Lil’ love for the underdogs: Chafik Besseghier

Chafik Besseghier really impressed me with his SP at TEB this year. This kid is talented: he moves across the ice smoothly and he covers it quickly with ease. His spins are fast and his footwork is well-timed to the music. However, I would like to see him use his knees a little more in his landings. He does have personality and I hope that the French Federation will give him a chance to shine.

A very interesting exhibition number with very unique break dancing elements incorporated into it.

Enjoy~!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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Pure Love: Drama, Passion, Interpretation

I think 2008 is one of my favourite years in terms of how podiums turned out. This was also a lovely gem from that year. Oh Daisuke, may you never lose your pizazz.

Which figure skater do you think is the best artiste on ice?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Lil’ love for the underdogs: Myriane Samson

Myriane Samson is the current Canadian National silver medalist. She’s a bit of a headcase in international competitions and hasn’t landed on the podium for any major international competition but this performance at Canadian Nationals this year impressed me. Loved that turn into a triple flip.

Choreographed by Marie-France Dubreuil and Julie Marcotte.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Adam Rippon + Shae Lynn Bourne = maybe magic?

This appeared on Adam Rippon’s twitter today.

Some of Shae-Lynn’s gems so far:

I’m rather excited for this pairing. Now, if only Mao got some choreography from Shae-Lynn.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Rachael Flatt is on her way of being dumped by the USFSA?

I – and I’m not the only one – have frequently complained about Rachael Flatt, the most uncharismatic and boring ladies skater the U.S. has to offer at the moment. Rachael has consistency – which has led her to victory at U.S. Nationals – but her personality and her skating are about as exciting as watching paint dry. This season, however, we watched Rachael bomb starting with the GPF all the way to Worlds where she finished in 12th. Now, the USFSA (and Frank Carroll) are pissed that they don’t have a third spot for next year’s Worlds and now they’re pointing fingers at Rachael.

According to this article, Flatt was reprimanded and fined for not telling the USFSA about her injury, which consequently resulted in Mirai Nagasu’s absence from Moscow, which she could have been an alternate. Frank Carroll thought that Mirai could have given the U.S. that third place and it seems as if he’s sending a strong message that Mirai’s headcase days are over and that she’s reformed. With the news of Rachael’s censure, it feels as if a new tide of change will be sweeping the U.S. ladies field:

  • We may finally see the end of Rachael Flatt’s successes. She’s left Tom Z but as Mao has proven, it will take a lot more to correct her jumping technique and her plain boring personality (and her personality isn’t going to help her PCS one bit…). She should have followed everyone’s advice and stop skating because at this point, she may see a downward trend in the results of her skating career.
  • If Frank Carroll’s statements about Mirai are true, she may be catapulted above Alissa for the next season. If Mirai is sent to one of those minor “practice” competitions like Nebelhorn, it may be a good indication that Mirai is being serious about her skating with Frank’s full political support behind her. A combination not to be taken lightly.
  • If Rachael is truly dumped, retribution will occur through a bronze medal at Nationals for flat skates from Flatt. That will be sufficient to keep her out of the World team. I don’t know if  any U.S. lady other that Nagasu, Czisny or Flatt can challenge for the podium at the moment but keeping Flatt off the podium would probably spell the end of a successful career.
  •  Frank Carroll is after Rachael Flatt’s blood. Go Frank, go.

Any opinions out there? Debates are fun!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Look-Alikes: Sasha Cohen

In a fit of nostalgia, I’ve been streaming a show that I loved in my childhood called “Worst Witch.” (I’m also a children’s literature aficionado so I’ve read a few of the books as well.) In any case, while watching, I thought that Felicity Jones, who plays the antagonist, Ethel Hallow, in season 1 looked a little bit like a young Sasha Cohen when he face is in the right angle.

Sasha at 2000 Nationals:

Ethel Hallow in Season 1 of the Worst Witch, played by Felicity Jones:

The resemblance sort of diminishes as these two grew older as Sasha’s face became rounder and Felicity lost her remaining baby fat. The older Felicity may resemble Sasha just a teensy weensy bit more… maybe?

See the resemblance? Or does someone you know look like Sasha? Feel free to tell me!

EDIT: Fellow figure skating aficionado ay-sa pointed out the obvious resemblance between Sasha and Alexis Bledel. I can’t believe I forgot about Alexis Bledel!!!

Sasha:

Alexis:

Edit 2: Another reader, Gemma found that Mackenzie Rosman resembled Sasha as well.

~The Rinkside Cafe

The French Federation squashes rumours of a Morozov-Amodio split

The French Federation released this press release yesterday stating that “MOROZOV will prepare the choreography of Florent AMODIO’s both programs for the next season in New York starting June 10th.” They also explicitly said that the press release was meant to “close the rumors speaking about the end of their cooperation.” With Morozov being a special coach to the skaters of Mother Russia, it seems that his non-Russian skaters will have to give their coaching appointment a bit of thought, seeing that Morozov has relocated to, I believe, Moscow and will put his focus on the Russian skaters.

The problem at the moment for Florent is not the rumours of a coaching change but whether or not Morozov has anything to offer him. At the moment, I feel as if Florent has done all he can do with Morozov. Sure, he’s European champion now, but that doesn’t mean very much when the men he wants to take down are from Japan and Canada. Artur Gachinski’s bronze was the result of a competition riddled with horrendous or stupid mistakes and perhaps a good dose of hometown (a la Mother Russia) advantage. (In other words, his achievement did not come from his own hands – and feet – but from the hands of others. Not a competitor you want to be, even if it does mean winning something.) At the same time, Florent can definitely do a lot better than Morozov choreography. Sure, his LP this season was entertaining…

…but it’s clearly front-loaded with tons of random posing. Florent is super talented and I would like to see him push himself even further. I don’t usually recommend Brian Orser but the Orser/Wilson pair may do well for him in order to polish up his technical skating AND unleash his creativity with clever and well-constructed programs. As well, Orser no longer has a star male pupil to concentrate on, so whichever goes to him now has a chance to be his priority (which comes with a fair amount of politicking, I suspect). Furthermore, Florent deserves this kind of political and technical support. He may not have Brian Joubert’s high cheekbones but he’s an adorable personality with a touching backstory that can sell. The French Federation has yet to throw all of their support behind Florent but a coaching change followed by improvement and good results could solidify his position as the #1 French man.

Then again, we don’t quite know the reasoning behind the decision and my opinions are after all, my opinions. Who knows what the future will bring.

What are your thoughts about Florent and his non-coaching change?

~The Rinkside Cafe

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