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!