Monday, April 30, 2012

More Postcards From Camp

The only bar they'll see between now and tour.

Jenny Kirk's First Breakup

Jennifer Kirk's latest entry is beyond worthy of its own post.  Enjoy her spectacular prose.

Wesley Campbell Training Videos

Last fall, Wesley Campbell sent me a few videos of his training in order to show me his then-new programs which were choreographed by Robert Mauti.  Wes trained his ass off this year, but has a disastrous Nationals.  I've gotten his permission to upload these training videos, which show an interesting look at a skater training a daily run-through of their programs with their coach.  Wesley fought back in his long at Nationals, but this program may just be him at his best.  His Sectionals effort was interrupted by a nose bleed that required the program to be stopped.

Wes' program to The Mission is superb.  I especially adore the section of his program where he does a back spiral in almost an entire circle around the ice.  Those special, iconic moments that create texture in programs are not valued nearly enough under the IJS.  They are moments one takes away from a program long after viewing.  This was Wesley's own 'Jonathan Cassar Moment.'

His short to Aranjuez is also great.

Ironically, though she was pleased at the time, Wesley's coach decided that his programs needed to be taken up a notch the next day and described the effort as  'shit.'  His improvement as a skater was tremendous since his 2011 Nationals effort.  Wes has performed in numerous shows this spring and plans to keep skating next season.

This and That

Evan Lysacek's Performance at Stockholm Ice... Oddly, he seems a bit slow by his own standards.  It is nice to make a little money on one's diplomacy trip.

An interview with America's newest fake diplomat.  Try not to vomit during his programmed speech.

Postcards From Camp

Finnegan shows what Armine taught her during physical abilities testing.

USAG Posted that Shawn, Nastia and Chellsie weren't at camp due to their inability to show two complete sets.  It is interesting that Alicia is there, as she isn't back to complete form.  There are those who risk going to camp out of tip-top form to be compliant and those like Sloan who go whenever because they're known for peaking at the last moment.  The three veterans were always consistent at camp in their heyday and were used to finishing at the top of the rankings.  Expect them to show a few routines at Classics and or Nationals, regardless of motivations.  It will be curious to see which strategy pays off.

Anna Li is looking fitter than ever.  In fact, Anna looks fitter than 2009 World Champion Bridget Sloan, who is rumored to have upgrades on bars and floor.  It remains curious what Sloan can actually do, but she is known for pulling the rabbit out of the hat and winning unexpected titles.

Mustafina Interview

Latest reason to hurry up with mastering Russian.  I find her eyes and facial expressions even more fascinating than her gymnastics.

Question: Is that Nabieva seated with the other girls behind her?

Tatiana Nabieva was previously sent home to get in shape before being allowed to train with the National Team after a series of illness and injuries.  She was still considered on the short list of Olympic Team contenders.  The Russians are looking for an Amanar.  She is unlikely to rotate one fully, but one could think she has a head start on learning the skill over some of the other girls.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Desperate Times

This is what happens when Speedo and Red Bull no longer sponsor you.

...with soft cup you can EVEN have mess free intercourse on your period!

Sunday Funday Fluff

We hope maybe, maybe you can win.

Olympic Fluff---As good as a bucket of Blood Marys.

This and That

For those who missed it, the full broadcast of the 2012 NCAA Championships courtesy of NastiaFan101.

I love how camp always has the vibe of 'death row.'  The work probably isn't much worse than what is done among the other top nations, but the ridiculous vibe created by the national staff is always so entertaining.  We are lucky that Martha will likely never retire, as it would just be far too boring.

Ellie Black won floor at this underattended Grand Prix.  It appears that like Emily Kmetko, Ellie Black taught herself gymnastics at the local YMCA.  The talent is all there, while the technique is not.

Alicia feasts as camp.

Jiang Yuyuan and He Kexin shine in new Samsung Ads in China.  Will either make it to London?  One begs to know if they even get to keep any of their earnings.

Reliving Nagano- Part 2

A great fluff on creating a program with Sandra Bezic and even better---an interview with Michael Rosenberg on the role and importance of having a strong Jewish agent.  Several skates: Kwan, Lipinski, Bobek, Bonaly, Urmanov, Stojko, Yamaguchi, Hamill, Fleming, etc are discussed.  It is food for thought with skating's sister sport taking center stage this summer.  Of course, Roz notes that there has been nothing sacred since Sarejevo.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stars on Ice Halifax

There are no words for this program or a tour that went from selling out MSG to crickets...

At least the Canadians still love it.  Seeing the tour last year was quite the shame-based experience.

Jo Ro... I think I have a camel toe and a yeast infection just looking at this costume.

Romanian Status Update (And others)

Iordache won the AA of the tri-meet with Great Britain and Germany.  She continues to surge into Europeans and is helping Romania on the heels of Porgras' retirement.

Diva Cata: Queen of the Beam

As usual, Romania is keeping itself relevant during the Olympic year.  They continue to have a shot for a team medal, but individual success is more likely.

This and That

Aly Raisman signed an endorsement deal with GK.  If only her hair looked that good during competition.  Sadly, her turning professional means we may be stuck with her on the elite scene for another quad.

Peng Peng Lee won bars at Osijek World Cup.  There may not have been stiff competition, but she does look to be prepared to have respectable Olympic Games if all of the Canadians aren't burnt out from too many competitions and not enough training time since Worlds.  (Fun fact: Aunt Joyce gave the female commentator in the video a few ESL lessons last Christmas.)

Ellie Black, the talented but sloppy trickster, won vault.

in the water they can't see you cry: A Book Review

With such a great title and intriguing character (sweetheart turned Playboy model turned mother), I am left feeling somewhat disappointed after reading Amanda Beard's memoir.  I've read fantastic memoirs such as Agassi's, Maureen McCormick's, slightly average/below average like Johnny Weir's and countless ones not worth the paper they are printed on.  Amanda Beard's memoir hovers in the Johnny Weir category of a 'beach read.'

I vividly remember Amanda Beard as a fourteen-year-old affable charismatic sweetheart at the 1996 Olympics.  Given that her races and engaging fluff piece were sandwiched in between rotations of the Magnificent Seven's gymnastics meet, it is hard to forget that Amanda Beard made her father stop the car because a rolley-poley bug crossed the street or that she had four parakeets and two cats.  With a winning personality, smile and incredible talent, the sky was the limit for this starlet.  Yet, I also remember checking the newspaper for years for her name when reading results in the newspaper and wondering what happened for her for the years after Atlanta.  Like Moceanu, there was a growth spurt and personal turmoil.  Her father didn't attempt to murder her coach, but she did have real struggles of her own.

Amanda Beard makes it clear that her family doesn't discuss things.  Her mother left home one day and never gave a real explanation about divorcing her father.  We never learn why and that is just par for the course in Beard's life. (She keeps in touch with her mother, who attends all of her meets.)  One would never accuse Beard of being a scholar and neither would she herself.  A sufferer of dyslexia, Beard is far from an academic achiever, but she isn't a 'dumb jock.'  Beard has definitely done things her own way and learned from the school of hard knocks, yet it is difficult to ascertain whether she isn't very reflective or deep, or just a typical member of her family being reluctant to discuss anything private or touchy-feely.  Beard is typical of many seemingly happy successful people whether there is quite a bit of pain beneath the sunny disposition.

This and That

Camp starts today in New Waverly, TX.  Last minute withdrawals were had by Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.  Recently, Nastia has been looking and training better.  This marks the third camp that she has missed.  Martha was not pleased that she missed the last one.  What is interesting is that the gymnasts are expected to show two events at this camp.  Nastia is a two-event specialist.  It is likely that she is ready on beam, but is not in competition shape on bars.  Showing up at camp without a routine ready to win could cause doubt for all parties involved.  It is quite possible she could do beam at Classics and then two events at Nationals in order to buy time to preserve her shoulder and get into shape.  Time is the enemy for Nastia.  At this point, it is very important for her to be able to do at least one event at Classics in order to get back into competition mode, appease Martha and get her own confidence and mindset it order.  I fully believe she can pull it off if anyone can, but she has pushed things to the absolute wire.  Some of it can be due the timing of her comeback, but part is also due a shoulder that has been uncooperative.  I fully believe going to Nationals without at least doing a beam routine at Classics will be beyond costly.  One needs an opportunity to get competition jitters and the death of expectations faced by an Olympic Champion expected to be her former self Re: Shawn Johnson at 2011 Classics.  Nastia's beam is extremely valuable to Team USA in Team Finals, but it is worthless without a hot bar set.

It is curious for Shawn as the rumors continue that she will do a few events at Nationals because her book comes out that week, but she will likely not do Trials if it is unlikely she will make the team.  Shawn has filmed an alarming number of commercials lately based on photos and tweets she's posted, which is telling by how close it is getting to the Olympic Trials process.

In more shocking news, Ashley Priess has petitioned to Classics.  This is a girl who walked away from her best Olympic bid possibility.  Priess is her own bird.  It goes without saying that she may very well regret her previous actions.  Our mothers may be correct when they force us to do things we don't feel like doing in order to stave off regret later in life.  This is a huge addition and help to the CGA juniors who will get to see an Olympic try first hand.  It also brings a bar worker back to CGA and re-establishes it as a 'bar gym.'

Jordyn Wieber update.

Jenny Hansen continues quest.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sabrina Vega Mini-Documentary

Sabrina Vega: A Balancing Act from Lindsay Nimphius on Vimeo.

Olympic Fever.  They may be overestimating her chances, but she is a great gymnast.

Favorite Things Friday- The Nagano Edition

Understated Elegance.

(This is getting posted early because I'm exhausted.)

Michelle Kwan Moment- Winter

I haven't been able to post this for years due to youtube copyright issues.  This is one of my favorite Kwan performances ever and it is about time we get to celebrate this magic.

Kwan + Tori + Lori + Frank + Motivated by Tara = Win

Nastia Liukin Beam Training

There is plenty of hope!  This was filmed for Universal Sports' Countdown to London, which airs on a network no one gets anymore.

Beam is my favorite event to watch Nastia on and her new combination is stunning.  Nastia returns to camp this weekend after sitting out previous camps with a nagging shoulder issue.

I was very irritated with Nastia when she half-heartedly competed in 2009 despite telling us otherwise.  It is clear that she has been in the gym and is much more serious, focused, trained and fit than we've seen her since Beijing.  If there is anyone I want to make the Olympics, it's Nastia.  (I'm pulling for Maroney and Gabby too.)

Let the troll wars begin.

This and That

Jennifer Kirk has a new blog up that will focus on the lessons she's learned from skating and life.  Knowing Jenny for several years now, she is an incredible girl with a unique story and tons to offer.  It goes without saying that she is incredibly bright, insightful and skilled as a writer.  Her first blog entry tackles a life-long battle with perfectionism. Welcome Back, Ms. Kirk.

The European Championships will be held May 9-13 in Brussels.  The nominative rosters have been released, though Afanasyeva is on the roster despite it being announced she is sitting this one out.  This could be inconsistent Dementyeva's last chance to prove herself.

Pang and Tong vowed to keep competing at least one more season after a disappointing fourth place finish at Worlds.  With the Sochi Olympics looming, I think we'll see them in competition for the next two.

Feature on Daisuke Takahashi.  For a while, he didn't believe beating Patrick Chan was possible.  With the 2013 Worlds being held in Canada next season, it may take another trip to the World Team Trophy before he does again.

Kurt Browning is enjoying his first season as the headliner AND choreographer of Canadian Stars on Ice.

In TV news, both Make It or Break It and Battle of the Blades have been canceled.  Make It Or Break It almost didn't make it back this season and was only renewed for a shortened season due to it being an Olympic year.  Battle of the Blades is more surprising, as it always did respectably well in Canada.  In my opinion, Season 3 lacked the personalities of the previous two seasons.  Without Jamie Sale, Shae-Lynn Bourne or Katia, it was missing the familiarity of the pros.  The pros are the true stars of DWTS.  Had Jamie and David faced off, it could've brought some energy to the show.  The official reason for the show's cancellation is budget cuts, though the show's ratings did drop.

Make It or Break It's series finale airs May 14th.

Amanda Evora reflects her career.

It appears the JSF made Yuzuru Hanyu train with Orser to challenge him.  Training with Javier Fernandez will do certainly that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Breaking Pointe

This summer's obsession.  I've avoided the CW since I quit Tyra, but I will glad tune in for this.

Foray Into Adult Skating Update

Then (October):

Bronze MITF Test at the End of February (I was livid with myself for making a mistake on the darn three turn.)

A Month Ago:

Chloe Lukasiak Videos

Because we are obsessed and can't wait for Dance Moms to return, as scripted and staged as it may be.

The Classics: Don Quixote

Recently, I took some flack on Twitter for disapproving of Ashley Wagner's choice to skate to Black Swan this season.  My opinion is that one should avoid the great ballets if they lack the natural dance ability and extension necessary to portray a swan.  In fact, it drew comparisons in my mind to the awful 2000-01 season when two of the world's top ladies subjected us to watch Don Quixote, perhaps my favorite balletic work, being butchered, tarred and feathered throughout the course of a season.

Don Quixote is derived from Miguel de Cervantes' famous novel Don Quixote de la Mancha.  Most skating programs involve Don Quixote's attempts to woo Kitri, whom Don Quixote mistakes for his beloved Dulcinea.  Kitri is in love with Basillio, whom her father disapproves us.  Basillio stabs himself to convince Kitri's father to reunite them in love, before he agrees and Basillio reveal it was all a joke.  Kitri is young, flirtatious, mischievous and beautiful.

Don Quixote is one of the most famous and beloved Russian ballets.  It is an ideal program for a young disciplined Oksana Baiul or Sasha Cohen.  It was not prepared to be reduced by Robin Wagner and her off-beat, gangly muse.

It was also not prepared to be Irina Slutskaya's vehicle to flirt with her fat husband.

This and That: Part Two

Alexander Alexandrov explained why girls like Komova and Mustafina reach the top of the rostrum, while girls like Alissa Czisny do not:

“They have to be a bitch”…


No, she’s made of steel. Every fiber -Once she’s well prepared! And her breakdowns/ failures – those you just don’t see. She falls off the beam, sits down and sobs, gets up, tries again, falls again, and then once again dissolves into tears. She’s repeated this cycle countless times at each workout for many months in a row. She’s difficult! With all these girls it’s very difficult. But they are all atypical. Leaders are never easy.
Is Komova easier in this sense?
No, she is also very difficult. But this is just naturally how it works! Can an easygoing, complacent, docile kid who says, “oh well, it’s alright, I suppose…..” win the Olympic games? Never in my life!
Alexandrov bluntly stated “They have to be a bitch”…
Exactly, exclusively a bitch! It’s the law of sport!
Read all about the status of Mother Russia in the latest translated interview.  Komova will not do all events at sounds like she will do bars and beam.  Mustafina may or may not do floor.  Alexandrov himself claimed she was gifted at Russian Nationals.  Ksenia Afansyeva will miss the European Championships due to tonsillitis.  This is somewhat suspicious as she recently missed the tri-meet due to a minor injury.  It sounds like they will save the aging floor specialist until she needs to pound some landings this summer.  Whether Dementyeva or Paseka will replace her at the upcoming European Championships is a burning question.  Both could use the big meet tune-up.

Beth Tweddle will miss the European Championships due to minor 'keyhole surgery' on her knee.  This is certainly a hindrance to her Olympic preparation on floor, but it could mean even more hell for the girls who wish to challenge her on bars this summer.  There is certainly a change for the Russian girls to dominate bars in two weeks.  
Patrick Chan vowed to work on a new quad.  Good luck without his technical maestro.

I've really enjoyed watching Dare Maxwell regain her old skills and form on her youtube channel.  Dare is back at Dynamo Gymnastics, just managed to earn a spot to JO Nationals and looks to be regaining skills in earnest.  Tracking her journey has been most interesting.  It is also wonderful that Dynamo doesn't look to have changed an iota since Shannon and her scrunchies worked their wrists choreography until the tendons gave out.

Jade Barbosa does a Cheng:
A filmmaker is working on a documentary about Adult Skating and our particular brand of crazy.

This and That

Workout Wednesday with the Gym Cats.  You can make your own decisions regarding Taylor Rice's floor routine.

In surprising news, Ashley Priess decided to go to grad school at Alabama and use her fifth year of eligibility.  This is out of character for Priess, who said she would NOT return for a fifth year at the start of last season.  Priess infamously quit at 2008 Nationals after riding to the airport in a hot pink limo with MLT and friends.  Being a bars girl with more consistency than Shayla Worley, she had a decent shot of making the team in some capacity.  It may have been wise to go out on top while she could, as Priess is not exactly someone with a ton of skills left in her arsenal.  Still, this is a huge boost for Alabama.  The much-maligned Mary Lee Tracy attended the NCAA Championships (as she does almost every year) to cheer on her former students.

Handsome Homo Hunk Ioannis Melissanidis is making a comeback this summer's Olympic Games.  God Bless.  He will compete at the upcoming Osijek Grand Prix, which most European women will skip in preparation for the European Championships.  Peng Peng Lee will make an appearance.

If you can't beat em, join em.  Riazonova and Tkachenko are the newest members of Team Canton.  Bobrova, the skater like meat with no salt or pepper, and her partner and now training with Sasha Zhulin.  In more exciting news, Navka and Zhulin are back together.  Navka's estranged husband told the Russian newspapers that he never should have married her, which explaining her rough showing at the beginning of Ice Age.

Yuzuru Hanyu is now going to train with  Brian Orser.  Perhaps this could curb Javier Fernandez's reputation of being a hot partying Spaniard and lead him to have the stamina to make it through a long program late in the season.

A montage for the GAGE girls of 2004 done by Al Fong.  Note the fierce Soviet compulsory coaches who mold the young girls and prepare them for life with Armine.  The GAGE girls of the '80s and early '90s never had form or hands like that until Armine came and attempted to convince us all that it was politics that kept her off of the Olympic Team.  While her gymnastics may have been sloppy, she makes it a mission for her girls to be precise to the point of Ivana Hong-locklegged rigidity.

Larisa Iordache led the Romanian women to kick some French ass last weekend.  Iordache, Ponor, Izbasa and Bulimar are expected to make the backbone of the Romanian Team.  Ironically, it looks like they may have to take Raluca Haidu as a bars specialist, as she is one of only two Romanians to break 14.00 on bars.  Low Standards.


Iordache- UB, BB, FX
Ponor-  BB
Izbasa- VT, UB, BB, FX
Bulimar- BB
Chelaru- BB, FX
Racea- BB, FX

Dufournet- VTUB, BB

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Russian Gymnastics Training

You know you have Olympic Fever when you watch the same training clips on different networks hoping to see just a few new shots and skills.  This one has quite a few.  Note that Komova and Mustafina never appear to be smiling together.  Aliya's eyes desire to cut that bitch once the team competition has ended.

The Cold War is back on!

Times may change, but Round Lake will always be delightfully ghetto.

Off Topic, but let us celebrate Diva McKayla Maroney, a girl who could fit in with the fiercest bitches of Mother Russia.

Dante's Prayer

Which performance was your favorite?  I can spend hours, days, years watching this program and it never gets old.  This was Michelle at her absolute peak.  Which move is your favorite?  The running on the toe picks gets me every time, but the Frank Carroll edges and Lori Nichol oozing blends with the music and Michelle's interpretation to create a magical and truly winning combination.  It makes up for the butch haircut that will never be forgotten or lived down.

I will take her loss at the 1999 Worlds, as frustrating and unfortunate as it may be, to have seen this program the millions of times ABC, NBC and FOX chose to bring it to us.

Reliving Nagano- The Ladies Part 1

It was the best of times for figure skating.  The personalities were like no other.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It may be an unpopular opinion...

but I'm THRILLED Kat Ding won floor.  The judges it gave it to a girl who has the best combination of performance, unique tumbling, great amplitude and someone who makes gymnastics fun.  Kat's pure love for the sport is infectious. Frankly, I thought Hollie Vise deserved to win over flexed-footed Brittani McCullough two years ago.  Add me to the top of list of people who aren't crying over Elyse Hopfner Hibbs' loss with a double tuck mount.  (I would've been fine with a tie.)

NCAA EFs - Semi-Awake Live Blog!

Live stream on ESPN3
Live scores
Start list
@CattyComments on Twitter

Kittens it's hangover day! Grab a mimosa and curl up with moi, Catty Comments, as we recover from the Supah Six afterglow with a nice slow, long, event finals.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012 Super Six Videos


For those of us who don't get ESPN3!

Was this even better...

NCAA Team Finals - Supah Six Live Blog!

Live stream on ESPN3
Live scores
@CattyComments on Twitter

Kittens, Catty Comments here! It's time for the excitement! The egos! The beam dwama! The leo fashion! It's... SUPAH SIX!!!

From Russia, With Love (Tri-Meet Results and Videos)

Komova in training.

Russia dominated the tri-meet as expected, though it was just a warmup for some of their girls who are not at full difficulty.  Grishina's falls on beam keep Dementyeva a viable Olympic candidate.  Sidorova only vaulted a Yurchenko Double Full, yet is expected to have an Amanar.  Paseka got a respectable vault score, but it won't be enough to combat Team USA in Team Finals...especially since the Russians tend to fall on occasion.  Grishina left out a bars transition and hit. Thank you to Lifeje for results:

Vault : 
Paseka 14.70 
Grishina 14.85
Mustafina 15.20
Sidorova 13.40
Dementeva 13.65

Bars :
Mustafina 15.30
Grishina 15.40
Dementyeva 14.30
Paseka 13.95
Komova 15.85

Beam : 
Mustafina 15.15
Grishina 13.80
Dementyeva 15.00
Sidorova 15.05
Komova 15.25

Floor : 
Mustafina 13.30
Grishina 13.65
Dementyeva 13.60
Sidorova 12.90
Paseka 12.15

Competition videos after the jump.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fabulous Russian Drama (Bolero)

Irina Perren and Peter Tchernyshev

God Bless Ilya Averbukh and all of his money for bringing us fantastic television! This is what happens when fierce anorexic ballerina bitches meet hot Russian skating hunks!

Sadly, if this show were to ever reach American airwaves, Sherri Shepherd would need to be playing the role of the 'ballerina.'

I Die.

Shayla should've been Gretchen...

Favorite Things Friday--Our Mighty Problem Children

Celebrating our rebellious favorites who keep it interesting!

World Team Trophy- Ladies Short Videos

Kanako Murakami

This and That

Meryl put on her party dress and Marlie leads with a sizable lead after the SD.  Though Voir earned two level 3s vs Marlie earning one level 3 and one level 4 on their rhumba sequences, one gets a sense that Marina and Igor may make sure the pendulum swings the other way to appease everyone in Canton.

Daisuke Takahashi beat Patrick Chan in the short program at the World Team Trophy after Chiddy went down on a Triple Axel.  Jeremy Abbott is third after a clean, but quadless short.  Carolina Kostner won the short, Akiko Suzuki finished second, Kanako Murakami was third, Gracie Gold fourth after a step out on a Triple Lutz, Ashley Wagner stumbled to fifth and Adelina Sotnikova is currently sixth.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Status Update: Team Canada

The Canadian women traveled to Brazil last weekend to test out the favorites for the Olympic Team. Victoria Moors was scheduled to compete with withdrew.  She previously won silver on floor at the Zibu World Cup and looks ready for some training before Nationals and Trials.

The new girl being buzzed about is Ellie Black.  Talented, but sloppy as hell, she is someone whose difficulty could get her on the Olympic Team.

100 Days

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Favorite Things: 100 Days Out

Awesome Dawesome.

Let the excitement begin!!!

This and That

(The way we were for Team Chan...)

Patrick Chan parted ways with coach Christy Krall this week.  Speculation is abound after Krall resigned due to her role on Team Chan being de-emphasized.  This marks the second coach to resign from Team Chan, as Don Laws previously relieved himself from his duties.  Chan's decision to de-emphasize his coach is questionable, as he was a most inconsistent skater who struggled with Triple Axels and was unable to land consistent clean Quad Toes prior to Krall's tutelage.  Now, Chan is an inconsistent skater who wins on the basis of his Quad Toes, Triple Axels and inflated second mark.  This does not help the skater whose victory at the most recent World Championships was met with boos from the French crowd.  If ever a skater is in need of a PR manager, it's Patrick Chan.

Last week, the diving world lost a hero in Mark Lenzi.  I remember Mark from the 1996 Olympics where NBC aired a fluff on him that really illuminated the need for an athlete to enjoy the process.  Lenzi spoke about feeling empty after his fifteen minutes of fame were up upon winning gold at the 1992 Olympics.  Lenzi came back to competition and captured bronze in Atlanta.  Lenzi died following a two-week stay in intensive care after his blood pressure dropped.  This is a tragic loss for diving and the USOC.

Viktoria Komova and Aliya Mustafina continue on their comeback trail following injuries suffered in 2011.  Mustafina has returned to form on bars, but still appears to be lacking strength and stability in her knee.  Recent clips show Mustafina wincing in pain during every attempt at a standing arabian on beam.  If ever an athlete was capable of willing herself back into top form, it's Aliya Mustafina.  Komova appears to be escaping puberty unscathed and looks stronger than she did last fall.  Komova recently underwent minor surgery on her ankle to increase blood flow and prevent bone death.  Both starlets are scheduled to compete at a 'friendly tri-meet' this weekend, as Mother Russia selects its team for the European Championships and begins its drive toward the Olympic Games.  The Russian coaching staff has made it known that the team is in dire need of Amanars to compete with the Americans.  The pressure is on.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Agony & Ecstasy: A Year with English National Ballet

Here is a fabulous docu-series about a year with the English National Ballet.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Поздравления, Joy Womack!

Joy Womack is about to become the first American to ever graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

Read the story.

The Easter Bunny's Favorite Things

A great pair: Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev's Don Quixote

The most evil compulsory beam routine ever.  Imagine any of the girls from today doing this routine.  It is how we'd weed out the uglies.  Take your picks.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The 2012 World Figure Skating Championships Recap

The 2012 World Championships in Nice were a moderately successful event.  It is baffling that an arena on the gorgeous French Riviera is so lacking in bathrooms for crowds and uncomfortably warm for the skaters.  Things haven't changed much with the arena since the Worlds were last bestowed upon the flamboyant French people, but the sport has certainly taken a nose dive in popularity and prize money.  Seeing so many empty seats in the arena during the short programs was another indication that despite the push for a 'more objective' judging system by obsessive compulsive purveyors of the sport, audiences are increasingly bored and alienated.  In order to create interest in a sport, there needs to be media interest.  Skating used to be a wonderful sport to write about because it was easy.  Athletes landed jumps, got marks from judges from countries and were given ordinals.  "It rained 6.0s" was something easy for sports editors to employ and attention-grabbing for readers.  No one can keep track of what a 200 or 210 means in the sport anymore, especially when the scores have no correlation from year to year.  Yu-Na Kim's scores in Vancouver are utterly meaningless, as elements come and go, jump values change and the sport remains a tragic joke.

While they are going on, the World Championships have a way of being dramatic and seeming vitally important.  Looking back, there are some things to take away from the event.

NCAA Gymnastics Regionals - live blog until the bittah end

Kittens, Catty Comments here! It's the most... wonderful time... of the year! April Madness! Can Dickerson of Florida go over 8.475 on beam? Can the entire Bruin fanbase will their team to stay on beam with champagne and Vicodin? Can Shayla can jump to the high bar? Stay tuned!

Gymnastike has the best centralized page so far with all of the links. I'll add any other good ones up here.
Regional links galore via Gymnastike

All times are left coast. It's time to brunch! Er, rumble! Whatevs.

1:12pm - We're getting a very soulful, awesome national anthem from the NC regional, the only regional for the next hour. Thank you Mr. Rob Douglas! And heyo - the gymnasts have rotational "escorts" who are "gentlemen" from the NC State NROTC. This makes the Catty very happy. Prrrr...

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Latest From Joy Womack

For those of you who remember, Joy Womack was featured in the NY Times Online for her studies at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.  Joy is a very pure spirit who really loves what she does.  It is inspiring to track her progress, as she is living her dream in Moscow.  Joy has a tumblr and posts updates on youtube.  It is amazing to see how her technique, physique and talent have grown since she was featured in the NY Times.

Her latest performances and her Romeo and Juliet Acting Exam are after the jump.

The Dances of Dance Moms Season 2

Why Nia doesn't get to do the trio...

You know you watch.  How do you rank the girls?  Is Abby a bit more honest than she appears?

Which group dance is your favorite train wreck?

A Kiss From Jesus

Hurt Them First

Favorite Things Friday

The disco king.

A work in progress.

The definitive Scheherezade was not a program by Yu-Na Kim or a hot mess choreographed by Kawahara, it is a masterpiece performed by Sir John Curry.