Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weir Outta This World(s)... Let the Rippon Begin

Sometimes the blog just writes itself.

I was looking at the calendar, studying the difference between the dates of Junior Worlds (which runs this week over in The Hague, Netherlands) and the dates of Senior Worlds (March 22-28 in Torino Italy.. 2 weeks from now)…

And thinking hmm… right about now would be when some of the Olympians-turned-World championship competitors might start to drop out for reasons other than getting a
better gig with another network.

Then, as if Johnny’s Angels had been listening to my very thoughts…we get word this afternoon that the fabulous Mr. Weir has scrapped his plans for Torino. Lots of articles abound already;
here is what appeared in Entertainment Weekly(online), for example. But they all center Weir’s press statement… here’s a bit of it:

“…And while I am still embracing my Olympic memories and have the momentum to move forward, I have decided that it is not advantageous at this time for me to partake in the World Championships in Torino, Italy. After my sixth place finish in Vancouver, I believe that I must take time to reassess my strategies and goals. While I understand the importance of competition, I feel that a short break at this time would be personally beneficial to me. I know all may not share my stance, but I can assure everyone that I will be re-energized after I’ve had time to rework my technique. I want to be a better competitor and win medals for my country and I hope everyone can respect my decision to take this time off.”

I must admit, the first thing that sprang to mind for me upon reading this had precious little to do with Weir… sorry… instead it was more like WAIT—DOESN’T THAT MEAN ADAM RIPPON GETS TO GO IN HIS PLACE???

Being nowhere near IceNetwork at the time, I went instead to check and see what Rippon had Tweeted of late… and saw this:

Torino, I'M COMING!!! :D

So I guess that’s a yes.

I’d been wondering if Weir was truly going to go, if only because he seems to be discussing the Olympics and promoting his show via the talk show circuit more than he is training at the moment. Also, with all his talk about wanting to put down two clean programs at Worlds so he could dare the judges to put him down in 6th again… maybe he’s come to terms with the programs not being as COP-friendly as they could be? (I’m not analyzing; I’m just repeating what I’ve heard several other places.)

In any case, what a great time to have such a deep men’s team in the U.S. Adam Rippon has truly had the kind of breakout season that Jeremy Abbott was blessed with back in ’08-09, so to get that “pack your bags” call to round out the year must be very gratifying.

Oh, and not to belittle this other bit of news for the day… but
according to this, Stephane Lambiel has now “officially retired” from amateur skating. Of course, the announcement comes a couple weeks after Lambiel turned in a 4th place finish at Vancouver, and a couple weeks before Lambiel makes his “official” pro skating debut with ABC’s Thin Ice, so smack yourself in the head with the palm of your hand if you didn’t see that one coming.

I think I featured Rippon’s 4CC’s-winning Free Skate from about 6 weeks ago as
the Clip of the Day once before, but if you check out this version, you’ll see the protocols for each element appear on the lower third of the screen. First time I’ve seen that… wonder if they’ll ever try to incorporate that into U.S. broadcasts?


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog.

St├ęphane probably would have retired after the Olympics no matter where he'd finished. He's injured and can't really train enough to remain in competition. I think that he was fortunate to have done as well as he did this season, considering that his injury hampered his ability to train.

Kelli Lawrence said...

Thank you :-)

Yes, I had that same sense about Lambiel... must've been quite the challenge just to come back as well as he did. It'll be interesting to see how he partners with Shizuka Arakawa on "Thin Ice" in about 10 days!