Cup of Russia 2011: My hero

I was live-streaming the men’s long program for the Cup of Russia but the stream was really choppy by the time they got to the last 4 men. My stream was literally 2 seconds of figure skating, 10 second pause, skip, another 2 seconds of figure skating and… another pause. I had pretty much given up on watching and just ran the rest of the stream anyways just to see to the end. The video was so choppy that I had no clue that Jeremy Abbott was a headcase in his long because all I could see was the flow from the occasional transition movement that the stream decided to show me.

Jeremy’s program is rather interesting and intricate – though it looks too busy at some parts – and it was luckily awarded the PCS it deserved. This is a difficult program and I hope Jeremy can do it justice. I’m sure it would look a lot better without two big falls and a lack of concentration in the second half.

Javier Fernandez won the long program, though he did lose to Yuzuru… by 0.03. Wow. This guy is poised to win Euros this season though and I’m very excited for him.

As for Yuzuru, despite the two falls, this guy retains his lovely flow and all the elements look as if they’re joined seamlessly with each other. I’m really hoping that he’ll kick Oda off the Japanese National podium this year. He’s too talented to not make his mark at Worlds though right now, experience is what he really needs. He has youth on his side and even if he doesn’t make it to Sochi, I’m sure the Koreans would love his anime-esque face at Pyeongchang. As for my predictions, I’ve learned not to underestimate this guy. I’m sorry I doubted you, Yuzuru.

Overall standings for the men’s event at the Rostelecom Cup here.

I’ll post the list of people going to the final very soon.

~The Rinkside Cafe

Cup of Russia 2011: Pairs Long Program

Again, I don’t have a lot of time on my hands right now so I can only blog here and there. I watched the last 5 teams for the pairs competition but I’ll only blog about the top 3 because the rest of them were terrible and a pain to watch. I want those 15 minutes of my life back. I’ll post videos when they’re up but for now, you’ll just have to settle for my rambling. In any case…

Bronze – Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek

I just put a random team in the bronze position for my predictions because I really had no clue who these C-list teams were. The Russian team I put in bronze did come in fifth place but this team really took me by surprise. And in a pleasant way. Berton and Hotarek have yet to get all the technical elements to compete with the top teams in the world but there’s a real connection between the two of them and they’re quite lovely to watch. Stefania has lovely lines and they have a flow that some teams would die for. I’m very happy for their bronze and I hope they improve in time.

Silver – Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov

Something has changed with these two. Or should I say, Yuko seems to have improved by leaps and bounds. Her knees are a lot softer now and she looks less like a possessed psychopathic ball-jointed voodoo doll. I’m really glad they kept this program and that they’ve improved it because I really wanted to download it onto my computer for offline viewing but I couldn’t find a version I liked because of how it was skated. I was always too creeped out by Yuko’s floppy dead voodoo doll look throughout the program, especially in the ending pose. I dunno if they can beat Tanya and Max (my instinct says no) but I’m glad that they’re doing this program justice because it’s a lovely piece of work. I was rather impressed by the team’s new found flow and softness. I don’t know what Tamara Moskovina did, but I have nothing but respect for her right now.

Gold – Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy

Pina is a very interesting program. Aliona and Robin mentioned that it was one program that you either love or hate and I think I’m leaning towards the former. It’s creative and although it’s a bit of a work in progress, I’m having a lot of fun watching it. It’s quirky, interesting and unexpected and I think that’s what really pulls me towards it. Aliona and Robin didn’t skate this perfectly (Aliona stepped out of her 2A and put her hand down) but I have faith in these two and I know that this program will be uber awesome at future competitions. I’m very happy that they’ve redeemed themselves from that bronze medal at NHK. Good work, guys!

LP results here.

Overall standings here.

What did you think of the pairs competition at CoR?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Cup of Russia 2011: Predictions

November has been dragging on for so long that I completely forgot that the last of the grand prix events before the final is this week. Wow. Fail. Ok, here they are before I post them when the competition is halfway done. Also, you can also read my GPF competitor’s list predictions post here.


Javier Fernandez, Michal Brezina and Jeremy Abbott are the ones to watch here. All of them are potential headcases who can brilliant when they are spot on. I’m hoping that Yuzuru will prove me wrong and get his ass on the podium but he needs to work on his stamina for his LP, which is still beautiful, despite his mistakes. The field at the CoR for the men’s competition is actually pretty decent and this should be a very exciting competition. Not to mention that the first group of skaters won’t be that painful to watch. This is probably really dumb, but I haven’t checked the scores for any of these men while doing these predictions so my top 3 can combinations of any of the three men listed. Though I’m praying hard for a Yuzuru upset.


Gold: Jeremy Abbott
Silver: Javier Fernandez
Bronze: Michal Brezina


Mao Asada will be there! That’s all you need to know, really. Just kidding. Adelina Sotnikova should be a good contender for a medal here, though I can’t see her beating Mao unless Mao has headcase skates. I’m not sure if a silver is enough to earn her a spot in the final, which is a pity because that means she won’t be competing with Liza until Russian Nationals. To finish the podium off… um… Alena Leonova is a possibility, especially with hometown advantage. Kiira Korpi has polish that Alena can only dream of but she’s not as consistent. Which is kind of sad…


Gold: Mao Asada
Silver: Adelina Sotnikova
Bronze: Alena Leonova


A rematch between Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov and Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy should be super exciting. S/S haven’t been consistent all season and despite Yuko’s penchant to look like some crazy creepy jointed doll, K/S have been doing very well this season. I don’t think they’ll beat Volosozhar and Trankov at Russian Nationals but all they need here is a shaky skate from S/S to win gold. I haven’t really heard of any of the other teams here so I’m just going to put one of the random Russian pairs for my bronze predictions. Go ahead, surprise me. Though I’m not sure if I want to watch this competition live. Sleep is becoming hard to come by these days.


Gold: Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov (Prove me wrong, Aliona and Robin!)
Silver: Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy
Bronze: Katarina Gerboldt & Alexander Enbert

Ice Dance

Barring major injury, Davis and White should win. Even if they fall a few times, it wouldn’t really matter because the only team that can touch them is Tessa and Scott. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev should have an interesting battle for silver. Both teams have been doing very well this season and although I prefer the former, I wouldn’t be surprised if the latter has an advantage for being Russian and the current #1 Russian team. Ilinykh/Katsalapov is still not achieving the meteoric rise everyone expects from them and at the moment, Bobrova and Sloviev seem like Russia’s best hope for a gold at Sochi. Bobrova has very classic lines and reminds me a little of Oksana Domnina but this team needs to work on their FD. Kaitlyn and Andrew, on the other hand, has improved leaps and bounds and is skating with a wonderful speed and a new power that I’ve never seen before. (And their SD is the most watchable of all SDs this season.) I’d like to put my faith in the #2 Canadian team but one never knows with bullshit Russian judging. Though nowadays, the same could be said with a Canadian competition with Patrick Chan involved. Then again, it doesn’t really matter because W/P I think have enough points to get to the final anyways. Decisions, decisions…


Gold: Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Silver: Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev
Bronze: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

I’m slightly delirious and groggy as I’m writing this. Any comments on how crazy these predictions are?

~The Rinkside Cafe

The Senior Grand Prix Series is almost here!!!

Who’s excited??? Here are the dates for each of the events:

Skate America
Ontario, U.S.A
October 21st to October 23rd

Skate Canada
Mississauga, Canada
October 28th to October 30th

Cup of China
Shanghai, China
November 4th to November 6th

NHK Trophy
Sapporo, Japan
November 11th to November 13th

Paris, France
November 18th to November 20th

Rostelecom Cup
Moscow, Russia
November 25th to November 27th

Grand Prix Final
Quebec City, Canada
December 8th to December 11th
Entries – tba!