logisticslad: (Default)
Enjoyed watching the Men's Figure Skating event on [personal profile] defenestrator's new HD TV. Results were quite a surprise as was the selection choices of the US World team.

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logisticslad: (Default)
I didn't work today and spent the day in traditional Jewish fashion by watching videos and eating Chinese food. One of the things I watched was the Grand Prix Figure Skating Finals. It was an exciting competition, held in Torino, Italy where the 2006 Olympics had just been. Overall, the technical skating was much improved, with a number of contestants earning their personal bests. Everyone had clearly worked on their sit spins (which had been being cheated in recent years) and a number of skaters were appropriately called on poor edge entries to their flips and lutzes. Also, the costumes were mostly good to great (as opposed to some of the fashion atrocities in past years - Stephane Lambiel's zebra stripe print shirt comes to mind).

In the Men's event, Swiss cutie Stephane Lambiel pulled out a victory over Daisuke Takahashi. He earned it, with slightly better jumps and amazingly better spins. Evan Lysacek came in third over Johnny Weir, who had several mistakes. I think that Johnny is a far better skater than Lysacek, but he's more of an artist, while Lysacek is more of an athlete. Lysacek increased his energy and musicality, but still suffers from lack of flow.

In Ice Dancing, Russian team Domnina and Shambalin edged out Belbin and Agosto in what I think came down to a matter of taste. Both were excellent. French team Delobel and Schoenfelder finally won a medal and have definitely upped their game.

ESPN barely showed the Pairs competition since the American team withdrew due to injury. The excellent German team won followed by the equally exciting two Chinese teams that are looking to replace the amazing Chinese team that retired last year.

Finally in the Ladies' event, Yu-na Kim of South Korea blew everyone away again, although Japan's Mao Osada gave her a run for her money. Italian favortie Carolina Kostner came in third and finally delivered a consistent short and long program. American Junior World Champion Caroline Zhang made a huge entry onto the senior cicuit by coming in fourth at age 14. Kimme Meissner had three falls and a disappointing finish in fifth place.

Some other tidbits - It was annoucned that American teens swept the Junior Worlds events so there should be a number of exciting new skaters rising through the ranks. Brian Joubert was injured and did not compete, but he could be a major force in the upcoming events of the season. Americans still don't have a Pairs team that can compete with the top teams. I'm looking forward to Nationals and Worlds coming up soon.

Tomorrow I'm going to my brother's for a nice family day with the nephews and niece.
logisticslad: (Default)
This is Day 3 of my 4 day vacation (yes, the weekends count). I caught up on sleep this morning and believe that I have finally shaken off the sinus malaise. I spent the day doing chores, surfing the net, playing Heroes of Might and Magic on the computer, reading comics, petting the cats, and in general relaxing. I mowed the lawn and fought the strangling vines (I think that it is called clematis) that are trying to choke the life out of my lilac and butterfly bush to a draw. It was beautiful outside! Now after taking out the trash, I'm watching a tape of the World Figure Skating Exhibition show, that I had never got around to viewing. I'm finally beginning to feel relaxed and recharged.
logisticslad: (Default)
While I was babysitting for by brother and subsequently stayed over due to the snow, I watched the National Championships. It was a pretty exciting event. Johnny Weir led the Men's event, and rightly so. He has the skills and is amazing at musical interpretation. I still don't like his choice in costumes, though. Cutie Michael Weiss struggled and did not medal, but is first alternate for the Olympic team. He continues to choke in competition. I think it's time he turned pro and stopped chasing the dream. Sasha Cohen dominated the Ladies' event and won, even with a mistake. Her scores are comparable to Irina Slutskya's so she definitely has a shot at the Olympics. The big controversy was whether Michelle Kwan would be selected for the Olympic team even though she did not compete at Nationals (being out with an injury). She has been provisionally approved, depending on her recovery and I think that's the right decision. Young Kimmie Meissner rounds out the Olympic Team and she earned it. She's the first woman to do a Triple Axel in competition, but doesn't do them in her program since they don't earn enough points compared to doing a triple/triple combination (another knock against the new judging system). A number of the ladies made mistakes, but falling on a jump is not as penalized as it used to be in the old system so it had less impact. I was most impressed with Stephanie Rosenthal who finished 8th. She had terrific presence and musical interpretation, but needs some more work on her technical elements. I predict that she will be a major player in future years. Over in Ice Dancing, Tanith Belbin was granted US Citizenship by act of Congress at the last moment, so she is now eligible to compete at the Olympics - she and Ben won handily. My former Boss' daughter competes in Ice Dancing, but her team surprisingly didn't do very well. Our Pairs teams still suck compared to what's out there, but at least the winners' performances were not embarrassingly bad this year. So it was a good showing by our skaters overall. I'm still amazed at how ABC devotes 3 prime time hours to the Ladies' Competition and squeezes in the rest earlier in the day or on ESPN. I guess they believe that when people think of Figure Skating, they are most interested in the Ladies' event. I like them all.


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