Tuesday, September 6, 2011
This and That
A new Yu-Na Kim documentary surfaced. Like many of you, I check Blazing Blades religiously. I don't know a lick of Korean, but I was still captivated by this gem. As expected, any scene of Yu-Na working with David Wilson is a total gem.
The nominative team for the US World Team was released:
Alt: Sabrina Vega
Word is that Chellsie Memmel isn't training much at camp. It could be the Memmels trying to play it safe after the bars debacle at Nationals. One always has to wonder how long it will be before Chellsie rips a shoulder or injures an ankle again. The nominative team is surprisingly well-rounded, which means that Martha and Kathy Kelly are likely sending a message that Memmel needs to get a bar routine if she wants to make the team. Given Chellsie's driven nature, it may be a battle of head and heart over the court of the next three weeks. If Shawn continues to plug away and the other girls go down with an injury, anything is possible. Martha may also be playing games by naming Macko to the nominative roster. Macko recently returned to Gainesville. Given the Gators' history of peaking during the preseason, Martha may not realize that she could be in the perfect place. Whether or not Macko finishes this semester is anyone's guess, but it would not be above Martha to name her to the squad to keep her in Illinois for another year. It is important to note that Anna Li isn't even an official member of the national team. Nastia Liukin is at camp on the selection committee and looking thinner since Nationals. As one of my friends put up, "it's just a tad fucked up that she is on the committee, eh?" Recent photos of Nastia show that she's ditched the weave and is looking less and less like a country singer. With veterans returning and the Olympics around the corner, things are about the get very interesting.
Steve Disson is planning another tribute show. This year's edition is for the US Ladies over the years. It will be difficult for them to look toward an optimistic future at the end of the show, but that is another story. These shows are notorious for skimping on appearance fees. Last year's show paid every skater exactly the same fee, which really didn't work for most champions with bank accounts. Notice that many high-profile former greats attended and didn't skate. Michelle Kwan was able to use school as an excuse, yet she has found time to fly to Singapore to skate on fake ice for the right price. Kristi Yamaguchi's titles simply aren't worth the same as Kimmie Meissner's or an appearance by Naomi Lang. Unless they decide to pay up for the names, Sarah Hughes and Nancy Kerrigan may be the only names who actually participate in the event.
Stars on Ice hasn't announced its tour dates or cast list yet. With Sasha Cohen in NYC and Evan Lysacek returning, one has to wonder who the draws on the tour will be.
There are plenty of videos of Jana Bieger and the boring US Men's team from Evolution, yet no one seems to have uploaded any clips of Hollie Vise yet. That is just bad taste.
Yasmin Siraj's SP from the Cranberry Open. Yasmin looks to be showing hints of maturity and looks to be smoothing out her limbs and growing into her body. If she doesn't grow to be too tall, Yasmin may grow into a successful skater. She has a nice marriage of technical ability, talent and appears to care about the artistic aspect of the sport.
Peng Peng Lee performed a floor routine choreographed by Val Kondos at Canadian World Trials. It appears to have potential and is 'good' for a current elite routine, but it does make us yearn for the gymnastics of years past.
As always, there is drama on the Canadian World Team front. When they named the team, it was not clear who the alternate would be. Canadian politics are complex, as a certain percentage of the team needs to be from Quebec given the powers that be are from the province. When one looks back at past teams, it is clear that being from Quebec has helped several girls. Mikaela Gerber performed better than anticipated at Trials (winning and being the only gymnast to hit eight for eight.) It is rumored that the powers that be still want to designate her the alternate. With the murky provincial politics in Canada, it begins to become clearer that success just isn't always the primary concern. This team actually looks capable of pulling out a surprise trip to London, but much will be determined on how the team comes together and prepares. A fractious effort will not help a country on the bubble of qualifying a full team for 2012.
Caroline Zhang won Golden West with a 127.80 total. It is impressive that she is still plugging away, but the commentators are going to have to be fake nice more than ever when trying to find areas of improvement. Richard Dornbush edged out Patrick Chan by about three tenths in the long. Details are available at Unseen Figure Skaters.