Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vancouver Ladies Recap, pt. 2

And...we're back!

Akiko Suzuki, Japan (black and red sleeveless with silver squiggles)

Music: Andalucia (from Riverdance)

3Flip/2toe she put a hand down, so no combo… uh-oh… then 3Loop/2toe, good girl (she improvised)… flying camel good… 2ax fine…layback’s not so hot… here comes the footwork; she’s really got a great sense of fun on all her footwork passes I think… but the ast combo spin seemed slow. (If she could just give her spins the same energy as the footwork!) I’m sure with the lower tech base score these won’t be stellar scores…

61.02. CURRENTLY in 11th. (Worth noting that she’s my only Top 10 pick that isn’t in the top 10 yet… the one that snuck in there was Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia, who’s in 9th at the moment (not shown on NBC).

Speaking of which, where was Alena Leonova—oh, she was chacked! Those bastards!! OK, just so you know… she used Barynia (Russian Folk music) and it looks like she got a negative GOE on the lutz.

62.14. CURRENTLY in 8th, so I suspect she’ll make the cut to be televised on Thursday.

As the final group (including Joannie Rochette) warms up, NBC brings out Dan Janssen to discuss his hardships w/losing Jane (his sister) in ’88… you know, when he lost his focus and crashed to the ground. At first I think this is a pretty smart move on NBC’s part, but in retrospect, maybe they should’ve saved that conversation for if/when Rochette fell apart? I don’t know—it’s not like this is a commonality many Olympians can sit around and chat up…

JOANNIE ROCHETTE, CANADA (in beautiful black & silver w/red rose on back)

MUSIC: La Cumparsita (Rodriguez)

Wow, and we thought Kim’s SP was highly anticipated…I gasped when it looked like she slipped a little on the way to her 3lutz… but she nailed it, in combination… 3 flip too… great flying spin… 2 axel w/nice spiral coming out… spiral sequence is next… then layback… some people are probably saying “thank you Scott and Sandra for not talking over this one AT ALL..The combo spin looks fierce… and she did it!

Oh, if she can only hold it together for a two more days…Mercy, does Scott sound broken up. No wonder he didn’t talk… I’m not sure he could. Joannie briefly looks out to the camera in the K & C and addresses “us” in French, but all languagesl understand anyway… especially those of us who have lost our own mothers.

71.36. A new personal best. CURRENTLY in 3rd.

JULIA SEBESTYEN of HUNGARY is now faced with following her. In four(!) Olympics, wonder if she’s ever had to contend with something like that unfolding right in front of her… (wearing sleeveless pink or bright red? Not sure; blame my TV)

Music: Songs from a Secret Garden

Nice, huge 3lutz/2toe… incomplete rotation on 3flip, though… 2axel was fine… layback was slllooow at end, and the Bielmann didn’t help.

57.46. CURRENTLY 13th. In 3 Olympics her best finish was 8th (2002), and her worst finish was 2006 (18th). Assuming she’s hanging it up after this Olympics, I hope she does all that she’s capable of in her final finish. (And wow, talk about someone who should write a book about her experiences…From Nagano to Vancouver... I'd buy it.)

While waiting for Julia’s scores we get a few seconds of Rachael Flatt competing at age 3… terribly cute, of course. But oh, man, too much talk about her being “The Rock”. Don’t jinx her!!!! If she falls I'm blaming NBC. Just let her skate.

RACHAEL FLATT, USA (in sleeveless fuschia with silver pin stripes)

Sing Sing Sing

3Flip/3toe YESSS…but the end of her 3lutz looked almost wide in terms of the free leg (Sandra called it “tight”)… not 2-footed right? Nice control on the spirals… little slow on layback, or is that her normal speed…? A good 2axel… great footwork as always, and a great combo at end… whew. Clean. I think. If she gets downgrades don’t be shocked…

But no, she gets 64.64! Yay!… cool… and I think she has a new lucky number! (by the way, in checking protocols I see she got zero downgrades but received a -1 GOE on the lutz from most of the panel.) CURRENTLY IN 5th.

(in red or pink—again, blame my old TV—with a long-sleeve mesh top)

MUSIC: Nocturne No. 20 (Chopin), Violin Concerto (Tchaikovsky)

3Flip/2toe is OK… 3lutz has 2 hands down…2 axel looked super tilted in the air but she saved it (but the tilt must by why she got several negative GOE votes on it)… layback looked WEEEAK… she’s still smiling, but looked tentative on this footwork… the last combo didn’t look particularly sharp either (and more negative GOEs ensued). Blah. OK, let’s guess what she’ll get (without getting involved with NBC’s interactive “you be the judge” stuff… um, how about a 61? That’s what I’d give; I suspect they’ll do more like a 66.

Ooh, 63.02 so I wasn’t that far off after all CURRENTLY 6th.

MIKI ANDO of JAPAN, last skater de nuit (in black and red w/silver cross in middle)

MUSIC: Requiem (Mozart)

She goes for the 3lutz/3Loop, but had to put 2nd foot down a second later… 3flip pretty good… spins, and spirals, and just before launching into her straight-line sequence there’s another crappy layback/Bielmann thing. Suddenly I miss Alissa Czisny SO. MUCH. Her footwork is fine… so where does she fit in here?

Thanks Sandra for mentioning the crappy layback. The way they’re analyzing these landings you sure can tell NBC doesn’t want any “Nagasus” (surprise scorings resulting from replay hyper-analysis) Ah, the loop on the back end of the lutz will be downgraded … maybe the flip too…

64.76; only .12 over Flatt. CURRENTLY 4th, and she’s 7 points behind Rochette so it would appear the top 3 will really have to struggle for anyone else to break in there.

Hang in there everyone—one more big one to go! Thanks to all the ladies for an amazing show of talent.

5 comments: said...

What an amazing performance in spite of tragic circumstances by Rochette! Even if she doesn’t win a medal for her performance, Rochette deserves a gold medal for persevering through an extremely difficult time. Her story makes me want to watch her in figure skating just to see how she does in the rest of the Olympic competition.

Edward said...

Julia and Carolina were in pink. Lot of pink/fuschia on the ladies in the final group.

Absolutely SOOOOOOOOOO Happy for Joannie. What a performance! If I owned a Canadian newspaper-which I don't, I'm American-the headline on both front and back pages would be "National Treasure" with a picture of Joannie after her SP. If you weren't crying cheering after that, you're not human. I SO hope she can hold it together for a least a day longer.

Kelli Lawrence said...

Thanks Edward-- I'm working with an ooooold TV in the office, and it occurred to me about halfway through that all that seemed "red" might not be...

And I knew Flatt's dress wasn't red because I've been thinking all year that I wished her SP dress was some other color than fuschia :-(

RE: Rochette... if those that haven't really followed her career knew what a shaky year she's had (competitively speaking) they might even be more amazed by what she put down last night!

Edward said...

You are absolutely correct, Kelli. Joannie has had a rough year on the ice-certainly not what was expected from a World Silver Medalist. But all of that, to me, is water under the bridge right now after one of the greatest figure skating performances I've seen-I've been watching figure skating for nearly 3 decades-scary to say.

P.S. Your analysis is more spot on than the analysis of Bezic/Hamilton.

Kelli Lawrence said...

Aw, thanks again... I can't speak down about our NBC folks... they were all very generous with their time when I talked to them for my book. I will say that it's a lot easier for those of us who don't have to come up with the perfect word, on the spot, for not just hard-core fans but "Olympic" fans as well. Tough stuff-- that's why I never get in front of the camera :-)