Wednesday, May 12, 2010

As the Skating World Turns: a Departure, an Update… And a “Beauty”-ful Irony?

This first one isn’t a shocker: it’s often sad to see a skater or skaters announce their retirement, and the news this week of U.S. ice dancers Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre definitely fits the bill… if only because they were the odd couple out this year when it came to U.S. ice dance teams in Vancouver. I always hope that team or that skater is someone on the rise (see Mirai Nagasu’s Olympic experience)… rather than someone who’s been hanging around the second tier of placements for several years, hoping to make a great move in an Olympic season (see Evora/Ladwig).

It didn’t happen for Navarro/Bommentre… they were 5th in 2006, and probably quite confident they could rise to a firm podium position over the next four years. And while they weren’t exactly denied the hardware—U.S. bronze in ’08 and ’09; even Four Continents bronze in ’08—it obviously didn’t work out quite the way they hoped. (Check out Kim Navarro’s Worlds “diary” over at to get a better understanding of her/their mindset post-Nationals.) Still, it’s been a fine run.

Coaching square dance continued:
We know about Czisny and Meissner… and Samuelson/Bates. But then there are those skaters who have parted ways with their coaches and have yet to announce their next do-si-do. Who are they? This
handy Universal Sports blog shares the latest on all the current “dancers”:

+ Mao Asada, who is still without a coach after leaving Tatiana Tarasova but plans to work with both Tarasova and Lori Nichol for choreography
+ Nobunari Oda, who is no longer with Nikolai Morozov… but IS a married man as of a few weeks back, with a baby due in the fall. Better make that do-si-do a do-si-whoops
+ And Brian Joubert, about whom rumors are apparently circling that he might seek out coaching options in North America (despite his long-standing insistence on staying close to home for such training)

But will he sing at the pageant too?: is reporting that the omnipresent Johnny Weir’s latest non-skating assignment is as a
judge at the upcoming Miss U.S.A. Pageant. Weir will join Food Network’s Paula Deen, former Miss U.S.A. Tara Conner, and Melania Trump (gee, how’d she get in there??), among others. No word on whether Weir will actually be representing the Russian Judge in this battle (heh).

For the
Clip of the Day I’ve got my personal favorite from the Navarro/Bommentre catalog… their Beatles FD from 2007 Nationals.

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