The New European King

I apologize for my lack of updates despite the spate of competitions that have been happening this week. The U.S. Nationals are going to end soon and the European Championships have ended. The Europeans remain weak in the singles area, with Carolina Kostner still the only one who could possibly medal at Worlds. However, ┬ánew, young, European has beaten all the veterans and emerged victorious in the men’s field:

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A Review of Noel Streatfeild’s “Skating Shoes”

So from a few posts ago, a few of you might’ve remembered that I read Noel Streatfeild’s Skating Shoes (also published under the name of White Boots). It’s a children’s book about two girls who contrast each other in many different ways but enjoy skating.

The story begins with Harriet, a girl from a poor but not destitute family who had an illness that left her all skinny and weak. Once she got better, the Harriet’s doctor tells her family that she should pick up skating to strengthen her legs and he could hook her up with the local rink owner who would let her rent skates. When Harriet goes skating at the local rink, she meets Lalla, the well-to-do daughter of a former world champion who died and her aunt is determined to raise Lalla into a figure skating world champion as well. The story is set perhaps in the 1950s when the book was published so being good at figures was a lot more important than free skating. Sonia Henie was the figure skating Queen in the era of the book.

So… my verdict on skating shoes? I wouldn’t recommend it. The entire plot is based on what I perceive as a very abusive and boring friendship in which Harriet fawns over Lalla and her star quality while Lalla, being the rich girl, makes an arrangement through her uncle and nanny to have Harriet join her in her skating lessons, which puts Lalla in a position of power which she abuses and threatens her friend with several times in the book. I find figures fascinating for maybe the first five minutes and then lose interest soon after that, so it doesn’t surprise me that Streatfeild’s descriptions of the girls going through their figures bores me to death. One interesting aspect of the book, however, was that it seemed to be a precedent for future figure skating movies. Here’s the recipe:

  1. Two girls – one rich, one not so much or just poor.
  2. The two girls are enemies but become friends.
  3. The poor one, despite her lack of money, is more talented than the rich girl.
  4. The rich girl discovers other interests other than skating.
  5. The rich girl has a tough parent that insists upon her skating.

Case and point:

Blizzard: The Christmas movie about figure skating and flying, talking reindeer. Wiki entry here. (Surprising what you’re willing to watch during the Christmas holidays…)

Furthermore, the book lacks any exciting bits of plot… just like compulsory figures. Seriously, just read Ballet Shoes instead. The characters were a lot more likeable and the plot a lot more interesting.

To end… a video with figures, explanations of what the figures are supposed to look like (Lalla has trouble with loop figures at one spot in the book) along with the debate of get rid of figures or not? Oh yes, there’s a fluff piece on the fiercest HBIC, Katarina Witt.

Enjoy!

~The Rinkside Cafe

 

 

Not Amused. Help Needed.

I have always tried to comment on other figure skating blogs with an openID connected to this blog. Yesterday when I tried commenting on Aunt Joyce’s blog, I couldn’t because a stupid message popped up and told me that “Your openID credentials could not be verified.” I hate you stupid technology. =____= I am not amused right now. I contacted wordpress and they said they’re looking into this, which probably means, we’ll just shelve this problem somewhere and never come back to it. In any case, does anyone know how to solve this?

I’m in a happy place…

I’m in a happy place. I’m in a happy place. I’m in a happy place. I’m in a happy place. I’m in a happy place.

I’m in a happy place…

~The Rinkside Cafe

Seriously Canada?

For a country that prides itself on being fair and nice and all, they sure know how to go insane and inflate figure skating scores for Patrick Chan. Videos of his LP have yet to surface appeared and here are his scores:

SP – 88.78
LP – 197.07
Total – 285.85

Now, let’s stop for a bit and take a look at a few CoP records:

Men – highest score in an ISU-sanctioned competition:

SP – 91.30 (Evgeni Plushenko 2010 Euros)
LP – 175.84 (Daisuke Takahashi 2008 Four Continents)

Let’s just say that one skater got those scores for a competition, the total would be: 267.14
The actual world record for the highest total is 264.41 (Daisuke Takahashi 2008 Four Continents)

His scores have become more and more unreasonable. Next thing you know, he’ll be the first to get a score of 300+ or something. *knocks on wood*

I’ll try not to complain in my next post.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Further Proof that PCS = Patrick Chan Score

I knew that Patrick Chan was going to take a nauseating lead at Canadian Nationals but being the optimist that I am, I thought that his triple axel implosions would limit his ridiculous scores. I am ridiculously wrong, unfortunately. Patrick Chan can double a triple axel and still get a score only 3 points away from the world record short program score. Disgusting.

PJ Kwong states in her commentary: “He sets the bar for footwork for this generation of men’s skaters.” I’ve never been afraid of calling her delusional before and I stand by my word that this opinion is part of her nationalistic delusion. Patrick Chan’s footwork is good but it’s not that good. His footwork especially in this program seems to have no connection to the music and neither does he. It sickens me that this short program (88.78) score would beat Daisuke Takahashi’s masterpiece of a performance and program at 2008 Four Continents (88.57) by a hair. I know that scores at national competitions are always inflated but with Chan, you never know how much his scores will be inflated. In any case, whatever PCS Chan may be getting, I will stand by my opinion in the face of nationalistic Canadian figure skating fans and tell them: “THIS is good interpretation, choreography and footwork.” Chan just doesn’t compare with this performance, quad or no quad:

The expression! The musicality! His relation to the audience! Sheer perfection.

Not everyone can perform like Daisuke but Shawn Sawyer was pretty good in that respect at Canadian Nationals. This was a solid performance and his triple axel was better than Chan’s attempt at one.

Without Tessa and Scott to make Canadian Nationals worth watching, I’ll place my hopes on U.S. Nationals, which will definitely be more exciting, regardless of my nationality and the ire incurred from me saying this: the Americans have a better National figure skating competition than the Canadians, hands down. If you have an issue with my lack of nationalism, read Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities”. It’s a brilliant book.

Wishing for Tessa and Scott…

~The Rinkside Cafe

If Only…

These two were skating at the Canadian championships this weekend. Unfortunately, I really dislike Crone and Poirier who will probably win the title (at least they’re not on my blacklist) so Tessa and Scott’s absence will be very painful indeed. If only Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje could be a lot better technically. They have more star quality than Crone and Poirier anyways. Sigh. This should be the winning SD (although I will admit that Kaitlyn and Andrew have my favourite SD of the season so far) at Canadian Nationals:

Now, if you excuse me, I’ll have to find some chocolate to drown my sorrows in.

~The Rinkside Cafe

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