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!

No comments: