Fantasy Programs for Pyeongchang 2018

The Olympic season is the time when you want to show off your strengths and skate programs that suit your style. Of course, we all have different ideas of what that is but it’s always interest to fantasize about programs for a bunch of different competitors, which I’ll be doing today. Let me know if you agree with any of my picks!


Florent Amodio is a hipster.


He used vocal music before it became cool. Even though the choreography for the program was extremely… puzzling to say the least, what was even more puzzling was that he didn’t get penalized back in the day when lyrics weren’t allowed.

In case you were wondering why I brought this back (I’m hoping that you won’t hate me for subjecting you to this), this is just a fun reminder… music with lyrics will be allowed in men’s, ladies and pairs programs starting the upcoming season!

Does this make you excited?

Personally, I’m shuddering at the idea of the overuse of Michael Jackson and Phantom of the Opera… with lyrics. Just wait, we’ll have a lady skate to the most popular songs in Frozen soon. For some reason, that entire concept makes me cringe even though I like the movie.

Thoughts on this rule change? Tell me in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Just for fun: Taipei (food) + Tessa & Scott’s Music!

So, just to get people excited for Four Continents, I’ve decided to do a little research on Taipei, Taiwan (aka Chinese Taipei). So… rather than start with a really nerdy article on the history of how the island of Formosa became a pseudo-country, let’s take a look at a few other aspects of the country. So, I’ll begin with one of my favourite things: food. Apparently, this is what you need to eat whilst in Taiwan:

Pineapple Cakes

Bubble tea – this stuff is so much better in Asia than in North America. They use actual good tea and real fruit! I want some now… Also, bubble tea was invented in Taiwan. Amen for its invention.

Seafood-related dishes… including Japanese food! Taiwan is an island state so the seafood is fresh!

Hakka Lei Cha – The Hakka are an indigenous tribe that may have originated in North China but have migrated all over the world. Lei Cha is green tea with all sorts of ground nuts and herbs in it. Delicious warm or cold!

Taiwan has tons of cool tropical fruit. Try some fresh dragonfruit, rose or wax apples, papaya, starfruit, custard apples and giant watermelon (though it won’t be in season).

For more yummy Taiwanese food, check out this link!

Now to something skating-related. Taipei marks the return of these two:

And they will dance to these songs for their FD~!

I’m so excited!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Dreaming over a cuppa: Fantasy Programs ~Music~

I was working on this post for a bit and then I hit the “publish” button without realizing that I did so some of you might’ve seen a draft of this post. In any case, I have a bit more free time at the moment but no skating competitions to report on so I think I’ll try and write a few posts that have been fermenting at the back of my head since I started this blog.

For this post, here are a few songs I wished current skaters could skate to. Not that it would ever happen but it would make me ever so happy. I know that many fans have their own fantasy programs and I’d love to hear it! I’m in need for new music.

Tomas Verner – A hip-hop-y version of Peter and the Wolf

I really don’t know why I chose this music for Tomas. As far as I know, no one has ever done a full rendition of Peter and the Wolf a la hip-hop. I just randomly started humming the tune for Peter and the Wolf one day and wondered what it would sound like it got remixed and hip-hopped. I found the above video on youtube (and loved it to shreds) and somehow my mind instantly thought of figure skating and an imaginary program and Tomas happened to be the figure skater. Now that I listen to it, I wonder if it’s even possible to wrangle a program out of this. Oh well, one can still dream.

Patrick Chan – The Devil’s Trill

I often express disdain for Patrick Chan on this blog and I fully admit it. I will not, however, retract my negative sentiments. I often criticize a skater’s skating in hopes that they will improve and I only venture into the realm of their personality when it’s really, really aggravating. I’ve been annoyed at Chan for winning medals he doesn’t deserve and for making rude, ignorant or hypocritical comments but I will grudgingly admit that he has talent and potential. Unlike CBC and the judges however, I do not believe that he has fully developed the extent of his talent to deserve the marks he gets (and a 9 in interpretation!) but hey, I’m sure whatever I say will incur ire from someone, somewhere and verbal lambasting is a regular facet to the fans of this sport. Nonetheless, I will stand by my opinions. With every competition and media interview, Chan has a chance to prove that he is an able skater who deserves his marks and a person who is not a completely conceited and hypocritical douche.

Perhaps one day, when he is truly deserving and a polite and PR savvy person like his fellow countryman, Jeff Buttle, he will skate my fantasy program to Tartini’s “The Devil’s Trill”. Not the cheap Vanessa Mae version, mind you. Consider it a compliment that I feel that he is the only one at the moment who can express this music. Especially the fast parts that come up in the “part two” video.

Takahiko Kozuka – Music from Forrest Gump

I want a man to skate to this even though there are very gentle parts to it. Takahiko has the lines, edges and musicality. Let’s hope he develops his interpretation to do this justice.

Mao Asada – Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.1

I’m not completely satisfied with this choice because I want Mao to express more than soft, piano or classical pieces.

Kanako Murakami – Music from Don Quixote

This program would be more experimental than anything. It would be an attempt to draw out a less cute, but more mature Kanako.

Wenjing Sui and Han Cong – Music from The Nutcracker

I know that the Nutcracker can be a bit overdone but these two are at the right age and level of cuteness to pull it off.

Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szalkowy – ???

Just anything that would force Aliona to design herself a nice costume for once.

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir – If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz (Exhibition), songs from Casablanca, Benjamin by Yo-yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor

Link to download “Benjamin”

Yes, I know that both songs have been done before by Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto and Kurt Browning respectively but I wouldn’t mind a reinterpretation. You know that these two will make you squeal and fantasize about them being together if they skate to Jason Mraz’s “If It Kills Me”. =P

As for Casablanca, I think they’d do it justice after the shadow left by Kurt Browning and Sandra Bezic. Not to mention that if they come up with a less-than-perfect program, it’d be a huge insult to one of the best films in the history of film.

Benjamin was absolutely impossible to find on youtube but I happen to have the CD where the song is from. The track is simply dreamy and beautiful, just like Tessa and Scott.

Meryl Davis & Charlie White – Masquerade Waltz

I’ve loved this piece of music since I heard it back when Mao skated to it. I think it’s one of my favourite pieces of classical music, if not my absolutely favourite, which is bad for figure skating programs because I get really picky when it comes to things I love. I’ve watched almost all men and ladies singles programs and ice dance programs I could find on youtube and nothing satisfies me at the moment. I wish I could say that I want my favourite ice dance team, Tessa and Scott, to skate to this but alas, I feel that Meryl and Charlie will be able to express this best. They have the exuberance and wild passion that is needed for this music, while Tessa and Scott are more refined and elegant. So please, Marina Zueva, make my wish come true?

Maia and Alex Shibutani – Music from Kiki’s Delivery Service

Maia and Alex have the clean, crisp lines, elegance and the energy to express this music. It’s absolutely gorgeous and should not be condemned just because it was used in a children’s animated movie.

Anyways, I want to go back to my book now that I have time to read it. See you soon!

Please write down your fantasy programs if you have any!

~The Rinkside Cafe