Road to Pyeongchang: Pre-Season Olympic Predictions

I did this during the last Olympic cycle on the road to Sochi 2014 and I thought I’d do the same for this upcoming Olympic games. Most of my predictions were laughably wrong but it was still a fun exercise. For these upcoming Games, the running theme seems to the ascendance of TES over PCS, which makes everything super interesting. At the very least, it’s a better theme than how many gold medals can Russia get away with on home ice.

So, barring injury or any major freak event, here are my predictions for Olympic Champion next season…

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Look-Alikes: Scott Moir

Confession: I absolutely adore CBC’s new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.

It’s written by someone who worked on Breaking Bad (strange combination, isn’t it?) and it’s not completely faithful to the book but the spirit of Anne is there, along with the grim realities of her past, brought closer to the spotlight. While the book feels like something that Anne would write when she’s safe in Green Gables and in a good place mentally, the new series feels like you’re living through Anne’s experiences while it happens – the ups, the downs and every scrape and resolution in between. When you think about it, the book seemed very flippant about an adoptive family rejecting an orphan they decided to take in but as readers, we were okay with that because we knew that the book wouldn’t exist if Marilla and Matthew didn’t adopt Anne. The series doesn’t give you that comfort, which makes it very refreshing.

In any case, I’m only allowed to ramble about this series is because there’s a Scott Moir look-alike in Lucas Jade Zumann, the actor who plays Gilbert Blythe, Anne’s rival at school and future husband.

lucas jade zumann

scott myla klarman

Although he’s young, there is a resemblance between him and Scott, even in his mannerisms in Anne. I would show you the iconic slate smashing scene or the scene where they first meet but I feel as if it’s something to be enjoyed within the series. This scene, although in the last episode, should give you a sense without spoiling too much. There’s something about the way Lucas oscillates between being gentlemanly and a joker that reminds me of Scott.

Let me know if you agree in the comments! And feel free to discuss the Anne series too (I doubt that many of my friends have watched it so I’d love to hear your thoughts). For Canadians (or anyone able to get past the geoblock), the entire series is available on the CBC website. For everyone else, the series will be available on Netflix sometime in mid-May.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Fantasy Programs for Pyeongchang 2018

The Olympic season is the time when you want to show off your strengths and skate programs that suit your style. Of course, we all have different ideas of what that is but it’s always interest to fantasize about programs for a bunch of different competitors, which I’ll be doing today. Let me know if you agree with any of my picks!

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Predictions: Worlds 2017

Nathan Chen

Yes, I know, it’s been a while. Hello, darling Readers! Apologies for not putting up predictions for Euros of 4CC but things are busy on my end since the year began. It will be unlikely that I will post comprehensive predictions for the World Team Trophy (my guess right now is Russia, Japan and Canada though that may change after Worlds) since I’ll be on vacation right before it starts but we’ll see. For now, let’s content ourselves with our predictions for this year’s (very important) World Championships, which will decide how many skaters each country gets to send to the Olympics.

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Look-Alikes: Yuzuru Hanyu

I’m thinking of planning a family trip to Japan this spring and although I’ve been there once before, I wanted to get more ideas on where to go. I ended up on YouTube and I found myself watching a bunch of videos by an adorable couple, Rachel and Jun since they did a series where they traveled around Japan. (I’ve also been a fan of Jun’s cooking channel for a while.)

At one point, I decided to watch some of their other videos, one of which featured  Jun doing Rachel’s makeup with hilarious results. Rachel apparently got her revenge in another video when she did Jun’s makeup. (Video below…)

Rachel was definitely better at putting on makeup but the results were quite surprising. I guess by enhancing his features and making him look more round and smooth, Jun ended up with a face that looked surprisingly like Yuzuru Hanyu. Here’s a screenshot along with a picture of Yuzu:

junyuzuru-hakama

Do you see the resemblance? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @RinksideCafe

As well, wonderful readers, have any of you been to Japan or live in Japan? I’m thinking of focusing my trip mostly in the Kyoto and Tokyo areas around cherry blossom season. What places do you recommend visiting or eating? Please let me know in the comments! Any help in planning for this vacation would be much appreciated! As well, where can I find all the products with Yuzu and Mao that everyone keeps talking about?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Happy New Year!

2016 was rough so I’m sure people are happy that they’re turning the page. As always, I feature an up and coming skater on New Year’s Day here and this year, I actually had my pick ready for months.

Midway through the Grand Prix series, I stumbled upon a video of Jun Hwan Cha. Admittedly, I was curious of skaters coming out of South Korea as I wondered if Yuna Kim’s success has done anything to increase the sport’s popularity among young people there. Having lived in Hong Kong for a year, I know how hard it is to foster a sport like figure skating in a place where it’s not part of the local culture. Space is precious in most Asian countries as most people live in densely packed cities in tiny apartments. I didn’t realize how spoiled I was, growing up with two neighbourhood rinks run by the city, free to use by anyone who owned skates.

According to an article in the December 2016 International Figure Skating Magazine, Cha doesn’t have any idols but he does train with Brian Orser, which bodes well for his jumps and skating skills. It was also interesting to see him use Yuzuru’s difficult entry into the 3A in his LP this season. He can’t compete in Pyeongchang 2018 but the future looks bright for this young man.

Here’s a a lovely 2017! To everyone, I hope that you have a safe and prosperous new year!

~The Rinkside Cafe

 

Mid-Season Favourites

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Now that the GP circuit is done, we have a pretty good sense of what these new programs have to offer. As I do every year, here are my favourite programs so far.

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