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U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by Smith1942, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Smith1942
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    by Smith1942 » Jan 13, 2014
    Anybody follow figure skating? I love it. My best friend at home was a figure skater, which was wonderful. We used to watch Torvill and Dean over and over - it was that era, the Eighties.

    As luck would have it, the US Figure Skating Championships were held in Boston this year, and the arena is a ten-minute walk from us. We attended the pairs and ice dance free skates this weekend, and the ladies' long programme.

    It was amazing to be there in person. The ice was smaller than I'd have thought. It was fascinating to see some skating stars that I remember watching on TV during the Vancouver Games, and to know that we'll be watching them on TV in Sochi next month.

    Mostly I was busy watching, but I managed to get a few photos. (That was allowed as long as no flash was used.)

    Yesterday evening I attended the skating gala, which was fun. Gracie Gold did a sparkling, stylish gala routine to All That Jazz wearing a slinky black costume, complete with trilby and evening gloves. The gala showings allow the skaters to do all manner of things that they can't do in competitions, like using props and spinning on their knees, and comedy routines.

    I can't believe that the World Championships are going to be held in Boston March 2016! Yay!!

    angela_wang_long_programme.jpg

    ashley_wagner_long_programme.jpg

    ashley_wagner.jpg

    grace_gold_after_long_programme.jpg
     
    


    


  2. Smith1942
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  3. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Jan 14, 2014
    I saw an article yesterday that the girl who placed 4th for the team was chosen over the girl who placed 3rd. I gave up watching ages ago because it's all too political. Same thing with gymnastics. Who is the cutest, most petite. Who cares if they fall, who makes the best cereal box. I love swimming. The fastest wins.
     
  4. JewelFreak
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    by JewelFreak » Jan 14, 2014
    I love figure skating too, Smith! Love. It. Probably watched since long before you were born -- I remember Scott Hamilton finally getting his much-deserved gold medal.

    FABULOUS that you got to go in person! What a great experience. Wish I could be in Boston in '16, yike! Thanks for the super pics!

    I was in Tokyo on a business trip one year, a week after the Worlds were there -- SO pissed at the timing, because a lovely Japanese woman I worked with had been a championship skater in her young days, and still did translation for the ISU. She knew all the skaters well & I could have gone with her, behind the scenes. Broke my heart!

    I'm always incognito during the Olympics -- in winter, skiing & skating; in summer -- gymnastics, diving, equestrian competition. I tell my friends not to bother calling me -- I won't answer. :bigsmile:

    --- Laurie
     
    


    


  5. Smith1942
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    by Smith1942 » Jan 14, 2014

    For figure skaters, what happened in their last season and this current season counts when it comes to selection for the Olympic teams. It's not just based on this one competition, the 2014 nationals, as they are not Olympic trials. It's a little bit like a student's grades from the past year counting, even if they get a fab score on the end-of-year exam.

    Ashley Wagner, the skater who placed 4th in the nationals last week, was still picked for the Olympic team because she is an established reliable skater with great scores from the past season including the Grand Prix in Japan. The Olympic committee realised that she just had a bad day. Her performance at the Worlds was also instrumental in securing the US a third spot for the ladies at the Olympics. The girl who placed fourth, Nagasu, has shown herself to be a very inconsistent skater with a habit of dumping her coaches just before huge competitions, as she did this time. She has worse seasonal scores than Wagner. It's about the candidates' overall track records as a competitive skaters. Nothing to do with their cuteness! This decision was actually fairer than giving the spot to Nagasu, because it took into account the overall performance of each skater instead of letting the Olympic selection hang on one performance.
     
  6. Smith1942
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    by Smith1942 » Jan 14, 2014

    You're welcome! We won't be hearing from you on PS after February 6th then, until it's all over!

    I have a question: Torvill and Dean were obviously huge in the UK, being British. But they got the best ice dance scores of all time, so my question is, were they also famous in America at that time, too?
     
  7. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Jan 14, 2014
    VERY famous at the time, I think they were the sweethearts of that years Olympics!
     
  8. vc10um
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    by vc10um » Jan 14, 2014
    What AprilBaby said! Torvill and Dean's Bolero is still one of my favorite routines of all time, in any ice skating event!

    That being said, 5 of the 6 ice dancers on the US Team this year are either current students or alums of my alma mater, so I'm excited to watch them skate! Not sure anyone will ever oust T&D as my favorite ice dancing team, but Davis and White might come close!

    I'll admit, though...aside from watching a clip here or there, I haven't really paid much attention to figure skating since the 2002 games in Salt Lake City after the pairs controversy.
     
  9. JewelFreak
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    by JewelFreak » Jan 14, 2014
    Yes, Torville & Dean were major here, as already stated. When they performed Bolero, it was electrifying -- I sat up & wasn't sure what I was watching at first -- it was so spectacular, creative, & completely different. The sad thing is that the judges, throughout T&D's competitive career, couldn't cope. They tied down ice dancing so tight, it hasn't been the same since -- to me it's boring now, after T&D. I have an old videotape of their best programs -- should look for it on a more modern medium so I can play it again.

    Are they still coaching & choreographing?

    Hey, VC, that sounds super! What fun for you -- bet you'll be glued to the tube along with me.

    --- Laurie
     
  10. doberman
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    by doberman » Jan 16, 2014
    I skated for many years; it's hard to explain how good it feels to have the ice under your blades. The question I was asked most often: "Don't you get dizzy (after a spin)?" Actually, no you don't, particularly if your spin doesn't travel.

    I hope that Jeremy Abbott doesn't implode on the international stage as he has done so many times before. Jason Brown is very exciting but I do wish he had a quad - of course I said the same thing about Evan Lysacek and it turned out not to matter at all. :appl: I don't like what happened with the selection of the ladies team, but USFS is within its rights to nominate who they want on the team regardless of Nationals placement.
     
    


    


  11. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Jan 16, 2014
    Evan lysacak is from my local high school! Forgot all about him. What's he up to?
     
  12. rosetta
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    by rosetta » Jan 16, 2014
    I think it's really cool, I would have loved to go even if I don't really follow it.
     
  13. JewelFreak
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    by JewelFreak » Jan 16, 2014
    I think the choice for the women was a good one & logical. The committee has to assemble a team with the most potential to medal. Mirai Nagasu is not a consistent skater & you have to wonder if some of that is due to emotional instability or immaturity -- in that she has fired coaches just before competition more than once. Skaters in the past who were not real steady emotionally were also not steady on the ice. Oksana Baiul comes to mind, great sorrow for the sport. The U.S. Championships are not Olympic tryouts in themselves. Nagasu gave a nice performance -- I didn't think it was wonderful, just nice -- & I can see their reasoning. Int'l competition at the top level is not about sparing people's feelings. It's about picking competitors with the best potential to win.

    It will be interesting to watch Polina Edmunds' future. She is so graceful but at her age now, all angles & corners physically. In a few years she will mature & lose that teen awkwardness & if she keeps at it, be something special to see.

    --- Laurie
     
  14. JewelFreak
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    by JewelFreak » Jan 16, 2014
    Interesting re Torvill & Dean -- I saw an interview with them on a British tv program, done this month. They talked about its being 30 yrs since they skated Bolero at the Olympics. When working with the music for the program, they could not manage to cut it down to the time allotted -- it was 18 seconds too long & just didn't sound right with more left out. The time clock doesn't start till the skaters' blades hit the ice, so they did the 1st 18 seconds on their knees. Cool tidbit!

    The program that really knocked me over was their technical one -- The Cape (Paso Doble). My gosh, the concept of Jayne being the cape was so original, creative -- and the choreography so incredibly intricate. I remember watching it in bed -- Olympics were live at night -- and sitting straight up, thinking, "What am I seeing?" Their skill was unprecedented. Watch this again & marvel! While other skaters simply rhumba'd or samba'd on ice, they were doing this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsHt7DRxpxA
     
  15. gregchang35
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    by gregchang35 » Jan 16, 2014
    Thanx for explaining...I was trying to figure that out from the comments on you tube. They were all commenting that Ashely should give up her place. Interesting that pass seasons efforts are counted into the selection process. That is a long period. But I do like Yuna from Korea. Wow.
     
    


    


  16. vc10um
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    by vc10um » Jan 16, 2014
    JF, thank you for sharing that! I had never seen "The Cape"! It's a stunning piece of work! (Confession: I'm about 4 months younger than their 1984 Gold Medal, so I never actually saw Bolero's original run...my first time seeing it was actually when they performed it in exhibition in Lillehammer in 1994.) The other routine of theirs that comes to mind is "Ceclia" by Paul Simon, from the World Team Championships in 1995. Loved that one, too.
     
  17. JewelFreak
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    by JewelFreak » Jan 16, 2014
    That's a super one too. Has anyone noticed how almost flawless their unison is? I can't imagine how much rehearsal that would take! In the interview I saw, Jayne said they of course had disagreements, but their rule was not to let them get out of hand. "We said, we can't spend ice time arguing while other pairs are out there practicing...not a way to win." Probably why they've also stayed friends for almost 40 years.

    --- Laurie
     
  18. ericad
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    by ericad » Jan 17, 2014
    How did I miss this thread?

    I was a recreational figure skater as a kid and teen, and my 8 year old daughter is a competitive figure skater (if you see me selling off all my personal jewelry, it's because her sport is bankrupting us!)

    I love all things skating!

    I think that the choice of Ashley Wagner for the team was a sound one. Her record over the past 2 seasons has been better than Nagasu's, not to mention that the only reason we even have a 3rd spot is because Ashley medaled at Worlds! The better question might be whether Nagasu should have bumped Edmunds for a spot on the team, since Polina only just entered senior level and is so inexperienced.

    That being said, Tara Lipinsky was in Polina's shoes (with more senior level experience, since she moved to senior level at age 13 - incredible!) and took gold in '98, so I'm not counting Edmunds out of the running to possibly medal! Often times, these young-ins who have nothing to lose wind up giving their all with no nerves and under no pressure and they do amazingly well! On the flip side, Michelle Kwan came in second at Nationals in '94 (age 15), but got bumped to let Kerrigan onto the team when she couldn't compete due to the leg bash heard round the world. We could compare Polina Edmunds to her as well.

    Anyone else moved to tears by Jason Brown's incredible performance?! He made the team with no quad - he's THAT good! His skate was a great example for my daughter - you don't just get big points for jumping. Excellent spinning, footwork, entertainment factor, technical precision and artistry are as important. Not that his triples were anything to sneeze at!

    Sigh. Am I a skating nerd, or what?!

    Your Jason Brown fix of the day:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J61k2XjRryM
     
  19. ericad
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    by ericad » Jan 17, 2014
    As for pairs - who here remembers Brasseur and Eisler? One of the kids at DD's skating, a 16 year old, had no clue who they were. And he knows all of the singles skaters, young and old, but is less familiar with pairs. So I told him to look them up on youtube and he came to skating the next day in total awe. I've never seen their equal as far as stunts go. Incredible!
     
  20. JewelFreak
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    by JewelFreak » Jan 17, 2014
    They were terrific. My favorite pair was Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov. What lightness & grace & communication they had. They skated before stunts were done, really, and their skating is pure line, elegance, refinement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbLnF1cmDLQ. It was so tragic when Sergei died -- no history or symptoms of heart disease, 28 years old, & during practice he suddenly dropped dead on the ice. Everybody was so shocked & heartbroken -- still miss him. He & Ekaterina were married & had a 2-yr-old daughter at the time. Big loss -- he was a big favorite with other skaters, great sweet guy.

    --- Laurie
     
  21. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Jan 17, 2014
    Now come on Smith, how are we gonna finish this thread without you. I know you are peeking!
     
  22. vc10um
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    by vc10um » Jan 17, 2014
    The only death of my childhood that was more shocking and more deeply felt than that of Sergei Grinkov was Princess Di. I remember SOBBING when I heard the news, and crying even harder the first time Katia took the ice alone after his passing. Talk about wrenching your heart out and stomping it. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

    And I LOVED Brasseur and Eisler!!! I was always worried he was going to smash her head into the ice...he always seemed like the anti-figure skater...the leather look pants...the eyebrow piercing...he was more WWF than ISU, but he made it work.

    And now I'm going to spend hours on YouTube again...
     
  23. autumngems
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    by autumngems » Jan 18, 2014
    Thanks for posting the pics, you are so lucky to see it in person. I am a figure skating nut, that and gymnastics are my favs.
     
  24. JewelFreak
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    by JewelFreak » Jan 19, 2014
    LOL! Great description.

    IMO, figure skating was at its top with those pairs & Scott Hamilton, Paul Wylie, Kurt Browning, Chris Bowman BD (Before Drugs), darling Victor Petrenko, etc. There have been of course some marvelous skaters since, but so many skilled ones at that time, who worked hard at it.

    When the ISU dropped school figures, things went to pot for a decade. I quit following it -- skaters were considered wonderful who could do multiple jumps but in between them, slid straight down the rink waving their arms, no footwork at all. Footwork is the key to everythiing! Watch Scott's routines -- he was as good as it gets, ditto T&D. Now that the ISU has gone back to requiring school figures, the sport is worth watching again, happily.

    --- Laurie
     
  25. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Jan 19, 2014
    Come on smith, don't go. Just ignore the other thread. Don't be chased off the playground. Btw, I was just looking back at you past threads and I saw your "show me you face" photo. God you are gorgeous!
     
  26. Smith1942
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    by Smith1942 » Jan 19, 2014

    Are you trying to get off with me? :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Thanks though. :oops: It's amazing what a ton of make-up and the correct lighting can do.
     
  27. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Jan 19, 2014
    Hey! I'm too old to take sides and too old to let anyone chase me off something I love. You have lots of cool stuff to see and I would miss that. Maybe there is also a cultural difference to take into account. Let it go and let's continue to play!
     
  28. JewelFreak
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    by JewelFreak » Jan 19, 2014
    Smith, DO NOT LEAVE PLEASE! I need you. So do the rest of us smart people. I've stayed away from the kids' horrid thread -- ignore them. It's the only way to keep your sanity & blood pressure. They're silly, rude, coarse, unintelligent & very immature -- not worth letting them decide for you that you'll leave. Please stay with us -- too many good people have given up on account of The Children. If you go, they win.

    --- Laurie
     
  29. Smith1942
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    by Smith1942 » Jan 19, 2014
    Well, that's sweet, April and JF. Thank you.

    Here are some more skating pics. The action shots are a bit blurred. Why won't those darn skaters go a bit slower? :lol:

    gedc3283.jpg

    gedc3284.jpg

    gedc3291.jpg

    gedc3277.jpg
     
  30. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Jan 19, 2014
    You need a faster camera shutter ;-)
     

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