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:

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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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#Realtalk with Meryl Davis

Just taking a moment to share this with you.

Most of the questions asked in this interview are rather insipid, but there is a small gem when the interviewer lists all of Meryl (and Charlie’s) accomplishments and then asks, “Tell me what you don’t have.” I find her answer really relatable.

What do you think?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Predictions: Grand Prix Final 2016

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I swore that I would be on top of things for the GPF so I am starting early this week. The only downside to this is that if there’s last minute withdrawals, I’ll have to change things up.

In any case, the GPF is looking to be an exciting competition where skaters will want to line themselves nicely going into Worlds. The stakes are higher this season because their standings at Worlds determine a) how many skaters their country gets to send to the Olympics and b) their reputation and momentum going into the Olympic season. The GPF will determine the course of a few things as we head into the stretch of the season devoted to Nationals, 4CC and Euros.

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