Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Takahiko!

I thought I'd celebrate Taka's 22nd birthday with a few videos and some pics.

Friday, February 25, 2011

4 Continents Exhibition - Part 4

Daisuke Takahashi (Amelie & his Mambo short program footwork. =D)

^ The more I see that man skate, the more I fall in love with his skating.

Yuzuru Hanyu (Vertigo by U2)

Jeremy Abbott (The Rhythm of Love - Plain White T's)

Takahiko Kozuka ( Hello Goodbye & Safety Dance - Glee)

Adam Rippon (I'm Yours - Jason Mraz)

Exhibition Opening

Exhibition Finale

4 Continents Exhibition Part 3

Meryl Davis & Charlie White (with encore)

Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani

Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier

Madison Chock & Greg Zuerlein (Missing the beginning - I think I heard the stream was on commercial at the start of it or something.)

4 Continents Exhibition Part 2

Qing Pang & Jian Tong

Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford

Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers

Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin

*I can't seem to find Moore-Towers and Moscovitch's EX, sorry. If anyone spots it and would like me to put it in this post, feel free to send me the link.

4 Continents Exhibition Part 1

Alissa Czisny (I Like the Way You Move)

Rachael Flatt (I Wanna Hold Your Hand)

Mirai Nagasu (Fireflies - Owl City)

Mao Asada (Ballad #1 - Chopin)

Miki Ando (Why Do People Fall In Love - L. Edder)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Skating Updates

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir once again state that her recent quad injury that caused their withdrawal from Four Continents will not hinder them at all in training for & going to Worlds.

Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett have announced the end of their partnership. Caydee is hoping to find a new partner in time to compete in the 2011/2012 season, while Jeremy is retiring from competition entirely.

Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali are not listed as members of the Italian World team.

Alex Shibutani finished his blogging for Four Continents with a couple of final entries that are pretty entertaining. Be sure to check out the photo gallery as well for some cute pictures of Maia & Alex with other skaters.

Quebec City will be the site of the 2011 Grand Prix Final.

Tonya Harding recently gave birth to her first child, a son.

Monday, February 21, 2011

4 Continents Men's Freeskate Videos

Shawn Sawyer

Armin Mahbanoozadeh

Jinlin Guan

Adam Rippon

Takahiko Kozuka

Jeremy Abbott

Yuzuru Hanyu

Daisuke Takahashi

4 Continents Ladies Freeskate Videos

I'll add more as I find them. =)

Akiko Suzuki

Mirai Nagasu (SO proud of her!)

Mao Asada (Proud of her too!)

Miki Ando

Sunday, February 20, 2011

4 Continents Ladies Short Videos

Akiko Suzuki

Alissa Czisny

Mirai Nagasu

Rachael Flatt

Mao Asada

Miki Ando

4 Continents Ladies Freeskate & Final Results

1. Miki Ando TE 73.03 PCS 61.73 ;FS 134.76 = 201.34 Total (JPN)
2. Mao Asada TE 70.18 PCS 62.71 ;FS 132.89 = 196.30 Total (JPN)
3. Mirai Nagasu TE 69.61 PCS 60.07 ;FS 129.68 = 189.46 Total (USA)
4. Rachael Flatt TE 60.94 PCS 57.14 ;FS 118.08 = 180.31 Total (USA)
5. Alissa Czisny TE 52.82 PCS 58.05 -1.00 ;FS 109.87 = 168.81 Total (USA)
6.Cynthia Phaneuf TE 52.35 PCS 55.14 ;FS 163.14 = 107.49 Total (CAN)
7. Akiko Suzuki TE 49.18 PCS 55.77 ;FS 104.95 = 162.59 Total (JPN)
8. Min-Jeong Kwak TE 51.09 PCS 45.59 ;FS 96.68 = 147.15 Total (KOR)
9. Amelie Lacoste TE 40.18 PCS 48.24 -1.00 ;FS 87.42 = 137.48 Total (CAN)
10. Cheltzie Lee TE 34.90 PCS 44.28 ;FS 79.18 = 127.90 Total (AUS)
11. Myriane Samson TE 28.81 PCS 46.06 ;FS 74.87 = 121.20 Total (CAN)
12. Yea-Ji Yun TE 34.76 PCS 38.73 -1.00 ;FS 72.49 = 111.86 Total (KOR)
13. Bingwa Geng TE 29.86 PCS 38.52 -3.00 ;FS 65.38 = 104.58 Total (CHN)
14. Qiuying Zhu TE 33.30 PCS 36.00 -2.00 ;FS 67.30 = 102.38 Total (CHN)
15. Lejeanne Marais TE 37.07 PCS 32.84 ;FS 69.91 = 101.90 Total (RSA)
16. Chae-Hwa Kim TE 32.33 PCS 36.70 -1.00 ;FS 68.03 = 101.79 Total (KOR)
17. Victoria Muniz TE 30.79 PCS 33.16 ;FS 63.95 = 99.40 Total (PUR)
18. Melinda Wang TE 27.04 PCS 32.60 ;FS 59.64 =  96.15 Total (TPE)
19. Mimi Tanasorn Chindasook TE 28.93 PCS 30.88 -2.00 ;FS 57.81 = 91.54 Total (THA)
20. Jaimee Nobbs TE 28.58 PCS 30.41 -1.00 ;FS 57.99 = 89.93 Total (AUS)
21. Crystal Kiang TE 23.75  PCS 30.96 ;FS 54.71 = 86.60 Total (TPE)
22. Mericien Venzon TE 23.41 PCS 30.12 ;FS 53.53 = 84.17 Total (PHI)
23. Melanie Swang TE 26.11 PCS 26.47 ;FS 52.58 = 82.08 Total (THA)
24. Chaochih Liu TE 22.26 PCS 29.50 -2.00 ;FS 49.76 = 78.28 Total (TPE)

Detailed Freeskate Results

*Note: Some interesting calls made by the technical panel. I believe I saw several underrotations by the final group of skaters that they didn't mark. Also, while some of the final girls skated really well, these scores are INSANELY inflated.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Skating Updates

Men's short article
Men's free article
Ladies short article
Pairs free article
Free dance article
Initial article on Virtue & Moir's withdrawal from 4CC
Tidbits from Saturday at 4CC - includes Virtue/Moir, Daisuke Takahashi, Armin Mahbanoozedeh, Adam Rippon, and the pairs who medaled.

4 Continents Men's Free & Final Results

1.Daisuke Takahashi TE 78.65 PCS 82.86 -1.00 :FS 160.51 = 244.00 Total (JPN)
2.Yuzuru Hanyu TE 78.20 PCS 73.38  :FS 151.58 = 228.01 Total (JPN)3.Jeremy Abbott TE 71.70 PCS 78.28 -1.00 :FS 148.98 = 225.71 Total (USA)
4.Takahiko Kozuka TE 83.19  PCS 75.08 - 1.00 :FS 157.27 = 223.52 Total (JPN)
5.Adam Rippon TE 66.10 PCS 71.20 :FS 137.30 = 210.01 Total (USA)
6. Jinlin Guan TE 72.30 PCS 66.00  -1.00 :FS 137.30 = 201.98 Total (CHN)
7.Armin Mahbanoozadeh TE 67.93 PCS 66.34 :FS 134.27 = 200.67 Total (USA)
8.Jialiang Wu TE 61.58 PCS 61.58 :FS 136.48 = 199.78 Total (CHN)
9. Nan Song TE 75.02 PCS 60.64 -1.00 :FS 134.66 = 195.13 Total (CHN)
10. Shawn Sawyer TE 59.31 PCS 67.92 - :FS 127.23  = 192.94 Total (CAN)
11.Kevin Reynolds TE 63.34 PCS 64.74 -2.00 :FS 126.08 = 191.55 Total (CAN)
12.Misha GE TE 62.68 PCS 60.78  :FS 123.46 = 182.06 Total (UZB)
13.Abzal Rakimgaliev TE 61.80 PCS 58.00  :FS 119.80 = 180.75 Total (KAZ)
14.Joey Russell TE 57.87 PCS 57.64 -2.00 :FS 113.51 = 171.18 Total (CAN)
15.Min-Seok Kim TE 64.28 PCS 50.64 :FS 114.92 = 168.59 Total (KOR)
16.Mark Webster TE 48.16 PCS 47.12 :FS 95.28 = 143.54 Total (AUS)
17.Jordan Ju TE 48.04 PCS 42.92 - 1.00 :FS 89.96 = 134.33 Total (TPE)
18.Brendan Kerry TE 40.11 PCS 41.08 - 1.00 :FS 80.19 = 125.64 Total (AUS)
19.Wun-Chang Shih TE 39.18 PCS 41.42 :FS 80.60 = 120.96 Total (TPE)
20.Stephen Li-Chung Kuo TE 36.92 PCS 43.22 :FS 80.14 = 117.96 Total (TPE)

Detailed Freeskate Results

4 Continents Ladies Short Program Results

 1.Miki Ando TE 35.69 PCS 30.89 = 66.58 Total (JPN)
2.Mao Asada TE 33.20 PCS 30.21 = 63.41 Total (JPN)
3.Rachael Flatt TE 33.43 PCS 28.80 =  62.23 Total (USA)
4.Mirai Nagasu TE 30.55 PCS 29.23  = 59.78 Total (USA)
5.Alissa Czisny TE 31.00 PCS 28.94 -1.00 = 58.94 Total (USA)
6.Akiko Suzuki TE 29.61 PCS 28.03= 57.64 Total (JPN)
7.Cynthia Phaneuf TE 28.90 PCS 27.75 -1.00 = 55.65 Total (CAN)
8.Min-Jeong Kwak TE 26.81 PCS 23.66  = Total 50.47 (KOR)
9.Amelie Lacoste TE 25.03 PCS 25.03  = 0.06Total (CAN)
10.Cheltzie Lee TE 25.40 PCS 23.32 =  48.72 Total (AUS)
11.Myriane Samson TE 22.22 PCS 25.11 -1.00 = 46.33 Total (CAN)
12.Yea-Ji Yun TE 22.08  PCS 17.29 = 39.37 Total (KOR)
13.Bingwa Geng TE 19.80 PCS 20.40 -1.00 =  39.20 Total (CHN)
14.Melinda Wang TE 18.61 PCS 17.90 = 36.51 Total (TPE)
15.Victoria Muniz  TE 18.11 PCS 18.34 -1.00 = 35.45 Total (PUR)
16.Qiuying Zhu TE 19.02 PCS 17.06 -1.00 =  35.08 Total (CHN)
17.Chae-Hwa Kim TE 15.56 PCS 18.20 = 33.76 Total (KOR)
18.Mimi Tanasorn Chindasook TE 17.76 PCS 15.97 = 33.73 Total (THA)
19.Lejeanne Marais TE 17.39 PCS 15.60 -1.00 = 31.99 Total (RSA)
20.Jaimee Nobbs TE 17.11 PCS 15.83  -1.00 = 31.94 Total (AUS)
21.Crystal Kiang TE 15.95 PCS 15.9 = 31.89 Total (TPE)
22.Mericien Venzon TE 16.19 PCS 15.45 -1.00 = 30.64 Total (PHI)
23.Melanie Swang TE 16.33 PCS 13.17 = 29.50 Total (THA)
24.Chaochih Liu TE 14.81  PCS 13.71 =  28.52 Total (TPE)
25.Tiffany Packard Yu TE 12.96  PCS 14.55 = 27.51 Total (HKG)
26.Brittany Lau TE 13.14 PCS 13.47 =  26.61 Total (SIN)
27.Taryn Jurgensen TE 14.10 PCS 14.18 -2.00 = 26.28 Total (THA)
28.Reyna Hamui TE 11.32 PCS 13.41 -1.00 = 23.73 Total (MEX)
29.Mary Ro Reyes TE 9.71 PCS 12.51 = 22.22 Total (MEX)

Detailed Results

Friday, February 18, 2011

4 Continents Pairs Videos

Pang & Tong's short program

Pang & Tong's Freeskate

Evora & Ladwig's short program

Takahashi & Tran's short program

Takahashi & Tran's freeskate

Duhamel & Radford's Freeskate

4 Continents Men's Short Videos

I posted Daisuke Takahashi's short a few posts ago, so if you're looking for that particular video, scroll down a bit. =)

Adam Rippon (Please... grow your hair back out. :-/)

Takahiko Kozuka

Yuzuru Hanyu

Jeremy Abbott

Shawn Sawyer

Kevin Reynolds

4 Continents Ice Dance Videos

Virtue & Moir Free Dance attempt and withdrawal.

Virtue & Moir Short Dance

Davis & White Free Dance

Shibutani & Shibutani Free Dance

4 Continents Free Dance & Final Dance Results

You may have heard by now, by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir withdrew after completing a few elements, reportedly due to a tightness in her thigh muscles. A Skate Canada team leader claims that it is unrelated to her recent shin surgery.

1. Meryl Davis & Charlie White TE 50.01 PCS 53.01 ;FD 103.02 = 172.03 Total (USA)
2. Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani TE 48.76 PCS 44.58 ;FD 93.34 = 155.38 Total (USA)
3. Vanessa Crone & Andrew Poirier TE 47.27 PCS 42.90 ;FD 90.17 = 151.83 Total (CAN)
4. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje TE 42.29 PCS 43.40 ;FD 85.69 = 151.14 Total (CAN)
5. Madison Chock & Greg Zuerlein TE 44.15 PCS 41.15 :FD 85.30 = 142.44 Total (USA)
6. Xingtong Huang & Xun Zheng TE 40.01 PCS 37.35 ;FD 77.36 = 130.29 Total (CHN)
7. Xiaoyang Yu & Chen Wang TE 40.92 PCS 34.25 ;FD 75.17 = 125.75 Total (CHN)
8. Xueting Guan & Meng Wang TE 35.10 PCS 28.39 ;FD 63.49 = 106.26 Total (CHN)
9.Danielle Obrien & Gregory Merriman TE 35.72 PCS 26.30 ;FD 62.02 = 104.69 Total (AUS)
10. Corenne Bruhns & Benjamin Westenberger TE 24.95 PCS 22.92 ;FD 47.87 = 88.55 Total (MEX)
11. Maria Borounov & Evgeni Borounov TE 24.66 PCS 19.05 ;FD 43.71 = 72.23 Total (AUS)

Detailed FD Results

4 Continents Pairs Freeskate & Overall Results

1. Qing Pang & Jian Tong TE 61.23 PCS 66.81;FS 128.04 = 199.45 Total (CHN)
2.Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford TE 66.55 PCS 55.32 ;FS 121.87 = 181.79 Total (CAN)
3.Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers TE 58.20 PCS 53.53.55 ;FS 111.75 = 171.73 Total (CAN)
4.Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin TE 57.16 PCS 54.56 ;FS 111.72 = 166.97 Total (USA)
5.Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch TE 58.93 PCS 53.88 -1.00 ;FS 111.81 = 166.22 Total (CAN)
6.Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig TE 53.57 PCS 53.50 -2.00 ;FS 105.07 =  Total 157.30 (USA)
7.Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran TE 52.56 PCS 51.82 -2.00 ;FS 102.38 = 152.63 Total (JPN)
8.Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker TE 51.35 PCS 47.51 ;FS 98.86 = 144.46 Total (USA)
9.Huibo Dong & Yiming Wu TE 47.38 PCS 41.31 ;FS 88.69 = 135.10 Total (CHN)
10. Yue Zhang & Lei Wang TE 45.63 PCS 42.69 ;FS 88.32 = 138.93 Total (CHN)

Detailed Freeskate Results

Daisuke Takahashi's 4CC Short Program

4 Continents Men's Short Results

1. Daisuke Takahashi TE 42.35 PCS 41.14 =  83.49 Total (JPN)
2. Jeremy Abbott TE 37.87 PCS 38.86 =  76.73 Total (USA
3. Yuzuru Hanyu TE 40.76 PCS 35.67 =  76.43 Total (JPN)
4. Adam Rippon TE 38.13 PCS 35.58  -1.00 = 72.71 Total (USA)
5. Armin Mahbanoozadeh TE 34.98 PCS 31.42 =  66.40 Total (USA)
6. Takahiko Kozuka TE 30.49 PCS 35.76 =  66.25 Total (JPN)
7. Shawn Sawyer TE 31.58 PCS 34.13 = 65.71 Total (CAN)
8. Kevin Reynolds TE 34.14 PCS 33.33 -2.00 = 65.47 Total (USA)
9. Jinlin Guan TE 34.75 PCS 29.93 = 64.68 Total (CHN)
10. Jialiang Wu TE 34.51 PCS 28.79 = 63.30 Total (CHN)
11. Abzal Rakimgaliev TE 31.41 PCS 29.54 = 60.95 Total (KAZ)
12. Nan Song TE 29.61 PCS 30.86 = 30.86 Total (CHN)
13. Misha Ge TE 30.46 PCS 28.14 = 58.60 Total (UZB)
14. Joey Russell TE 29.00 PCS 29.67 -1.00 = 57.67 Total (CAN)
15. Min-Seok Kim TE 28.10 PCS 25.57 = 53.67 Total (KOR)
16. Mark Webster TE 24.61 PCS 23.65 = 48.26 Total (AUS)
17. Brendan Kerry TE 23.70 PCS 21.75 = 45.45 Total (AUS)
18. Jordan Ju TE 24.02 PCS 20.35 = 44.37 Total (TPE)
19. Wun-Chang Shih TE 20.04 PCS 20.32  = 40.36 Total (TPE)
20. Stephen Li-Chung Kuo TE 15.21 PCS 23.61 -1.00 = 37.82 Total (TPE)

Detailed Results

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Skating Updates

Mark Ladwig's heel broke off of his skate during the pairs short at 4 Continents, but Rudi Swiegler very generously lent him his skate so Mark and Amanda Evora could finish their short program.

Qing Pang and Jian Tong plan to wed after Worlds this season.

Pang and Tong are also leading after the pairs short by over 11 points.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, in their first competition of the season, have a narrrow lead over Meryl Davis and Charlie White after the short dance. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje sit in third, while Maia and Alex Shibutani are in fourth.

Rise is tonight, here is info from U.S. Figure Skating about the event. There will also be another showing of it March 7th in some locations.

It has been announced that Short Dance's compulsory segment next season will likely be the Rhumba. Also, Daisuke Takahashi was landing quad toes in practice in the main rink and is happy with his condition. Miki Ando says she isn't in prime condition and is somewhat tired.

4 Continents Pairs Short Results

1. Qing Pang & Jian Tong TE 39.29 PCS 33.12 - 1.00 = 71.41 Total (CHN)2. Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers TE 34.21 PCS 25.77  = 59.98 Total (CAN)
3. Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford TE 35.38 PCS 25.54 -1.00  = 59.92 Total (CAN)
4.Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin TE 29.02 PCS 26.23 = 55.25 Total (USA)
5.Kristen Moores-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch TE 28.12 PCS 26.29  = 54.41 Total (CAN)
6.Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig TE 28.14 PCS 25.09 -1.00 = 52.23 Total (USA)
7.Yue Zhang & Lei Wang TE 28.93 PCS 21.68  = 50.61 Total (CHN)
8.Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran TE 26.77  PCS 25.48 -2.00 = 50.25 Total (JPN)
9.Huibo Dong & Yiming Wu TE 25.41 PCS 21.00 = 46.41 Total (CHN)
10. Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker TE 23.60 PCS 22.00 = 45.60 Total (USA)

Detailed Results

U.S. Nationals: Men's Freeskate

Scott Dyer was the first up and did my state proud with a fairly solid freeskate (though like some of the other men in the early groups, he didn't attempt a triple axel.) He finished with a total of 177.15, pulling up to 13th overall.

Lloyd Ting landed most of his jumps, but most of the elements weren't done particularly well, which along with a lack of a triple axel, didn't hold him in good stead. 22nd, with 140.92 overall.

Sean Rabbitt skated much better than he did in the short program and had some energy in one of his footwork sequences, but his spins were poor in general and he had some jump problems. (Sidenote: If memory serves me correctly, he was one of the skaters struggling with the flu that week.) 155.71, 20th.

Parker Pennington struggled, two footing and underrotating jumps. He had some of the better spins at that point in the competition though. 164.68 total, 17th.

Andrew Gonzales, like Pennington, had some jump troubles, but his spins and footwork were pretty good. 162.52, 18th.

Wesley Campbell doubled his lutz and a loop and wasn't particularly artistic. He did have an cool variation on an upright spin though. 176.69, 14th.

Christopher Caluza dedicated his performance to a friend that had been killed. Unfortunately, he had a rough go of it, falling twice, and one of the times was on a spin. Something about his skating appeals to me. 157.72, 19th.

Alexander Johnson landed the first clean triple axel of the men's freeskate and then singled the intended double axel right after it. Sigh. He also did four jump combos, rendering the last one obsolete. To be fair though, he was competing with what he thought was a sprain, which really was a break, so it is likely pain, not combo counting, was at the forefront of his mind. 165.50, 16th.

Joshua Farris had a torn abductor muscle in his left hip, and then if that wasn't enough, he had a severe allergic reaction the day before the freeskate, leading to him being in the hospital til early the next morning. After that, he broke on an axel attempt in the freeskate. Needless to say, his performance overall was disastrous and while I admire his guts, I don't understand why his coach or parents let him compete with the problems that existed before the start of the freeskate. 151.73, 21st.

Jonathan Cassar had a good performance that was probably the most artistic at that point in the event. He landed 4 clean triples & two double axels, putting his hand down on a triple flip and turning out of a triple lutz-double toe. His spins were mostly good as well as his footwork. He was pretty enjoyable. 187.76, 11th.

* I didn't see Jason Wong, Grant Hochstein, or Jason Brown due to NBC broadcasting Jeremy and Ryan's short programs instead. They are on IceNetwork now, but to date, I still haven't seen them.

Adam Rippon: Stepout on the opening triple axel, then tacked a double toe onto it (unfortunately though, he wasn't credited for the toe and it became a +SEQ). After that was a double axel that seemed so easy that intially, in my nervous state, I thought that he'd singled it. Gorgeous Rippon triple lutz, followed by a pretty footwork sequence (though he'd do well to increase the level from a 2), and a nice death drop. After that was his second triple axel, which was pretty great and one of the better ones I've seen him do in competition. Triple flip-triple toe was great, followed by a tano triple lutz-tano double toe, an intended three jump combo which was cut short as Adam was getting too close to the wall. Beautiful triple loop, then the second footwork sequence, done nicely, as well as a nice triple salchow and alright combo spin. Good program, and he was absolutely thrilled. It's no secret that Adam is one of my favorite skaters, so I bummed after his dismal short, & pretty nervous for his freeskate, but he really did deliver a solid performance that both he and his fans can be proud of. 220.04, 5th.

Richard Dornbush: Opening triple flip was good, but almost too big. Triple axel-triple toe was really nice, followed by a triple lutz that looked like a possible flutz, but no edge call. Slow combo spin and some cute choreography after it, and then a lovely triple axel. Sit change sit was alright, followed by a nice triple salchow from a hydroblade transition. Triple flip-double toe-double loop, the latter with both arms over his head, then a double axel-double axel sequence, the latter of which was kinda meh. Triple loop was alright and his second footwork sequence was nice, and he ended with an alright combo spin. Richard did a really great job. I like this Sherlock Holmes program a good bit, and enjoyed Richard's skating more than I thought I would. Definitely a guy that could be a factor for years to come. 225.56, 2nd.

Armin Mahbanoozadeh: Walley into a nice triple lutz, followed by a great triple axel. After that a triple flip-triple toe that was pretty good, and the triple loop after was good as well. Nice circular footwork, though on the slow side, then a triple axel-double toe combo that was alright and a nice spin. Triple flip, maybe two footed, then a good combo spin, nice triple salchow and a double axel-double toe-double loop. He finished up with his second footwork sequence and a combo spin, both nicely done. A more subdued performance than at Skate America, but still a quite solid freeskate.Armin is another favorite of mine who I desperately hoped would make a comeback in the free and like Adam, he delivered. I love how he smiles during his programs; it's nice to see the skaters enjoying themselves. I do think he got shafted on PCS though; while I agree that his performance didn't have the excitement it did at Skate America, his components shouldn't be so close some of the skaters who placed lower than he did and really, at the very least his transitions should have been in the 7's. 215.05, 6th.

Keegan Messing: Managed the opening triple axel and put his hand down on his quad toe attempt, but it was credited as rotated. A spin was fine, and then he did a double axel from a near stand still. After that was a triple lutz-double toe that wasn't great, I thought the latter may have been underrotated, then a really nice stretched out camel variation and okay triple axel-double toe combo. First footwork sequence was just okay (& it was only a level 1) followed by a great combo spin. Second footwork sequence was alright, and the triple loop after that was okay too. Edge call on his triple flip-double toe-double loop and the flip looked like it may have been two footed as well. Last element of the program, a triple lutz, also looked possibly two footed, but it received positive GOE, so I might be mistaken. Keegan did a pretty good job; he's not as sophisticated as the prior three men, but there's potential there. I think putting him on the Junior World team was a great decision and think it'll be interesting to see how he fares there. 213.29, 8th.

Douglas Razzano: First all all - nice costume! He opened with a very nice triple axel, followed by a stepout on a quad toe and stumbled and fell on his second triple axel (SEQing it.). Triple lutz after that was nice, and the following two spins were alright. First footwork sequence was boring, followed by a nice triple toe-triple toe combo. Okay triple salchow and a good triple loop, then another dull footwork sequence. Douglas finished up with an okay double axel-double toe-double loop combo and an alright combo spin. Only one triple lutz and no triple flips (left out to avoid wrong edge deductions possibly?) , which I guess is the reason for the triple toe-triple toe (though I still find it incongruous). He skates like many of the Russian men - jumps are pretty good, but not very exciting to watch. 206.76, 10th. 

Ross Miner: Pretty footwork to start, followed by a triple axel-double toe - the axel was huge! Triple lutz-triple toe, the former looked possibly two footed but again,  maybe a bad angle of the landing. Triple axel alright, as well as a spin. Haha, cute wink the choreography, then a triple loop that was fine and an alright triple lutz. Triple salchow-double toe-double toe was nice, then another footwork sequence which was alright, and a big triple flip. Pretty good death drop after that, as well as a double axel, with finishing with a spin that was just fine. Really good technically and not bad artistically; just not as developed as a few of the others. 224.35, 3rd.

Jeremy Abbott: Started off well with a nice triple lutz and triple flip. He landed a bit forward on the front half of his triple axel-double toe, but it was alright overall. Flying upright spin was okay, and his first footwork sequence was nice and musical. Handdown on his second triple axel, and then a fall on what amounted to a two and 1/2 lutz - the severe underrotation was clearly visible without replay - which also became a +SEQ, lowering the base value and costing him a combo. The following triple loop-double toe-double loop was shaky and he stumbled out of it (the double loop was deemed underrotated). Jeremy got to get it back together with an alright triple salchow, and a nice footwork sequence and double axel. I really love that spiral and knee slide move; the choreography in the program is really nice. He finished with a nice spin, but the damage was done. I love Jeremy, but facts are facts and sadly, Jeremy simply choked. There was a fluff piece talking about how he doesn't want to be the "forgotten" American men's skater anymore and that he is glad to be out of Evan and Johnny's shadows, but when the spotlight was on him, he didn't deliver. I believe that when he is on, his skating speaks for itself and he certainly has had memorable performances. Unfortunately this time, he gave it away.  224.16, 4th.

Brandon Mroz: Fallout on an underrotated quad toe to start, followed by okay footwork. Triple axel-double toe was alright, as well as a triple lutz . Good triple loop, followed by a death drop that was fine, and then a nice triple axel. Triple lutz-triple toe, second foot was put down on the landing of the toe loop. Triple salchow was fine, and same for the triple flip-double toe-double loop. The spin after that was rather poor, but the following footwork sequence was okay, and the final spin was better. The underrotation and subsequent fallout on the quad toe really hurt him along with spins that garnered no positive grades of execution and two of which were only level 1. 213.49, 7th.

Ryan Bradley: Stepped out of both of his quad toes at the start, +SEQing the second, despite his attempt to combo it by tacking on a double toe after the stepout. First footwork sequence was okay, followed by a big triple axel that he held onto, and a good triple lutz. Alrightish spin and a cute second footwork sequence, but it was really simple. Miraculously pulled a triple axel-triple toe out of nowhere, and held onto a triple loop after that. Triple salchow-double toe-double toe was slow, but okay, and then an alright triple flip. A couple of slow spins and he was finished his program. He lost speed after the first few jumps, and not a whole lot was pretty, but Ryan fought and did enough to hold on to the lead to win his first National title. 231.90, 1st.

It could be argued that one of Ryan's quads shouldn't have been credited as fully rotated, but still, I can't bring myself to be angry that he won. And while Richard and Ross certainly did skate incredibly well, I still don't have as much confidence in this World team as I would like to. I do think it would have been reasonable to send Jeremy to Worlds in Ross's place, especially since he missed third by such a small margin. Obviously, Jeremy combusted at Nationals, but he skated even near clean at Worlds, he'd most likely have a better chance at challenging for a medal or even the top 6.

Full Results

4 Continents Short Dance Results

1. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir TE 35.64 PCS 33.76  =  69.40 Total
2. Meryl Davis & Charlie White = TE 34.50 PCS 34.51 = 69.01 Total
3. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje TE 36.50 PCS 28.95 = 65.45 Total
4. Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani TE 34.22 PCS 27.82 = 62.04 Total
5. Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier TE 33.50 PCS 28.16 = 61.66 Total
6.  Madison Chock & Greg Zuerlein TE 30.94 PCS 26.20  = 57.14 Total
7. Xintong Huang & Xun Zheng TE 28.42 PCS 24.51 = 52.93 Total
8. Xiaoyang Yu & Chen Wang TE 27.78 PCS 22.80 = 50.58 Total
9. Xueting Guan & Meng Wang TE 24.72 PCS 18.05 = 42.77 Total
10. Danielle Obrien & Gregory Merriman TE 42.67 PCS 17.67 = 42.67 Total
11. Corenne Bruhns & Benjamin Westenberger TE 25.28 PCS 15.40 = 40.68 Total
12. Maria Borounov & Evgeni Borounov TE 15.62 PCS 12.90  = 28.52 Total

Detailed Short Dance Results

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Skating Updates

 Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett have withdrawn from 4 Continents due to a training accident that left Jeremy needing 42 stitches. They will be replaced by Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are blogging about 4 Continents for IceNetwork - here is the first of their blogs.

Recently it has come to light that the ages of some Chinese skaters are different on some documents than their ISU biographies. Sui and Han and Zhang and Zhang are among the listed skaters with age discrepancies. Here's an Icenetwork article about it and another article

Sarah and Drew spoke to Andrew Johnson, Ashley Wagner, and Joshua Farris about the injuries and illnesses they had at Nationals. I cannot understand why Joshua was allowed to compete with the torn abductor muscle, let alone the allergic reaction the day before the freeskate.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2011 U.S. Nationals Exhibition Highlights

I'll add a few more videos as they make their way onto youtube. Thank you to users who are uploading them!

If anyone is capable of begrudging Ryan Bradley on his National title, watch this & see if you are still capable of doing that.

Ryan's EX (with a quad!)

Meryl & Charlie's new EX (which is quite adorable!)

Maia & Alex's EX (again... adorable!)

Jeremy Abbott's new EX which he choreographed himself (Love!)

Nathan Chen!

U.S. Nationals: Ladies Freeskate

Unfortunately, this year's ladies event was basically what I'd expected - a messy event full of splats and pops, and had little in the way of inspiration. There were some shining moments where lesser known skaters delivered, and I'm glad to see that the champion skated a good program, but I am really hoping that in the near future the ladies will step up and give us an all around more enjoyable ladies championship.

That said, let's get started.

The first couple of groups opened up the competition with few successful triple attempts until Kristiene Gong landed five in her routine,(albeit, a couple received a slight negative GOE) and was easily the best so far, pulling up from 17th to 9th overall with a total of 143.30.

After Kristiene, Ellie Kawamura struggled, landing just one triple. Kelsey Traunero was somewhat more successful, landing two triple flips (one in combination with a double toe) and a pair of triple salchows. Unfortunately, her triple toe attempt was downgraded, as was the latter half of her double axel-double toe. Like many of the girls, her spins, footwork, and spiral were passable, but for the most part not particularly noteworthy.

Melissa Bulanhagui appeared to two foot her opening triple salchow, but proceeded to land a nice triple lutz, triple flip, an okay triple lutz-double toe-double loop (the latter deemed underrotated), and landed the following triple toe, triple salchow-double toe, and a big double axel pretty well. Spins weren't amazing, but still, a pretty impressive display. My only slight disappointment was that she didn't go for her triple axel. Total 144.53 (10th)

Danielle Kahle and Kristine Musademba both struggled with their jumps, but the latter had some nice spins. They finished 18th and 15th, respectively.

Alexe Gilles opened the second to last group, marking the beginning of the ladies freeskate coverage on NBC. Unfortunately, she only landed one clean triple (a lutz) and proceeded to pop or two foot everything else.

Caroline Zhang appeared to be in better shape than she was during the Grand Prix season. She landed a triple flip-double toe that was actually kind of nice, before she went for a high kick triple lutz and crashed. I wonder if it wouldn't be better for her to just leave that jump out of her programs until her coaches can the kick under control. After that was a triple salchow, which was downgraded and fallen on. Her triple loop-double axel sequence was fine, and then she popped her second flip attempt into a single. She finished her jumping passes with a triple loop-double loop- double loop with a tano variation on the end and a double axel that was just okay. She had some nice spin positions, especially on the layback, and her spiral sequence was nice. She skated a bit better than I had expected overall. 140.95 total, 12th overall.

Joelle Forte skated better than many of the top ladies, which was pretty surprising to me since I don't believe I've ever heard of her before this event. She landed a triple flip, triple lutz-double toe-double loop (slight negative GOE), triple salchow, double axel, triple lutz, triple toe-triple toe sequence, and a triple salchow double toe, and for the most part, they were actually pretty well done. She had poor spins, but the jumps were there, which was pretty unusual that night. 149.28 total, good enough for 9th place.

Yasmin Siraj had trouble on her early jumping passes,  singling her triple flip, having to eek out the latter half of her triple lutz-double toe, and falling on her double axel-triple toe (she was forward on the landing of the axel, but went for the triple toe anyway - she is definitely gutsy). Yasmin did pull it together for her jumping passes after that though, landing a triple salchow, triple lutz, triple toe, and double axel-double toe-double loop pretty well. Her spins were okay, but she had a nice spiral (though I wish she'd not have to hold it) and a footwork sequence that had some interest to it. There's a nice quality to her skating that makes you want to watch her; I'm looking forward to seeing how well she develops. 152.47 overall, 8th place.

Morgan Bell had a rough go of it, only having one entirely succesful jump, a double axel. While her second triple toe was alright, neither it nor the prior attempt were in combination, so it was marked triple toe+SEQ, lowering the base value of the jump. The other jumps were all either popped, fallen on, or marked as underrotated or downgraded. She finished in 17th place.

Ashley Wagner started off well with a triple flip-double toe, which was fine, followed by a double axel-triple toe, the latter of which was two footed and underrotated. After that was a triple flutz (which was nice other than the edge :-/),  triple loop-double toe-double toe that was alright, a triple salchow that was good, and then another two foot, this time on a triple loop and she singled her second flip. Her spins and spiral sequence were all good and she's fairly interesting to watch. There were a lot of nice things in that program; it's a shame that she had so many little errors, they really add up. 165.36 total, 6th place.

Vanessa Lam started her program with a triple lutz-double toe-double loop combo that was alright, as well as a triple flip-double toe. Her jumps don't get much height, but she rotates them quickly. Layback spin was nice, but she turned out and possibly two footed a triple toe. She may have two footed the triple loop after that too, it looked a little rough. Her spiral sequence was nice, as well as the spin after that. Double axel-double axel sequence with no speed going into it, followed by a two footed triple lutz. The footwork had no energy or life at all to it, and then she fell on a downgraded triple flip, finishing with a slow spin. Vanessa didn't really perform; seemed to be all about the elements for her. 162.91, 7th.

Agnes Zawadzki opened with a double axel-triple toe that seemed a little tough on the latter half to me, followed by a good triple flip. Combo spin was okay,  then a triple lutz attempt that was doubled - it looked like she slipped on the entry. Layback position could be more more impressive. Triple lutz-double toe was nice, followed by a biellmann spiral sequence that wobbled a bit. Fall on an underrotated triple loop, but good comeback with a nice triple salchow. She fell out of a triple toe, but tacked on a double toe and double loop. Footwork was okay, and she ended with an alright combo spin. Agnes could use more refinement in her skating, but when she hits them, her jumps are HUGE! 173.84, 4th.

Christina Gao started off with a nice triple flip-triple toe and triple salchow. Lots of speed going into the jumps too. Ran out of room at the end of her triple lutz-double toe-double loop and had to stepout. She did a nice spin and then a decent biellmann spiral, followed by an okay triple loop and double axel. Fall on the second triple flip, which was downgraded. Combo spin was alright, and she had a little slip in the footwork but it was okay other than that. Triple toe was a little tough, maybe two footed? Her final spin was nice, until the bit of traveling at the end of it. I like her a good bit; she surprised last year at Nationals, so I'm glad to see her skate decently here. Definitely hoping she places well at Junior Worlds. 167.20 total, 5th.

Alissa Czisny: Triple lutz-double toe was nice, followed by a good triple flip and triple toe-double toe-double loop. Spin was nice, but she had to fight for the underrotated triple loop. Spiral sequence was good, and her triple lutz-double toe, double axel, and triple toe were all okay. She finished with two really nice spins and an alright footwork sequence. As I've noted in prior posts, I don't really care for Alissa's skating much, but kudos to her on skating a nearly clean freeskate and not giving up on that loop. I wasn't sure what to expect from her, but she did hold it together. 191.24, 1st place.

Mirai Nagasu: Love her dress. Triple lutz-double toe just okay, she had to work for it. Double axel-double toe, okay. Edge deduction on the triple flip, alright otherwise. Lovely layback and biellmann positions. Triple lutz, underrotated. Triple toe-double toe-double loop,  okay. Great spiral sequence, followed by another just okay jump, a triple loop. Ina bauer to a double axel, which she fell out off and then she screwed up a flying sit spin, receiving no credit for it. Last spin was fine, but the damage was done. She looked nervous before she even started the program and then was tentative throughout. It's a shame, she's my favorite of all of these girls. 177.36, 3rd place.

Rachael Flatt: Double axel-triple toe, wobbly and the latter was underrotated. Doubled the intended triple lutz after that, followed by a camel spin with a variation I can't stand.  Not really a fan of the choreography either. Triple flip was alright, as well as a combo spin. Spiral sequence, meh. Triple lutz-double toe okay, triple flip-double toe-double loop with a bit of a high kick on the flip. Triple loop was okay, as well as the footwork. Fallout on the triple salchow. Ending combo spin was okay. 183.38, 2nd. I'd probably have sent Mirai to Worlds, but c'est la vie.

Full Results

Check back  for the men's freeskate post sometime today or tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Skating Updates

Nobunari & Daisuke, via Nobu's twitter
Nobunari Oda won Winter Universiade with a total of 223.15. Sergei Voronov finished 2nd with 204.54, while Daisuke Murakami claimed bronze with 202.83. Nobunari did not attempt a quad in either program and only performed one triple axel in the freeskate.
Short Program Results
Freeskate Results

 Johnny Weir is claiming to be considering a comeback next season. He mentions his disappointment with Patrick Chan winning Grand Prixs with multiple falls and Vancouver. He also talks about his book and being congratulated on being Olympic Champion.

 An interview with Florent Amodio about his Europeans win. He will be working on his quad in hopes of having it ready for Tokyo.

Article on 2011 U.S. bronze medalist and World team member Ross Miner.He discusses his injury last season, his disappointment with his Grand Prix showings, and Nationals (of course!).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

4 Continents Championships Entries...

are now posted.

Ice Dance

I'm really looking forward to the men's event (shocking, I know :P) what with Takahashi, Kozuka, Hanyu, Rippon, Abbott, Mahbanoozadeh, and Sawyer competing. What event and skaters are you most looking forward to seeing? 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

U.S. Nationals: Pairs Freeskate

I'm only going to be focusing on the final group here, but I have to say that as a whole, the U.S. pairs were much better than I expected them to be. Many years the pairs event is a complete splat fest; the winners are often the team that simply has the least amount of screw ups, and while that is not terribly unusual in skating, the extent to which it is true in pairs can be pretty painful. That said, this year even the earlier groups were rather respectable; some had much less difficult content than others, but for the most part what they did attempt was performed fairly well and I can definitely appreciate that.

That said, onto the final group. 

Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett: The neckline of her dress was pretty; the rest of it almost was, but those feathers... Triple twist and side by side triple toes were both fine; not great, but at least done. Their throw triple flip was good, as well as the throw triple loop. Some trouble on the side by side double axel-double axel sequence on Jeremy's part, falling out on the first one, but he was able to do the second one just fine. Side by side spins were actually on the good side, and the lifts were done well enough, but at least one of the positions was kind of ugly. Death spiral was alright, the pairs spiral was ugly, and the pairs spin was okay ( Although I hate pairs spins in general.) Overall they skated pretty cleanly technically, but it wasn't particularly amazing on that front or artistically. They also had a lot of catchfoot moves, which while are good for gaining levels, can be rather unattractive at times and get old quickly. 59.36 TE 58.34 PCS ;117.70 FS =175.49 Total (3rd)

Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker: They also started with a triple twist, but had a collision on the catch, then did an okay side by side triple toe-double toe combo. Unfortunately, Mary Beth tripped while trying to skate next to Rockne (probably getting ready to turn for back crossovers or something) and they both went down. Somehow Rockne managed to get her up into the lift that was only a couple of seconds after that shocking wipeout. The throw double flip was next; was that intended to be a triple? Their pairs spiral was actually rather decent, and their death spiral was pretty, though a little wobbly on the change of hand. Side by side triple salchows and the throw triple loop were both alright; I'm kind of impressed that they're trying side by side sals this early on in the partnership. After a lift with an interesting position, they had side by side spins that got a bit off towards the end, but were decent otherwise and finished up with another good lift and an alright pairs spin. Their inexperience together obviously showed in some areas, but I was really impressed overall; most of the technical was pretty good, especially for only being together five months. They were a pleasing pair to watch visually too; there's some definite potential for this team and I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do with more time and development. 55.16 TE 52.29 PCS -2.00; 105.45 FS =163.55 Total (4th)

Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin: They had a pretty strong opening with a good triple twist, solid side by side double axels, a throw triple loop that she had to work for but managed, and a nice side by side triple toe-double toe-double toe combo. Those were followed up with an alright lift, a well done death spiral (though not a variation I'm fond of), and side by side spins they lost some unison at the end. Pairs spiral could be better on his end, but the throw triple salchow after that was lovely. They closed the program with two good lifts and a pairs spin. That was a very elegant, very strong skate with an atmosphere about it. It even silenced the commentators! I nearly teared up at the end, and I'm not a crier. Most everyone who's reading this has probably heard by now, but for those that haven't, this program is in memory of John's late mother, who died just a month after he and Caitlin failed to make the Olympic team. I think it captured the emotions pretty well, and it is easily one of the more artistically moving programs that I've ever seen by an American pair. 61.97 TE 62.18 PCS ;124.15 FS = 188.45 Total (1st)

Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig: Good speed right off the start. First element was a triple twist that was good and quite light. Side by side triple toes were pretty solid, and the throw triple flip was alright. The side by side spins got messy at the end but I rather liked the flying sit at the beginning. They had some nice spread eagles to an alright spiral and then the double axel-half loop-double salchow, which was just managed. Their pairs spin was okay but she had to put her hand down on the throw triple loop. The death spiral was in a pretty ugly position, unfortunately, but  their lifts were mostly good, and one was really impressive. It was a pretty nice program overall but not with the same feeling as Yankowskas and Coughlin. 62.09 TE 60.26 PCS ; 122.35 FS = 185.22 Total (2nd)

Europeans Results: Men and Ladies!

What an interesting few days it has been. Between Nationals and Euros', I've been going absolutely skating crazy! I apologize for not having them up yet, but my thoughts on the pairs, ladies, and men's U.S. Nationals freeskates will be up in the next few days. I did not do a free dance review, as it is by far the discipline that I am least well versed in and I had severe tunnel vision on regarding Alex and Maia Shibutani. For now though, I'll talk about the new Europeans singles champions!
Sarah Meier finished second in the freeskate to win the gold in her home country in what she's said will be her final competition. What a way to go out! She finished with a overall score of 170.60. Carolina Kostner won the free to move up to 2nd overall (168.54), while Kiira Korpi fell to 3rd (166.40) after finishing 4th in the free. Ksenia Makarova and Alena Leonova finished 4th (162.04) and 5th(154.31) overall.

 Florent Amodio won the European men's title with a total of 226.86 after placing third in the freeskate. Brian Joubert (2nd with 223.01) and Tomas Verner (3rd with 222.60) each beat him in that segment, but not by enough to catch him after his lead from the short.
Freeskate Results
Overall Results
More pics due to the ridiculous amounts of adorable that Flo exuded.

And here is his reaction to the news. If this isn't adorable, what is?

And his imperfect, but still pretty dang good freeskate.