Thursday, December 2, 2010

This and That

Volosozhar and Trankov's long program at the the Russian Regional Championships.  They are already world class after a few short months.  It is amazing how much better they both look in the new partnership. Their split triple twist is out of this world.  Their pair spin obviously needs work.

The NCAA Preseason Rankings have been released.  The rankings mean absolutely nothing, but always manage to ruffle a few feathers.


  1. UCLA
  2. Alabama
  3. Florida
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Utah
  6. Stanford
  7. Georgia
  8. Oregon State
  9. Michigan
  10. Nebraska
  11. Arkansas
  12. LSU
  13. Missouri
  14. Penn State
  15. Auburn
  16. Denver
  17. Illinois
  18. Boise State
  19. Arizona
  20. Southern Utah


  1. Stanford
  2. Michigan
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Illinois
  5. California
  6. Ohio State
  7. Penn State
  8. Minnesota
  9. Nebraska
  10. Iowa
  11. Temple
  12. UIC
  13. Air Force
  14. William & Mary
  15. Army

I may be the last person on Earth without a Wii, but I definitely want to be invited someone to play the Shawn Johnson game.  It looks like it could be great fun.  Then again, I do suck at video games.

Lu Shanzhen told IG that China underestimated the strength of the Russian Women going into Worlds.  He had seen videos of their Amanars but thought they were sloppy and would be devalued.  Lu claims that Huang Qiushuang trains an Amanar, but he wouldn't let her compete it due to her having a leg separation during the preflight.  Jiang Yuyuan also still trains it.  He said the Chinese had no choice but to go for full bar difficulty in finals due to Mother Russia's advantage on vault.  He excepts the Chinese to have several 6.5 vaults by 2012.

Deng Linlin, Sui Lu and Jiang Yuyuan will compete at the Toyota Cup next weekend.

Fun Fact:  Donkey Kong Country is the only game Aunt Joyce has even beaten.

AT&T posted the latest USA Gymnastics: Behind The Team.

The beautiful and sharp Sonia Bianchetti continues to be the voice of reason for the sport of figure skating.  Read her latest thoughts on the Grand Prix.

Jeff Buttle and Jeremy Abbot practice backstage at Improv Ice.

Jeff Buttle at Improv Ice

Ryan Bradley is a Dirty White Boy

Jeremy Abbott at Improv Ice


  1. What do the national team girls all say at 1:55 in the behind the team video? I can make out a few words but not too many. And why do they say it? And what is the point of all standing in a line before/after practices?

  2. They say, "Thank you Marta, coaches, National staff. Good bye".

    I guess it's just done out of respect, and as a way to wrap up the training session.

  3. Am i right in guessing that the rankings on the men's teams only go to 15 as their are only 15 teams?

  4. That Shawn Johnson game reminds me of the Barbie Team Gymnastics computer game I used to have. Same exact concept and execution (except using the keyboard arrow keys in combination to have the skills done properly). I really wish they would choose another pose instead of Shawn's stiff switch ring.

    I wonder if the Chinese really will have several 6.5 vaults to pick from come 2012. Or if any of them will be consistent.

  5. The Chinese coach had a point in that if he thought the skill (Amanar) is not yet mastered then they shouldn't throw it in competitions yet. Is he implying that the Russians were overscored? Or is he saying that as an explanation as to why they didn't win at Worlds? Were they even the favorites going into Worlds?

  6. I disagree. V/T are boring as hell. There's no 'IT' in their skating. Russian coach is destroying them.

  7. Volosozhar is very good at disguising two-foot throw landings as one foot. And she has always been great a triple twists. If she had more personality and expression, I'd be completely sold. I don't like the cut of Romeo and Juliet they are using, but it's not a bad program. The battle of the Ukranians (her vs Savchenko) will be fun at Worlds.

  8. I'm trying to figure out what I don't like about the V/T program. Is it slow? I don't know. Not exciting enough? Maybe a lack of "it" factor? I don't know because they are both beautiful skaters. There's just something about them that I don't know that makes me want to root for S/S instead.

  9. Is Alabama really better than Florida?

  10. Lu Shanzhen is a little cocky. They were scrambling to get 3 DTYs for Worlds, never mind have a bunch of 2.5s ready for 2012. But we'll see. JYY had a good 2.5 leading up to Beijing, then got injured and crashed it every time there.

  11. I liked V&M's program and was impressed by them as a new team but I've got to admit I kind of missed her with Morozov. Steuer did some interesting programs for them and even if he did look a bit like Herman Munster on ice their programs always used to have some emotional impact. Plus their throws were so outstandingly huge that when Steuer choreographed them on a huge musical crescendo or swell you couldn't help but catch your breath. I thought at the beginning with the twist being so big that their throws would be too so I was a bit disappointed.

    I'm not sure I'm sold on the choice of music and they're going to have to work very hard to make me even notice he's there because I much prefer watching her. He and Mukhortova were dull, dull, dull so I worry that they're going down a similar route instead of what she did with Morozov/Steuer.

    Still, if they beat Kavaguti and Smirnov all season then they can skate to four and a half minutes of fingernails down a chalkboard for all I'd care! Anyone other than them as Russian number ones would be a good thing!

  12. Shawn Johnson, a powerful, mucley little fireplug. The Shawn Johnson avatar, a skinny, muscle free, string bean. What's up with that?

  13. @Anonymous at 7:26PM
    It's not Shawn it's your (the player's) avatar. Shawn is your coach.