The Highlights of 2010

2010 has been a great year for figure skating. The Vancouver Olympics were absolutely amazing and it’s sad that the year is about to end. Let’s hope that 2011 will be just as amazing. For now, let’s stroll through memory lane and think of a few good times in 2010.

(More under the cut since this is a bit of a long post…)

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The Junior Russian Divas Revisited

So Russian Nationals was this week and there were a few interesting developments. Volosozhar and Trankov won the pairs competition and they look to be a pair to look out for next year. Bobrova and Sloviev won the ice dance competition although the baby Russians, Ilinykh and Katsalapov lost silver to a relatively unknown team whose names I probably can’t pronounce. These two did not have the meteoric rise that I thought they would have this season but next season might be the beginning of a fruitful career. The Russian men are a non entity so I’d have to say that the most exciting competition belongs to the Russian ladies.

Ksenia Makarova failed to defend her title as National champion as it was taken away by a young and talented lady by the name of Adelina Sotnikova. Adelina has a long way to go before she can even reach last year’s junior world champion, Kanako Murakami, though both of them lack polish and performance quality. She also doesn’t seem to be very tight in the air, which I’d like to see corrected. I wonder if she can manage those jumps once her growth spurt hits her because I’ve got a feeling it’s going to hit hard. It would be a pity if that happened because she’s such a classic Russian balletic skater and she’s very elegant for her age.

I hate the dress for her SP. It makes her look so immature and just simply juvenile.

Alena Leonova won silver but she’s a bit of a non-entity. Using Aunt Joyce’s adjective, I’d call her skating pedestrian and simply forgettable. One of my friends hates her Slutskaya hair and that’s pretty much all she can think about when she watches Alena skate. I think she’s subconsciously recalling the days when Irina Slutskaya beat Michelle Kwan. *shudder*

Anyways, onto another topic. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva – a diva on ice who got buried in the SP and made a comeback in the LP, undoubtedly, with some help from Papa Mishin. Despite Mishin’s choreography, I can’t help but like Johnny Weir’s twin sister Elizaveta. All she has to do is look at the camera and you can tell that she just spews star quality. I just wish that she would move to another – bigger and better – figure skating mafia don coach, in other words, Tatiana Tarasova. Tati can take her star quality and turn it into something great, not to mention Liza is in need of good choreography. I think she’d be able to pull of Bells of Moscow better than Mao… Or even the Masquerade Waltz. I’m shivering from excitement as I’m imagining it. So please, Liza, do a Yagudin and go to Mother Tanya.

Aunt Joyce has all the videos for the ladies short and long programs on his blog.

Enjoy~!

The Other Moir…

I was looking around youtube and found this! Scott’s brother and cousin at Canadian Nationals. Danny Moir wiped out in a section. I find this rather entertaining considering that Tessa once wrote that she wanted to go to the Olympics with Danny. Well, I guess fate, destiny or just pure luck changed all of that. Sheri reminded me a lot of Emily Samuelson. They have the same kind of feet which makes lovely toe points. I believe she does synchro skating now. In any case, here it is:

Enjoy~

~The Rinkside Cafe

The Evolution of Possible Olympic Medalists

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov have only been partners for half a season but they’re making significant progress on the Russian pairs skating front. Their unison, technicality and flow is extremely impressive for a team that has just gotten together. (They also beat Kavaguti and Smrinov by a mile at Russian Nationals.) Then again, both Tanya and Max were very talented with their previous partners. I can see this team go very, very far once they arrive on the international scene next year. Sochi 2014 might be their Olympics to lose considering that there’s been a lack of *really* good pairs skaters that have the tricks *and* chemistry since the implementation of the CoP system. If they were able to compete now, I’d rank them above Pang and Tong who are having trouble this season and they might make Savchenko and Szalkowy sweat a little bit.

In any case, let’s take a look at their progress (and the speed of their progress).

August 2010 – Practice

September 2010 – Russian Test Skate

Early December 2010 – Russian Regionals

Late December 2010 – Russian Nationals

FOUR CONTINENTS
Men: Takahiko Kozuka, Daisuke Takahashi, and Yuzuru Hanyu.
Ladies: Miki Ando, Mao Asada, and Akiko Suzuki.

Akiko Suzuki is Officially Dumped – Japanese Nationals

So the results of the ladies competition for Japanese Nationals are in. With great heartbreak, I must announce that the new Japanese National ladies champion is Miki Ando. Mao placed was 10 points behind Miki in the free skate and dropped to 2nd place and though Akiko Suzuki was 4th in the free skate, she lost a bronze medal to the new rising star, Kanako Murakami. As a result, Akiko has lost her spot at Worlds but has a spot at the Four Continents. At least she has another chance to compete this season. That Fiddler in the Roof LP is wonderful.

In any case, this is Team Japan’s line-up for 4CC and Worlds:

Four Continents

  • Men: Takahiko Kozuka, Daisuke Takahashi, and Yuzuru Hanyu
  • Ladies: Miki Ando, Mao Asada and Akiko Suzuki

Worlds

  • Men: Takahiko Kozuka, Nobunari Oda, Daisuke Takahashi
  • Ladies: Miki Ando, Mao Asada and Kanako Murakami

The Reeds and Takahashi/Tran are in both competitions, of course.

Merry Christmas!

I would just like to wish all my wonderful readers a very Merry Christmas! Thank you very much for reading the blog, I didn’t think that anyone would really be interested in my random figure skating ramblings. It makes me really happy knowing that people actually read this stuff that I write. Anyways, a few holiday treats to share~

Merry Christmas~

~The Rinkside Cafe

Japanese Nationals

Mao seems to have recovered from her poor performances on the Grand Prix circuit. The only major mistake in her short program at Nationals was 2-footing her triple axel. The smile on her face at the end of the program said it all.

Miki Ando is in 2nd place and Kanako Murakami is in 3rd. I fear that Akiko Suzuki is on her way of beingĀ  dumped (she’s currently in 7th) in favour of the new rising star that is Kana-chan. I wish Miki Ando was the one excluded from the World team but being the only lady who won 2 golds in the GP circuit, that’s very unlikely. Kanako’s bronze at the GPF above her teammates makes her a strong contender for a spot at Worlds. Seriously, let’s just give at least one of Canada’s 3 spots to the Japanese men and women. If Akiko Suzuki came to Canadian Nationals (and I wish she would), she’d beat everyone. Anyways, here are more videos:

Oh Miki, you are a good skater with a lovely personality… please get better choreography.

Kanako lost concentration and singled her axel.

Akiko’s skate wasn’t too bad. Just an underrotated and stepped out of a 3Lz.

Daisuke has secured a position on the podium after finishing 4th in the SP. He recovered in the free skate and ended up with bronze. The Japanese though, have a new National champion… Takahiko Kozuka! Nobunari Oda finished in 2nd, obviously.

Aunt Joyce has the videos of the men’s SP posted here. Here are the LP of the top 4 men:

Enjoy~!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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