Friday, November 06, 2009


To my neverending astonishment, Ashley Wagner (of Fairfax, Virginia) finished in third place after the long program in the Ladies' Single competition. I wasn't holding out much hope that Ms. Wagner could win after the long program because she is so young and so new to international competition. It wasn't unexpected that the brilliant former world champion, the luminescent Miki Ando, rallied to take the prize. (Why does she skate ever so slightly bent over?) However, it was gratifying to see Ashley Wagner skate so well. Unlike so many of the elite skaters in her event, she actually lands her jumps fully rotated and that makes all the difference in the world, permitting her program to flow more attractively. Leonova of Russia placed in second. She is delightful to watch, bubbling and fun, but she's not the skater that Miki Ando is, barely ready to skate in Ms. Wagner's company, nor even remotely close to the radiant skills of Yu-Na Kim of South Korea. Well let's face it - Yu Na Kim is her own category! She is a skater who makes the viewer believe in God's benificent plans for his children!

Against my will, I found myself rooting for Brian Joubert of France in the Men's singles, just because he is just so masculine and (forgive me my cougar moment) absolutely sexy! And, as it happens, he won the gold with a very solid free skate which included a quad that was spot on! This is an improvement on his performance in his first competition of the season on home ice at the Rostelecom event. Jeremy Abbott of the United States did not skate well and therefore, it was Johnny Weir who fluttered into 2nd place with everyone else trailing behind. I have to say, I have long wondered about Takahiko Kozuka of Japan who is an excellent competitor. And then this morning, it hit me! He looks like Nancy Kerrigan! And shares some of her inconsistency as well. But he is still a lot of fun to watch and has some good technical abilities. The Czech skater placed in third.

Charlie Davis and Meryl White took the gold in ice dancing and are now ranked #1 in the world. I don't think they have the emotional stamina to win gold at the Olympics, however.

Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia were fantastic in the pairs competition - fantastically courageous. She pancaked onto the ice as a result of an attempted quad throw jump and they had to take a 3-minute break in their program in order to finish. Consequently, they placed poorly. The pairs skating was won by Pang and Tong of China who skated dependably well. I still have a serious gripe with her grooming and the filthy skate laces. This time, her hair was combed (in a peculiar style that defies description) but the laces still were dirty. Shame on you dear. It is a presentation faux pas of major proportions in my view.

Lake Placid next week kids. Looking forward to it.

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