Predictions: Grand Prix of Helsinki 2018

yuzuru 18 worlds lp

Work has gone from 0 to 100 in a very short span of time, I’m slightly sleep deprived, trying to keep up with my social calendar, while planning my vacation for next week. (I’ll be in Japan during the week of NHK! Is figure skating popular in Okinawa too? A tropical paradise doesn’t seem like a place where figure skating would be super popular…) You can say that life is a crazy whirlwind for me right now. Names on page predictions this week for the Grand Prix of Helsinki. Onwards!

Men

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu
Silver: Mikhail Kolyada (can win gold here – Hanyu doesn’t really start out strong on his first GP)
Bronze: Boyang Jin

Potential spoiler for a medal: Jun Hwa Cha

Ladies

Gold: Alina Zagitova (it pains me to say this considering how her programs are so… blah)
Silver: Kaori Sakamoto
Bronze: Yuna Shiraiwa

Pairs

Gold: Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert
Silver: Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise
Bronze: Tae Ok Ryom & Ju Sik Kim (Is it weird that I’m kind of hoping that the North Korean cheerleading squad will show up?)

Ice Dance

Gold: Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin
Silver: Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri
Bronze: Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter

Confession: Sara Hurtado & Kirill Khaliavin’s FD to Pink Floyd and Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times is a guilty pleasure kind of program for me. I don’t like the music cuts but the campy drama? I live for it.

What are your predictions? And any Japanese readers have any recommendations for things to do/try in Okinawa?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Advertisements

European Championships 2015: Highlights and Recap

kavaguti smirnov euros 2015 spThe World Championships are looming ahead and I finally have time to sit down and catch up. First up: Euros. Let’s get right down to business, shall we? More

Mid-Season Favourites

I won’t bother typing a post for the roster for the GPF because there’s a wikipedia page for that. It has a pretty table and a more effective and succinct way of showing you all you need to know. Instead, I’ll write a post on my favourite programs of the season this far since the majority of skaters have shown us what vehicles they want to use to propel them to the top.

kavaguti smirnov sa 2014 lp

Men

Yuzuru has yet to perform this program clean in competition but I loved this program since I saw it in exhibition form so I will put this as my favourite SP of the season so far. I adore the use of spread eagles and just the slow and graceful pace of the choreography. Yuzuru and Jeff Buttle are just magic together.

I’m not a huge fan of when coaches try to get skaters to skate like others but I find this combination of Kazakh pride with Patrick Chan-esque intricate transitions compelling. Although memorable is a double-edged word (certain terrible things can be just as memorable and good things), I think that this program has the potential to be memorable in a pleasant sense.

Ladies

I like this program mostly since I do think that it does well to combine the natural personality of the skater with the music and the choreography, despite the mistakes. I do hope that Zijun skates this to its full potential and doesn’t give up midway through after a huge mistake. There are a lot of beautiful soft moments in this program that I think she can perform very well so I will wait until that time comes.

Without a doubt, my favourite long program of the season is Satoko Miyahara’s Miss Saigon LP. Just watch it.

Pairs

I like the mystery and introverted quality of this program and I think that this team has what it takes to do it justice. It may not be the most stunning thing ever but it’s definitely a lot more interesting than most of the programs out there.

The angst. The drama. The stomping. The throw quad salchow. This program is so epic. Tamara Moskvina is a genius.

Ice Dance

I’ve been less than impressed with a lot of the flamenco SDs this season and I’m not sure why. Most of them have been underwhelming or the costumes are too distracting or that nothing really shines through. Sara Hurtado & Adria Diaz have an SD that gives a good flamenco flavour without it being too cheesy, which is why it makes this list.

I try not to pick the same skater or team for my favourites list but this is hands down my favourite FD of the season so far. This dance can so easily get cheesy but somehow this love theme and the choreography works, flowing smoothly from one type of love to the next. I really love how this team pushes the boundaries every season with really creative programs.

What have been your favourite programs this season so far? Let me know in the comments!