Happy Birthday to Akiko Suzuki… and her albino strawberries!

Nobunari Oda tweeted this a few days ago:

Mariakko is Akiko Suzuki and the Japanese says, “Otanjoubi Omedetou!” meaning “Happy birthday!”

So a belated happy birthday to you, Akiko!

I still think this girl needs to come to Canada and be a citizen here. She won’t be excluded from the World team AND she’d beat all of best Canadian ladies this season and make the Canadian ladies World team look a lot better than it is right now.

Also, Akiko posted some really cool albino strawberries on her twitter. Apparently they smell sweet. Anyone know how they do this to strawberries?

Also, I apologize if my posts are a bit irregular and random. I’m going through a busy period right now and may neglect to blog for a few days. However, the good news is, I’ll hopefully be able to tune into Worlds and I’ll post a few predictions¬† up in the upcoming weeks.


~The Rinkside Cafe

Dear Rachael Flatt: Chemical Engineering is a Wonderful Subject

Please take note of that, Rachael Flatt. Ontd_skating has recently posted an article on how Flatt would like to change coaches from Tom Z. Personally, I don’t know if that’ll help in any way, shape or form.

We all know that Flatt is a consistent skater and her medals and achievements are proof of that. Technique-wise, she’s proven to be pretty decent. She has a triple-triple and a double axel-triple toe and that’s quite an accomplishment for a senior skater, considering some of the top ladies have a triple-lutz, double toe or loop as their best combination. However, the problem with Flatt is that she lacks something that you can’t learn: star quality and the ability to exude your wonderful personality on the ice. Sure, the girl is consistent but Flatt is horrendously boring to watch. Yes, Mrs. Flatt, we know that she’s getting straight A’s and she’s going to Stanford but where’s the drama and passion in her programs?

I mean, let’s take a look at some other skaters.

Katarina Witt

The commentators said that Debi Thomas noted that “She’s [Katarina] tough.” Well, she’s more than that, she’s a fierce bitch and she knows it. She had the drive, passion and desire to win and she expressed that every time she skated. Katarina was a skater with grace, beauty, a tough personality and an ability to convey drama and her passion on the ice. Just watch her skate last with the drive to beat the crap out of Debi Thomas. Katarina skates with a conviction that led Americans to write her love letters with promises to take her away from the evil Commies of East Germany.

Michelle Kwan

I still get teary whenever I watch her Spartacus program. As Dick Button liked to say, Michelle had “heart” and that smile she had on her face when she did her signature change of edge spiral showed it all. Emotion, beauty and passion. The Kween is the Queen because of her ability to show all of that in 2 or 4 minutes and that’s what made her mesmerizing.

Yuna Kim

The most recent Olympic gold medalist may not have the best extension (although she’s improved quite a bit since she’s trained with Oppegard) but she’s fierce on the ice. She’s shown that she’s a capable flirt, Bond girl and storyteller with huge jumps. When you watch Yuna, you get sucked into her drama (and Koreans make awesome dramas… LOL).

Anyways, back to Rachael. It’s admirable that the girl has brains but unfortunately, she has no charisma and leaving Tom Z isn’t going to help you with that. I mean, there’s an epic gunshot in this piece of music but it might as well be the sound of someone turning a page at the library. What’s the story? Who are you supposed to be? What are you trying to convey?

In any case, Flatt is supposed to start her undergrad at Stanford next year and she hopes to major in chemical engineering. An admirable feat and a subject that will no doubt be difficult. I’ve watched science students go insane and break down from all the stuff they’ve had to memorize and study. If you want to keep that 4.0 GPA, you’re going to have to work for it, Rachael. And I don’t mean work for it like you do in high school. High school work is for sissies compared to the amount of work you get at university. You might have skating practice at 5AM but there might be days where you’ll be awake until 5AM writing a paper or doing readings. I understand that Ivy League school inflate marks but don’t count on an easy pass, especially in the sciences. It’s not high school anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had tons of work even as a part-time student. So seriously, do some good for the world and just concentrate on your studies. If you manage to be a good researcher, people will find your work a lot more interesting than your figure skating.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Rules of being a good figure skating fan

Do you agree or disagree?

1. You watch figure skating during non-Olympic years.

2. A skater’s nationality has no part in deciding whether you like their skating

3. You get annoyed at most of the commentators. Especially the ones who don’t shut up. Or any commentary for a national competition.

4. You surprise your friends with your knowledge of classical music.

5. You love skaters but you aren’t afraid of criticizing their skating. You do it because you want them to do their best.

6. You have favourite skaters in every discipline and favourite programs for each discipline.

7. You know that figure skaters are wayyy better at skating than hockey players and that figure skating is a sport (as well as an art), despite what anyone says.

8. You’re willing to stay up ridiculously late to watch a competition happening in a very different timezone.

9. You understand that figure skating is very objective, therefore you shouldn’t take flamers and haters seriously. Like those crazy Maobots and Yunabots out there. (You can even put me in this category if you want, but I don’t think I’ve gone to terrible extremes…)

10. You know or are starting to know all the jumps and can tell them apart.

11. You understand that figure skating costumes can get pretty crazy out there, so you’ve built up a resistance to them. If not, you might just go insane.

(I wanted to put a picture of the dancing cats from the Olympic season but any videos or pictures of that particular free dance has completely disappeared. Help me find it?)

12. You look forward to winter despite the cold and the dark and gloomy days.

Have any more rules you want to share? Post ’em in the comments below!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Worlds will be held in Mother Russia

… as stated in this tweet by Elena Ilinykh.

I guess Putin’s plea demand worked.

The Event will be held from April 24th to May 1st.

Which conflicts with some of the Canadian Stars on Ice dates. Dammit. I might not be able to see Tessa and Scott again. Grrr… At least they’ll be performing a new FD. It better be awesome possum sauce.

Read the official ISU statement here.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Putin Wants YOU to Come to Russia…

… since the Russian government has expressed an interest in hosting Worlds now that Japan can’t. The Russian government seems to be willing to spend some money on it and in all honesty, do you want to mess with Putin? I mean, he’s kind of badass.

Yeah, you don’t want to mess with this guy.

Anyways, Putin comedy aside, other countries willing to host Worlds are Canada (Vancouver), the U.S. (Colorado Springs, Colorado or Lake Placid, New York), Finland (Turku), Croatia (probably Zagreb) and Austria (probably Graz).

The Russians have stated that they’re thinking of hosting Worlds from April 24 to May 1 or sometime later depending on the ISU’s decision. I’m not surprised at Russia’s interest in Worlds, it’ll give their skaters a hometown advantage and it’ll also give their younger skaters some positive press on road to Sochi. What I find shocking is how I’m already thinking about Sochi even though the 2010 Olympics just happened last year. Sigh. How time flies fast.

Anyways, I really shouldn’t be on the internets right now. I’ll post Worlds predictions if it happens.

~The Rinkside Cafe

P.S. Marina Zoueva is adorable. How is this woman even real?

Tatiana Tarasova is a Diva

With a capital “D”. Youtube recommended it to me. Despite the awkward dancing, Tanya is still a rockin’ diva.


~The Rinkside Cafe

Worlds Will Not be Held in Tokyo

Well, don’t say that none of us expected it. (Here is the official ISU statement by the way.) The World Team Trophy will be postponed until next year and the ISU is now looking at venues either in the U.S. or Europe. There seems to be a lot of worry about planning and whatnot but there are quite a few voices that say that it’s possible. There’s the possibility that Worlds will be held in April or May, which would be an inconvenience to skaters who are contracted to do shows.

Update: Cinquanta says that the new location for Worlds will be announced Friday. Here’s the article.

If Joannie Rochette or Evgeni Plushenko’s situations from last year are any indication, the ISU does not allow for skaters to skate in shows during a competition if they can compete. Plushenko had his amateur status revoked because he skated in show when he should have been at Worlds, which he skipped, apparently due to injury.

So in the end, the skaters are still in a bit of a limbo because Worlds can still be canceled. It’s frustrating for everyone and let’s just hope for the best. Whatever that is.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Let’s Calm Down A Little…

So Japan. I’ve been blogging about it quite a bit lately and it’s been all over the news. As a result of this mass hysteria over the Fukushima power plants however, people have been stocking up on iodine tablets or potassium iodide, which is a treatment for radiation sickness.

In China, the hysteria has gotten to such a point that people have been buying iodized salt because iodine tablets are not available in the market. Then people started freaking out because they thought that newly produced salt would be contaminated by radiation, which according to experts is unlikely. The biggest problem is, there isn’t enough iodine in the salt to actually do anything to help with radiation sickness. In fact, there isn’t enough iodine in the salt even if you ingest about 5 kilograms of it and in that case, radiation sickness won’t kill you but the salt will. Literally.

So for all of you who are a bit freaked out about radiation, I will say that radiation is scary but potassium iodide isn’t a miracle drug either. (Read the article above.) If you are freaked out about radiation though, the witty people at xkcd did a chart (they researched it so it’s not one of their usual gags) about radiation. Radiation happens on a natural and everyday basis so the nuclear crisis in Japan is scary but panicking is not going to help anyone at this point. Stay calm and think.

Also, here is the site for the skating benefit, Skaters Care, for Japan. In Worlds news, $peedy has sent a letter to Japan to ask if they can host Worlds in October. If not, they’ll hold the competition in April or May, which makes more sense.

Let’s all hope for the best. I’m going to end with this bit of beauty:

~The Rinkside Cafe

The Future?: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva

I know I’m supposed to admire the very talented Adelina Sotnikova, who won the junior World Championships this year but I can’t help but like the silver medalist, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, a lot better. Liza has finished second in all her competitions with Adelina this year but I see great potential in this girl. She just has star quality that you can’t buy and you can’t tear your eyes from her once she starts performing.

I don’t like the random and constant arm waving in her long program this year but I love the fierce tano-arm double axel. And the general fierceness throughout the routine.

I wish her choreographer came up with something better than this. I kind of like this piece of music for this program she did a few years ago.

All in all, I think Elizaveta needs a new choreographer. I’d love to see her flourish under Tatiana Tarasova but I don’t think she’s coaching until she can deal with her mother who just passed away last year. It would also be nice to see her do something David Wilson did. I’d love to see that. She has the same kind of drama that Yuna Kim has, if not more. However, I do have to admit that some of her success comes from the fact that she’s with Papa Mishin. I don’t know how easy it would be to dump Papa Mishin as your coach as a starlet waiting for a successful career.

In any case, I think for this season, Liza was packaged pretty decently. Her choreography was meant to show that she was a mature skater despite her baby face. I wonder how she’ll progress next season when she and Adelina qualify for the senior circuit…

Do you prefer Adelina or Liza? Why? I’d love to hear your opinions!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Money makes the Worlds go ’round…

… seems to be the general consensus. I thought of this…

The French Eurosport commentators didn’t like the music too much. I think they’re a bit out of touch with reality. Or they don’t really want to admit that it’s kind of true, unfortunately.

I’m kind of sick of posting continuous streams of sad news about Japan at this point. I’m not trying to be rude, I just wish that there was something I could do to make it all better. It’s a very depressing topic and yet, I don’t feel as if I should be posting anything remotely celebratory. Scott Russell posted an article on CBC that skaters like Charlie White seem to agree with. People are saying that $peedy (Ottavio Cinquanta) isn’t really looking at the skaters’ best interest or doesn’t really understand how figure skating really works because of his speed skating background. He also made a rude comment in this article on how you can’t always listen to skaters because some of them are minors. Um… foot in mouth much?

Some cities (Turin, Malmo, Lake Placid, Colorado Springs) have offered their venues for the World championships but it seems that many skaters understand the situation and they fully agree with Worlds being canceled or postponed while offering their deepest sympathies to the people of Japan. (See ontd_skating’s post on this.) Take that, $peedy!

In any case, I apologize for these posts. I’m really at a loss at what to blog about. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know and I’ll do my best.

~The Rinkside Cafe

P.S. My thoughts go to the brave people that are the Fukushima 50.

Previous Older Entries