2021 Rostelecom Cup: Live reports and impressions | Page 2 | Golden Skate

2021 Rostelecom Cup: Live reports and impressions

samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Sochi is my second home. We live here in the summer and come for skating in winter. The Alps for the Russians are closed these days as we don't have "the right" vaccine. My mom lives here in winter - summer is too hot for her. This brings us to the weather. Sochi is in the south of Russia so that it is usually rather warm here in November. Hence, I was surprised when I heard after landing: "the temperature in Sochi is 6 degrees Centigrade". Global warming, anyone?

However, today it is sunny and +15. It is much better. With such a sunny weather and sunny mood I drove my old Audi from our house in Sochi to the Olympic park. There were jams, there were police: they say that Putin is in town. I parked 10 minutes walk from the venue.

One has to show QR code, ticket, and passport at the entrance. That is not news to me as we have the same practice while visiting events in Moscow. Somehow, the passport topic slipped out of my mind and I did not have it. The security lad y seeing my hesitation aske me about my birthday date. This info was enough to let me in. Of course, I remember when I was born - I am not that old yet.

The venue has pluses and minuses. The main 2 pluses are not that many people so that there is a seat not only for you but an empty next seat for your belongings. Anothe plus is that there is plenty of leg space unlike some venues in Moscow. Minuses: I have not felt that it is a big event, a fest. The one that is stilll to beat was Rusnats in Chelyabinsk some years ago. Here the atmosphere is not gloomy - the walls are white everywhere - I would say "nonchalant". People are not dressed up, few are smiling.

What baffled me was the only cafeteria on the floor. And they don't take credit cards. The line lasted through the middle of the second group RD.

I guess, sports betting is getting big in Russia. Otherwise, it would be hard to explain a lot of representatives of some Olympbet company in various outfits. They gave me the clappers and wanted me to register to get a T-shirt. I passed: I do not bet and I vave plenty of t-shirts.

One other thing was a number of girls with "Cruella" hair style and color. Maybe they like the movie. Maybe they want to support Sasha Trusova although she is not here.

OK, it's S/K time.
 

samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Actually, there is no cafe like it was in Saransk - I still remember bread there. I had to wait 40 minutes to get a bottle of Pepsi with Picnic bar. That's it. Well, my mom will be making dinner so that I won't miss local croissants and sandwiches. What is interesting is that during the second long intermission the line was as long as the first time. I wonder if they are the same people or those who were scared by the line the first time realized that it won't be better and they decided to wait.

The problem is that there is no meeting places here like in Moscow. There is a dozen of small tables with no seats. And there is a monster line. That's it. I wonder if they are going to amend this situation tomorrow. I hope to meet whoever is here and who is reading this tomorrow in the cafeteria after men. Well, I met Lady B already and we had a nice stroll along the corridor.

It's the opening ceremony now. There was quite an impressive show at the beginning. Some of the forbidden elements were shown. One of them with a guy swinging a girl with a big speed so that her head was centimeters from the ice was scary to watch. I wanted to shout: enough! but he kept rolling her for at least a dozen revolutions.

There are more people now. Those with tickets from top rows keep coming down to take better seats. At the same time the whole middle section in front of me is still virtually empty. There are seats for "special people". I wonder if they are going to show up for ladies.
 
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samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Pairs now.

K/B Some elements are good (SBS jumps), some are average (death spiral). Good in sync. Something is missing in presentation. OK I'll try to be "pairs judge" now. I post scores before announcements. Everyone can see how much I am off. My score is 71

L/M They were quite good before SBS spin which was quanky (is there a word "quanky"?). The music is also terrible. My score is 69

C/M They were the best so far. Good gliding, nice posture. Good elements but the SBS spin. My score is 72 but I am sure they won't get it because of reputation, i.e. the lack of it.

P/K Wow, that's very different pairs skating from what I have seen before. It's Circus du soleil on ice. Impressive. But how it will be scored? My score is 77

Well, I overscored everyone. May be I am not that good a judge, may be the official judges were too conservative with first group skaters. But everyone was good. All the jumps and all the throws were delivered with no falls. Impressive!

Z/K The worst so far. They skate heavily. Their program is boring. He fell. My score is 60.

Italians DM/G in their regular "divers' suits" are good skaters. And this year they have a good program unlike the last time when I saw them in blue "divers' suits". Their second mark should be at the level or higher than that of previous pairs. But the elements were not there. My score is 59.

M/M I did not like it. Their weird twist, their mistakes ruined the impression in the first part. In the second half they just skated to the end. The only notable thing is the speed of their SBS spin. But even there they lost the sync in the end. My score is 61. The first group so far was much better. But I am scoring much better the second group so far.

M/G have the presence of champions on ice. They have an amazing entry to SBS spin. But there were some small scratches and one big mistake. They should not be ahead of P/K. My score is 74.

What can I say? The first group was underscored. My scores for the second group were much closer to the official ones.
 
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samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Here we go, ladies!

Their speed during the warm-up is amazing. Somehow not many women are fast while skating programs.

Let's see how well I can score the women. I just hope than no one will be wuzzrobbed.

Rino Matsuike. I enjoyed her skating. She is fast, she is light. She projects quite well. Her spins are good. Too bad about the botched combo. My score is 62

Madlene Schisaz was fast as well. A bit simplistic choreo and steps, not that good spins. But the jump landings were solid. I would score her 60...and my score is well off-point.

Olga Mikutina started well. There were Valieva's vibes. But after jump mistakes she lost the steam. The last part of her performance was not impressive. My score is 51. And again I am more conservative than judges.

Viktoria Safonova. Unfortunately, nothing stood out about her skating. As Plushy said - a good average skater. My score is 57 - am I conservative again?

Mariah Bell. That was beautiful. A classical but powerful choreo. Very precise elements. Overall I enjoyed her program. She is a skater I want to see this season more often. But she needs 3-3. My score is 68 with the potential well above 70

Eva Lotta Kiibus Jumping wise it was a meltdown. Skating wise she is aggressive but rough especially after Mariah whose skating "envelopes" you. My score is below 50.
 
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samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
The second group

Loena Hendrixx. She is my favoritye non-Russian skater for quite a while. But jumps were not there today she lost about 10 points. 64 then

Ekaterina Kurakova. She is trying to tell the story, she is agile but something is missing. And not only jumps. It's hard to score her. I would say 53.

Maia Khromykh. Something is wrong with that corner - too many mistakes there. Overall I liked her SP better on TV. She was somewhat wonky live. The score is 63.

Kamila Valieva. She is a diva. I was almost crying. 84 is my score. And I miss again. It's universally lenient panel today.

Ekaterina Ryabova. I thought that she wuzzrobed at her first stage. May be I was wrong. She skated like a good average skater same as Viktoria. The music was bigger than her. My score is 63. Will be the panel another time more lenient than I am?

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. I saw her live first time this year and gosh, she is getting better. Beside the last spin it was very good, very moving. And she is faster now. My score is 81.
 
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lesnar001

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
I thought you did good with the scores (except as you say, the judges were more lenient).
The only one you really missed was Ryabova. The judges were certainly not more lenient in her case.

I'm really amazed by what Liza T has done this season. It's like everything is finally coming together for her at the right time.
Style-wise, she is not my favorite skater, but I do enjoy her a lot, and have the utmost respect for her.
What she is doing now at this stage of her career is amazing - and not just for Russian Women, but all of Women's skating.
 

LadyB

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
I was over the moon when I got in, since my QR code has been questioned yesterday in a restaurant, but it was okay in the end. No problems at the Iceberg Arena.
I basically agree with Samkrut regarding the venue. It was fairly empty, which might have something to do with Corona regulations. Very different from the hustle and bustle in Moscow’s Megasport. The latter benefits not only from a bigger population, but also from the multitude of skaters and skating schools, as most of them are attending Rostelecom.

I obviously don’t know anyone in Adler, while I’ve got my mates and other people I know from Insta in Moscow and it is always a busy social as well as skating festival time.
I’d like to stress that I was delighted to see Samkrut today as it is tradition by now to meet up. Hope to see him again tomorrow.

This time I’m not in the same hotel as the skaters. So, my friends, no late night bar gossip, I’m afraid.

There are 4 storeys in the arena, accessible by lift or stairs. Three of them had one food counter each and yes, the queue was massive, but so are the food queues in Moscow.
On the other hand, there were hardly any toilet queues, while these are massive in Megasport as well. They have separate coffee stalls in Moscow, which might help. Again: There were a lot less people here today.
Unlike Megasport, Iceberg has a fairly good working internet. As Samkrut said before, the seating is also more spacious in Adler. I’d like to add it is less steep and there are handrails everywhere, which I find a good point from a health and safety perspective.
The celeb section was cordoned off, no shoulder rubbing with the lovelies for obvious reasons. However, you could have seen them outside after practice and, like I said, Sasha Galliamov went for a walk when I arrived at the arena, but I didn’t want to bother him for an autograph, as he might have been in concentrating mode already.
The arena is very spacious, but a lot of surplus space. There was a toilet with five cubicles in a room where you could easily fit another five cubicles in, but that space was completely empty.
The Olympic Park is well designed and also extremely spacious. It’s very calming not to bump into people all the time when you want to go for a quiet walk.
Maybe the space scenario is a Sochi/Adler thing, as the same applies to my hotel room. It’s huge, but it feels like someone hast just taken away some furniture..

The weather was glorious again! Walking along the promenade is just super fantastic- and you find some of the skaters’ fave hang-outs.

The ‘Interrail-Style’ journey to Sochi (including the night sleeping on a bench in Sheremetyevo Airport) was worth it. I’m glad, I did it.
 

samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Today I am almost on time. It's Saturday - there are no jams so that it took me less than an hour to get here. Near the parking lot I saw Tamara Moskvina walking towards me very energetically. Gosh, she does not look 80 year old. We smiled and said Hi to each other.

One thing that started to bother me yesterday is the sound. I think one would not hear it on TV but on the stands there is something wrong about it. There is some low frequency noize which for me is quite distracting. I hope that it does not bother the skaters.

Matteo Rizzo was the highlight of the first group. He started somewhat slow and tentatively but then he picked the steam and the end of the program was very strong and involving. He was so happy about his performance and audience's cheering that he did his signature move while leaving the ice. I don't know if this was shown on TV.

I will be very surprised if Michael Brezina continues after the Olympics. At least today it looked like that's it for him. There was no spark, no energy, and a lot of mistakes.

I am not sure if Mikhail Kolyada should jump quads in the Olympic team event. His 3A is stable and he could focus on artistry which he has. Watching his missing quads over and over again is painful. 180 does not look generous - clean Jason with no quads can receive higher than that.

Roman Sadovsky impressed me. There was so much of him on the ice. He is very fast and powerful. Even some mistakes did not mar my positive impression. The score was a bit conservative imo.

Morisi tries to look elegant in his costume. But his skating is anything but elegant. On the other hand his 4T looked like 4T to me not like 4S. I don't understand the outcry on the matter yesterday.

Kazuki Tomono is a good skater. I wonder if his mistakes are going to cost him the gold. What I disliked is his music choice. There was little connection between him and his music. I think that any score would work not worse than what he has now. I would advise to change the music.
 
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samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Pairs now. Austrians and Canadians were meh.

D/G showed another version of "divers' suits". These ones were shiny. They are a good pair - very fast with good connection between them. I just wish they did not do that many mistakes. As years go by and nothing changes I am not sure how long they will go on.

I liked a lot Hungarians C/M. Their first throw was huge! Yulia could be a star if she stayed in Russia (I wonder if she was born in Hungary or just moved there). I am not happy about their score. It looks like reputation judging and wuzrobbed to me.

L/M were outstanding before the second throw. Then things went south. Still this is the best pair from NA that I saw in recent years.

What a disaster with K/B! They were so good in the first half. And still they scored 12 points more than the Hungarians. Maybe they were scored properly. It is just Hungarians were underscored.

M/G skated like world champions today. Strong elements, big presence. There are still some things that I find less than perfect. Their euler based combo isn't eye pleasing. I would be happy if they just did a perfect 3-3. Another thing is that the first part of Sviridov's music is too tragic. One has to be overdramatic like Nikita Katsalapov to skate to such music imo

P/K's program has good potential to become one of the best Swan Lakes. They just need to skate it clean and Denis needs more expression. Darya is bigger than him despite her being 3 times smaller than him in physical units.

One thing that keeps me angry is that yet another time the Swan Lakes' music is attributed to Clint Mansell who has nothing to do with it. It's Petr Chaikovsky, people!
 
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samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
And now today's feature: Ladies! (or "women" as the say now)

Eva-Lotta. A lovely girl with the face that shows a lot of emotions. Unfortunately, her skating does not do the same. A lot of empty choreo. A couple of times I thought that she wanted to stop the performance in the middle. There was a lot of promise as she stormed the European figure skating scene earlier this year. But something went wrong - she does not deliver to this promise, sorry.

Ekaterina Kurakova. She is very effective projecting joy. As for the lyrical style that she chose for her FP, I am not sure. I did not feel it. Plus there were mistakes here and there. No, not my cup of tea.

Olga Mikoutina started very strongly. Her balerina style is very appropriate for the music she chose. Unfortunately, the jump section was very off. Too bad - she is quite promising. And I like this type of skating with Medvedeva still the queen of it.
 
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samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Viktoria Safonova was much much better today. I had "deja vu" - I saw "Maria Sotskova'" in her prime. I am not sure about URs and edges - from the stands it was a 125+ performance for me.

Ekaterina Ryabova was better today as well but I cannot say that I like her style. I would name it chaotic with a lot of unnecessary arm and hand movements. I don't think that she should be higher than Vika who is the highlight for me so far.

Rina Matsuike. The basics are amazing: speed, blade control, grace. Too bad that jumps are not there starting with the botched combo. I hope that she will work on jumps not becoming another "Satoko".

Loena was very good although the first time was still her best performance. Her revealing outfit makes this competition 16+ only, though

I enjoyed Maia's skating today. It was sharp, deep in the music, deep in the image. Some mistakes cannot eclipse that she went for 2 quads. Should be in the lead.

I realized why I made a mistake confusing 3Lz-3T and 3T-3T with Madeline Schizas yesterday - she is left-handed. It's more difficult for a right-hander to access a left-hander. So that with my right-hander's bias I won't critisize Madeline's skating. I just would say that I enjoyed some other performances today more than hers.

Mariah Bell. It was beautiful. It was very beautiful. I have not realized what a wonderful skater she is but. Yes...but where are 3-3s? She needs them, I guess, even to make the US team. You can call me a fan now.

Liza. What can I say? She is doing her best, she is entertainer, the best since Ashley. And she has 3As and difficult combos...but. But she was very slow today with not much of ice coverage. Some of her landings were not good. I liked her SP yesterday much better and I hope that there is still time for her to bring the FP to perfection.

Kamila. And what can I say here? She is perfect. She is the GOAT. That's all I can say.
 
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LadyB

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
There were slightly more people around than on the first day. Emphasis lies on ‘slightly’. But those present were in great form. All skaters were cheered and supported.

One word about Corona rules: the stewards really made sure that people would wear their masks. They were even following people to their seats to remind them.
 

Raskolnikov

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Country
Russia
Did anybody try the Chistaya Liniya ice cream, and if so, was it good?
Those Kiss and Cry scenes made me hungry 😆
I tried it a couple of times and it certainly tastes good.

I didn't bother with icecream for many years cause it feels like most manufacturers put all kind of crap in their product to lower costs. So it's like eating soy instead of meat.
CL icecream on the other hand looks like a real deal, no bs. I'd recommend it.
 

LadyB

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Спасибо, Сочи!
It’s been great! Adler is a place worth visiting and I had a great time.
Would I come back? Yeah, for specific events.
Sochi or Moscow? Sochi is the…well, I can’t probably say on a family network, but Moscow is my big, deep felt love! ❤️
…and I haven’t been to SPB yet! ;)
 

AlexBreeze

#GoSemenenko
Final Flight
Joined
May 27, 2021
Country
Russia
I'm a bit late. Yeah, I'm late. But I still want to post smth. I've never been to the GP before.

Iceberg is beautiful. It's just beautiful. I prefer it much more than Megasport. There were some problems with cafes, Internet connection, etc., but I enjoyed the Olympic atmosphere. I've seen a lot of photos of Sochi Olympians (not just figure skaters) and RusNats 2013 medalists inside it. The walls of the palace are partially transparent so it was possible to see WTCR stage which took place in the same days.

The crowd was very supportive. I was afraid that people would only support Russian skaters but I was totally wrong! I had a seat around K&C and they supported each skater (couple) here. Almost every skater was told "Bravo" or "Molodec". I was sitting next to a woman who came to support Romsky. She had a big banner of him. She also gave him a large bouquet of flowers after his EX. After Matteo's FS there were a lot of Italian flags in my sector (I also brought one, btw).

Some skaters did better in competition than in practice sessions (Camden, Yulia & Mark (they even got a PB), Mariah). I especially want to talk about Mariah (also known in Russia as Masha Kolokolchikova). I'm not a big fan of her (my favourite American woman is Amber) but she was fabulous! I'll definitely remember her skates here. I'm glad she doubled that toe in the short because I saw a lot of falls on 3-3 attempts during practice. Wonder, if she can try 2A-3T in the free to add one more triple (like Samodurova does it, for example)?

I also liked Olya Mikutina. Perharps she lacks stamina after her injury but she has so much potential. I wish her to skate clean her great programs at the Europeans.

After such a skates Liza said that she was in bad shape. She could really skate like that and say she was in bad shape. She even did a more difficult layout in the free. Of course, it wasn't her best skates even this season. She was slower than usual and her PCS was lower as well. The crowd was very loud. I think, I've never heard anything louder in my life. Her FS got a lot of hate but the audience has a different opinion. Btw, this is the fourth international competition in a row where she got 80+ in the SP.

I'm not a fan of Kami but she has some magic. And the girl has nerves of steel, she always does better in competition than in practice. Her new SP dress is very pretty. The TV screen changes its color a bit. Change FS costume, please.

I don't know much about American pairs but Audrey and Misha made a huge impression on me. Not sure why. I just like them and their programs. Of course, they have room for improvement. Unfortunately, America has only two spots in pairs.

I noticed Iasmina and Vanya at the RCF for the first time. I'm glad they moved to Moskvina. I haven't watched them a lot this season but I can see a significant improvement after the RCF. Anyway, they still have something to work on. But they got a medal at their first ever GP! Sadly, they didn't have a second assignment.

PB goes to... Dasha and Denis! I really wanted to see their programs live and it happened. Seems like the guys had finally fully recovered from their health problems. I saw Moskvina shaking their hands before the award ceremony. I want them to work on their levels and make the Olympic team.

I was worried about Nastya after the SP. But the FS was breathtaking! I don't like the idea in general but Nastya and Sasha sell it really well. I like the changes in the music too. And they got 150+ in the free again like it was nothing to them. I wonder, if they will finally break WR one day?

Morisi skates well once a season - at the Rostelecom Cup. Honestly, he isn't my cup of tea but on those two days he was on fire. I really enjoyed watching hime live.

After Kazuki's SP I thought 'We probably have a winner of the short.' There's something special about this skater. And I want to say it again: his 4T is gorgeous. Unfortunately, nerves failed him in the free. He was so close! I think he didn't even expect to be the leader after the short.

It was first Mark's GP. A year ago he was completely unknown. The previous season he hadn't even qualified for the RusNats (he was invited because there were a lot of withdrawals). His 3A didn’t go well in practice but it was the only jump he did in the short. He's only 18 and it's a lot of pressure performing in a front of a home crowd that wants something from you. I'm just glad he did better in the free the next day. He's young and can improve. Non-jump elements need a lot of work. It's good he got this host spot. I think that he and Sokolovskaya will use this experience.

Media, stop hating Misha just because he exists. From what I understand, he hasn't trained in a week. Of course, he's not in the best shape. But he's the only Russian (and European as well) man who qualified for the GPF. His 4S still doesn't work. I believe there were almost no clean attempts even in practice or warm-up. But I want to say that his 3A became extremely consistent.

Zhenya has something what Liza has. I mean, the crowd really likes him. I can't explain it, you have to hear it live to understand. The miracle with the GPF didn't happen. He isn't even substitute. I just wish him a speedy recovery and good luck on the RusNats. I also want to note how much he improved his non-jump elements from the previous Rostelecom Cup. I didn't even need the protocols to say which levels he got. This was the first competition in which he got fourth levels for all non-jump elements in both programs. At the previous Rostelecom Cup he was 'the boy who messed up his sit spin'.

Thank you, Sochi! Looking forward to the RusNats in St. Petersburg!
 
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