Monday, March 30, 2009


Finish positions:Men's champion - Evan Lysacek, Los Angeles, California
pairs champion - Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany
women's champion - Kim Yu Na of South Korea
ice dancing - Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabolin

EVAN LYSACEK delivered a championship performance filled with technical difficulty and total commitment and passion for what he was doing. Savchenko and Szolkowy were, as always, pristine and precise in their skating and deserved to win. Kim Yu Na was exquisite and record breaking in her short and long programs - scoring high enough in both to give her a first place ranking over Joannie Rochette of Canada and Mao Asada of Japan. I've never cared much for Mao Asada - she strikes me as being a self-involved brat. Hustling all over the ice without much grace or choreography busily scurrying from one big jumping pass to the next. This jumped up to bite her on her butt when she screwed up a triple axel and fell on her fundament rather sloppily and destroyed any chances she might have had to win the competition. Kim Yu Na is a beautiful skater with exceptional technique and a a total love of her sport with complete musicality My predictions for the final standings at the upcoming Olympics: Belbin &Agosto (gold), Kim Yu Na (gold), Savchenko & Szolkowy (gold), Lysaccek/Weir (gold). B&A are lyrical and light in their approach with exceptional technique whereas Domnina and Shabolin are both very heavy and lumbering in their performance and his conditioning is poor, leaving him unable to finish their long program with breath o spare. He is puffing like an overweight elderly steam engine at the end of the program and the poor conditiioning from which he suffers leads to small slopppy errors that detract from the overall effect of their intricate programs. Russian skaters are known for not practicing their programs start-to-finish which affects negatively the stamina and this is evident in Domnina and Shabolin's heavy and uninteresting skating. They seem to feel that glowering and grimacing facial expressions can disguise how poorly conditioned they really are. Not so.

The French pair were delightful in the ice dance choosing a circus theme which they skated with full attention to detail and a sense of fun missing from most other offerings in that portion of the competition. Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat took a big chance in designing their program with a circus theme and backed up their risk with intricate footwork and holds and a sense of joy in the performance of their program. Good fun and I'm no fan of French figure skating.

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