To say that the results were a major disappointment for our country is understatement. On the other hand, that we (or any nation for that matter) would expect our athletes to ALWAYS bring home gold medals is both unfair to the athletes and also unrealistic in the extreme. That said, here’s my assessment, such as it is:
I have always been super critical of Johnny Weir, less for his flamboyance and more for his lack of focus and self-discipline. For the entire past season, Mr. Weir has been displaying none of his previous behaviors, he has been training seriously and has been entirely focused on his skating. His infatuation with all things Russian led to him changing coaches to the extremely successful Tatiana Tarasova and her son in law Viktor Petrenko, and it has worked. He definitely earned his bronze medal and I foresee many and better things ahead for him. More important than even Weir’s bronze medal (the only medal earned by any American), is the fact that because he placed third and Steven Carriere placed 10th, three men will be able to represent the
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of
Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder won the gold medal. I’m happy for them. Maybe now they’ll go away! I have never liked their skating. At least this year her rather severe patent leather hairdo reflected the chilly reserve they have always exhibited in competition – technically precise and utterly removed from both the emotion of their performance and the audience for whom they are supposed to be skating.. Clearly, skating together for 18 years has paid off for them on a technical level.
On the other hand, I cannot say enough good things about the beautiful skating of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of
Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto disappointed themselves and their fans by placing 4th. And maybe that’s a good thing. Belbin and Agosto have made no secret of the fact that they are pacing themselves toward the 2010 Olympics. Better a setback of this kind now, than next year in the run-up to the Olympics! And
It was a great, self-indulgent weekend of enjoying figure skating! And next weekend the “special performances” will be broadcast, and that’s enjoyable. I recorded all of the action and can replay it when the temps outside are 90° to create the illusion of cooler climes!
Congratulations to all who competed. To even make it to the World Championships is an amazing achievement. And to all of you who’d like to see next year’s World’s in person – they are in