Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Quick Correction...

I hate inaccuracies, especially when I'm making them... so I need to correct something from my Monday post. I said Mao Asada did not win Japanese Nationals... when what I meant to say was that she did not win the FREE SKATE portion. In fact, she didn't "win" either part of the competition-- Yukuri Nakano won the SP, where Fumie Suguri got the LP-- but Asada was 2nd in both, which in this event added up to 1st overall.

My original idea was to "scoop" that she had not won the FS so that you'd wonder "Really? Then who did?" and go to one of the other blogs I mentioned. But I was having a brain freeze by the time I actually posted. My bad! And my apologies.

Somewhere out at a college in Iowa, my Reporting Techniques professor from 20 years ago is shaking his head...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pass the Catch-up (End of Year Edition)

So! While elite U.S. figure skaters were snug in their beds last week with visions of national titles dancing in their heads, they could at least do so knowing the competition was still several weeks away… unlike their Japanese counterparts, Russian counterparts, French, Finnish…

Yes, national competitions have been a-blazing around the world this holiday season, so I suggest you go take a peek at
Aaron’s Blog or Laura’s Blog to get everything that’s scoopalicious, and that I did not locate in time :-(

A mini-spoiler to share... Mao Asada did NOT win Japanese Nats. See? Scoopalicious indeed.

Anyway, since the year is coming to a close I thought I’d attempt to update you on a few of the open-ended bits of “news” I’ve posted since State of the Skate launched in April:

Scott Hamilton’s book (“Here Comes Self-Help Scotty” 7/26)… has a January 6 release date; you can find out more in recent articles such as
this one. I’ll be keeping close tabs on sales once it’s out.

And… Hamilton vs. Trump (“But Will He Make Lemonade Out of These Celebrity Lemons?” 9/9): while there hasn’t been much reported on the actual cast for Season 2 of The Celebrity Apprentice since my post first went out, reports that the show will return to the airwaves on Sunday March 1st… apparently with several 2-hour episodes in store. I haven’t followed Apprentice in several seasons, so forgive me if I say I’m not sure yet whether I’m rooting for him to win or lose (as a “loss” means I won’t feel compelled to watch anymore).

Sasha Cohen’s possible comeback ("Is She, or Isn’t She, or… Whatever, Sasha" 10/5): The bad news is she’s still making it into the headlines every 6 weeks or so with her fence-sitting. The good news, according to
this article from a couple weeks back, is that she’s now set a deadline for making that big decision: next summer. Which is to say the wavering could go on through June. Or July. Or even August. And technically, summer stretches on into September… so, as usual—way to commit, Ms. Cohen! We’ll look to hear from you again around mid-February.

And finally...New skating reality show taping in December (“Just How This is This ‘Thin Ice’?” 9/19): Does anyone know if this thing actually took place Dec. 18-23 at the new MGM Grand at Foxwoods as advertised? I can’t find a single new article about it or that it took place at all, let alone that it will make it to the airwaves… which, unfortunately, makes me think the “ice” in this scenario was very thin indeed.

Clip of the Day features a short program from Russian Nationals that led to an overall victory. (OK, no big surprise for Kawaguchi and Smirnov.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Gift Fitting All Sizes of Skating Fans...

Everyone deserves a gift in this season of giving. You “gift” me every time you come visit this blog, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. Here is my gift to you… sorry I didn’t wrap it:


This is the link recently recommended by IFS Magazine as a sort of antidote to the misery being felt by figure skating fans this season… particularly those who, for one reason or another, have little or no access to all the great skating that is NOT finding its way to mainstream television. There’s a lot of different opinions out there with regards to the CoP system, the ongoing judging controversies, the quality of skating being produced by today’s athletes… but one thing I think all fans of the sport can agree on is that skating is as deserving to be seen on TV as any other sport—more so, I think, because of the huge ratings (and dollars) it rakes in every 4 years. It’s repeatedly earned the right to be seen for free more than 2 or 3 times a year. Why, then, must fans quite literally pay the price (to IceNetwork) because the ISU and the networks can’t find a way to work a deal?

So if you’d like to sound off in your own fashion, click on the link above.

Clip of the Day goes a little off the beaten path… all the way back to 1967, when Andy Williams still did annual Christmas specials. Check out this 2-minute group skating number, which reportedly features a young JoJo Starbuck and Ken Shelley. And for all who celebrate at this time of year… enjoy your holiday! I’ll be back to posting sometime over the weekend.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Other Half: Ladies/Dance, GP FInal Notes

Wow is time getting away from me… a typical lament from an overextended American with kids at Christmastime, perhaps, but the only excuse I can scrape together when it comes to being late on a post about an event that took place a whole week ago!

I got my DSL speeds back up to snuff a few days back, so I finally got my turn at watching the ladies and dance GP Finals. In the interest of consistency, I’ll frame my smattering of notes with the theme “HAD I REALIZED…”

--Had I realized 1/3 of the dance teams would pull out of the event before it was over, I might have given Davis & White a shot at the podium in my predictions. As it stands, the medal was well-deserved… they were spot-on with their sparkling Samson & Delilah free dance.

--Had I realized Domnina and Shabalin’s free dance seems more and more to be built entirely around 2 giant, soaring lifts… as if all the other elements are merely filler… I would have prayed that somehow Ashley Wagner be the only ranked skater to use Spartacus this season.

--And had I realized how much I appreciate the wildly different themes Delobel and Schoenfelder have chosen over the past few years (Bonnie & Clyde, The Piano)… I might have found myself appreciating their current program (to Pink Floyd) a little sooner. As it stands, it’s growing on me. I still don’t like the random female vocal that crops up every now and again, but that’s probably more about my aversion to Pink Floyd than any aversion to DelSchoen.

-- Had Miki Ando realized she was going to cheat so many jumps (including her newly-returned quad salchow), maybe she wouldn’t have used a program different than she’s used all season. My guess is that she didn’t want to continue drawing unfavorable comparisons to Yukari Nakano’s version of Giselle. And my guess is as good as yours as to whether or not she’ll stay with the Saint-Saens piece for Japanese Nationals.

--Had I realized Mao Asada was going to succeed this time with the back-to-back triple axels in her free skate, maybe I would have predicted her for the top spot.

But I would have winced doing it.

Because, especially in watching them in the same competition, I simply like Yu-Na Kim’s free skate much better. Asada looks like she’s putting every last ounce of energy and concentration in those first two jump passes (the triple axels, one in combination) and, terrific as they are, the intricacies of the program’s remainder seem to fall away as a result. Maybe that’s why Kim could still, at this point, have beaten Asada with a clean skate. Too bad it didn’t happen here. But with less than 3 points separating them in the end, IT is definitely ON (as young people and reality show contestants tend to say).

Anyway… just a couple more thoughts:

-- Had the ISU realized tickets for this GP Final (held this time in Korea) would sell out so quickly—about 45 minutes, I think I heard commentator P.J. Kwong say—perhaps they would have made Goyang City the home of international figure skating events for the past 5 years. (Heck, if U.S. Nationals has any attendance issues when it comes to Cleveland next month… maybe the USFS should consider moving the whole event over to South Korea.)

--And finally… had I not been treated to the low-key, helpful commentary by P.J. Kwong in the early phases of last week’s event, I wouldn’t have missed her as much when her voice was absent from the free skates. Really, IceNetwork or ISU or whoever hired her, you might want to consider doing whatever it takes to keep her on board next time!

Clip of the Day goes back to Davis & White’s Skate Canada performance, where they won their first gold on the senior GP circuit. Since I can’t locate last week’s similar skate on You Tube, this seemed like the next best thing to show.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Making Lemonade Out of DSL Lemons: a Half-Baked GP Final Review

What a lousy time to be reminded of a computer’s limitations.

Having only been able to watch a fraction of last weekend’s Grand Prix events “live”, I planned to watch the rest of them Saturday and Sunday nights… somewhere between washing the dishes and finishing the lights on the Christmas tree. But somewhere between watching the mens and the ladies free skates, my DSL service decided to start imitating a dial-up service. Buffer-buffer-buffer. Skate and pause, skate and pause, skate… and… pause. And pause some more. Nooooo!

Since this problem came from my end rather than the Ice Network, it’s taking more than a phone call to fix it. It’s taking a few phone calls, plus many minutes on hold, plus a couple of days of—shudder—managing with much-lower-than-average DSL speed.

So making a long story even longer, I have yet to see the ladies or the dance finals! But I finally read the reports of who won—couldn’t wait quite THAT long—and I know I managed only 4-for-12 on the predictions. Big shock… but really, with so many withdrawals, aren’t any accurate predictions a near miracle? :-) Especially when two of your medalist predictions were among the withdrawees?

I did make some notes on the Pairs and Men, which I caught before all this happened:

(NOTE: Dance/Ladies will come as soon as I can actually SEE them!)

PAIRS NOTE #1: Did everyone catch when Trankov (of Mukhortova/Trankov) flat-out deserted his partner in the K&C after a pretty dreadful outing? By the time they finished showing their comedy of errors in slow motion, Mukhortova was shown sitting awkwardly alone with the coach while the scores took a small lifetime to be revealed. Maybe their FS music—to something called “The Lady and the Hooligan”—is more accurate than we realized.

PAIRS NOTE #2: Did you also notice that these two underwent a costume makeover since the last time we saw them? Now the whole program is slightly less ridiculous.

PAIRS NOTE #3: Not sure if I noticed it before, but the tango music used by Pang/Tong in their free skate kind of rocks. Too bad I predicted them off the podium…

PAIRS NOTE #4: Wait a minute… did Pang/Tong just nail everything?

(They did… and went on to win, too.)

MEN’S NOTE #1: Okay, Khoklova/Novitski suddenly pulling out of the dance event was one thing… but Joubert pulling out too? COME ON!
(Joubert was my pick to win the whole event.)

MEN’S NOTE #2: As I watched Tomas Verner nail his quad near the start of his free skate… only to pop a triple axel a short while later… I decided to put Verner at the top of a new list I’m making called PEOPLE I WANT TO SLAP.

Then I watched him pop his second axel, and changed my list name to PEOPLE I AM GOING TO SLAP.

Then I watched that faux slap he “gets” later in that same program. Ha! I told him. That was from me! You’re welcome! Now go finish this should-have-been-SO-much-better program...

Then I realized I was way too into the whole thing, went off to get some Cheerios, came back…

MEN’S NOTE #3: See Takahito Kozuka take the ice. See Takahito stand by the boards with his back to his coach. See his coach lightly rub his back in a few big circles, then press his hand right into the center before he heads out. See me intrigued… does anyone know what this is about? Just a ritual, or does it have deeper meaning?

MEN’S NOTE #4: Whoa. I deeply underestimated Mr. Abbott. While I don’t know that he could have won if Joubert had stayed in the event and pulled out a great FS, he has certainly earned his stripes this GP season… and has surely earned a whole bunch of screaming females crying his name at events. How about if we just start referring to him as JeremEEEEE?

For the
Clip of the Day I give you JeremEEEEE’s exhibition skate from the last Nationals. Get ready for some vintage George Michael…

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Final Predictions for the Final: Pairs & Ladies

No more abbreviations!

At least, not in this post. Putting D/B at the end of the last one when I meant D/S was bad enough… but with TWO D/S’s among the dance finalists, it’s simply bound to get me in more trouble. So while I make no such promise with nicknames… I shall spell out all the names of all the pairs mentioned. As long as I don’t accidentally call Pang & Tong Tang & Pong (two great staples of ‘70s Americana!), everything should be fine.

Speaking of PAIRS:

Gold—Savchenko/Szolkowy (GER)
Silver—Zhang/Zhang (CHN)
Bronze—Kawaguchi/Smirnov (RUS)

At first glance this seems kind of easy, at least as far as gold and silver go. But while each of those teams won their events handily, I’ve yet to see either team truly on their game. So if Savchenko/Szolkowy skate as they did earlier in the fall while Zhang/Zhang step it up, then look out. It’s possible, but with so many little mistakes all the way around, I’m still going German on this one.

As for bronze, again I’m thinking of Tamara Moskvina’s uncanny way of getting what she wants… and I’m sure upsetting at least one Chinese team is on her wish list. Kawaguchi/Smirnov are one of the few teams at this event that actually seems to keep improving, where Pang/Tong gives the appearance of a team that might be as good as they’ll ever be (which is quite good, of course, but still…).

And last but not least, the LADIES:

Gold—Yu-Na Kim (KOR)
Silver—Mao Asada (JPN)
Bronze—Carolina Kostner (ITA)

Ugh, how could I? When there are no US ladies in this event, how could I predict the lone representative from North America (Joannie Rochette) will miss the podium in what has so far been a stellar year? Well, remember that this is what I predict will happen. What I would like to happen is something else entirely. And when it comes to predictions, I only have to think back to Kostner’s ridiculously (there, I said it) high presentation scores at Cup of Russia to know she has a good chance of sliding into bronze even if she blows her jumps. Rochette might turn in two more fab performances and finish off the podium… or she might buckle under the pressure and finish off the podium for more obvious reasons. Let’s hope for the former; back-to-back-to-back solid skates can only help cement her improvement in judges’ minds—no matter where she places this time.

What about the Kim/Asada decision? What about when Asada takes on a triple axel (or two)? I know, I know—I’ve thought of all that too. But for now at least, Kim continues to peak early. She hasn’t won the past 2 GP Finals by a lottery, after all. Plus the event’s in her homeland, and Kim seems to eat pressure for breakfast (in a nice tasty pancake). I predict she won’t disappoint.

OK, that’s it! Time to go stand by the finish line and crane our necks until we see them all coming…

For the
Clip of the Day I’ve got Yu-Na’s free skate at this event from TWO years ago… for those who are interested on how much she’s improved since then (as well as those who just don't think she's all that).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Big Finish! The GP Final Dance & Men’s Picks

Well here we are! Welcome to the ISU Grand Prix Final... otherwise known as Act 1’s Closing Number. We’ve seen all the players by now, and are well on our way to learning all their respective lines. Only the best of the best get to carry us to the holiday “intermission”; that fact alone usually makes this event more watchable… it’s like a greatest hits CD after several releases with a lot of “album filler”.

How have you done this season thus far? Are you missing the odd-hour ESPN coverage something fierce? Are you wishing NBC will do something about that next year? Or are you satisfied with the On-Demand capabilities of Ice Network and couldn’t care less if it makes its way to mainstream TV again? Are you trying to keep up via You Tube (or some similar source), cursing the screen every time a clip has been “removed”?

I’m sitting here with the finalist names in front of me, wavering between certain choices here and there, wondering if I should go take a peek at how this competitor fared over that competitor a few weeks ago… or how many points so-and-so racked up per event… but guess what? I’m not even going to mess with all that. Why make it a sport about numbers any more than it already is? I’m going with my gut on these predictions.

Based on recent history, my “gut” is downright unreliable. But as they say, ice is slippery… and those blades are so thin… so maybe this is all a better fit than I’ve realized!


Gold—Delobel/Schoenfelder (FRA)
Silver—Domnina/Shabalin (RUS)
Bronze—Belbin/Agosto (USA)

OK, so my USA spirit is showing a little with the Belgosto nod. It seems very possible, yes, that the steadily rising rep of Faiella/Scali will help them to the podium, particularly when Belgosto still seemed to be in rebuild mode when they competed earlier in the fall. And of course, Khoklova/Novitski has a serious shot at bronze too (some might even say silver?). But my hope is that Tanith and Ben will show up in Korea fully polished and ready to shine. As for Gold/Silver… the upset of Dombalin from a few weeks back is proof that they are still plenty beatable—especially when the team in question currently owns the world title.

Much as I love Davis/White, I think they are the newest (if not also the youngest) team invited to the big dance this year, and can consider it a huge victory if they come anywhere near the podium.

But that may just be the old school talking.

For MEN:

Gold—Brian Joubert (FRA)
Silver—Patrick Chan (CAN)
Bronze—Takahiko Kozuka (JPN)

Uh-oh… so much for that USA spirit.

Let’s start at the top this time. Joubert is far from the top point-getter coming into this weekend, but I still think he’ll take this title with his fuller arsenal of jumps and riveting short program (which, as you’ll recall, is what brought him enough points to still win Cup of Russia when his free skate wasn’t tops). Chan and Kozuka are well-matched to duke it out for the other two spots in my opinion… but with Chan’s presentation scores as off-the-chart good as they’ve been, I have to predict him to silver.

As for Johnny… I hope he can nail his quad and edge one of these guys out, but I admit I’m still thinking about that awful cold he had 2 weeks ago. I heard he stayed overseas these past 2 weeks rather than fly back and forth, and that will surely help (or at least keep it from getting worse), but still, a bad cold is a bad cold. Add strenuous training to the mix, and I sense he’ll be force to adopt an attitude of “Oh well, let’s just get through this, then rest till after Christmas, then pour it on in time for Nationals.” And really, who can blame him?

Of course, that’s someone’s cue to tell me how he’s made a full recovery!

For the
Clip of the Day, I’ve got the D/B Piano number from last year’s GPF. Sorry, but I still like this one a lot better than this year’s…

Sunday, December 7, 2008

An Update on the Queen of the "Ice Castles"

From the Something Completely Different Files:

I’ve been hanging onto this for several weeks, waiting for a lull in the GP activity to mention it…

Those of use who grew up in the 70s/80s—particularly those of us who skated as they grew up at that time—may have adored the frequent TV coverage of our favorite sport to no end. But when it came to seeing our sport take the spotlight in modern-day films, the opps were few and far between.

So when Ice Castles hit the big screen in 1978 with an incandescent Lynn-Holly Johnson making her screen debut as rising skating star Alexis Winston… well, some of us went nuts and wanted our moms to take us to see it as many times as we’d gone to see Grease earlier in the year. It didn’t matter that Robby Benson’s character was something of a putz. It didn’t matter that Colleen Dewhurst’s character kind of scared me. It didn’t even matter that the latter part of the plot was downright impossible in its day (how could a blind girl compete at all when figures were still in the mix?). The overall story, the skating scenes, that soundtrack that launched a thousand freestyle routines during my brief competitive career… it was truly the Rocky for figure skaters of that era. (I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in thinking that!)

this article from last month plays a little bit of catch-up with Lynn-Holly GIVENS (she’s married now, you see). As the headline reveals, it’s not really so much about her, or Ice Castles, as it is about her place in film history as one of the more innocent Bond Girls (as in Bond… James Bond). But it includes ample mention of her dual careers in skating AND acting, as well as a detailed telling of how Castles almost got an “R” rating (translation: they wanted her to do a nude scene, but she refused).

It’s a fun read, even if you’ve never seen a Bond movie…or don’t know what it means to say “we forgot about the flowers”.

For a hint about that last line—or a teaser for the whole film—check out this
Clip of the Day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who'd a Thunk It? I Finally Get Out an NHK Recap

Why is it taking so long for me to post some notes on NHK? Am I really that mentally winded from 6 weeks of back-to-back competition? All I had to do was sit here, turn my modem on and off until it found an IP address the Ice Network liked (!!), and watch things unfold. I didn’t even do it that well, at least in terms of predictions-- 4 for 12 again this week; nailed the Dance podium and Asada’s victory, missed everything else. Who would’ve thought I’d have to really concentrate just to remember an event that happened only a few days ago?

Hey, wait, I think I’m onto a theme…

--Who would’ve thought a virtual unknown named Akiko Suzuki would take silver behind Asada? OK, so she took silver waaaaaay behind Asada (24 points, to be exact). But criminy! Yet another sensational representative of the NHK’s home country is on the move. So how long until the ISU allows 5 Japanese women to compete at Worlds?

--Who would’ve thought Inoue and Baldwin would finally nail that throw triple axel again? Oh, wait, let me check that slo-mo replay… nope, it was two-footed. I guess Rena got tired of crash-landing—I surely would have.

-- Who would’ve thought one could cough through an entire free skate (as Johnny Weir says he did) and still manage a silver medal? Ugh. Sounds miserable.

-- Who would’ve thought the best quad of the men’s free skate would come from Yannick Pansero? (Note to self: yes, he might blow the free when he lays down an excellent short… but if it’s only an above average short, he’s likely to rally.)

-- Who would’ve thought Samuelson & Bates could still win bronze when they botched their dance spin so badly in the final phase of competition?

-- Who would’ve thought the winners of the Dance division (Faiella/Scali) essentially earned their gold medals by winning the one portion of competition we were unable to see on Ice Network this time? (They edged France’s Pechalat/Bourzat by nearly 2.5 points in the compulsories.)

-- Who would’ve thought presumed rivals Nakano and Asada would both turn up for the short program in similar shades of lavender… and both sporting long sleeves? Isn’t this kind of like being nominated for an Oscar, only to show up for the ceremony and discover a fellow nominee is wearing your gown?

-- Who would’ve thought Oda could rejoin the ranks of competitive skating with such a bang? (Apparently not me; I had him finishing 2nd.)

-- Who would’ve thought six weeks could come and go so quickly? Even if we’ve been through all this several years running?

For the
Clip of the Day I’ve got Asada’s FS from last year’s GP Final—a skate that lifted her from last place all the way to 2nd. As she showed over the weekend, she’s quite capable of erasing any bad performance in recent memory with a great one.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Usual Suspects at the GP Final? Well…

We’re approaching the eye of the storm.

The annual six-week whirlwind takes a brief break this week as the last ones standing in each discipline gear up for the GP Final. But before I review all things NHK-related, I thought it was time make some quick observations in studying the “finalists” over the past 3 years. Let’s see…

MEN in 2006: Joubert, Takahashi, Oda, Preaubert, Weir, Lysacek (the latter two withdrew)

In 2007: Lambiel, Takahashi, Lysacek, Weir, Chan, VanDerPerren

In 2008: Chan, Kozuka, Weir, Joubert, Abbot, Verner

Worth noting: Only 3 from ’06 repeated the task in ’07… and only 2 have repeated this season.
Only one in all three finals: Weir
Probably would’ve been in all 3 if not for injury/illness: Joubert & Takahashi
And one more thing: if your favorite isn’t in this year’s final, take heart… Jeffrey Buttle didn’t make last year’s final either, and it didn’t stop him from taking the world title a few months later.

LADIES in 2006: Kim, Asada, Meier, Suguri, Ando, Sebestyen

In 2007: Kim, Asada, Kostner, Zhang, Nakano, Meissner

In 2008: Kim, Rochette, Asada, Kostner, Nakano, Ando

Worth noting: the only real consistency here is with Kim and Asada, though Kostner, Ando and Nakano are all fighting the good fight to keep up.
Surprise of the year: each season seems to bring one distinctly unexpected ladies finalist. In ’06, it was Meier. In ’07, Zhang. In ’08, it’s Rochette… and what’s nice about that is the fact that she’s not an up-and-comer like the other two were. She’s a comparative veteran who made some firm changes in the past year (on the mental side, if not the physical as well) and has been reaping the rewards ever since.

PAIRS in 2006: Xue/Hongbo, Savchenko/Szolkowy, Zhang/Zhang, Inoue/Baldwin, Marcoux/Buntin, Petrova/Tikhonov

In 2007: Savchenko/Szolkowy, Zhang/Zhang, Pang/Tong, Dube/Davison, Kawaguchi/Smirnov, McLaughlin/Brubaker (withdrew)

In 2008: Savchenko/Szolkowy, Zhang/Zhang, Kawaguchi/Smirnov, Pang/Tong, Volosozhar/Morozov, Mukhortova/Trankov

Worth noting: Savchenko/Szolkowy and Zhang/Zhang are the only pairs that have been in all three finals.
Nipping at their heels: Kawaguchi/Smirnov continue to move up the ladder, despite any complications that might be on the horizon regarding Kawaguchi’s ability to represent Russia in an Olympic event.
Already done all the nipping they’ll do?: Pang/Tong have been the bridesmaids to Zhang/Zhang for years; at this point it seems unlikely they’ll overtake them, much less defeat Sav/Szol.

DANCE in 2006: Denkova/Staviski, Dubreil/Lauzon, Domnina/Shabalin, Delobel/Schoenfelder, Khokhlova/Novitski, Gregory/Petukhov

In 2007: Domnina/Shabalin, Belbin/Agosto, Delobel/Schoenfelder, Khokhlova/Novitski, Pechalat/Bourzat

In 2008: Delobel/Schoenfelder, Domnina/Shabalin, Faiella/Scali, Khokhlova/Novitski, Davis/White, Belbin/Agosto

Worth noting: Only three to show up in all 3 finals are Domnina/Shabalin, Delobel/Schoelfelder, and somewhat surprisingly, Khoklova/Novitski.
Nipping at their heels: Davis/White and Faiella/Scali.
Already done all the nipping they’ll do?: On paper, one might determine that couple to be Belgosto… but seeing how they surely have only one goal in mind for Vancouver (having already won Olympic silver), I hope they prove the “paper” wrong.

For the
Clip of the Day I went back to last year’s GP Final and found the Khoklova/Novitski FD…not really my cup of tea, but with so much consistency they’re obviously doing something right.