great victory by Penny and Nicholas who kicked everyone out of their seats and again I want to point out, how complex ice dance actually is and while I will not give you my "Soloviev - Bobrova" treat, where I go step for step through a program, I want to say that it is incredible, how much thought goes into these programs, how much strong work is actually required, mentally and physically to pull these skates off.

    I will still give you my day report in I don´t know, maybe two hours tops? However, I will not go into too much detail about ice dance now, this is for my column, where I will as always write more in detail about skaters and programs, but I have written down so much, that my bags will be at least 5 pounds heavier now.

    So, until later
    Last edited by Alex D; 02-21-2016 at 04:18 PM.

  20. #100
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    3 Not allowed!

    Post Thoughts about Day 6

    So guys, last day at Oberstdorf for the skaters and myself, as I will go back home tomorrow, to get ready for the next big event in my schedule, unfortunately not figure skating related and most skaters and coaches I spoke to, also mentioned that they will catch the early bird tomorrow, either going back home or to the next event.

    So how was the sixth day? Well, it was actually a pretty cool day, as I was able to see some pretty good performances in Dance and Pairs, which are very high on my list, as I just so love the idea of boy and girl skating together and the stories that they can tell you and I so disagree with what people usually say "if you suck at single skating, you end up in pairs and dance"...

    Anyways, we all know, dance and pairs is serious business and for me personally, it´s very complex, as it´s just so much about this relationship that you have on the ice, which makes it so hard. Two skaters need to pull something off, that´s the big thing there and I am honestly, always a little bit angry if people just skip dance or pairs and only come for men or ladies.

    Therefore, I was actually pleased that we had at least a few people watching today and together we did start the final countdown so to speak, with junior pairs.

    The overnight leaders from the Ukraine, were unable to defend their lead, vs. a very strong pair from Russia and both pairs had one thing in common, a very strong male part, which resulted in beautiful spins, expression and overall balance.

    Renata and Mark, who did impress with their "race" to pole position on Friday, gave us a completely different performance today, more quiet and with huge emotions, skating to "interview with the vampire", one of my favorite movies ever, of course because of Kirsten, but also because of the great soundtrack.
    With said soundtrack, the couple from Dnepropetrovsk, created beautiful camera shots, with good use of the various phrasing, skating lovely aligned and once again made people "wow" with their huge height and easy catch on the triple twist.
    Honestly, I love their versatility and how they could come up with something completely different to before with yet again, beautiful pairs skating, hitting those level fours with their incredible spins, while also getting credit for a wonderful triple Sal throw and Loop. They are highly talented if you ask me and they are not alone. Martin and Anna the so famous Czech couple from the JGP final and NRW Trophy, are around and of course the winners from our event here, Anastasia Mishina and Vladislav Mirzoev.

    Said couple showed great variety and change of tempo, it was a real joy to see both skaters equally present, going from a party theme to a love theme and back. What I find astonishing about her is the technique that she has when she rotates in the air. Her hand is actually on the back, as seen at the triple throws Sal and Loop, which were performed flawlessly. I also loved her dress, she just looked so handsome, like a real lady from back in the days, when the girls didn't run around half naked in the clubs, but had all these beautiful dresses and no, I am not 100 years old - but I saw movies....

    In total, the couple achieved 175.84 points, which should be a new PB for them.

    The Italians Bianca and Nicolo came just like in the short on three, with a few errors here and there, but also good use of the music, especially in the pair spin.

    Last but not least I want to mention Chloe and Steven here, as I find that pair incredible charming on the ice and they don't even skate for a year yet, as a couple. He really loves his lady, he carries her and makes sure that she is doing well. It looked so amazing what they did, no eye stayed dry there, really a very romantic performance, in which they try to portrait the haunting beauty of music and it´s rise and fall, based on a "cover" of Les miserables by Lindsay Stirling.

    It is really incredible how good they already look like and they have a similar impact on me, as Nolan and Minerva had, when I first saw them. There is, great potential and honestly, how come we have so many awesome British skating talents now?

    Wonderful!

    Also wonderful was the senior men's competition, at least if you exclude the really heavy falls that some of the men suffered under, like the winner who fell on his chin I believe, at the Lutz. Luckily he had a beard and other elements today, that came to the rescue like the first triple toe which he put very softly on the ice, not making any noise at all, followed by his triple Axel - double Toe. Just like in the short, he showed a very calm side on the ice, great arms and lines, not rushing it, very controlled, almost chilled with great presence and feel for the music.

    On two came Franz Streubel, who did attempt the quad toe and once again got drunk, shot people and lighted a cigarette to Django unchained. Third, with a downgraded quad came the Japanese skater Ryuju Hino. What I like about Hino is the attack on his Lutz, it looks so quick and responsive, the way he takes off, it´s like a catapult.

    As for Romain Ponsart, he really did it again, a performance that just takes your breath away, I find that guy super awesome on blades, what he does, is really art - the way he glides over the ice, uses his arms and the knee work, expression - it just stands out. He doesn't do a lot of "noise" you know, he just skates with full heart and soul, a white - black outfit, nothing flashy or glitter, really cool package that guy! It´s amazing that he still manages to put in something like a quad toe or triple Axel - triple toe in these programs, it just looks so effortless what he does and yet, has such a high skill level.

    Oh and I am very sorry, that I was unable to talk to him about the recent changes, maybe some other time, sorry @ Henry.

    Another time, I will also write about ice dance in detail, as I really want to give this sport justice and not rush it now with a minor report, so you need to wait for my column which is scheduled to some time this week, but it really depends on my workload, so it could also be the weekend.

    That said, a few notes at least, especially for Doris!

    In the juniors competition, we saw a very impressive selling potential, that goes much further than just doing a twizzle, lift or a step sequence, which usually get the applause by the crowds. No, what I saw was a very good, for example the exit of the pairspin by the US pair Eliana and Ian and the actual fact, that this young kid is able to do a rotational lift of level four quality, I mean - this is crazy to even think about, there are seniors, not able to perform it like that and it looks so easy when you sit at the ice, when he lift´s her up, a very explosive duo these two, with a great artistry focused program and them skating together for about seven years now, clearly shows, as it takes many years for skaters to really understand each others movements, paths and of course, trust - you need to trust your partner blind, which makes it so hard on high level, where one false step, could bring you into a hospital or worse.

    It´s like in any team focused sport, you need to really do things a thousand times together, to do it right once - so it´s a lot of work involved there and the results, we saw at the US couple, but of course also the Russian winners, with the twizzle sequence by Sofia and Igor, once again coming from a sit position, going into the second twizzle of three - it just wows me every time that I see it, or the Brits, Ekaterina and Lucas, who had a huge choreography, that I still dig now, I was hugely impressed how the music was reflected in their elements and expression.

    More about this, however, at my column just like with the great victory by Penny and Nicholas, who are so outstanding people, great personalities these two and their programs are just amazing of which my favorite is still their MJ performance, but I was absolutely into this one today as well and I am shocked, positively, that they already added the victory to their website and that those four minutes felt like 30 seconds to me.

    And Carter Marie Jones / Richard Sharpe who came third, oh my god! Awesome twizzle sequence, for me personally, the best of the day, so close and well aligned! What I found incredible was, how he put her into the spotlight, but honestly, for me he did a damn good job as well, he is super present on the ice and he is as important in that team like she is, the word graceful probably describes it best.

    But don´t forget me, the Armenian couple, Tina Garabedian and Simon Proulx Senecal, who were so lovely on beat and their elements were dancing to the music, just wonderful and they were not alone, also our German pair, I really like their lines, I don´t know, but it looks like one person if they do them, call me crazy - but ya, that´s how I feel! And now I feel very sorry, to just let it end like this, but I need to stop now, in about an hour my internet is down, so I will only have my phone and typing on phone... you know, how men are with their fat fingers, we no good at writing on phone

    So, thanks to everyone for reading my reports and I guess, we will hear from each other then, when I publish my column.

    Good Night and thanks for the great performances today and of course the pictures and sorry about the skates I missed, but the VC timings are just

    P.S:

    You can find all results here,

    http://eiskunstlauf.bev-eissport.de/BO2016/index.htm
    Last edited by Alex D; 02-23-2016 at 09:09 AM.

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