Saturday, December 22, 2012

This and That



Children, we need to have a family discussion. I am worried that I am not well. For years, I hated Carolina Kostner's out-of-control skating and jumps that appeared to skim across the ice.  Over the course of her transformation and slowing down, I have fallen in love with the Italian ice queen. Though I oppose most non-Torvill-and-Dean Boleros, I adore this program. Dare I say I find this to be the most choreographically interesting long program of the season? Many will point out that the score is quite high (Nationals inflation), but the performance is quite impressive and much improved from her recent performance in Zagreb. And yes, she won Nationals again.

John Geddert tweeted that Jordyn Wieber wishes to return to the gym and compete at Nationals.  A recent article quotes Liang Chow as saying that Gabby will not compete in 2013. Many felt that it would be the opposite. It is interesting, as both gymnasts are headed on another tour to earn some well-deserved cash after their Olympic win. Recent photos of Jordyn Wieber have her looking in better shape compared to when I saw her struggle to land a 2 1/2 twist on an air floor at my tour stop. It looks like she has hit the gym since then and gotten trimmer. After the horrors of certain returning Olympics at 2009 Nationals, I don't expect much from either. It would be great for the sport to see Jordyn return after her Olympic disappointment (and a huge newspaper storyline booster/fluff piece waiting to happen), but she may need to train differently in order to save her body. Jordyn has another year of high school left, so training could very well be in order for her last year now that her friends will graduate without her. Gabby appears to be physically capable of returning to the gym. As long as either can be back by 2014 Championships, they should have plenty of time to prepare for Rio; whether they can make it back to the top of the sport is another story entirely.




Johnny Weir long wished to skate to Christina Aguilera. Here is his performance to Army of Me in the rain with rather curious hair. Are you still into the gender bending schtick?  The skating is probably the best we have seen from him in a while. Johnny heads to Japan to skate in their Stars on Ice tour in January and February.



A look at the Gym Dogs' sneak peak. Shayla Worley appears to be in the best shape of her collegiate career, yet I notice that they cut away from her bar routine prior to her dismount. Her archy Hristakeava looks slightly more usable than Tanella's FT, but I don't know if we will see either competing. Jay and Couch ditched their 1.5TYs for this intrasquad, but Jay does show another option. Lindsey Cheek looks ready to be a standout for the team on multiple events and they desperately need her. Cat Hires also looks like she will return to the vault lineup. Sarah Persinger is in much better shape than last year and looks quite capable of earning big scores. Chelsea Davis' vault is a bit small compared to the others, but we will definitely see her on bars again. The gymnastics world waits to see how this team will fare in competition. (Note that Mariel Box graduated and that Mary Beth Box now competes...and we all have about the same level of excitement for each.)





Making Olympic Trials and missing the team often motivates a few gymnasts. This year, the handsome Paul Ruggeri looks to be taking his experience and running with it. He appears happier and more confident in his gymnastics.




Dare Maxwell's transformation into a bars and beam specialist is coming along swimmingly. She finally appears to have achieved that elusive swing on bars that so many of the Americans lack. It is unlikely that she ever would've achieved it at Texas Dreams. Big clubs are great for many, but the more individualized approach seems to be working for the former junior elite. Her routine for JO competition looks fantastic. Having a ton of competitions under her belt should help when she makes another run at elite competition. I could definitely see her battling with Texas Dream Nica Hults for international assignments in the future.


Kostner's short.  The score was generous, but damn can she interpret music.


More videos from Italian Nationals

22 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be great if Caro defends her title? If she can incorporate a full arsenal of jumps I think she is a more complete skater than Mao or Yuna. I watched this old youtube video of triple-triple combinations 2007-8 and hers are the best. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyg12HNKHBw

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  2. Bravo, Carolina Kostner! I think this is the most exciting ladies program in a long time.

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  3. I love Gabby, but she is done if she takes a year off. She's either fooling herself or lying outright about her intention to compete in Rio. Did she learn nothing from what happened to Nastia?. She'll go through puberty, gain weight and become another failed wanna-be crossover celebrity, not unlike Nastia, Carly and Tara. It's a shame because I'm afraid she'll end up a flash-in-the-pan like Sarah Hughes and Carly Patterson. One and done indeed.

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    1. She hasn't gained a single pound on tour, though. It'll be so much easier for her to come back in a year if she doesn't have to lose 20lbs or adapt her skills to a new body. We'll see whether she decides it's worth it, but I don't think she'll have to fight her body like some of the others.

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  4. I agree that Carolina is the best skater among the current generation of female skaters. She is miles better than overscore queen Kim. However, Mao is pretty close to Carolina's level of skating. So, I think the 2013 worlds will be the showdown between Carolina vs Mao Asada.

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    1. The cold hard fact is that MAO got the season highest PCS even though she only nailed three triples in NHK TROPHY. Irrespective of whatever sacred and holy goal or passion Asada carries, this victory is none other than "a travesty of justice," "a total joke," and "bewilderment" as criticized by world famous figure skating commentators and journalists.

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    2. The point is the ridiculously unfair score of Asada, which harmed the very spirit of sportsmanship.
      Many other hard working American skaters who corrected their jumps (like Wagner,Zhang etc) look like fools.

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  5. OMG! I love Carolina Kostner! If she returns 2Axel - 3Toe she easily will beat Mao and Yu Na; but the program is great, it's the best program that she has done (personally, I prefer her Allegreto and L'aprés midi d'un faune)

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  6. IMO YuNa did not really bring it to that last competition, so I am holding off on assessing her for the time being.

    After years of being pissed off by her inflated scores, I too am being won over by Kostner. This Bolero is pretty cool but seeing it close up I think the footwork choreography at the end could be better - but that final jump - awesome!

    Oh Johnny. If he must wear those kind of costumes, whatever, but IMO his niche as a figure skater is that of grace and emotional sincerity (you really nailed it when you referenced John Curry, AJ), the flirty kinetic choreography may express his true feelings, and he does it pretty well, but I keep on thinking how much better Takahshi could sell that kind of thing.

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    1. YuNa has been regressing both artistically and technically since Vancouver. Honestly, she is no more the dominant skater that she was and I doubt that either Carolina or Mao would feel threatened by her at all. Anyways, my prediction for the next year's world podium is Carolina(gold), Mao(silver), and Ashley(bronze). Program-wise, Carolina has the best short & long programs this season and then Mao's long program is also great. Ashley's long program may not be as good as Carolina or Mao's. But it is certainly a lot better than the fake/forced so-called "artistry" program of YuNa's.

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    2. Speak like a true hater who is both threatened AND worried. After being denied and suffered so many years of disappointments year after year, do let out all that repressions and anger! Only until March '13 then is back to the cry pit and prayer room again for you.

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    3. Folks!! Keep dreaming.

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    4. Caro can't deliver the elements under pressure. she always takes the easy road. Poor jumping technique doesn't make her ''artistic skater'' automatically. Suddenly she became an artistic skater. ridiculous. Her Bolero reminds me of Plushenko.

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  7. I'm glad to see Kostner (or is it Mary Lousie Parker?) is wearing a dress this year ( and didn't wear purple!).

    As for winning Nationals...since I first began watching her in 2003, has her closest completion been Silvia Fontana?

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  8. Carolina skated very well at Nationals. If she skated like this at Worlds, she would be on the podium for sure and could even win gold. But will she? She rarely skates a clean long program and won last year only because others--Mao in particular--faltered. There is another European lady--Kiira Korpi--who has scored very well this year. I do like Carolina's Bolero--a lot--but I am not putting any money on her being able to duplicate this performance at Worlds.

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    1. If Caro skate after clean yuna or wagner, that would be disastrous. she is a mental midget. remember her catastrophe right after yuna's performance in 2009 worlds.

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    2. I don't think she will survive excruciating olympic pressure.

      she is already two-time loser.

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  9. I don't think it is right to attack Carolina and Mao like this just to defend Yuna. To be fair, both Carolina and Mao are great skaters in their own rights as much as Yuna Kim. Not everyone can adore Yuna only, and if some of the skating fans prefer Carolina or Mao as their favorite skaters, it is in their right to do so. Besides, it is not as if Yuna Kim is a perfection herself. She has weaknesses in her skating like spin and spiral positions, and her step sequences are the weakest in the current top ladies. So, let's not get too defensive and hope that the best performer of the night wins the gold medal at the worlds, whoever that may be.

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    1. I can't understand why you say about Mao speaking about Carolina. I hope you don't slander skaters you don't like. I wish you enjoy good performance itself.

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  10. I am glad Carolina is stepping up and hope all other ladies will follow suite now Yuna is back. They need to save ladies figure skating pronto.

    Good luck to all ladies. All I ask is fair judging based on solid content and no more funny businesses with winning by PCS. But who am I kidding? This is figure skating!

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  11. Now Kim and Caro are back strong, Wagner‘s dream is crashed.

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