Highlights from the 2014 World Championships

The 2014 World Championships had some really lovely performances. A lot of the time, the Olympics tire the competitors out and many top contenders don’t even participate. As a result, you get a few “he/she came out of nowhere” World Champions (Remember Kimmie Meissner? Neither do I.) and some tired performances. Not so this year. From the judging and the performances, I might have to say that I think I enjoyed the World Championships a lot more than the Olympics this time. In any case, here are a few of what I thought were the highlights.

For the last two seasons, it’s been really hard for me to take Tatsuki Machida very seriously because of his wacky Firebird program. His arm flapping definitely gave me more than a chuckle or two and despite his good results, I couldn’t quite appreciate his skating. He was consistent most of the time but he was not as compelling to watch as his other teammates, especially when bird-imitations were part of the vehicle to show off his skating prowess. This program and performance, however, changed my opinion of him. I don’t think Machida has skated this compellingly all season and somehow everything clicked in this performance. I was finally noticing some of the edgework and transitions in this program and he was channeling Daisuke Takahashi in this performance. Gorgeous program and wonderful skate – this is what it’s all about.

In terms of program content or choreography, there’s nothing extremely noteworthy about this performance but I don’t think Tomas Verner has done this well for ages. He bombed the LP but hey, forget about that and remember this highlight, Tomas.

That popped jump might have cost him a World title but I admit that Javier was very swoon-worthy in this program.

Ethereal. Perfection. And a World Record score. Enough said.

What a great comeback for Mao. I was tearing up by the time she got to her step sequence at the end. She didn’t get the Olympic gold but 3-time World Champion isn’t too shabby.

Ethereal as always and the PCS were just right. Both Mao and Carolina skated clean and despite the fact that she wasn’t the hometown favourite, Carolina had the highest PCS for this segment of the competition. Sochi judges, take note!

I was never a huge fan of this team but I like how this program builds to a climax ending with that lift that starts out on Dylan’s knee at the end.

I’m not particularly fond of this program but I felt that I needed to mention Savchenko & Szolkowy in this post. They ended their wonderful career on a high note and they will be missed so much. Aliona Savchenko will still be around but who knows if she’ll find a partner as good as Robin.

With Savchenko & Szolkowy gone, these two are my new favourite pairs team. They need to learn how to be more consistent and maybe ramp up their technical content but they remind me so much of Shen & Zhao. Every time I watch this program, I feel as if it was too short.

I wasn’t a fan of this dance at the beginning of the season but it’s really grown on me. This was just a splendid performance to cap off a very creative and wonderful career for Nathalie and Fabian.

I wasn’t a fan of the music choice at the beginning of this season – I thought it was slow and boring – but this program has become my favourite ice dance FD this year. Within the first minute of this performance, I was having chills. I am so happy that these two didn’t get completely screwed over by the judges as they have been all season. They’re good enough to contend for bronze but we all knew that the ISU didn’t want a North American podium sweep. And they wanted a Russian for the bronze position if they couldn’t get gold. (I thought Nathalie & Fabian deserved the Olympic bronze but what can you do?)

This was ADORABLE.

Oh Tomas, always the entertainer.

I think there’s a theme here. I seem to enjoy these quirky, funny exhibitions quite a bit.

Not a new exhibition but I love it all the same. It never fails to bring a smile to my face

Another highlight I wanted to add was the crowd. It was just such a refreshing change from Sochi where people were silent for everyone except for the Russians. It was also adorable that they respected Yuzuru’s wish for silence in the Kiss and Cry because Javier was on the ice and needed to concentrate. I know that Dave Lease says that the Sochi crowd wasn’t as rude as some other competitions but I don’t think that’s an excuse for their cold reception for non-Russians. It was a nice change having a crowd with so much joy and enthusiasm in all the skaters and the fact that they cheered for skaters from all different countries. Thank you for showing us what wonderful skating fans are like.

Anyways, I think I’ve bombarded you guys with enough videos for now. What were your favourite performances at Worlds this year? Tell me in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. burdens
    Apr 02, 2014 @ 07:00:41

    My favourite moment is Caro’s SP. I have never seen any one perform with such love and gentleness for figure skating. Another is when Hanyu finally landed the notorious 4S that has been haunting him for 2 seasons, I don’t like the Juliet program but I like his gut. I noticed you haven’t mentioned his name so I guess you would like Machida to be placed 1st because he worked so hard and delivered both clean program. I can get why people prefer Machida to win, but personally I think Hanyu deserves it. Frankly I dislike both of their long programs, especially the ghastly costumes.
    As for me, I would like Javi to win but he made mistakes that cost him the lead. The PCS were kind of even here with Javi and Hanyu 91 and Machida 90, I dislike the PCS inflation but I guess it’s the way to measure the top 3, who gets higher TES won.

    Reply

    • rinksidecafe
      Apr 02, 2014 @ 12:35:15

      LOL, I actually adore Yuzuru but in this case, I didn’t mention any of his performances because I didn’t think they were skated that well to be highlights of the competition. He was very tense in the SP and even though he showed a lot of fight in the LP he looked tired throughout. I agreed with the results but in terms of men’s performances I particularly enjoyed this time around, Machida’s SP amazed me while Fernandez gave me butterflies from his suaveness. (The popped jump was bad for points but it wasn’t too jarring that it affected the pace and timing of the choreography.)

      I hope Yuzuru gets a good rest and goes to Jeffrey Buttle for his programs next season. As Parisienne Walkways has shown, that partnership has worked well.

      Reply

  2. burdens
    Apr 02, 2014 @ 22:32:49

    The only problem I have with this worlds is, none of the top men has an inspiring long program. Thank God’s Yuzuru let Juliet die for good and I can’t stand the flappy bird program with that cosplay costume anymore. Javi’s long program is the most decent one out of all. What a pity he made mistakes, or else I would be very very pleased to see him on the top. Nevertheless, I have to admit I love Yuzuru’s gut. I did not believe him to land the 4S, and even when he landed it I expected him to fail on other jumps. In the end he did go against all of my expectation. I admit that he is a true champion now.
    And it’s true that the 1st and 2nd place could be interchangeable depends on the judge panel. But I guess not many people have problems with the placement here. Machida did all the could, it’s just his long program was not as strong. Yuzuru made mistake, but what he did in the long program was an enormous effort, despite the emptiness of the step sequences. He should not hire David Wilson anymore.
    As for me, PCS inflation all the ways. I think Machida did a wonderful job in his SP (his long program is so so…) but I don’t know if his performance was as good as PChan’s SP at TEB 2013 (both were marked 98). People have their taste, of course, I am not a fan of PChan but I have to admit he has the best skating skills in the men field. Now that top 3 of this year has the same PCS as Chan’s, I don’t know what should I feel about this. Personally I don’t think Yuzuru, Javi and Machida are on the same level of skating skills as PChan, so the PCS scores are confusing to me.
    Nevertheless, I think this is the best worlds ever in a decade since none of the top 5 bombed. unlike last year and the year before that.

    Reply

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