Thursday, February 03, 2011


I watched the U.S. Figure Skating championships which took place in North Carolina. I don't know if it was the beautiful scenery of North Carolina, the inate courtesy of the North Carolinians, or the fact that it is the first post-Olympic year, but honestly, the entire event was beautifully conducted. And the results turned out to be unexpected in many categories.

First, the Ladies' event was totally delightful. The enchanting Alissa Czisny recaptured her U.S. Championship, last won in 2009. Last year's champion, Rachel Flatt placed in the top 3 largely on the strength of a passionately skated short program that wowed me, the audience AND the judges, and Mirai Nagasu did her usual and blew her lead from the short program. But the main thing was, it wasn't a stumble fest the way it was last year. Everyone skated clean with very few exceptions.

Ryan Bradley, one of my favorite skaters, captured his first Men's Championship and two complete unknowns shared the podium with him. The tediously boring Jeremy Abbott placed 4th and good riddance. Sorry but I just don't "get" Abbott. Bradley is fun and technically brilliant and did I mention, he's fun!?

Ice dancing offered no surprises - Meryl Davis and Charlie White took their 3rd title in a row and they earned it by skating brilliantly. However, they are now being pushed by their training mates the extraordinary Shibutanis. This brother and sister team are the future of American ice dancing and based on what I saw in both the short and long programs, it's a rosy future indeed! And unlike some of the competitors in this discipline, their skates were clean and their laces immaculate! I find the dirty skates, dark roots and dirty skate laces particularly offensive when you consider that this was the Russian gold standard not all that long ago!

Pairs skating boasts a new championship pair. Coughlin and Jankowskas are excellent technically and emotionally. But baby girl, scale back a little on the false eyelashes! You look like you cannot see!

No comments: