Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Second Look: Cup of China 2009, Men & Pairs

Plushenko update: The majority of articles and blog posts I’ve read over are indicating Plushy’s ISU competition ban is a permanent one; only the article I linked last time said otherwise. Furthermore, most speculation seems to be that this “ban” is a remarkably easy way for him to get out of his Sochi promise. But let me play devil’s advocate for a minute: does anyone think the ISU was chomping at the bit to get Plushenko out of the picture anyway… the mindset being, perhaps, that he was doing the sport more harm than good with his behavior in Vancouver? Just asking…

I know you’ve been waiting SO patiently for my little report on Cup of China 2009 revisited, so here’s the first part of it:

When it came to the MEN of the event, the only one I really took note of at the time was Evan Lysacek… and his feathers, as he debuted his Firebird/Condor costume there. I didn’t mention, though, that his Scheherazade free skate was very well received—this despite some pretty wide landings and/or saves, and IIRC, some downgrades too.

Who else didn’t I mention then that’s worth it now? Sergei Voronov in the SP—he really sold it nicely and backed it up with steady, consistent jumping. He didn’t really deliver in the FS, but between he and Artem Borodulin, I think Russia might be well-represented in the coming years (even without His Evgeniness). And I also took note of Yannick Ponsero in the FS, whose performance included 1 successful, lovely quad, 5 triples, 2 falls, and numerous times he couldn’t stay on axis in the air if he’d been stapled to a French flagpole. Just crazy. The only thing that stays consistent with him is his radical inconsistency. I love his skating; I hate his skating. Wait, I think I hear a Johnny Weir short program coming on…

As for the PAIRS: with China as the host country, it’s no surprise that Shen/Zhao (in their very first comeback step) and Zhang/Zhang (in their umpteenth attempt to outskate them) were the biggest news of the event… especially when they easily went 1-2 there.

So, who else didn’t I mention then that’s worth it now regarding the pairs in attendance? Probably Evora/Ladwig, who finished here a very ho-hum 7th out of 8. With falls on SBS jumps, hands down on throw jumps, and out-of-sync SBS spins—and that was just the short program—it’s frankly no wonder they weren’t on anyone’s short list to make the Olympic team. I know they didn’t skate gangbusters at Nationals either (if they had, John Baldwin wouldn’t have had as much to whine about), but they still made a great deal of improvement by the end of this past season. We’ll see if it sticks with them when they debut their GP season at this exact same event next fall.

The other pair that might be worth a shout-out is Russia’s Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze, a young senior team from Russia that actually bested Zhang/Zhang in the SP here, coming in 3rd. While they couldn’t stand up to the pressure this time—they were 7th in the FS, and 5th overall—they showed a few flashes of greatness, particularly with their throws and something I wrote in my notes as a “layback lift”.

In fact, here’s their exhibition skate from that same event as the
Clip of the day. Look, they even try their hand at comedy here… and are more successful than, say, other Russian pairs skaters of late that come to mind (Muk/Trank and “The Lady and the Hooligan”, anyone?)

Speaking of the now-defunct Muk/Trank… Iliushechkina and Maisuradze are a team that could use a nickname. Anyone got one for them yet?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Plushenko "Banned"... But For How Long?

Here’s something that would be very newsworthy if it didn’t just make me double over laughing instead...

According to this article with the headline PLUSHENKO BANNED FROM SKATING, he of the bad hair and worse attitude has been “banned from competition for one year” because he failed to show for Worlds in March, then failed to get permission from the Russian Skating Federation to skate in an ice show one month later.

HA! I’m thinking. As if he really wanted to compete this coming season anyway! I smell a set-up…

But this is where it gets confusing for me… let’s see if it’s confusing for you too… here was the ISU statement made on the matter today:

Based on evidence presented the Council has concluded that Mr. Evgeny Plushenko breached the ISU eligibility rule 102, paragraph 2, i) of the ISU General Regulations and as a consequence has become ineligible under paragraph 7 a) of that rule. The evidence has proved to the satisfaction of the Council that Mr. E. Plushenko, a skater and member of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia (FSFR), skated in exhibitions held in March and April 2010, in Russia and other countries, without the express prior authorization of the FSFR. Such activity is a breach of the ISU eligibility rules and results in the loss of eligibility.

The present decision communicated to both Mr E. Plushenko and the FSFR may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland, within 21 days upon receipt of the decision, in accordance with Article 25, paragraph 2, c) of the ISU Constitution.

So he’s been banned from competition for one year… or banned for life? The one article indicates the former, but I don’t see the words “for one year” anywhere in the ISU statement. But as you see, Plushy apparently has three weeks to appeal this decision so it’ll probably get cleared up soon.

Does it make a difference? All depends on how serious the guy is about competing in Sochi in 2014. If he fully intended to go for it, and this is “ineligibility” is permanent, I suppose he’ll appeal in a big way. But if it’s only a year-long ban, file this one under WHO CARES, HE WASN’T GOING TO SHOW UP ANYWAY.

Of course I’ll keep you posted! Or if you've got info on this that I don't have yet, feel free to post me instead!

I was planning to re-visit 2009 Cup of China today, until I read about all the Plushy stuff. We’ll get back on track by Wednesday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Previewing the Second Half of the GP Matchups for Fall 2010

Time to return to that 2010 Grand Prix-view I started a few days back… now, where was I?


For Dance: though it already looks like an easy win for Davis/White, they still may face some interesting competition both from veterans (Zaretskys) and relatively newer blood such as Crone/Poirier and Cappellini/Lanotte. In pairs: at this point looks like a cakewalk to gold for Savchenko/Szolkowy, and to silver for Denney/Barrett (especially now that McBru have dissolved, and the US now has TWO TBAs in this discipline). For the men: Now this could be interesting… Daisuke Takahashi, Nobunari Oda, and Adam Rippon are all scheduled to attend. And as for the ladies: With Lepisto and Kostner at the same US-based event, it looks like a European dream team… Rachael Flatt is back; this was kind of her breakout event last year when she outskated Yu-Na in the FS… but there are several dark horses for a medal here, including Kwak Min-Jung (heir to Yu-Na’s Korean throne) and surprise top-10 worlds finisher Viktoria Helgesson (from Sweden).


In Dance… Faiella/Scali could get their first GP gold here if they don’t get it in China. Kerrs are toughest competition (this is assuming both attend)… Bobrova/Soloviev of Russia appear to be the other contenders here. For Pairs: the easy pick would be Home Faves Kavaguti/Smirnov, but I see potential spoilers in Dube/Davison (if they attend, and are skating in better form than last season) and, maybe, Berton/Hotarek—the new Italian team coached by John Zimmerman that showed some great potential at Worlds in Torino. With The Men: Plushenko’s showing up? Really? Ha! That’s the biggest BIWISI (Believe It When I See It) yet. I’d rather focus for now on the more likely prospects: Patrick Chan, Jeremy Abbott, and dark horses ranging from the late bloomer (Contesti) to the fallen hero (Tomas Verner)… even France’s Preaubert and Spain’s Fernandez could be a factor here. Over with The Ladies: Russia could have a better chance of medaling on home ice here, namely in the form of Alena Leonova and Ksenia Makarova, who are both scheduled to show up. However, with names in attendance like Miki Ando, Akiko Suzuki, and who was it… oh yeah, Kim freakin’ Yu-Na—the Far East contingent promises to be as strong as ever. With any luck, USA’s Ashley Wagner could squeak into the mix as well.


In Dance, Virtue/Moir are scheduled to skate their second GP event here, with France’s Home Faves Pechalat/Bourzat being their closest competition. USA’s Samuelson/Bates could have a shot at bronze, as could Russia’s Rubleva/Shefer. The Pairs could be “locally” interesting as this event is scheduled to feature the debut of France’s Vanessa James with her new partner Maximin Coia… but as for someone who might actually make the podium, eyes will be on Savchenko/Szolkowy, Zhang/Zhang, and possibly the young Russian couple of Bazarova/Larionov. (No U.S. teams have been selected to compete at this event.) For The Men: Another interesting field that, for now at least, includes our own Johnny Weir, Czech Republic’s Michel Brezina, Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka, Russia’s Sergei Voronov, and Brian Joubert (though he’s finished off the podium at this event ever since winning it in 2006). Throw North Americans Brandon Mroz and Kevin Reynolds—both with the capacity to land at least one quad per program—and it has the makings of a very interesting ball game. We’ll have to see if it holds. And for The Ladies: From Leader-After-SP-at Worlds Mirai Nagasu to Leader-After-FS-at-Worlds Mao Asada… from the well-the-judges-love-her-at least efforts of Kiira Korpi to the “well, the judges used to love her” work of Fumie Suguri… from the up-and-comer Sarah Hecken (of Germany) to the up-and-please-make-a-comeback girl Alissa Czisny… there simply shouldn’t be a dull moment.

For the
Clip of the Day – in honor of Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker, I found their “Play That Funky Music” exhibition skate from about 2 years ago at Blades for the Cure… happier times. May McLaughlin find what she’s looking for outside of this sport… and may Brubaker find a new partner pronto. He’s too strong a skater to be left in the lurch for long.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What Do Yu-Na, Bobek and the ISU Congress (AND "McBru"!) Have in Common? They're All in the Headlines...

I absolutely WILL get back to previewing the GP match-ups, but surprisingly, there’s been enough skating-related headlines of interest this past week (in June?!) to merit a brief interruption.

They’re each odd in their own way, so let’s see what we can do with them…


According to articles like
this one, South Korea’s best-known athlete Kim Yu-Na recently failed two of her courses at Korea University. Are you thinking How can she take courses at Korea University when she trains in Canada most of the year? Well, perhaps she’ll start to wonder that as well. From the article:

"Kim received F grades as she was unable to take midterms and finals," said an official at Korea University. "I believe the professors who gave her Fs judged that they could not give her credits based on papers alone."

Hmm. I guess this is one area in which Rachael Flatt should not try and emulate her when she heads to Stanford…


It’s not even an exaggeration. As I mentioned on SOTS when the news broke nearly
one year ago, Nicole Bobek was arrested for to conspiracy to distribute crystal methamphetamine… and now, as it says here, the 1995 World Bronze Medalist has pleaded guilty and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted at trial. Here’s more, taken from her brief stay in jail last July:

During a jailhouse interview, one of the inmates said Bobek told her she enjoyed skating, but her life went in a different direction and she regretted it. Even so, Bobek told the prisoner, "she was hopeful." Bobek even made tube tops for the inmates out of T-shirts before being released on bail.

Good to know her free spirit still prevailed… or it least it did last summer. Sentencing is scheduled for early August. Stay tuned…

And perhaps the oddest of all…


Yep, at the recent ISU Congress… it happened. Oh, and so did a few other, less inane things… like the Compulsory Dance kiss-off you might have heard about? Check out some of the details
here… we’ll take a closer look at all of that soon. But I can’t leave this subject without including a brief quote from former ISU official Sonia Bianchetti. I interviewed her for the Skating on Air book you see mentioned off to the left of your screen…and happened to ask her a little about Cinquanta’s likely election and the possibility of term limits… (this was her talking late last year)

Ottavio Cinquanta is 71, he was born on August 15, 1938. Therefore he can run again next year for one more term. And he has already announced he intends to run.

In my opinion the chances that he may be not re-elected next year are very few. The main problem is to find a candidate ready to stand against him.

In my opinion a term limit is necessary, especially for the president and the Council members. The average age of the Council is now 68. New blood is badly needed.

As the kids say… True dat!

Late-breaking addition to this edition: 2-time U.S. Pairs champs Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker... we know them here as McBru... but not anymore... they are "ending their partnership" as per an announcement made this week at IceNetwork. We'll get into this a little more when we return to the ISU Grand Prix-view.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The ABC's and TBA's of the 2010-11 Grand Prix

What’s the difference between a Grand Prix Lineup in 2009 and one in 2010? In a word… or a series of letters, at least… TBAs.

It’s a different world, competitively speaking, once the Olympic pinnacle is reached every four years. Some of the names and faces we’re familiar with announce early on that they’re skipping the GP series (see Joannie Rochette and Evan Lysacek). Some are listed, but you can’t help but see their name and sarcastically blurt out HA! In disbelief they’re still hanging in there (too many names to list here; we’ll discuss ‘em as we go). Some, praytell, even go old-school and officially retire from the competitive ranks (thank you for that, Belbin/Agosto).

But between the To Be Announced slots that perpetuate the GP list at this point of the new season—to be filled, presumably, by unknown starlets—and the names we know all too well that we’ll call BIWISIs (Believe It When I See It), there’s not as many fierce head-to-head battles on the docket as usual. At least, not yet.

So rather than list the best “battles” this time, I’m just looking down the respective lists to see what each event has to offer at this point. Covering the first three this time, in order of schedule:


For Pairs, the event looks wide open for Pang/Tong, with potential for Denney/Barrett to medal. For Men, we’ll have the mild amusement of two “Tens” competing (that would be Jeremy and Denis), though that’s surely happened before! Dice-K (Takahashi, current world champ) will be there, as will Jeremy Abbott… a 1-2 finish for them perhaps? As for Ladies, Mao Asada will surely be the ladies’ fave at her home event. U.S. champ Rachel Flatt and Ashley Wagner (who bested Asada at last year’s Rostelecom Cup) will be there to take her on, and Carolina Kostner is scheduled to show up too.

On the BIWISI list for NHK: Inoue/Baldwin and Kevin VanDerPerren, both to whom I’d like to say ohfortheloveofpetePLEASEretirealready. I’d say the same to Pang/Tong except that they’re still in their prime as far as I’m concerned, and I’m not ready to see them go just yet.


Reigning dance OGMs Virtue/Moir will debut their season at this event; that’s sure to be the highlight for many. But as with last season, there will be no direct duels with Davis/White until, we assume, the GP Final. So the closest competition I see for them will be the Kerrs… who are listed as attending, but very BIWISI if you ask me. Canadians Crone/Poirier will also be there, so it’ll be interesting to see how they progress (and rank alongside V/M) by then. In Pairs… it could be an easy win for Russia’s Kavaguti/Smirnov, who also appear to be continuing (with Dube/Davison and McLaughlin/Brubaker as their closest competition). For the Men, a Nobunari Oda vs. Patrick Chan showdown could be an interesting one; if Oda’s going to be competitive it’s likely to be in that first half of the year…As for the Ladies, I hate to say it, but sans Joannie Rochette (who is skipping the GP season), it could be Laura Lepisto’s first GP gold waiting for her there. Though it’d be awesome for someone like Cynthia Phaneuf or Alissa Czisny to upset her (especially Phaneuf, on home turf…)

Among the BIWISI’s for Canada besides the Kerrs: Johnny Weir and Fumie Suguri. I shake my head in disbelief at both of you.


In dance, the most interesting match-up here could be France’s Pechalat/Bourzat and Italy’s Faiella/Scali, possibly duking it out for 1-2 in dance just as challenged each other for world bronze a couple months back (Faiella/Scali took that one). This is assuming, though, that the Italian veterans continue and do the GP circuit. In Pairs, everything old is scheduled to be new again when Pang/Tong and Zhang/Zhang are pitted against each other on the home turf yet again… In the Men’s event, veteran Brian Joubert will go up against rising star Michal Brezina; could it be another bronze medal battle from Worlds resurfacing as a battle for the top? As for the Ladies, Kim Yu-Na is slated to debut her season here; her closest competition is likely to be Japan’s Miki Ando and the U.S.’s Mirai Nagasu (both of which also make their season debut here).

China’s BIWISI’s, aside from the aforementioned Faiella/Scali and Zhang/Zhang , is Anastasia Gimazetdinova. Who is she? The Uzbekistan skater who has now competed in 2 Olympics, 7 Worlds, 10 Four Continents, and has competed in GP events since 2003. Now at age 30, she even tops Suguri in the age department… but has nowhere near the pedigree; her best GP finish ever was a 7th at Cup of China 2005 and best Worlds finish was 19th in 2007. I guess the Lifelong Perseverance award in this sport could belong to her… if there was such a trophy!

As a tribute to that perseverance, here’s Gimazetdinova’s Olympic SP from the 2006 Olympics as the
Clip of the Day. I'll analyze the second half of the GP next time...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rostelecom Revisited Part 2: Ladies and Dance

I should first mention that… drum roll, please… the 2010-11 Grand Prix assignments were published over the weekend! If you go to the ISU website …or IceNetwork for U.S. assignments only… you can take a look at who’s been “invited” to what. (Or check out Laura over at Required Elements where she has, bless her soul, posted the entire rundown.) I’ll be taking a closer look at these lists and post about them, including my annual “best showdowns” list, later in the week.

This time, though, I’m focusing on those who were invited to a certain GP event from last season… and will follow a format similar to what I used in part 1:

Ladies at Rostelecom Cup I mentioned THEN (at the time of the event): Ashley Wagner, who debuted her new costumes and programs and looked positively radiant as she took home a silver medal behind Miki Ando … and Mao Asada, who really got tongues a-wagging when she couldn’t land a triple axel to save her Grand Prix life, limping away with a 5th place finish.

Ladies at Rostelecom I’d like to mention NOW: all three Russians in attendance. Alena Leonova wasn’t anywhere close to clean in the GP debut of her Chicago free skate, but she showed spunk, sass, and skated solid enough to take bronze (both she and Wagner eventually made it to the GP Final). And who were the other two Russians? Oksana Gozeva and Katarina Gerboldt, who finished 9th and 10th respectively in a field of 12. Neither of them came close to qualifying for the Olympics or Worlds—Gozeva finished 7th at Russian Nationals; Gerboldt, 9th—so why do I mention them at all? Because I thought it was interesting how they both skated in sleeveless costumes with long Vegas Showgirl gloves swaddling their delicate arms. For those of you skaters considering this look, take note: neither of these glove-ly ladies could hold a landing at Rostelecom. Seriously, they couldn’t. COINCIDENCE??

Dance teams at Rostelecom I mentioned THEN: Davis/White, and, um… well, just Davis/White. And I didn’t even mention the OD! (What was I thinking?)

Dance teams I’d like to mention NOW: Rubleva/Shefer (who finished 3rd), and Crone/Poirier (4th). Rubleva/Shefer were pretty impressive… while their music wasn’t my cup of tea (Une Vie d'Amour by Charles Aznavour and Mireille Mathieu, according to their ISU page) but very smooth with lots of nice lifts and interesting, complex interchanges. Great twizzles too. And Crone/Poirier were noteworthy for their up-and-evolving work, but what really caught my eye was their unrecognizable costumes. From Poirier’s high-waisted cream trousers in their Flamenco OD (he switched to all black by NHK Trophy), to
this completely different FD ensemble, seen here as the Clip of the Day, this pair did more than their share of road-testing in 2009-10. Let’s just say I think they made a wise move in switching to the periwinkle outfits of the season’s second half.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rostelecom 2009 Revisited: Men & Pairs

One of the funny things I’m finding as I do these “rerun recaps” is that I don’t have to worry about repeating myself as much as I thought I did… especially with these initial GP events, they whooshed by so quickly I barely had time to say much of anything before it was time to preview the next event! So as I look back at the Men and Pairs event that took place in late October of last year, let’s see who I DID mention compared to who I think is worthy of mentioning now, in retrospect…

Men I mentioned THEN: Plushenko, Kozuka, Weir (finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th respectively)

Men I’d prefer to mention NOW: Artem Borodulin (3rd), Adrian Schultheiss (6th), Florent Amodio (9th)

Amodio (France) because… he seemed to really get discovered at Skate America a few weeks later with the same programs, so what was the problem here? A doubled axel and a botched 3/3 combo in the short… as well as a problematic FS with only one clean triple in five attempts (the clean was a loop).

Schultheiss (Sweden) because… I should have had my eye on someone who had previously skated to the kind of music he’s skated to, no matter how well he finished. I think I’ve said this once before but it bears repeating: Of all the elite-level skaters using music with an obscenity in the title (his FS includes Prodigy’s Smack My B*tch Up), he’s most definitely my favorite!

Borodulin (Russia) because… if Weir had edged him out for bronze in this event, I might have had to wish someone pull his pink corset laces on the SP costume a little too tight the next time. I took a close look at the SP detailed scores for both guys… here’s what I came up with:

WEIR: edge warning on flip, got negative GOEs on all three jumps, but all spins & steps were level 3s and 4s and got positive GOEs. Average around 7.1 on components.

BORODULIN: edge call on flip, but no negative GOEs on other 2 jumps. Rest were 3s and 4s; only negative GOE came from a spin at end. Average 6.5 on components. Johnny essentially scored higher because of better component scores—3.3 higher, while Artem’s tech score was 2.8 over Johnny’s.

Unfortunately, Borodulin was the guy whose skate blade broke while doing his SP at Worlds this past March, forcing his withdrawal. (He was 13th at the Olympics.)


Pairs I mentioned THEN: Pang/Tong; McLaughlin/Brubaker

Pairs I’d prefer to mention NOW: Brodeur/Mattatall, Bazarova/Larionov

Brodeur/Mattatall (Canada) because… while they had a pretty dreadful SP in Russia, they kind of redeemed themselves with a charming FS to Singin’ in the Rain. Cute number with a rare nice & low death spiral to boot!

Bazarova/Larionov (Russia) because… while they could use more speed and she seems to need more strength on her landings, this was a really nice effort… they finished behind McBru, but I tend to think they could’ve won bronze without much argument.

Here is their FS as the clip of the day… judge for yourself!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sale/Pelletier: End of the “Love Story”; Still, the Show Goes On

When I saw this article yesterday that announced Jamie Sale and David Pelletier’s plans to divorce, my mind went many directions of sad. To the first time I saw them tell Erich Segal’s story of love… to those bewildering Olympic days of 2002… to news of the wedding… to their son Jesse… to the great insight and fun they offer whenever I’ve seen them do commentary…

But when it came to their commentary duties, what stuck with me most was this… here’s what I wrote in my
post from February 16 during the Olympics when talking about Mukhortova/Trankov’s interpretation of Love Story:…

Then there’s that shot NBC took of Sale/Pelletier up in the broadcast booth, watching in dead silence as a “response” to their music being revived. Nice. Spooky. Wow. (But now I’m thinking it was probably just that the CBC was taking a commercial break at the time… yeah, that was it)

And suddenly it all makes sense. How strange that whole gig must’ve been for them, and then to be sitting there in that moment… (big sigh)

They say they will continue to skate professionally, and really, what choice do they have if they want to keep earning a living this way? Together, they’re as much of a franchise as any pairs team in recent memory—and maybe ever, in light of all the press received by the judging scandal. And as I recall, neither of them fared that well in viewers’ votes when they skated with other partners in that Thin Ice program that aired in March.

People want to see them together… or at least they have up to now. Does anyone out there remember when Sonny and Cher tried to continue their very popular TV variety show after they’d divorced? It didn’t go so well… the way they related on camera carried a new sort of sting; the mild digs in the name of humor were almost painful to watch. (OK, for the record, I was all of about 6 or 7 when the show ended and I barely remember it myself, but still…)

A skating couple is different of course… they don’t have to speak when they perform, at least not verbally. But will they be able to skate to anything uplifting from here on with fans truly believing what they “say”? Total professionals, yes they are. But above all else, they’re human too.

If anyone’s watched Sale/Pelletier perform together in the past year or so, would you be so kind as to post a comment about your thoughts on the performance?

For the
Clip of the Day I found—from presumably happier times—their 2003 exhibition performance of Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bowman's Final "Show" Set for September

Sometimes you cringe when you see a name in the headlines.

Christopher Bowman passed away in January 2008, 3 months before I started this blog. So I never got the opportunity to acknowledge the sadness of his death… and unfortunately, when Bowman’s name crops up nowadays, there’s not a lot of positivity behind it most of the time.

Case in point:
this recent article, which draws attention to a pending court case in which Bowman’s troubled life will likely take the spotlight. It seems that Bowman’s family is suing a woman named April Freeman out of deep concern that, in essence, she’s messing where she has no business doing so:

--The suit seeks more than $25,000 in damages from Freeman for allegedly misappropriating Bowman's personal property. It cites unauthorized use of the skater's name, likeness, photograph and signature, as well as trademark infringement, alleging Freeman has registered businesses that are identical or similar to those of Bowman's ex-wife.The suit also seeks to bar Freeman from disturbing or even visiting Bowman's grave.According to the lawsuit, Bowman's family buried him in an unmarked grave in a cemetery they will not reveal in an attempt to keep Freeman from stealing his body.

--Freeman claims she just wants to be left alone… family and friends aren’t discussing the lawsuit publicly… so aside from articles like this, which mentions (among other things) that Bowman was working on an autobiography called Gone in Circles at the time of his death… it looks like all interested parties will have to wait until September 14 to hear both sides of the story. Sounds like a fun summer for all involved, eh?

I’ve got Bowman’s FS from 1989 Nationals as the
Clip of the Day. Imperfect for sure, but as the first man to take the U.S. title after Boitano, this victory put him on the map. May he continue to be remembered for his seat-of-his-pants style of skating rather than the demons that ultimately brought him down.