2021-22 Russian Nationals: Live reports | Golden Skate

2021-22 Russian Nationals: Live reports


Record Breaker
Mar 26, 2014
It's 10:20 a.m. Moscow time. I and my wife are in a speed train Sapsan that is taking us to St.Petersburg. The expected arrival time is 1 p.m. It means that we shall miss dance but we are gettin on time for men and indeed for women.

Dance..."Dance Dance Dance Dance through jumping. Dance Dance Dance Dance - just feel the song". That's what one of my favorite German bands Supermax used to sing. There was a good jump for D/S right a top of Z/G who looked as safe as Russian No.3 team as one could be. Is this "jump" fair? I have no clue. I never liked Z/G's skating. But D/S did not impress me either. The crowd thought that Z/G were lowballed and hence they booed. Or maybe the crowd just thought that the whole idea of having a team of a red Londoner and a noble looking New Zealander skating for Russia for so many years is catchier than having a "daughter who suddenly jumped"? I don't know. It's dance. And good news for me is that 2 best teams are on the top.

Getting to this year Rusnats was an adventure on its own for me. First, it were the tickets that disappeared within half an hour since the sales had started. I was staring at the screen with the same grimace that Donkey Eeyore had when Winnie the Pooh presented him a blown balloon. I refreshed the screen over and over again. And by some mysterious luck on the hundredth attempt I caught 2 nice all-event tickets. 5th row at the middle - it just cannot be better!

The next challenge was about what's going on in the world right now. I have very serious beliefs on that matter that are not shared by many others especially officials. But I shall keep those with me to not "get political". Anyway, I and my wife Anna went to Africa in November. We went to Africa in December. We love Africa! But our love has it consequences these days. We were coming back on December 21. I read that some of people who returned from Africa on that day were isolated and placed into what is called "observator" in Russia. We were lucky. We did not have to dance and jump in front of border police to convince them that we are perfectly healthy. Just a bit of self-confidence and not answering the questions that were not asked and voila - we are through! It took another day to get a negative PCR test result and here we are going to St.Petersburg!

The plan for the day is to get first to Astoria - our favorite hotel in the city. It is in the same building as Angleter - the hotel were famous Russian poet Esenin hanged himself. One day we went from Astoria to Angleter (they share the same corridor). We were looking for "that room". There were no signs whatsoever. Finally we asked a local manager about it. And she replied that after the renovation there is no more "Esenin's room". We had to go back to find out that one can go from Astoria to Angleter but not vice versa. It was winter. We were wearing indoors outfits and slippers. In the end we had to get outside and run to Astoria's entrance door to big surprise of doormen...If I am not mistaken we were in St.Petersburg to see junior Rusnats then...

So, getting to hotel, having a quick lunch and then rushing directly to Yubileyny. I hope that there will be something for me to share here. I hope to meet @Sugarpova. If someone else identifies oneself I would be also glad to share a cup of tea in a cafeteria.

And, of course, If someone wishes to write about live impressions and not necessarily in event threads, please, welcome.


Record Breaker
Mar 26, 2014
It's a nice day in St.Petersburg today. -7C and a light snow. A beautiful Russian winter.

We took a cab from the hotel. Yubileyny rink is just a 15 minute drive along the streets covered with snow. The entrance is only 100 meters from the road - a big difference from Megasport in Moscow or Iceberg in Sochi where you have to walk for quite a while.

A quick check-up at the entrance. They ask for a QR code, then check your temperature - health comes first! Then they check your belongings and finally your tickets. A big difference from Sochi and Moscow is trust. They did not require us to show passports to check if we provide the QR code of ourselves rather than someone else's.

The halls are quite narrow here. The good news is that cafeteria are abundant. However, there are only a couple of places to sell hot drinks. Still, the service is fast and the lines were not eggregious. All in all I would highly praise catering organization here. In terms of food quality Saransk is still number one. I still cannot forget the bread in stolovaya there. However, the organization was archaic there. Yubileyny on the other hand did not impress with the choices but the efficiency is the best.

I would also praize the seats. They are quite comfortable. The leg space is not as big as at Iceberg but still better than at Megasport. And the seats are quite wide to not push the neighbors with elbows. As for neighbors, officially the venue should not be occupied by more than 50%. Maybe, they cheated not selling whole sectors. Our stand #1 was completely occupied with no spare seats.

We met with @Sugarpova during the break and discussed current trends in figure skating. We agreed that those trends are both promising and worrisome (like raising age for seniors). Peter aka "the Kolotushka" was again sitting beside us. However, I could realize it only close to the very end of the day when I heard him shouting for Ksenia Sinitsina. He was surprisingly quiet throughout the competition. God knows why. May be he started in his usual fashion the day before. And there was that big gloomy Russian dude who explained him: "Luk, jor klaping ist bet phor mai daizhestshn. Sou, izer yu stop or ai hev tu stop yu". Well, this is just my imagination. May be Peter was just sad that Stasya no longer competes that's why he lost his steam?


Final Flight
Mar 16, 2021
"Luk, jor klaping ist bet phor mai daizhestshn. Sou, izer yu stop or ai hev tu stop yu". Well, this is just my imagination. May be Peter was just sad that Stasya no longer competes that's why he lost his steam?
I imagine that of course it should be in Runglish - "Лук, йо клапинг из бед фор май дайджешен. Соу, изер ю стоп о ай хэв ту стоп ю"- and you tried to "translate" the Runglish into English. My respect to you, sir! :laugh:


Record Breaker
Mar 26, 2014
A few remarks - I will write more later on. We arrived at the beginning of men. Rukhin, Anisimov, and Sarnovsky were meh. The first bright moment was the performance of Vladislav Dikidzhi. I had no idea who he was. @Sugarpova explained that he is more famous as a tiktalker than a skater. Maybe that's true. I was still impressed by his performance. The only issue was his losing the steam towards the end.

Roman Savosin was fast as a lightning. He also showed quite a good edge control. If it were not for 3 pops, I would say that I was impressed. Yes, a clean performance with such a speed could be something I would remember.

Ilya Yablokov is a skater who is "almost there" as long as I remember him. Unfortunately, he has been never there yet.

We all know that Dmitry Aliev is a good skater with a superb potential. He also brings hopes every now and then. Alas, these hopes do not materialize. He was quite close to land a 4Lz. But he missed it. With so many mistakes that he had the impression was marred. And I personally did not agree with his score and his getting atop of Vladislav.

I cannot say that I remember much of Gleb's skating. I am certain that he landed some quads - good for him. And I think that he was very tired towards the end. There is potential, for sure. But so far there is not much charisma in his skating.

Artem Kovalev keeps skating the same Queen program as long as I can remember. And my attitude towards it has not changed much since the very first time that I saw it. He manages to make Queen's music boring during the first part of the program. Then the magic transformation happens and he turns into a big time entertainer. This looks strange to me. And the jumps, alas, were not there.

There is something strange about Artur Danielyan's skating. May be it is his posture, may be his arms. The weirdness was further amplified by the most atrocious cuts of Shekherezade that I have ever heard. Sorry, that was not my cup of tea.

Andrei Mozalev was like a sip of fresh air after that. Confidence, speed, blade control, jumps. It looked very solid. I think that he has developed into a strong pcs skater during the last couple of years. I don't think that Dima Aliev has any second mark advantage over Andrei any more. I was still a bit surprized by the score as he had a stepout. Maybe it was a bit generous. But he was good.

And Petr Gumenik was good as well. I can't remember him being so clean with the amount of ultra-C jumps that he attempted. And artistry was there as well. I would reiterate that Mozalev was a bit overscored vs. Gumenik. I would put them closer than how judges decided.

I missed lord Samarin. But I was back in time for Misha. Yes, he was sublime. His skating was also "cold" and "haughty". But this image suits him and the music he skated to. Kolyada can't deliver a clean program for ages. But he was close to it this time with minimum pops. When the score was announced it looked like "mission accompished" And it was...for a while.

I can't say much about Erokhov and Ignatov. After Kolyada they looked like too "uncut gems". Their rough skating could be saved by jumps. That's the way of Daniel Grassl, Morisi and the like. Unfortunately, they had issues in the jump department as well. And with such it was a miss. They won't get into the team. And I think that it's fair as their skating is not competitive when we talk about international level.

Then we come to Mark Kondratyuk. Boy, I loved his performance. He is also a bit "uncut". But one thing that dominated was his utmost desire to give it all. His motivation to deliver, his passion, his energy - we could feel it at the stands. And he delivered the jumps. No wonder that the crowd went berserk after he finished. A well-deserved result and a fairly earned team spot. At-a-boy. I just wish that he can deliver performance like that when it will be most important - during the games.

Zhenya Semenenko looked a bit lost after such a fiesta from Mark. But he still did his best. And I am warming up towards him. For one thing, there was more skating in his performance than in what his obvious competitor Makar Ignatov showed. Between the two I would surely pick Semenenko whom I cosidered at the same level of "uncutness" as Ignatov just a year ago. But it looks like the team is Konratyuk, Kolyada, Mozalev. Or maybe not yet?

I would write about women after the FP. I am a little heart-broken about Liza. She produced those clean 3As one after another like "pirozhki" during the warm-up. And then such a disaster. I think that it was her first fall this season. And what a bad timing for it!

Quite a surprising women's event. Yes, with the exception of Kamila and Anna who both delivered as it was expected and received the scores that I personally expected. Beside that we have a long range of surprises both positive and negative.

See you tomorrow.
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Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
Sep 22, 2019
Thank you for the live reports! Always interesting to compare with the video perspective.

I didn't suspect Roma was so fast till I saw zoomed-out footage of a warmup once, so it's nice to have that confirmed (y)

having a team of a red Londoner and a noble looking New Zealander
Alas, Jonathan hails from the other side of the Tasman Sea... We could definitely do with some more noble figure skaters over here!


Record Breaker
Mar 26, 2014
Merry Christmas, dear Westerners! It's your holiday - the Russian Christmas is in January. I wish you all the best in life and Happy New Year!...

We woke up at 8 a.m. It was a forced awakening - I saw no reason not to sleep until 10. But man proposes and God disposes. The church bells told us that sleeping after 8 a.m. is an unnecessary luxury. Well, it is still better than azan at 5:30 a.m. So we woke up and looked at the window to see a beautiful Isaky Cathedral


The competition starts at 3:30 p.m. so that we have plenty of time. My wife Anna who is an artist and an adventurer at the same time said that she wants to visit the Modern Arts Gallery. And she wants to walk there.

Ok, no problem - that's what I thought. Well, there were some problems. Namely, one has to walk 5 km (3 miles) to the venue and it were -15C (5F). We are not afraid of distances and weather. We walked. And it was a reward for our feat. In general, I am not a big fan of modern arts galleries. I don't understand when one puts hipes of old newspapers in a corner and names it "installation". I know that Peggy Guggenheim brought into the limelight a lot of artists. And she slept with many of them. Well, I don't want to be cynical but modern arts is not what I am big fan of. Suprisingly this particular Gallery is truly impressive. We spent almost 3 hours there until it became clear that we are late for the Rusnats.

At 3:40 p.m. we ordered a taxi and in 15 minutes we were at the venue.

One more time, it's a lot of good words to be said about Yubileyny. But there are spoilers. Women restrooms is one of those. The capacity is just inadequate. That's why there were long lines to the facilities.

But there were ways to bypass those outrageous lines...Anyway, the facilities were of no interest to us and we rushed directly top the stands.

...to be continued. And don't forget that I am willing to give my tickets to gala.