Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011 Skate Canada Preview

Here’s what’s on the Skate Canada tap this weekend…

On Ice (subscription required):

Friday, Oct. 28
2:05 p.m.: Ladies short program
3:45 p.m.: Pairs short program
7:30 p.m.: Men's short program
9:10 p.m.: Short dance

Saturday, Oct. 29
2:15 p.m.: Ladies free skate
4:15 p.m.: Pairs free skate
7:10 p.m.: Men's free skate

Sunday, Oct. 30
12:30 p.m.: Free dance

On Universal Sports (available over-the-air or via dish/satellite, depending on where you live):

Saturday, Oct. 29
4:00 p.m. Pairs free skate
7:00 p.m. Men’s free skate

Sunday, Oct. 30
12:30 p.m.: Free dance

NOTE: The Ladies free skate will not air until NBC shows it NEXT Saturday (November 5).

As I mentioned last week, I’m going a slightly different route this year with the previews… no medals predictions, but some stuff of note nonetheless:


Replacements from original lineup: All original invitees are here; the TBD for Canada is Elladj Balde
Top 5 guess in alphabetical order: Patrick Chan, Javier Fernandez, Adam Rippon, Daisuke Takahashi, Denis Ten
Dark Horses: Tough to say; from bronze medal down it appears wide open. Maybe Ross Miner or Alban Preaubert?
Has a quad, or quads: Chan (2 of them), Takahashi, Fernandez, Ten
Has a quad maybe: Rippon (he is reportedly trying his quad lutz here), all other competitors of whom I know far too little about
Senior GP Debut: Andrei Rogozine, Balde, Alexander Majorov
Favorite: Chan. Maybe co-faves with Dice-K, but on home ice? Chan.
Other: Despite all the debuts of recent junior competitors here, the youngest of the bunch is 18 year-old Denis Ten (born June 1993).


Replacements from original lineup: All original invitees are here; the TBD for Canada is Adriana DeSanctis
Top 5 guess in alphabetical order: Rachael Flatt, Mirai Nagasu, Cynthia Phaneuf, Akiko Suzuki, Elizaveta Tutamysheva
Dark Horses: Alena Leonova, Amelie Lacoste, Ashley Wagner
Who might have a 3/3 (triple/triple): Nagasu, Tutamysheva, Sarah Hecken
Senior GP Debut: DeSanctis, Tutamysheva
Favorite: I’d say Phaneuf, except she crashed last year (1st in SP, off the podium in the end) and even said she probably shouldn’t compete at this event anymore…so IF there’s a favorite aside from the home-country variety, I think it might be Nagasu.
Other: Tutamysheva (aka “Liza”) is most likely the youngest here, not turning 15 until this December.

Replacements from original lineup: None… Jessica Dube and (new partner) Sebastien Wolfe are Canada’s TBD.
Top 4 guess in alphabetical order: Iliusheckina/Maisuradze, Lawrence/Swiegers, Sui/Han, Volosozhar/Trankov
Dark Horse: Duhamel/Radford
Senior GP Debut: Yu/Jin, Dube/Wolfe, Volosozhar/Trankov
Favorite: Volosozhar/Trankov
Other…: Take note, US readers… no American teams in this event.


Replacements from original lineup: Lucie Mysliveckova and Matej Novak (CZE) are out; Madison Chock and Evan Bates take their place. Tarrah Harvey/Keith Gagnon are the Canadian TBD’s.
Top 4 guess in alphabetical order: Cappellini/Lanotte, Riazanova/Tkachenko,
Virtue/Moir, Weaver/Poje
Dark Horse: Chock/Bates, Riazanova/Tkachenko
Senior GP Debut: Harvey/Gagnon, Pushkash/Guerrero, Chock/Bates
Favorite: Gotta be Virtue/Moir
Other…: Pechalat/Bourzat were originally scheduled to compete here, but Bourzat has been battling bronchitis… they’ve consequentially withdrawn.

Stay tuned for results & (my version of) analysis... as soon as I can get it posted! (Even if "soon" turns out to be Monday or Tuesday as it often does!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Don't Trust a Coach Who Uses Elton John as His Eyewear Fashion Consultant... and Other Sk8AM 2011 Observations

First the Skate America 2011 medalists... then, a list of Ten Things We Learned from this first event of the GP season.

GOLD: Michal Brezina, CZE
SILVER: Kevin van der Perren, BEL
BRONZE: Takahiko Kozuka, JPN

GOLD: Alissa Czisny, USA
SILVER: Carolina Kostner, ITA
BRONZE: Viktoria Helgesson, SWE

GOLD: Savchenko/Szolkowy, GER
SILVER: Zhang/Zhang, CHN
BRONZE: Moore-Towers/Moscovitch, CAN

GOLD: Davis/White, USA
SILVER: Pechalat/Bourzat, FRA
BRONZE: Tobias/Stagniunas, LIU

1) Don’t trust a coach who has Elton John as his eyewear fashion consultant (see above)…

“Don’t tell anyone, but I’m a little mad at them right now,” Brezina confessed (on live TV, no less) to Andrea Joyce as he revealed that it was his coaching staff (which includes eyeglass style criminal Karel Fajfr) who talked him out of trying either of his two quads in an effort to seal his Sk8Am victory with a “safe” skate.

2) Do risks pay off? Welllll... depends on who you ask.

Ask Savchenko/Szolkowy (who crashed and burned on a throw triple axel attempt in the SP, but still came back to win gold)…Dornbush (who landed a quad with perhaps the best save EVER, but had a shaky rest-of-program)… Czisny, who landed a triple lutz/triple toe in the FS… that was downgraded… but still eked a win over Kostner). For reasons mentioned above, I suggest you do NOT ask Brezina this question.

3) Just because you’re a GP newbie doesn’t mean you have to finish last…

For more info, see 7th place finisher Doug Razzano, 8th place Joelle Forte, 4th place Richard Dornbush, and bronze medalists (!) Tobias/Stagniunas (of Lithuania).

4) Just because you PAY for live streaming video doesn’t mean you’re going to SEE it at critical times...

If the Universal Sports “Rugby” slide that popped up for the last half of Davis/White’s SD on IceNetwork is any indication.

5) Makarova prefers (tributes to) blondes.

Last year it was Evita… this year it’s Marilyn Monroe… will she pay homage to Madonna next year? Or is she saving that for Sochi?

6) Scott Hamilton is at his best when he’s being (almost) perfectly blunt.

When the NBC commentators took some time to speculate on the situation between Evan Lysacek and the USFSA, and Hamilton indicated he’d read Lysacek’s Twitter statement …and was even pointed to it by Lysacek himself after he called him wanting to talk about what was going on… Hamilton spoke of being confused, but at least one of his statements about the situation was crystal-clear: “If you’re training to compete, then… compete.” (Read: Even if you’re taking a pay cut.)

7) Sometimes skating to MJ just isn’t the thing to do.

Especially when you’re using “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin” as ice dancers, and your pre-stated tempo is the slow, smoky Rhumba. (Yes, Asher/Hill, I’m looking at you… though to be honest, I thought the rest of your time at the event was very well spent.)

8) Van der Perren’s silver medal… in what he’s apparently reporting to be his final season… is proof that, if nothing else, sometimes the 17th time is the charm.

(This was VDP’s 17th appearance at a GP event since 2004.)

9) Caroline Zhang & Elene Gedevanishvili’s performances raised the question “Is it better to be inconsistently good than consistently mediocre?”

Zhang skated a great SP this year but fell three times in her FS… still, her overall 6th place finish is surely considered an improvement over her 9th place at the same event. As for Gedevanishvili, who skated a miserable SP, a very respectable FS, and finished in 7th—just as she did last year--- um, hmm, I’ll get back to you on that one…

10) In the case of Zhang/Zhang, absence surely made somebody's heart grow fonder.

They found their way to a triumphant, not to mention winded, 2nd place finish after more than a year off the competitive circuit. And considering the last few times I saw them skating together—when it looked like neither one could wait to get off the ice, and maybe away from each other—it was nice to see them looking happier.

Next up in a few days… SKATE CANADA!

Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 Skate America... the Preview

It’s here…..!!!!!

So let’s get right to it. The U.S. options for watching 2011 Skate America are as follows:

On Ice (subscription required):

Friday, Oct. 21

10:05 p.m.: Men's short program
11:45 p.m.: Short dance

Saturday, Oct. 22

2:35 p.m.: Men's free skate (first group ONLY)
4:30 p.m.: Free dance (first group ONLY)
10:00 p.m.: Pairs short program
11:25 p.m.: Ladies short program

Sunday, Oct. 23

4:05 p.m.: Pairs free skate
5:45 p.m.: Ladies free skate

Why “first group ONLY” on the Men’s FS and the FD? Because NBC is carrying both final groups LIVE on Saturday from 3-6PM Eastern Time. (And are probably among the most disappointed that Evan Lysacek won’t be making an appearance.)

On Universal Sports (available over-the-air or via dish/satellite, depending on where you live):

Sunday, Oct. 23
1:30 p.m.: Pairs & Ladies short programs (from Saturday)
4:30 p.m.: Pairs & Ladies free skates (LIVE; looks like final group of pairs only if they start at 4:05)

As for previews, I’m going a slightly different route this year… no medals predictions (I’ve never been particularly good w/them anyway), but hopefully some worthwhile info to get you ready to watch:

Sk8AM Men…
Replacements from original lineup:
Peter Liebers (GER) is out; Denis Ten (KAZ) replaces him. Evan Lysacek (USA) is out; Douglas Razzano (USA) replaces him.
Top 5 guess in alphabetical order: Florent Amodio, Michal Brezina, Richard Dornbush, Takahiko Kozuka, Armin Mahbanoozadeh
Dark Horses: Samuel Contesti & Kevin van der Perren
Has a quad, or quads: VDP, Brezina (2 of them), Kozuka
Has a quad maybe: Amodio, Dornbush, Razzano (though I read he’s leaving it out this weekend)
Senior GP Debut: Razzano, Dornbush
Favorite: probably Kozuka, though I think I’d make him and Brezina co-faves
Other: van der Perren is the oldest in the field at age 29… this is his fourth Sk8AM appearance (best finish was 4th several years back).

Sk8AM Ladies…
Replacements from original lineup:
Laura Lepisto (FIN) is out; Viktoria Helgesson (SWE) replaces her. Joelle Forte is the USA’s TBD skater.
Top 5 guess in alphabetical order: Alissa Czisny, Joshi Helgesson, Haruka Imai, Carolina Kostner, Ksenia Makarova
Dark Horses: Elene Gedvanishvili, or either Helgesson sis
Who might have a 3/3 (triple/triple): Czisny, Kostner, Makarova
Senior GP Debut: Forte
Favorite: Probably Kostner, though again I see co-faves in Czisny and Kostner.
Other…: Forte, at age 25, is also the oldest competitor among the ladies at Sk8AM.

Sk8AM Pairs…
Replacements from original lineup:
None…Denney/Coughlin is the USA’s TBD.
Top 4 guess in alphabetical order: Bazarova/Larionov, Denney/Coughlin, Savchekno/Szolkowy, Zhang/Zhang
Dark Horse: Moore-Towers/Moscovitch
Senior GP Debut: Denney/Coughlin and Marley/Brubaker
Favorite: Savchenko/Szolkowy
Other…: It’s the Zhangs first international competitive appearance since Worlds 2010 (where they finished 5th). They were out all of last year due to a broken finger and other injuries on Hao Zhang’s part.

Sk8AM Dance…
Replacements from original lineup:
Hoffmann/Zavozin (HUN) is out, as is Monko/Khaliavin (RUS)… Paul/Islam (CAN) and Tobias/Stagniunas (LIU) replace them. Cannuscio/Lorello and Hubbell/Donohue are the USA TBD’s.
Top 4 guess in alphabetical order: Asher/Hill (wild guess), Davis/White, Hubbell/Donohue, Pechalat/Bourzat
Dark Horse: no idea
Senior GP Debut: Hubbell/Donohue, Tobias/Stagniunas
Favorite: Davis/White
Other…: Davis/White have scrapped their La Strada FD in favor of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (which they first used for an Original Dance all the way back in the 2002-3 season)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Top Five Evan Lysacek Excuses... and One More JGP Event Review

With the seventh and final JGP in the books—and the JGP Final not to happen until the senior version of the same occurs, in December—it’s high time we start taking a look at who, and possibly what, to expect when Skate America (Sk8Am) takes place this coming weekend. (Not to mention “speculate” on why Evan Lysacek recently withdrew from the event.) But first, a quick recap of JGP Estonia, known as the Taillinn Cup:

GOLD: Gracie Gold, USA
SILVER: Risa Shoji, JPN
BRONZE: Samantha Cesario, USA

In case you’re wondering (as I was) who Gracie Gold is, and why haven’t you heard about her before now… she was the Novice Champion at U.S. Nationals back in 2010, but only finished 6th at sectionals in the junior division last year (meaning she didn’t qualify to compete at Nationals). But to watch her at this, her debut JGP event, with a triple lutz/triple toe among her arsenal of elements, you’d have thought she was a much more seasoned competitor. She finished well ahead of Shoji, who, aside from a completely blown 3lutz in the FS, was very soft and exquisite as she was when she competed a few weeks ago. And other than a completely blown 3Loop in her FS, Cesario turned in another good performance with her Black Swan/Swan Lake interpretation… still, I can’t help but want to compare it to Ashley Wagner’s take on the same music (as we should see at Skate Canada in a couple of weeks).

GOLD: Joshua Farris, USA
SILVER: Maxim Kovtun, RUS
BRONZE: Shoma Uno, JPN

Despite a fall on his second 3ax and a bad fallout on a 3lutz, Farris won by nearly 20 points… and now qualifies for the JGP Final in December. (We’ll cover the full list of finalists soon.) Kovtun and his Austin Powers FS proved he’s got some flair, but to me “It’s not soup yet,” as they say. USA’s Shotaro Omori finished back in 5th.

GOLD: Bobak/Beharry, CAN
SILVER: Simpson/Blackmer, USA
BRONZE: Calalang/Sidhu, USA

Bobak/Beharry free-skated to Spartacus; I was surprised to see no lifts on either of the obvious places in the music… not sure if I like that or not. It was a nice skate, though not all her throws were clean. Simpson/Blackmer had a little trouble on their SBS jumps, but a strong performance with Titanic. Calalang/Sidhu were a little sloppy, but had nice energy and ambition.

GOLD: Yanovskaia/Mozgov, RUS
SILVER: Shtork/Rand, EST
BRONZE: Kosigina/Moroshkin, RUS

All the FD medal performances here were fine, though I was surprised to see the dreaded “twizzle trouble” occur with both Shtork/Rand and Kosigina/Moroshkin. USA’s Hawayek/Bramante had fine twizzles, but must’ve lacked in many other places since they were only able to pull out an 8th place finish.

On to Sk8Am!!

So you might have read this week that Kim Yu-Na
has announced plans to sit out he entire season, including 2012 Worlds. OK, that doesn’t really have any bearing on Sk8Am since she was never scheduled to compete there in the first place…

But before that you probably read that Kim’s partner in 2010 Olympic gold medal-ry, Evan Lysacek, is opting out of the GP Series (if not yet the entire season). His season was supposed to start with Sk8Am… recent Finlandia Trophy silver medalist Doug Razzano has now been chosen to take his place.

Anyway, you may have also read,
via Phil Hersh, that the reasons for Lysacek’s decision center around money. It may well be true... but as I’m prone to do, I let my mind wander as to the “real” reasons… and came up with the following with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek as always:

Top 5 Excuses for Evan Lysacek’s Opt Out of the 2011 GP Series…

5) Too depressed about the NBA Lockout to find the will to compete

4) Too busy making protest signs for Occupy Los Angeles

3) Too busy convincing those at Occupy Los Angeles that he “really is the 99%” based on the argument that, frankly, even OGM’s don’t get paid what they used to…

2) …But then someone at Occupy Los Angeles points the crowd to
this clip showcasing his “kickin’ bachelor pad,” and he’s back to square one

1) Afraid to reveal whether or not he still looks
like he did in last year’s ESPN ”Body” issue

Skate America starts late this Friday in Ontario, California, so watch this space for a preview of the senior season kickoff!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hicks Out for Skating's Season... Which is About to Launch on NBC in a Week!

I’ll be out of town for the next couple of days, but in the meantime I’ve got something for you that I haven’t had in a while: skating news that has little to do with JGP results!

EXCEPT FOR THIS PART: Courtney Hicks, last year’s U.S. junior ladies’ champ who won gold early in the JGP season but was forced to withdraw from last week’s event, has now been sidelined for the entire season. Apparently a piece of bone detached from her right tibia when she launched into her triple flip at the JGP Milan free skate last week… or, something could have started going awry when she took those two bad falls in the SP in Milan, as I reported a few days ago. In any case,
this article from Philip Hersh includes quotes from John Nicks (Hicks’ coach) which confirm that she has already had surgery, is back in the States, and is expected to be off the ice for at least 4 months (read: in time to miss everything important, including U.S. Nationals). Godspeed to Hicks; at age 15 she seemingly has plenty of time to recover and reassert herself, but it obviously has to be a traumatic and frustrating time for her.

TV SCHEDULING: This might be redundant with a post I made a couple months back, but since the press release came out last week I’ll go ahead and give you
this link to the USFS announcement of the “finalized” schedule for broadcasting ISU GP events on NBC, as well as the extended coverage offered on Universal Sports. I think the coverage is similar to last year, and like last year, one event appears to be getting “hosed” (aka no coverage provided) from the NBC side of things… this year the unlucky event is Cup of China. I tend to think this is because NBC has one weekend in early November that is already booked solid with other sports. (Maybe this year I’ll pay attention and try to figure out what those other sports are.) The link/press release also mentions the broadcast team for the various events to be similar to last year; it includes Terry Gannon, Andrea Joyce, Scott Hamilton (I’m guessing Skate America and MAYBE the GP Final only), Tanith Belbin, Peter Carruthers, Michael Weiss, and Tracy Wilson. First up is Skate America, airing live a week from this Saturday…

AND FINALLY, if you have a minute or two to give for the sake of reading an article that can renew your love for figure skating (or pump it up if you’re already in a happy relationship with it) do me a favor and read
Ryan Jahnke’s new piece. You won’t be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Three More U.S. Medals at JGP Milan; Finlandia Showcases Ice Dance

Yes, the name at the top of the Men’s JGP list is the same as last week… but this time, the location was Milan:

GOLD: Han Yan, CHN
SILVER: Jason Brown, USA
BRONZE: June-Hyoung Lee, KOR

Han Yan—remember that name; he may well become China’s biggest name in singles skating since the Lu Chen days. Save for one fall near the end of his free skate, Brown didn’t any trouble… it’s simply impossible for him to compete with Yan when Brown still skates without a 3axel. Korea’s Lee had a few sloppy moments in his Mozart free skate, but seems fairly promising… USA’s Jay Yostanto wound up 5th.


GOLD: Julia Lipnitskaia, RUS
SILVER: Anna Shershak, RUS
BRONZE: Hannah Miller, USA

Lipnitskaia, who I have previously described as “Gumby-diculous” with regards to her flexibility, remained as limber as ever in claiming her second gold of the series. Miller, skating to “Masquerade Waltz,” didn’t have the best of free skates but hung in for a bronze nonetheless. Her teammate, Courtney Hicks (who won gold a few weeks ago) took two hard falls in the SP, then injured her leg on the opening jump sequence of her FS and withdrew from the event.


GOLD: Stepanova/Bukin, RUS
SILVER: Zenkova/Sinitsin, RUS
BRONZE: Bonocorsi/Mager, USA

Stepanova/Bukin won a second gold for the season with their “Live & Let Die” FD; Bonacorsi/Mager looked strong & elegant using what I like to call a “Popera” (classically sung modern/popular music) piece.


As with the Nepala Memorial last week, only a few “known” skaters were in attendance—in this case, they were mostly ice dancers giving us a peek at their new programs. Reigning OGMs Virtue/Moir turned up, and easily won the event with an FD that feels fresh and inspired at first glance, even though the music (which includes Fred Astaire’s “Funny Face”) is quite retro. Current world bronze medalists The Shibutanis took silver, and appeared to be in fine form… but I have to admit that their “new” program (which includes “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo”) feels a lot like a sequel to last year’s FD… making me wish they’d gone in a different direction. On the other hand, the new team of Madison Chock/Evan Bates intrigued me right away with a Chopin FD that saunters through a few different tempos… good stuff, even though I was unsure how I’d feel about seeing Evan without Emily (Samuelson). Another notable finish was Douglas Razzano—10th at U.S.Nationals last January—who won the silver medal here in men's singles behind Japan’s Takahito Mura, but ahead of Sweden’s Adrian Schultheiss

Several other senior programs are making pre-GP appearances in these final weeks before Skate America; I hope to recap them plus other “briefs” in skating news next time…

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another Gold, Another Silver For USA in the Junior Grand Prix

SPECIAL NOTE: If you read this link from Variety Magazine you'll learn a little bit of a man named Joe Aceti, who passed away on October 5 at age 76. You may not be familiar with the name, but if you're a skating fan you've probably seen his work through the years. He was one of my interview sources for Skating on Air, so I had the privilege of spending a couple hours on the phone with him 2 years ago. I'll share more about him in a future post.

The Junior GP’ers of the skating world are hitting the homestretch of their 7-week tour rather quickly, with Skate America starting up just 6 days after JGP ends (save for the JGP Final, which of course doesn’t happen until December). Last week took them to Innsbruck; here are the highlights as I saw them…


GOLD: Han Yan, CHN
SILVER: Gordei Gorshkov, RUS
BRONZE: Keiji Tanaka, JPN

Americans Timothy Dolensky (finishing 4th)and Philip Warren (6th) were no match for Yan, Gorshkov, and Tanaka—the latter of which was free skating to the Untouchables soundtrack, if I’m not mistaken.


GOLD: Vanessa Lam, USA
BRONZE: Polina Agafonova, RUS

Lam pulled up from a 4th place SP to eke out a win over Li when Agafonova (yes, one of the THREE “Polinas”) could only free skate well enough to put her in the bronze medal range. I liked Li’s pacing better—Lam seems to rush through a lot of her choreography, though ironically she finished several seconds ahead of her music—but I suspect Lam had a few more difficult elements, since as I recall both ladies skated clean. American Katarina Kulgeyko did well in the FS as well, pulling her up to a 5th place finish.


GOLD: Sui/Han, CHN
BRONZE: Petaikina/Kurduykov, RUS

Sui/Han are senior-level jumpers and junior-level everything else, so especially in a JGP event, the jumping takes ‘em far. Yu/Jin chose Requiem for a Dream (ugh) but otherwise seem like very promising skaters. Further down in the standings were Duarte/Grafton (in 6th), Denney/Frazier (in 7th), and Oltmanns/Zantillan (in 11th), all from the USA.


GOLD: Sinitsina/Zhiganshin, RUS
SILVER: Aldridge/Eaton, USA
BRONZE: Nosulia/Kholoniuk, UKR

If these medalists’ names sound familiar to you, it’s because this the second time to the podium for some/all of them: Sinitsina/Zhiganshin and their Davis/White-esque Phantom of the Opera free dance won gold in Gdansk, Irish step-dancing Aldridge/Eaton won bronze won bronze in Latvia, and Nosulia/Kholoniuk won gold at that same event.

As for the Ondrej Nepela Memorial, held in Bratislava at the same time as JGP Austria, the quality of skating ranged widely from discipline to discipline. For the men, Japan’s Daisuke Murakami (aka “the other Dice-K”) edged out veteran Kevin Van der Perren for the win, with Samuel Contesti coming from a 6th place SP to a 1st place FS and overall bronze (and good news… Contesti’s new FS bears closer resemblance to the kind of program he had in 2009 (his “breakout year”) than the panpipe-a-licious routine he’s used ever since. Jonathan Cassar (of the U.S.) finished 4th; Grant Hochstein (also of the U.S) unfortunately blew a 2nd place finish in the SP with a 7th-place FS; he finished in 5th.

In pairs, Volosozhar/Trankov were the main attraction for sure, racking up a win with nearly 27 points over silver medalists Berton/Hotarek… who were just ahead of Iliusheckina/Maisuradze, with a catchy FS to A Chorus Line this season… and way back in 4th were Castelli/Shnapir, the Americans who continue to try for a throw 3axel in competition (but haven’t succeeded yet to my knowledge… it’s very close though!)

The other two disciplines attracted lesser-knowns only; Zhiganshina/Gazsi (GER) proved to be the best in ice dance, while France’s Mae Berenice Meite won gold for the ladies. The best known lady, Britain’s Jenna McCorkell, finished 5th… U.S. ice dancers Cannuscio/McManus came in 5th as well.

And in case you’re wondering who the heck Ondrej Nepela is, here’s his
1971 World Championship-winning free skate to help you with that.

Up this week… JGP Milan and Finlandia Trophy!