Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Post-Olympic Grad Skating School is in Session... Pairs Free Skate Group 1 is Up

I’m going to take advantage of this tiny lull before Worlds gets underway (and my unabashedly lousy predictions are attempted) to try a round of that POGSS I mentioned last week.

No, POGSS is not a trendy Irish beer… um, at least I don’t think so. It’s an acronym I made up for Post-Olympic Grad Skating School.

Today, I’ll be sharing some notes I made when watching back the first group of pairs from their Vancouver free skate. I tried to note something about every pair I saw, but I apologize in advance if that doesn’t happen… to be honest, some are a lot more memorable than others. In good ways and bad ways!

Let me know if you took a look at/had thoughts on any of these…

Maylin Hausch/Daniel Wende, Germany
Ages 21/25… FINISHED 17th in Vancouver
I thought they were Denney/Barrett (of the US) at first glance, but then I said to myself “Jeremy Bennett wouldn’t wear something that goofy-looking.” Unfortunately, their costumes seem to have upstaged their skating for me… I have no other notes on them.

Ekaterina Kostenko/Roman Talan, Ukraine
Ages 25/22… FINISHED 20th in Vancouver
They skated to Moonlight Sonata… slow, blah, and had a terrible death spiral.

Maria Sergejeva/Ilia Glebov, Estonia
Ages 17/22… FINISHED 19th in Vancouver
They used West Side Story and it was CRYING for better choreography. But these kids are pretty young; I think they were just given the music mighty early in their career… they seemed to get a little more energy in the back end of the performance; always a good thing. Had a pretty nice 1-armed star lift (?) near the end. Seemed to finish several seconds early… do the judges have a penalty for THAT yet?

Joanna Sulej/Mateusz Chruscinski, Poland
Ages 20/22… FINISHED 18th in Vancouver
They skated to Romeo & Juliet… a couple nice moments; he had a freak little fall near the end.

Stacey Kemp/David King, UK
Ages 21/25… FINISHED 16th in Vancouver
Speaking of Poland…I knew their coaches looked familiar—apparently Kemp/King work with the Siudeks (former Polish pairs champs and 1999 World Bronze Medalists) Kemp/King had an interesting contrast of good/bad skills… surprisingly good lifts (until you realize who their coaches are—the Siudeks had some of the best lifts in the business!), and an exceptional level 4 forward inside death spiral. But their side-by-sides are sorely lacking… double flip and flip combos were all they had, and even those weren’t that good (Stacey’s jump technique seemed especially off).

Of course the Olympic performances are tough if not impossible to track down outside of the NBC site… but here is Kemp/King’s SP performance from Euros as the
Clip of the Day. Unfortunately it showcases yet another trouble with the side-by-sides when King falters badly on their SBS spin. But the rest is pretty nice, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can get their singles skating skills on par with the rest of their work.

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