Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blowing The Nebelhorn: Who's There in 2009

Question: When is the Nebelhorn Trophy more than just an early event in the competitive season?

Answer: When Olympic qualifying is the hot topic. As well as sneak previews of what we’re likely to see several times in the months to come, test-driving stuff on an international stage for the first time in a while, proving you still have something in the tank to offer…

In other words, we might want to pay attention as this event goes down over the next few days. Actually… I’m a little late on it myself; it started today. Here are the “persons of interest” as I see it:

MEN: It’s all about Stephane Lambiel. Is he really back, and can he be really competitive? Based on the results of his SP (a big ol’ 77.45), the answers are yes, and OH YES. Hope he brings it for the FS too. Also worth noting: USA’s Ryan Bradley, who sits in third while that “still have something in the tank” analogy sits squarely on his ever-mugging shoulders (he had 68.18). In between the two: Czech Republic’s Michal Brezina with 73.23. Michal who? Well, maybe not for long. We’ll see if we’re still talking about him after the finals. Oh, and I was rather surprised to see France’s Yannick Pansero (who really seemed to make a breakthrough last year) mired down in 13th place with a score in the mid-50s.

LADIES: Their event has yet to begin, but an eclectic bunch of names are in attendance, including USA’s Alissa Czisny, Hungary’s Julia Sebestyen (who is 28 now, in case you were wondering), Finland’s Kiira Korpi (skating first in the entire event, somehow)… and Megan Williams-Stewart, who represented the U.S. until 2007 and now skates for Puerto Rico. I hope Czisny finds herself in the right place when this event is in the books… Korpi would seem to be her closest competition.

PAIRS: A decent representation is there, but waaay above the rest of the pack is
Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY with an SP in the 70s. Duking it out for 2nd/3rd/4th is Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Stanislav MOROZOV, Anabelle LANGLOIS / Cody HAY, and Brooke CASTILE / Benjamin OKOLSKI, with scores all in the 50s. (And yes, I copy/pasted those names from elsewhere—sorry, it’s late!)

DANCE: Ah, an easy one… Davis/White, and then there’s everyone else.

I’ll try to post a recap on Sunday!

In the meantime, I looked to see how far back Julia Sebestyen’s work goes on You Tube and found
this Clip of the Day – her SP at the Nagano Olympics. From 1998. Last Century. I’d say go girl, but it just doesn’t seems apropos… how about Go WOMAN?

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