Saturday, December 15, 2012
The Return of Carolina Kostner
After months of injury and indecision, Carolina Kostner has returned to competition at the Golden Spin of Zagreb. Given the time off, she will have to get ready for competition very quickly with the Italian Nationals and European Championships approaching. This may not be her year to win, but it could pay off. In her long, Kostner attempted a Triple Lutz for the first time in several years and landed it despite turning out of it. She appears to be attempting a Triple Flip+Triple Toe as her third jumping pass and going for seven triples. While it is unlikely to all come together this year, putting the content out there may very well her in her attempt to win an Olympic medal.
It is noted that I have an aversion to anyone performing to Bolero, let alone singles skaters. I do not think the new rules allow one to capture the essence of the music, nor do I think the inevitable comparison to Torvill and Dean wins up being flattering to anyone. The music is best expressed by multiple performers in general, as it builds to its climax. My inner Tara Lipinski is noting that Carolina appears notably slower than past seasons, likely due to recovering from injury and time off. Inner Tara is hungry for the triple-triple. The program is far more interesting than anything Yu-Na Kim put out last weekend. My inner Dick Button is noting the rhythmic quality of the music and the very sexual climax of the music, which Carolina daringly expresses with a Triple Salchow after a long footwork sequence. The steps and choreography build in the second half, while the beginning is the quite vacant. An Oksana Baiul posing section before the second half will prove to be controversial. Many will complain that it is not true skating, yet I do feel that it works for the overall program. What she loses in transitions, she should gain back in interpretation, but the judges don't even use those marks correctly...so who really cares?
Two of Kostner's triples (salchow and loop) were deemed underrotated in the long, thus the toe loop and lutz were her only truly rotated triples. She managed 110.03 for the long and 64.99 for the short. Given a few more competitions, I expect her to improve quite a bit. It is unlikely that she will ever repeat the success of last season, but having her in the mix will certainly improve the depth and level of interest in ladies skating.
What do you make of Kostner's return? Will she be able to contend for a bronze? Can she be ready by Europeans? Does Bolero make your skin crawl? Discuss.