Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Little Nova - JGP Courchevel

Could it really be? Am I dreaming? FINALLY a Russian lady with entire package. In a country that has given us the likes of Slutskaya, Sokolova, Markarova, and Nelidina (and that just barely scratches the surface) we finally have our little Russian star who can jump, spin, hold a deep steady edge, and ooze musicality through her little body. I am anointing her already as the next "it" girl of skating. Unfortunately, our baby girl will be 15 just at the wrong time. She is expressive, aware of her body, and commands the ice surface. While the girls' choreography could use some help and parts of her skating need touch up, she is well on her way to being a major threat. Here is Elena Radionova's short program for JPG Courchevel that put her lightyears away in first place with a 62+

We usually find a handful of skating's next big stars at these JPGs, and then bitch and debate about which ones will come out on the other side of the puberty assembly line. The rest of the ladies field had their moments. Titushkina is pleasant with nice line. Even with a triple/triple it is rather startling to see that she scored 10 points less than her teammate with the same content. I would deduct at least 2 points just for that awful muzak she is playing. Girl got no respect for proper violin playin'!

3rd place went to "Egyptian hands" Rika Hongo of Japan. She is very Yukari Nakano without the leg wrap. Girl is tall and boring. Unfortunately this will probably defeat Mao Asada at Japanese Nationals this season.

Uh-puuuuhhleeeze girl. This is just too much drama. The bloody shirt, the sirens, the cheated jumps…it's just all a bit much. I'm beginning to think this girl is full of blood because she  fell on too many cheated triple flip attempts. That seems more likely. Or possibly this is a not so subtle advertisement for battered women.

Ashley Cain is tall and gorgeous. She really looks like a barbie and is very Nicole Bobek material. However the girl is destined to be the Amber Corwin of U.S. Nationals. She may become irrelevant in the big scheme of things. Where's the tiara?

On the men's side, we see all the usual suspects.

An obscure European male skater portraying a marionette.

The adorable Asian.

And our Mini Plushenko.

Harrison Choate's short program is an ode to the gay 90s. My, my…it's 1996 again with Shepherd Clark. I swear this kid is Damon Allen's surrogate son. The choreography comes straight out of the Mary Scotvold school of robotic dance moves. He is on his way, but Nancy's hip circles are done with a tad bit more tenacity.

In terms of the top men, China's Boyang Jin took the lead after his short program. It is only a matter of time before male figure skating will be fully infested with tiny Asian wunderkids. It will be like the Indians competing at the national spelling bee.

Rohene Ward's influence on Jason Brown is obvious in his new short program. He skates with a conviction and strength of movement that is unparalleled with the other men in the field. This sophisticated look for Jason could be a breakthrough as he continually adapts to new styles each season. Yet without a reliable triple axel Jason is in trouble. The judges are giving him no favors by calling edge deductions on his triple flip. A botched combination spin is also an uncanny mistake for the usually reliable Brown.


  1. Elene will be 15 in January 2014,I thought the rules were you have to be 15 July 2013.

  2. aargghh i know this song but cant remember what its called! anyone? :)

  3. the one in the first video with elena that is!

  4. I don't know the name of the song but it's from the movie the 5th element,the song that the opera singer sings.

  5. You're right Anon 1...My bad. I am distressed!

  6. Well it's good she'll get in on the next Olympics. I want to see how skaters skate after 15 because it pretty much changes. I think that's when you can truly see if someone is great.

    ie....Tara can't jump nor does she have that somewhat 'it' factor that she had at 15 when she skates. Sarah never had the 'it' factor but now she can't even jump although her jumps were so flawed.

  7. Too lazy to watch all of these but of the ones I did:

    - I do love you and your blog AJ, but judging only by this one program, I don't think Radionova hears and therefore really embodies the music very well. Has many great technical qualities though. (but that music OY! I will only watch that program again with the sound off)

    - Man, I hope Nguyen improves his technical issues FAST so he can knock Chan off the top spot in Canada. He really is a charming skater and I sure would rather see him fall than Chan.

    - That Jin kid is kind of a pleasure to watch but that program is garbage.

    - That's the first program I've seen of Jason Brown's which for me lives up to the 'hype'. Too bad about the triple axel. Rachel Flatt should look at the program for a tip of how to present yourself on the ice if you are a heavier skater.

  8. Radionova is cute, but good lord, that music is execrable. Ugh.

  9. what in the world is radionova wearing?

  10. Elena Radionova seems to me to have the spunk, fitness, drive, musicality, strength, and mental toughness that Ekaterina Gordeeva had as a young girl (and still has, of course).
    It will be exciting to watch her.

  11. How can a 13 year old have the "entire package?" Since the IJS doesn't value artistry, why not eliminate age requirements and let the little jumping beans do their thing?

  12. Love Jason Brown's new program. The triple axel will come. He has everything else, spins, musicality, natural charisma. Some of these young jumping phenoms will never get the rest.