Ice, Sweat and Tears

This figure skating documentary was on CBC recently. An entertaining watch that somewhat reeks of Skate Canada promoting Worlds and Canadian figure skating, though the choice to highlight Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers is a little bit confusing. Maybe they got picked because of Paige’s drive. It’s admittedly impressive. Nonetheless, Duhamel and Radford have a slim but possible chance at bronze if enough people screw up, hence my confusion. Anyways, without further ado…

All in all, the documentary was pretty cool in that it highlighted how hard figure skating is as a sport. Marina is also awesome and hilarious.


~The Rinkside Cafe

P.S. A Worlds predictions post is on its way.

Skate Canada Welcomes you to London, ON, Canada for the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships

As someone who is critical or perhaps a skeptic of nationalism (and a fan of Benedict Anderson), I find this video completely hilarious.


In any case…

World Figure Skating Championships
London, Ontario, Canada

Budweiser Gardens

March 10-17, 2013

Be excited.

~The Rinkside Cafe

The State of the Union – Pre-Euros, 4CC and Worlds

Ahhh! Euros are here already? Ok. Start!

In my head (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) the figure skating season (or more precisely, the ISU-sanctioned competitions) is divided into two. First you have all the Grand Prix events culminating in the Grand Prix Final and then we have the major international competitions: the European Championships, Four Continents and Worlds. (The Olympics are sort of an anomaly while the World Team Trophy is a cheesefest for the ISU to earn a little more money and by the looks of the last competition, a way to right a few erroneous results at Worlds, though the title isn’t as prestigious.) I divide the season like this because the two halves sort of run with slightly different rules or at least the placements get shaken up a bit.

The changes in placements don’t quite affect the top echelon of A-list skaters or the B-list and below but it does shake things up with the lower end of the A-list. This is partly because of the way the competitors are stacked up at each half. The Grand Prix events have few A-list skaters and so it’s pretty obvious most of the time who are podium contenders are. Some skaters don’t start out well early in the season and don’t make it into the final but are a force to be reckoned with in the second half. This is especially true if the skater is from a country with a strong figure skating union and has the union’s political support. In the second half, political support has a bit of a stronger effect on the placements. The ultimate cream of the crop  of the top GP contenders will likely get higher scores and/or placements while those who are slightly below may find themselves lacking even more points from their PCS. Sometimes, political support can change the placements between two contenders from the same country.

In any case, to make everything short, it’s a slightly different ball game when it comes to Euros, 4CC, Worlds and to some extent, the Olympics. This year, the World Championships take on another level of significance because the placements this season will determine the number of spots each country gets for the Olympics. So without further ado, here are a few comments on the state of figure skating just before Euros are about to start.

Carolina Kostner 2013 SP

Carolina beckons you in. More

Grand Prix Final 2012: Predictions

It’s the GPF! Aka the competition that’s really worth watching in the GP series. This year’s roster will provide ample drama on the ice and Kurt Browning has taken some time on this blog post to talk a little about each competitor. I agree with him on the most part and I’ll include a few highlights here:

On Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir’s FD:”The long program of Carmen on paper did not ring as such a good idea, but I love being wrong about something that turns out so right.”

On Takahiko Kozuka:”He is still my pick as best ‘skater’. Patrick has amazing feet and builds speed with ease, almost magical actually, but for blade magic it’s still Taka for me.”
So for those Chan-stans, even Kurt Browning thinks that there are others who surpass Chan in skating skills.

“My pick for a winner is….the audience. Get used to it, I’m not picking winners.”Only someone as congenial and magical as Kurt Browning can do this. That and he’s the most reasonable CBC commentator.

“A big part of me wishes that I still competed[…]” As someone who started watching figure skating when you were still competing, I wish you could still compete too.

In any case, onto the predictions!

Yuzuru Hanyu and Winnie the Pooh

Yuzuru and his Winnie the Pooh tissue box beckons you to read on… More

Cup of Russia 2012: Predictions

This week will be busy again so I’m writing these predictions quickly.


Even though Patrick Chan got defeated by Javier Fernandez at Skate Canada (shock!), I still think he has enough skating cred with the judges to muster a win here. Some interesting contenders for the rest of the podium would be the Japanese men, Nobunari Oda and Takahiko Kozuka. This competition could be really important for them since it could help the JFSA decide who the #3 Japanese man is. Oh yes, and Johnny Weir will be back and we get to see how he stacks up against some tough international competition here.


Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Takahiko Kozuka
Bronze: Nobunari Oda


The ladies competition could potentially be the contest of the young’ins. Adelina Sotnikova will have home ice advantage. In Russia. A year before the Olympics. In Russia. Alena Leonova had a really bad showing at her last grand prix but who knows what will happen. In Russia. That aside, Kiira Korpi is the only lady with a mature grace and may be able to medal here though she will face competition from some young ladies such as Kanako Murakami, who gave notice to not completely discounted when she won the bronze at Skate Canada. Gracie Gold is also on the roster but after her performance at Skate America, I’m not sure what to make of her anymore.


Gold: Adelina Sotnikova
Silver: Kanako Murakami
Bronze: Kiira Korpi


The two Russian teams have it to take the first two spots on the podium though the gold will undoubtedly go to Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov. If Vera Bazarova manages to get her tiny, tiny frame off the ice and land her jumps, she and Yuri Larionov can take the silver. If this is the case, the bronze should go to Caydee Denney & John Coughlin.


Gold: Tatiana Volsosozhar & Maxim Trankov
Silver: Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov
Bronze: Caydee Denney & John Coughlin

Ice Dance

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir will be back with their sexy Carmen which should propel them into gold. What will be interesting to see is the margin between them and Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov. Rumour has it that Elena’s with Morozov now and we all know what happens when a girl dates Morozov… The Shibutanis will probably fall victim to politicking on the eve of the Sochi Olympics but it’ll be fun to see their polka since I think their bright and happy feel/style should make for a good interpretation in the SD. Their “Memoirs of a Geisha” FD on the other hand, I’m not so thrilled.


Gold: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Silver: Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov
Bronze: Maia & Alex Shibutani

What are your predictions for the Cup of Russia?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Skate Canada International 2012: Predictions

Ok. I totally should be doing something else right now but I suppose I do need to do these predictions before the competition starts tomorrow as well. I also have a few comments on Tessa and Scott’s Carmen FD but those will have to wait until the weekend.

Prediction time! A picture of Tessa and Scott in practice beckons you in…


Beginning of the Season Predictions for Worlds 2013

I’m working on Skate America predictions, I swear but I figured it would be fun to make predictions for the World Champion at the beginning of the season and see how close or how far my predictions are many months down the road. I won’t make any silver or bronze predictions just because I’m so short on time (so many chores and other things to do!) and I need to write the Skate America predictions before the competition starts on Friday.

Let’s begin!

So just to remind you, Worlds will be in London, Ontario, Chanada Canada this year. The above picture is there for foreshadowing… More

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