Monday, August 30, 2010

This and That

Polina Shelepen continues to represent all that hate about Mishinish skating. While he is not her coach, his influence is readily apparent. The gangly stork lacks any positioning throughout the program and makes no effort to be aesthetically pleasing. She can jump and will likely earn high PCS scores one day as the result of being a strong jumper and born in Russia. "Swan Lake" is much more akin to "Stork Swamp" and her homage to a Russian Jewish Fantasy program makes Slutskaya's look positively brilliant by comparison. Her speed and edges aren't even noteworthy, which makes one wonder what positive things Sandra Bezic will ever be able to say about her skating when she inevitably reaches the upper echelon due to her jumps and powerful federation. Even her storied jumps lack flow and are rather ugly in appearance.

She skates even fuglier than last year. At times like these, we really need Dick Button in the commentary booth.

Other Skaters:
Rosa Sheleva- SP, FS
Yretha Silete- SP, FS
Yasmin Siraj- SP, FS

Andrei Rogozine- SP, FS
Jason Brown- SP, FS
Max Aaron- SP, FS

GoldenSkate has a new feature posted about Elizaveta Tuktamysheva.

Marlie held court as the HBICs of Champs Camp.

Champs Camp update on Mroz, Rippon, Hochstein, Chock and Zuerlein and Joubert.

Caroline Zhang told Lynn Rutherford that she is working hard on the areas of criticism in her skating. She has been working with Tammy Gambill on the high kick in her jumps, adding speed to her double axel, improving the speed of her skating and correcting the take-off edge of her lutz. She notes that there is a difference, which one of her former training partners has confirmed for Aunt Joyce. That former training partner also noted that Zhang and her mother have a much more agreeable and mature attitude in the rink. As an added plus, she is not using Lori Nichol for choreography this season. Zhang has gone back to Tom Dickson for her short (Libertango) and is using David Wilson for her free skate (Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B Minor.) Failing to make the Olympic Team looks to have smacked reality into the former phenom.

Chinese Nationals Event Finals

Sui Lu captured gold on beam and floor.

Balance Beam:
Zhou Jiabei (coached by Ling Jie)

Floor Exercise:

Parallel Bars:

Adi Pop visiting the Chinese National Training Center to work with the girls on choreography in July:


  1. Ewwww at Polina's choreo and music cuts! Why does it go into techno for swan lake?!

    Also, I see she's raided Johnny's closet.

  2. Sui Lu's gold beam routine is awesome. She actually has solid turns!

  3. The Polina issue will sort itself out. She has to improve to overcome the ladies with more polish - in Russia alone there are 3 or 4 who are way more polished with a similar jump arsenal. If she doesn't improve I have no doubt that the Russians will politick her away.

    Right now I wouldn't be too hard on her though. She grew a lot in just a year, that makes everything look gangly and unfinished.

    I liked that both her's and Shevela's long programs were very age-appropriate in age-appropriate dresses.

  4. Amen about the Polina issue sorting itself out. And I also feel some of its just gangly ness that may change when she gets use to her body. As for her jumps they actually feel shaky to me. Its not like Dave, Polina is the only Russian girl with jumping ability. They've got a LOT of them coming up. Heck Polina's own training mate who will be eligible for Junior next year, is wonderfully has jumps and gorgeous spins/spirals. Julia Lipinskya is her name. The Russians may politik hard for their skaters, but there's no way they are going to politik for Shelepen if they have better skaters to choose from. If you look at her results at internal competitions, I'd hardly say Polina Shelepen is a favorite of the Russian federation. She'll have to improve or she'll be out. At the very least I doubt she'll be a number one girl.

  5. Polina was gangly, awkward and a mess before she grew last year. Sometimes, you just have to face facts. She has never been a skater with great line or expression.

  6. Slutskaya and Volchkova both had levels of hideousness that never truly worked themselves out.

  7. Really, I don't know why some think Polina is the shiznit, everything that stands out in her skating is bad, as AJ mentioned. Polina is on her way to becoming a female Plushenko. An innate style of skating usually emerges at this age, so this is likely hers unfortunately. For example, Kwan developed an unique/ special quality in her skating at the same age.

    Does FS need more crappy presentation and jumps galore passed off as artistry? Only if they want to lose more viewers. If this is indeed Polina's style, my nightmare would be Polina winning OG in Sochi. Russian skaters already will have advantage of being on home ice, plus their fed will be politiking like crazy.

  8. OMG, I had never seen Adriana Pop in action before. It's horrific. I get that she's helped the Chinese to be more expressive, but she's grotesque.

    That is NOT the kind of dance the Romanian artistic gymnasts were learning when she was a rhythmic gymnast. Who ever thought adopting her movement style in WAG was a good idea?!

  9. Zhang and her mother are more mature now? I'm impressed. I wish Caroline the best of luck. Her 11th place at Nationals last year could have caused her to quit, but she overcame that well it seems. Whatever she looks like, good for her for taking steps to try to improve herself and her skating.

  10. Caroline has always been slow with the weirdest jump technique in skating. If she has improved those areas even a little, I'd be impressed by her and her coaching staff.

    I liked Polina last year... Now, not so much. Those music cuts?!?!

  11. There was nothing swan-like about that swan lake. talk about a COP program from Hel. she flapped around like a frantic goose between all those transitions.

  12. Polina Shelepen decided to stay in Juniors to work the kinks out of her skating. She is not finished-she is a junior. I mean it is not even worth saying that if you don't like her don't worry because there are other Russian girl because of the fact that this is just juniors and there is no guarantee at all that she will emerge. Tuktamysheva is debuting next week and SHE is treated like the star of the future but even she is still a junior.

    Ksenia Makarova is nothing to be tossed aside!

    The training mate of Shelepen is Julia Lipnitskaya.

  13. Skaters' styling rarely change that dramatically. Kwan, Cohen, Nagasu, Zhang, etc were all similar to how they are as seniors as juniors. Same with Yamaguchi, Lu Chen, etc. It improves a bit, but there was already an emphasis there as juniors.

  14. I beg to differ, i think nagasus jump technique has changed a lot since switching to Frank Carrol. Other aspects of her skating has changed as well