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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Interpretation, then and now

As most skating fans probably know by now, today Patrick Chan continued his record breaking ways by setting a world record LP and total score at the Trophée Eric Bompard, also becoming the first skater to break 100 on the technical score. His PCS was very high as well, with a fair number of perfect 10s sprinkled in. He was very good.

For whatever reason, though, I wasn't blown away, and decided to look for something more enjoyable. Rewind a few years to a great program that I hadn't seen in while: Stéphane Lambiel's Poeta from the 2007 World Championships. Lambiel received over 160 for this skate - a very high score at the time - despite making some minor errors on his jumps. A friend once told me that this program, performed to its full potential, would have ruined the IJS, since nobody could have ever topped it. It really is special, and Saffron was right to list it in her iconic programs post.

When I see skaters getting average PCS in the 9s and perfect 10s thrown in for good measure, I cannot help but think about how one of the greatest artistic performances of our time did not rate a single 9 from any of the twelve judges on the panel, and in fact earned Lambiel five interpretation scores lower than 8 (!!!). I realize that scores have gone up and judges have been trained to be more generous with the marks, but seriously: only 78.16 in PCS?! Look closely and you will find one mark in the sixes. The mind boggles.

One wonders what it would score now.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A+ skating at the Trophée Eric Bompard

After some distinctly meh performances from a number of the men, Patrick Chan showed everyone how it's done. I do think his interpretation scores tend to be a bit much, but I have no problem with him being rewarded for the rest of it: this is a great skater close to his best. Definitely wow, and a world record as well.

With the gauntlet thus thrown, Yuzuru Hanyu skated a superb SP and posted an even better technical score than Chan (though he is rightfully behind overall). Remember, Hanyu is still only 18.

The Olympics will either have guys receiving triple digit scores for their SPs, or everyone getting so spooked that they will be splatting left, right and center. Hopefully, the former :)

Now let's see what the ladies and ice dancers can come up with...

This post was edited to replace the original video links with better quality ones.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ladiezzzz no more

Three and a half events into the Grand Prix season, and I can now say with some confidence that ladies really has become my favorite discipline in skating. Like many fans, I used to refer to ladiezzzz events, make fun of the tinkly piano/screechy violin programs (of which there are still too many), and generally found just about everything else more exciting to watch. But no more!

The current field is exciting and sometime unpredictable, with skaters who bring diverse styles and approaches to the ice, and can be very enjoyable to watch. There were some wonderful performances at the NHK Trophy today, just as there were good ones in the earlier events (Well, maybe not so much at the Cup of China). My dream podium will be quite crowded by the time of the Olympics.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A skating summary, 2010-2014ish

With the Grand Prix season in full swing and the Olympics just months away, I am becoming nostalgic about events and performances in the past few years. Being an organized sort of person, this naturally meant I had to make a list:

Favorite competition: 2011 Europeans. Sarah Meier's farewell win is one reason, but it was fun all around, with a major medal - finally - for Péchalat/Bourzat, a great debut for Florent Amodio, free skate comebacks by Carolina Kostner and especially Brian Joubert, and generally likeable medalists all around, including the Kerrs in their final competitive event. It is a good thing that I did not witness any of this in person, however, because I would likely have frozen to death.
Honorable mention: 2012 World Team Trophy, for the fun factor and the awesomeness of Akiko Suzuki and Daisuke Takahashi.

All the skaters of the world know that Dai is awesome