Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas From Moscow!

The Russian Nationals are always a most curious event.  First off, ones needs to remember that Russian Orthodox Christmas is not until January 7th, so while the event is not a holiday conflict for us, it is a package of Hanukkah gold at the bottom of our stockings.

For years, many of the top skaters always managed to avoid Soviet nationals like the plague.  Margaret Thatcher and I discussed this phenomenon in our wild anticipation of this majestic event.

AJ: Katia and Sergei never competed at Soviet Nationals after they won in '87.  They did come back and win in '94.
MT:  Of course they avoided it!  You know what happens when there are three or four Russian judges on a panel.  Imagine the mess that nine of them can have conspiring together.  The third best team winds up winning in the great Russian tradition.

Love, Alexei Yagudin, Olympic Champion, Four-Time World Champion, never a Russian National Champion.

Thus far, Bobrova and Soloviev lead the dance event after Ilinykh and Katsalapov stumbled on a nonsensical piece of choreography.  In the attractive team's tradition, Ilynikh and Katsalapov will likely be looking for partners next week, return to Zhulin, leave Zhulin, vow to stay together, and then they will compete their free dance.

Riazanova and Tkachenko are third.

Segment Results

In pairs:

Bazarova and Larionov lead.
Anastasia Martiusheva and Alexei Rogonov are second.
Stolbova and Klimov are third.
Iliushechkina and Miasuradze and fourth.

In great Russian tradition, Volosozhar and Trankov and Kavaguti and Smirnov are abstaining from this event.


  1. Very impressed with Riazanova and Tkachenko. Before I watched them and just looked at the scores, I was surprised to see them so close behind Ilinykh/Katsalapov, but it's well deserved. Not a fan of one of the lifts they do, always looks a bit awkward to me, but otherwise, great program. Tarasova loved them.

  2. You mean Russia actually cares about their top skaters and doesn't force them to finish top 2 or 3 at Nationals to go to Worlds?! They actually consider Worlds their most important competition? Imagine that!

  3. Why have Nationals if top teams won't compete? If U.S. allowed for this kind of stuff, we wouldn't have Michelle battling Sasha/ Tara all those glorious years. Competition makes skaters and athletes better, period. True competitors compete and are not afraid of losing. For every winning shot that Michael Jordan made, there were far more that he missed. But he lived with it because wanting to win means accepting responsibilities of losing as well. I know I'm comparing B-ball to a judged sport such as FS, but my general point is about motivating competition.

  4. Plushy was incredible for how long he's been skating. I really thought he wouldn't show up.