Javier Fernandez | Page 250 | Golden Skate

Javier Fernandez

ladyjane

Medalist
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Country
Netherlands
I am so pleased about this. I wrote a small post about it in The Dutch Figure Skating thread.
 

Clairecz

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
Two years ago I was sharing here some translated bits and pieces of Czech TV commentary of Javi's performances at Europeans 2013 - 2019 and Worlds 2015, 2016 and I also put there links to the full translations. I supposse it's not that important information but as I'm about to delete my blog I've moved these translations elsewhere. Here's the link just in case.
 

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
Been a while since I last visited GS - had to procrastinate less with FS related stuff for awhile. But thought I'd share these observations because I thought they were kind of interesting and even maybe funny.

I had actually never checked Javi's old program music infos apart from the 2006-7 SP which was so obviously not inspired by Bruce Lee as stated in his ISU info sheet - turned out it was Artsakh by Ara Gevorgyan in the Euros and Requiem for a Dream OST in the Worlds. I just wonder what the free would have been. The info sheet says Edvin Marton's version of The Godfather, but who knows what it really was if the SPs were something completely different. The costume in the Worlds does reflect Bruce Lee perhaps more than Requiem, so he probably had used it for a program at some point.

Season 2007-8 music info compares well with what you see in the Euros and Worlds. He keeps the Requiem SP and uses Morricone's Mission for FS (Falls, Gabriel’s Oboe, Ascunsion, Miserere).

2008-9 he goes to Morozov and there are two different ISU info sheets - one for earlier in the season and one for the spring. The first one says that SP should be skated to Lorca (whatever that was?!) and FS to Romeo and Juliet OST (which one though?). These programs have never been seen if they were made and used. The videos for that season feature Spanish nationals, Euros and Worlds and all these have the same programs. The later info sheet suggests that the SP is to Paco de Lucia's Entre dos aguas and I have always thought it was fine - the music does sound flamencoish. It turned out to be one of the flamenco light favourites of that time, Jesse Cook and his two pieces, Baghdad and Tempest (both fairly frequently used). At least the FS was correct - The Matrix it was (Clubbed to Death and Spybreak).

The 2009-10 FS is also quite clear - Pirates of the Caribbean with bits from the two first movies in the series. But the SP was rather incomprehensibly skated to different music almost every time. In the fall competitions (videos from Merano Cup and Trophee Eric Bompard) it was bits from the Mission Impossible I and II for the first minute and then Laurent Korcia, Vincent Peirani & Pierre Boussaguet's version of the Mission: Impossible theme. In the Europeans, his SP soundtrack was titled "The Mexican OST" although the music consisted of two bits which had nothing to do with that movie: Hans Zimmer's Nyah and Ethan from Mission: Impossible II and Brian Setzer's Malaguena which appeared also on the Once Upon a Time in Mexico OST. In the Olympics, he had a superspy medley by Johnny Hallyday (James Bond, Mission: Impossible and Peter Gunn). That SP did not see the Worlds where he skated to The Matrix.

Under Orser's guidance, the ISU info sheets started to get filled with greater care and what you hear him skate to is just about what it says. However, in 2012-3 The Mask of Zorro was actually the Legend of Zorro OST, but that is a minor detail...

It was cool to see the Dutch deal - I hope it turns out to be a good lesson in developing a sport in a country where it is not popular. His long term plan is after all to do something similar in Spain and that experience without having to carry all the responsibility will hopefully help a lot! In addition to all the coaching stuff, in November, a show with Plushenko in Russia. He will also feature in a Spanish tv program on dance, Un pais de danza, hosted by Antonio Najarro sometime in the fall (starting October 2).

Whilst we wait all that to happen in the fall, the semi-obligatory summer beach pics were posted yesterday :love2:

Eppen
 

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
Europosrt.es recorded a podcast with him on the first JFAcacemy event this week. You can listen it here.

They went down memory lane at some point and he got asked of his first ever quad. The answer surprised me completely - I have compiled a list of his quads and this one was not in it and could also not be predicted. Apparently Golden Spin 2007 and a 4S.

The protocols for that competition are not available in any of the databases I have been able to consult. However, the protocols for most of the competitions after that are available, and he did not try a quad again until Cup of Nice fall 2009 and then it was a 4T. He did have a 3S in his programs, but in the second part so that it was not intended as a quad. That 4T from 2009 has been recorded for posterity (enjoy an early version of Pirates also).

E
Found the protocol - or at least the scores hopefully correctly copied to the Stats on Ice database. And there is no 4S there. He did the normal jump content for the FS that season: 3A, 3Lz, 3Lo, 2Lz+2T+2T, 3F, 3S, 3T+2T, 2A+2A+SEQ. He even messed the 3S and got -2 GOE for it (the fall was probably the 3A with -3 GOE). Did he get it done in the practices at that competition? Or then he jumped that 4S in his dreams? ;) Officially, the first Javi quad is still that fallen 4T from Cup of Nice 2009.

Edit: And immediately after this I found a wrongly dated clip in my (vast) Javi video collection: a pretty good 4S done during a practice session at the Worlds in Göteborg in 2008. The same season, but he just did not do the jump in competition.

In other news - the week at IceLab at Bergamo at the end of August went apparently fine. Surprisingly few pics etc were posted from that week (the official coach group photo from IceLab on IG). Then back home for a week before flying out to Zurich, Switzerland for the Art on Ice Special on Sept 3. Eric Radford generously shared a little clip from the practices. And Ari Zakarian clips from the opening and finale. From what I have seen in various social media posts, Javi skated a solo with live music from James Morrison and maybe Prometo (he was wearing the costume in some pics), plus participated in group numbers. (I do wonder if he will be in the cast for the actual tour in March 2022? He did miss the one in 2019 just before covid hit because of an injury.)

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eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
Ah, the silly happy face he has on through Black Betty is quite marvelous (I would also think the adlibbing was caused by his emotional state...). Back in complete control in the Torero. A clip showing some backstage stuff in Russian here - Javi gets interviewed towards the end, Ari Zakarian translates.

He also got another award in the XL Gala Deporte last week, Legends of Sport category among quite a few others. He did not get to make an acceptance speech, but here a few words from the red carpet.

Michael Christian Martinez has been training in Spain a couple of weeks, at Majadahonda which is one of the usual rinks for Javi. A document of their meeting in MCM's IG also from last week.

And just in from Hielo Espanol (Twitter) - he is officially listed as coach for Pablo Garcia and Marian Millares in their ISU bios. And expected to be with them next week at JGP in Austria... I am feeling a little bit like a proud mother hen seeing its chick all grown up and adulting. Getting all emotional... Things one cannot miss experiencing - Javi at K&C as a coach for the first time!

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eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
Another chapter of Javi history written today. Pablo Garcia at Linz with Javi at the K&C. The whole competetion is also available at the same site just in case you wish to watch also the warm-up (because I did and I am sure there are others who will do the same).

It was a babtism by fire - Pablo missed two spins, but got some other elements ok. He was not particularly happy, so a tough moment for the coach...

I never thought Javi looked particularly much like Brian when he skated (though loads of people said so), but the K&C version of him could very well be Papa Brian 30 years ago (esp with the mask). Not a bad role model to imitate!? ❤️

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miduola

Spectator
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
At first I thought Pablo was looking better than what I saw in the videos from last season... Then after he missed a spin things just went south. I think some of the issues might be mental, as you can almost tell from just how his body language and expression changed after the first big mistake. Maybe with more experience he'll know how to recover better from things like this.

It must be a tough moment for both of them, but I felt relieved seeing them talk and maintain a positive spirit at the K&C.

Javi is definitely someone who can keep things in perspective. I was curious after watching the Skate Austria interview and looked up how he did at his first JGP as a skater. That was in 2006 when he was 15. He didn't have a good event and received a total score of 88.84 (37.38 for SP and 51.46 for FP). There was a -5 deduction for falls so it must be really, really painful. Fast forward a decade he was getting 300+. It's still mind blowing what he's been able to achieve from a beginning like that.

I think there're moments in certain programs when, looking from certain angles, Javi does resemble Brian a bit, especially in the I Love Paris SP. But yeah with the mask and as a coach at the K&C he does look like a younger Brian:love:
 

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
I am sure most of us are more than capable of finding these ourselves, but just to have them in one place... A link to the whole short competition is here. Pablo comes to ice in the last warm-up group around 2 h 25 min. Javi at the boards around 2:27 (catching Pablo's jacket and placing it neatly over his arm). I was at the hallway at the Espoo rink for Finlandia Trophy and watched it on my phone (thank you, modern technology!) and tried very hard not to become a human waterfall. Not sure if they're keeping the whole competitions online, though. Link to Pablo's short in the previous post.

The whole free can be found here (again, not sure if this remains online), Pablo in the first group. And Pablo's skate on its own with the K&C at the end.

Team Spain at Linz from FedHiedo IG.

Thinking of the stories of Javi during his competitive career as a seemingly fairly happy-go-lucky kind of guy who forgot skates at home (at least once), overslept so that he missed flights, did not show up for morning practices etc., it is funny and cool to see him now as the minder, the one who takes care of his skater(s).

Because of that attitude, so often talked about, I always wondered about what he would be like as a coach. He has always been very clear that coaching is what he wanted to do after his competetive career. He had a great relationship with Brian and it was always apparent that Brian was in control - I attended every practice session I could in about a dozen competetitions between Euros 2015 and 2019 and their routine became very familiar. And the very few times Brian was not there, it was almost like a different person on ice, as if Javi could not maintain that routine himself.

But Minsk 2019 changed my mind about Javi's possibilities as a coach. The practices were business as usual and at the same time nothing was the same. Especially during the practices for FS, it was evident that Javi was in charge of himself and Brian was there more as moral support. Brian talked about in interviews at the time and it was cool to see that the feeling of change we had was apparently correct. Brian had also seen Javi in action with kids at various camps and had an idea what he could be like as a coach. So I really hope he will be able to build that skating academy of his own in Spain!

Javi's first international competition on record is the Triglav Trophy in spring 2006, as a novice boy. The results page was wonderfully enough saved on WebArchive. The first junior GP results are also online, but the score sheets are missing. The details can be found for example on Rink Results.

His appearances in the Europeans and at Worlds can be found on YT. The SP music has gone to history as Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, but on those videos he skates to Ara Gevorkyan's Artsakh with a sort of an Egyptian theme and to Requiem for a Dream OST wearing a costume that could have been from a martial arts themed program. However, what that might have looked like, is not known. Also, what the free that year looked like is a mystery, music maybe Edvin Marton playing The Godfather movie music (which Plushenko had used already and young Javi was a Plushy fan, so it could be that). He was interviewed for Spanish TV in connection with the Europeans.

I am grateful to all the early skating enthusiasts and fans who uploaded videos etc. online and have kept them there. Javi's career is amazingly well documented!

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miduola

Spectator
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Finlandia has been quite eventful and exciting this year. Hope you're having a great time!

I was never a fan of Javi's until Black Betty came along, even though I did like the I Love Paris SP and the Chaplin FS a lot. He had become such an extremely fine skater towards the end of his competitive career that I usually find most of his pre-Orser performances kind of hard to watch. But now that he's retired, maybe I'm just happy to see any video of him skating:slink: so I clicked on the links above. I guess I can now see those videos from another perspective instead of judging "baby" Javi against his later self. Watching the video of his first Worlds, it is not hard to see that Javi was really talented, even though the skating can be messy, the program and costume made very little sense, his posture was not good, and things were kind of all over the place. He showed potential to be a good jumper, but you can tell that this kid was blessed with great body coordination, already had good presence on ice, and possessed a natural feel for the music. Fortunately for him (and for us) that he never gave up and eventually he found a coaching situation that suited him.

Javi was not the most organized and diligent athlete at first, and I think that in a way might actually help him as a coach. I am a teacher and one of my mentors used to say that the things we do really well as teachers often turn out to be things that did not came naturally to us at first, as we ourselves had to really work for those things and therefore gaining a deeper/more nuanced understanding. Plus I recall Tracy said in an interview that Javi makes people around him better, that when he went back to TCC to train everyone else's skating just went up a notch. So he definitely has the personality and charisma. Brian always says that he believes Javi will be a good coach, and I look forward to seeing more of him in this role.

I thought it was lovely (and a bit funny) that Javi actually folded Pablo's jacket quite neatly. Reminds me of a fan report that talked about how Javi was really focused on minding the sleeves of his Man of La Mancha costume before the medal ceremony at Europeans:rofl:
 

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
Miduola, our history with Javi is apparently very similar :love2: I ofc did know him from having followed skating pretty intesively for years, but had really not thought he was interesting before fall 2014. I still remember how I watched Skate Canada and within the first minute of Black Betty, I was wondering what has happened to this guy, this looks and feels different and in a good way... After Rostelecom I was already a fan and have not looked back since. My old faves are perhaps the Pirates and I Love Paris - the Chaplin free I have found always a bit uninteresting...

In 2019, I had a chance to talk with David Wilson at the meet and greet after the final ROI show. And I got to ask him what changed, if anything changed, after Sochi. And he had a reply - Javi had always been a "cute skater" before and they decided to another way that season. Apparently, it took him some time to get used to it and get it right, but it was the beginning of an amazing development. I would sometime really want to ask Brian the same question to hear what he would have to say.

I suspect that the report on the sleeves of his La Mancha shirt at Moscow came from my keyboard ;) I remember us standing behind the exit to ice for the medal ceremony and he was fiddling with them constantly.

His apparently relaxed attitude to life does not extend to his appearance or his immediate surroundings, I think. One of the reasons why he had a hard time with the final year with Morozov was that they were constantly changing cities, living in hotels etc, and he wanted a place of his own with his own things. The nomadic lifestyle was a big source of distress for him. Occasionally you also catch a glimpse of how he deals with objects and how they get folded, cleaned up, put into place etc. in front of cameras. The used tissues in practices etc. always found their way in the bin. And so on... (And right now I am a little scared at the level of my Javi observation.)

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miduola

Spectator
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Miduola, our history with Javi is apparently very similar :love2: I ofc did know him from having followed skating pretty intesively for years, but had really not thought he was interesting before fall 2014. I still remember how I watched Skate Canada and within the first minute of Black Betty, I was wondering what has happened to this guy, this looks and feels different and in a good way... After Rostelecom I was already a fan and have not looked back since. My old faves are perhaps the Pirates and I Love Paris - the Chaplin free I have found always a bit uninteresting...

In 2019, I had a chance to talk with David Wilson at the meet and greet after the final ROI show. And I got to ask him what changed, if anything changed, after Sochi. And he had a reply - Javi had always been a "cute skater" before and they decided to another way that season. Apparently, it took him some time to get used to it and get it right, but it was the beginning of an amazing development. I would sometime really want to ask Brian the same question to hear what he would have to say.
I really, really love the post-Sochi transformation in Javi! Not only had he become a more mature, more polished skater, but he also consistently had superb programs from season to season. It's so nice to see they went out of their way to explore different things with him, and Javi was one of the few skaters who could actually deliver very different programs convincingly. (I think it's also David Wilson who said in an interview that Javi could "do goofball comedy and then turn around and make you cry.") My only regret is that the Elvis program did not really work for me:slink:. Well that and we'll never see what Danny Boy would look like as an SP. But I think all this SPs in the post-Sochi years are masterpieces, so I am not complaining.

I am curious, though, regarding your indifference toward the Chaplin FS in 2012-2013. Is there something that you particularly dislike about it, or did it just in general not excite you? I kind of think of it as the epitome of Javi as a "cute skater." But I do admit that if you compare it to the Modern Time SP, not only had Javi improved a lot as a skater, but the later program is also much more sophisticated and coherent.

Thank you for your Javi observation! Reminds me of the last time he competed at Euros... After the free skate, as he was leaving competitive ice for the last time, he bent down to touch the ice (as a gesture of thanking the ice/bit the ice goodbye maybe?). Then when he hugged Brian his fingers curled up, sort of into a fist, so as to not get any bit of the icy water onto Brian's suit. Even at such an emotional moment he was also being neat and considerate, so it must be a habit.
 

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
I am curious, though, regarding your indifference toward the Chaplin FS in 2012-2013. Is there something that you particularly dislike about it, or did it just in general not excite you? I kind of think of it as the epitome of Javi as a "cute skater." But I do admit that if you compare it to the Modern Time SP, not only had Javi improved a lot as a skater, but the later program is also much more sophisticated and coherent.
I could have written most of miduola's previous post easily, but I swear, we are two different people!

So, Chaplin 1.0. At the time, I don't think I paid too much attention to it, I have no definite memories. The Chaplin theme was nowehere near as common it is now, but the way it gets done most often as a generic Chaplin repeating the cliches in the movement has not been my fave. Their RomCom take on it is ok and sets the program apart slightly, but it still contains all the cliches. Plus way too many cuts in the music - nothing is allowed to get developed further than maybe 20 seconds and it is annoying. At the same time, it is and is not a complete whole with an idea and a direction informing the movement.

Plus his skating at the time was still very sloppy. It's the same as with Pirates, the movement is probably based on his skills at maintaining a balance on his blades and being able to use body movement in almost any way you can think of, but you can't be absolutely sure he's not just stumbling on his feet by chance. That was all fixed in the post-Sochi period.

I also agree on Elvis, it was a bit of a miss. Using songs/music from one artist/composer is not a theme on its own IMO and even if you can imagine a connection between the songs in Elvis, it is a pretty weak one and requires a bit too much effort. I wrote a bit about using sexyness in Javi's programs in the Finlandia Trophy thread and one of the good bits of Elvis is Fever where what what started with Black Betty gets fully developed. It took me literally months to realize that the section also contained the second jump passes... I was just so into what he did between the jumps 🤭

The general consensus on Javi as a person seems to be that he is super nice and super kind and I don't think I have ever seen fan reports or other comments to the contrary. We went to Jaca in 2017 to watch his last nationals and got introduced to Pedro Lamelas, journalist behind Hielo Espanol and lots of articles on figure skating in the Spanish media. I still remember how he grabbed my hand and nearly crushed it when he was praising Javi as a person in every possible way! The only times I have seen him annoyed or semi-angry are in early 2015 when there seems to have been a rumour that he is not in charge of his social media accounts. He posted a little clip clearing the issue (taken down since it seems). And of course after the SP and the UR call on the 4S in Minsk - at the press conference he was very obviously upset and the pics from the FS draw where he sat next to Samarin, but as far as he could in the space of that chair, turned away from the Russians.

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miduola

Spectator
Joined
Oct 5, 2021
Plus his skating at the time was still very sloppy. It's the same as with Pirates, the movement is probably based on his skills at maintaining a balance on his blades and being able to use body movement in almost any way you can think of, but you can't be absolutely sure he's not just stumbling on his feet by chance. That was all fixed in the post-Sochi period.

I think the not being sure whether or not he's just stumbling on his feet by chance part probably describes Pirates better. With Pirates I probably wouldn't even be able to tell if he forgot his steps and started to just make things up...

Well, to prove that we are not the same person, I like the Chaplin FS more than you do:biggrin:. It's definitely far fron Javi's best, but it's quite charming. (Or at the least I like it a lot more than I do the Pirates program. )

I need to rewatch Elvis as I haven't seen it in ages.

The anecdote with Pedro Lamelas is great! It's nice to see Javi so well loved. He just literally is like human sunshine.

By the way, Javi just posted an old photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVAWWfeA7d7/
Judging by the date on it he's 13 at the time, but he looks so tiny here.
And Sonia's comment:rofl:
 
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