Aurora Games Festival ?

fzztsimmons

On the Ice
Joined
Nov 14, 2018
wow, really impressed with alyssa!! i think the beginning was a little choreo/transition empty, mostly because she was setting up the 3a and quad, but wow she landed those jumps beautifully and i thought she really settled into the programme, lovely light and airy feeling to her skating!
 

ruga

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Aww Alyssa has improved so much from last season! Lovely program, she is very involved and there are nice transitions as well. What's also impressive is that her 3A is so consistent. Her quad looks pretty effortless for a jump of such difficulty. Didn't she plan to repeat it? Maybe she will do so later.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Alysa was awesome ... and so natural and, yes, I have to say it, with wonderful presentation way beyond her years. Simply an exquisite skater. Unbelievable jumping, all the way through, including difficult jumps near the end of the program.

I fell in love with her at nationals last year, and the way she's progressed since then is quite stunning. :rock: :love:
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Marvelous show. Everyone skated beautifully. I liked Olsson, M-Cantu, Williams. Konstantinova should have got straight 10s on her short as well as long. Mirai crushed it. Alysa fully deserved her 10.7. :laugh: Brian Boitano did a super job on play by play.

I liked this exchange: Nancy Kerrigan (to Alysa Liu): Do you think the ISU should reconsider the age rule that says you can't compete at senior worlds?

Alysa: "M..a..y...be."
 
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Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Marvelous show. Everyone skated beautifully. I liked Olsson, M-Cantu, Williams. Konstantinova should have got straight 10s on her short as well as long. Mirai crushed it. Alyssa fully deserved her 10.7. :laugh: Brian Boitano did a super job on play by play.

I liked this exchange: Nancy Kerrigan (to Alyssa Liu): Do you think the ISU should reconsider the age rule that says you can't compete at senior worlds?

Alysa: "M..a..y...be."

Alysa did great in her presentation there. Media training showed. Other feds can learn from this.
 

jenaj

Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Country
United-States
Marvelous show. Everyone skated beautifully. I liked Olsson, M-Cantu, Williams. Konstantinova should have got straight 10s on her short as well as long. Mirai crushed it. Alyssa fully deserved her 10.7. :laugh: Brian Boitano did a super job on play by play.

I liked this exchange: Nancy Kerrigan (to Alyssa Liu): Do you think the ISU should reconsider the age rule that says you can't compete at senior worlds?

Alysa: "M..a..y...be."
Agree. I also thought Mai-Berenice Meite skated as well as I had ever seen her in her long program.
 

Elucidus

Match Penalty
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Alysa! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7dDtsi1wrw

A little under on the Lutz to my eye (Brian disagrees)
:noshake:
She landed faceforward - and that was even showed three times on replay in slo-mo :drama: It's not "a little". How people can be so blind? :unsure:
Her 3As were better though - for first one I can even give her benefit of the doubt to consider it as full; 2nd one was clearly under.
I don't like her landing technique though - if she become used to land jumps on toe first facing forward and rotate then on ice - it can become a Miyahara's habit which can bite her later. Still she is commendable for her consistency - I am pleasantly surprised tbh. It's good - Russian juniors needs strong rival to move forward. And the whole sport only wins from such confrontation.
 

natsulian

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 14, 2018
First and foremost, Alysa was simply stunning and exceptional. Her jumps were locked, loaded, and ready to fire, but what surprised me the most was her elegance and maturity in her presentation. Who knew she could deliver a roof shattering performance with such expectations?

I am so glad her team decided to only incorporate one 4Lz in her Free and should she need it, they can always add a second one come Junior Worlds. They definitely worked on the height of the jump to make it cleaner and although it wasn’t the cleanest of quads, it still seemed effortless. Her first 3A was huge and I loved the Ina Bauer into the 3F which is arguably her best jump alongside the 3Lo. I’m already 75% sure that she’s going to learn the 4F come next season.
 

Fluture

You will see her in a crown
Record Breaker
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
So, I just finished watching. Unfortunately, I wasn‘t able to watch it live but I‘ve caught up now. And wow, not gonna lie, I don‘t know when the last time was that I had as much fun watching a competition. I can‘t even say exactly why but I think it was just the different skaters come together and compete and skate and perform in a fun kind of way. I loved the judging system, as subjective as it was, it was so nice to just watch and enjoy instead of mentally calculating every point and rambling about the scores afterwards.

Some impressions:

Well, we gotta start with Alysa because that was the performance of the night. I really wasn‘t a fan of hers before (only saw her at Nationals, though, so hard to judge) and I‘m admittedly still reluctant to jump on the hype train. It’s not that she isn’t great, she quite obviously is, it just kind of scares me seeing her out there doing all these historic feats and knowing what kind of expectations will be piled upon her. It’s all fun and easy right now but... well, last time the US put all their hopes on their Olympic sweetheart, the pressure just became too much and it didn’t work out well at all so I’m reluctant. I don‘t want this to happen to a kid as amazing as Alysa is. But I have to give it to her, this was a really great performance. Outstanding - and I’m not even talking about the jumps. (I really don’t feel like analyzing and talking about URs and stuff like that - sometimes I think it takes away from my enjoyment of skating and I don’t want to ruin the impression I got today) I knew she had these kind of jumps but I saw a big improvement in skating skills and artistry and sophistication from Nationals to now. Still a long way to go but this was very enjoyable to watch. :clap:

My second favourite was Stanislava. Her skating was amazing and powerful but what really won me over was how happy she seemed to have the opportunity to skate there. How she told Nancy she was a fan, how she interacted with the other skaters... She seemed so happy and grateful and this made me happy too.

I also liked Mirai‘s and Ashley’s SP, their energy was great. Mae had some problems with her jumps but it didn‘t take away from the performance. She‘s just so energetic and powerful she captures your attention.

Overall I was surprised by how much I liked this competition. I feel like this is what skating needs. Not instead of the really competitive events but alongside them. I think the easier judging system and the fun spirit of the competition could get a lot of people interested in this sport who were only casually watching before at best.
 

elliana

Rinkside
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Watching Alysa gave me hope that the US can be at the top in figure skating once more! Interesting that Mirai has brand new programs...wonder what her plans are. She's already 26, but perhaps she can pull an Adam Rippon and go for one more Olympics. She does have a 3A afterall...
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
So, I just finished watching. Unfortunately, I wasn‘t able to watch it live but I‘ve caught up now. And wow, not gonna lie, I don‘t know when the last time was that I had as much fun watching a competition. I can‘t even say exactly why but I think it was just the different skaters come together and compete and skate and perform in a fun kind of way.

:rock: What was cool was that each skater came out and showed what she could do, never mind anyone else. I want to give a huge shout-out to Ayaka Hosoda. She put on a jump clinic. The jumps were basically the whole performance, but what a performance!

:points: , only change that last 9.9 to a 10.
 

moonvine

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
So, I just finished watching. Unfortunately, I wasn‘t able to watch it live but I‘ve caught up now. And wow, not gonna lie, I don‘t know when the last time was that I had as much fun watching a competition. I can‘t even say exactly why but I think it was just the different skaters come together and compete and skate and perform in a fun kind of way. I loved the judging system, as subjective as it was, it was so nice to just watch and enjoy instead of mentally calculating every point and rambling about the scores afterwards.

Yes..like the 6.0 system..*cough*
 

apgold

Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 10, 2014
Country
United-States
Glad to see that a lot of you were able to watch via ESPN. Here's my in person report.

The arena was not even half full – entire sections at each end of the rink were completely empty. Still the event was fun, even if the pacing was a bit draggy and seemed a little unstructured. The music in the arena also sounded a bit tinny, too.

The audience was into it and supported all of the skaters, which was nice. The skating was definitely all over the place tech wise with some landing quads (Alysa) and a few others only attempting singles and doubles. But overall it was a fun, charming event and I would take the train up to Albany again if they held it again next year.

As others have said, Alysa Liu did not disappoint, landing a 4Lz and two 3As in her free skate along with everything else looking clean. The three judges, including Surya Bonaly and Liz Manley, gave her 10.5. points out of 10 – this was not scored using the IJS, lol. She also performed her “Don’t Rain on My Parade” SP as an exhibition. If she skates this well in Lake Placid next weekend, she’ll walk away with a gold medal. Here are some thoughts on other standouts:

Mirai Nagasu: First of all, I’m a Mirai fan so I’m biased, but I was impressed with what she brought here. I was happy to see that she performed two new programs with new costumes, neither of which songs I recognized. She mostly has her jumps back (sans 3A), post hip surgery, and the judges gave her a perfect score for her SP and close to perfect on her freeskate. She looks like she will be ready for the Japan Open – but needs to add her 3-3 into the free skate. I hope Mirai is planning to return to competition at some point – with or without a 3A. ETA: Link to my fancam of her FS

Ayaka Hosada: Speaking of triple axels, as the skater who did two 3As during 2019 Japanese nationals, Hosada layed it down here as well in her FS, landing two 3As and a clean program. She’s not the most memorable skater outside of her jumps, but she’s pleasant to watch. She is coached by Mie Hamada, who attended with her. Mie spent a lot of time chatting with Paul Wylie in between skates. (I was seated in the section behind Paul, Nadia Comaneci and Jackie Joyner Kersee, who were enthusiastically cheering on the skaters, particularly Mirai.)

Stanislava Konstantinova: I’m not her biggest fan but maybe b/c she was the only Russian here, she did stand out nicely. Her Malaguena freeskate had a lot of spirit and she landed most of her jumps cleanly. She seemed happy to be here and got a lot of love from the audience.

The rest of the skates were a mixed bag. Mae-Berenice’s jumps were clean and powerful in warmup but failed to deliver completely clean performances. She did seem to have fun though, especially in her Celine Dion free-skate. I did not like her SP costume which looked like a spider’s web. Her coach, Silvia Fontana, accompanied her to the competition.

Ashley brought the performance but was clearly not in competitive shape, although she always looks amazing. She only competed in the SP and did “Sweet Dreams” with only 2 jumps, skipping the loop. Her LaLa Land exhibition was good despite popping two jumps (a flip and a loop, I think). Mirai was cute watching Ashley skate from the boards, disappointed when she popped. I love Mirai and Ashley’s friendship.

There was also a weird moment when Ashley was told she was supposed to warm up for her EX and she was like “NOW?” She seemed caught off guard but went to warm up. Other weird moments were during Alysa’s EX and the music had some weird loud interference and poor Alysa covered her ears. She still kept on skating, which shows she is prepared for anything and didn’t let it bother her.

I also enjoyed Isadora Williams, Andrea Montesinos and Isabelle Olsson. While technically not at the top level, they were fun to watch and had some nice performances. I’m sorry Akiko Suzuki pulled out due to injury as I never got the chance to see her live when she was competing.

Team Americas won over Team World with Nancy Kerrigan (her husband helped organize the event) presenting a non-existent trophy or medals. I wonder if they get a cash award?

Later I went to the Hilton’s bar/restaurant to grab dinner near my airbnb (downtown Albany is a ghost town on the weekends, so not many choices to eat) and hopefully see some “famous” folks. Sure enough, Mie Hamada was eating with Ayaka Hosada and another Japanese woman – maybe one of her coaching staff?

A few feet away were Nancy Kerrigan, Surya Bonaly and Silvia Fontana having drinks. Also spotted Alysa’s dad and then Alysa who came to join him along with her coach. There were other athletes from other sports hanging around, too. So the Hilton was the place to be, as it was the official hotel for the games.

Finally, thanks to Bookseller and her friend for joining me for brunch prior to the event. It’s always nice to connect with other skating fans at these events.
 

skylark

Gazing at a Glorious Great Lakes sunset
Record Breaker
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Ashley brought the performance but was clearly not in competitive shape, although she always looks amazing. She only competed in the SP and did “Sweet Dreams” with only 2 jumps, skipping the loop. Her LaLa Land exhibition was good despite popping two jumps (a flip and a loop, I think). Mirai was cute watching Ashley skate from the boards, disappointed when she popped. I love Mirai and Ashley’s friendship.

Me too, and I love that you shared this detail about Mirai, which wasn't visible from the TSL video of LaLaLand.

I imagine Ashley felt about the same way Mirai did, when she popped. But that's the magic of Ashley, and I think that's one of the things I love and miss the most about her skating: She'll never give up on a performance, no matter what. She always wants to leave the audience with something, a bit of beauty or joy, or a moment of reflection.

This made me realize anew how much I miss Ashley's skating. Many of the others seemed stiff from shoulder to hip in comparison. Ashley skates and emotes with such fluidity, from skates to ice, yes, and also through her entire body, face, smile, aura ... all of it. :love:

Having said that, I loved that everyone brought something unique to this fun and joyous competition, some piece of their own magic.
 

Bookseller

Final Flight
Joined
May 28, 2018
Country
United-States
It was a fun event and much better than anticipated. Good job of reporting Andrea! I was very impressed with Alysa's star power and skating. We had a bit of deja-vu with all the confetti falling right in front of us which sweepers and skaters had to come clean up. Alysa caught one in mid-air and one on the ice and tossed them over the boards. She smiled the whole time. She was clearly having fun! But it brought back memories of dead flies in Lake Placid last year. We were constantly notifying the judges and the sweepers. Loved Ashley's short program. Loved Mirai. She looked great. All the skaters were fun to watch. The awards ceremony was a little lame, but it was fun to see Nancy again and the judges were having a blast. We were literally right next to them with the aisle in between.

I did watch replays of the quad lutz from Alysa. The landing definitely looked like an under-rotation. She did rotate 4 times in the air, but she was still rotating on the ice when she landed, It would have been reviewed at least. But it looked good and I'm sure that she can land it well.

Thanks for reaching out and inviting us to brunch. It was a really fun day. We left for home immediately following, so no skater sightings. Can't wait to see what Alysa will do at Lake Placid next weekend!
 

zanadude

Medalist
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Now Ayaka Hosoda will go down in history as the first Japanese skater to score three perfect tens in a routine.
 

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Does Mirai want to make a comeback this season? She has new programs and landed a 3-3, which imo means that she still trains almost as a competitive skater.
Latin programs suit Konstantinova really well and she's a very beautiful young lady. She looks prepared for test skates.
 

composer

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
From what I remember of Mirai’s previous interviews, she has ruled out coming back for the Olympics but not Nationals, citing Daisuke Takahashi as her inspiration.
 

Mathman

Record Breaker
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Alysa! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7dDtsi1wrw

Her work with Lori is really starting to show. A little under on the Lutz to my eye (Brian disagrees) but a beautiful clear outside edge on the quad.

:noshake:
She landed faceforward - and that was even showed three times on replay in slo-mo :drama: It's not "a little". How people can be so blind? :unsure:

Brian Boitano didn't really disagree. He hemmed and hawed a little and then said weakly, well, I think it's OK. What was he supposed to say? All afternoon they had been ballyhooing the HISTORY-MAKING NATURE OF THIS HISTORIC FEAT (and you got to see it right here on the Aurora Games! Buy Muscleman's Applesauce, grown from Ohio apples personally planted by Johnny Appleseed!!!) Brian was hardly going to say on the air, well, that sucked.

Anyway, Alysa skated great. She did everything she was paid for, as did all the skaters. This is not the event for angrily nit-picking technique. We have the whole competitive season for that.
 
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