Monday, May 24, 2010

Let the Reruns Begin: 2009 Trophee Eric Bompard Revisited (Part 1)

Before the week is out, we will have a new American Idol (Lee or Crystal?), a new Mirrorball Trophy winner on DWTS (Evan or Erin or Nicole?), and we already have a new Celebrity Apprentice (Bret!!!!!). And then the rerun-heavy “summer season” gets underway. But for skating fans, the season ended about 2 months ago. Where are OUR reruns? I hear you pleading.

Well take heart—starting with this post I’ll be taking a look back, every couple weeks or so, to the events that shaped figure skating this past year… watching with fresh eyes, you might say.

We’ll get started with the 2009 TEB in Paris, which launched the ’09-10 ISU Grand Prix this season back in October (featuring Men and Pairs this time):

Diamond-in-the-Rough award, men
—Javier Fernandez of Spain, who finished 11th at TEB but managed 12th in a much deeper field at Worlds, just 5 months later.

Diamond-in-the-Rough award, pairs—James/Bonheur of France, who suffered 3 falls in their tepid free skate and ended the TEB night in last place. Like Fernandez, they ended the year in 14th at Vancouver and 12th at Worlds. Go figure!

Shoulda-seen-it-Coming, men—Brian Joubert finishing off the podium at his home country’s event. I’m not positive about this, but the clear errors he made in the SP (overrotated/step out of quad, double-threes out of axel, and hands down on the lutz) seemed hauntingly similar to his Olympic SP performance… except that his mistake on the lutz (a messy fall) was even more blatant.

Shoulda-seen-it-Coming, pairs—
It was during the spiral sequence of their “You’ll Never Walk Alone” FS that Aliona Savchenko slipped off her seemingly confident edge and incited gasps as she and partner Robin Szolkowy struggled to put the gaping, disruptive error behind them. They certainly failed to do so that day… and even with a complete FS overhaul to the “Out of Africa” program, problems persisted as they’d never seen before.

Last but not least: Who’d a Thunk…
+ that two guys (Nobunari Oda and Adam Rippon) could fare so well without quads (winning gold and bronze, respectively) when at least four of their competitors had them—and sometimes even landed them?
+ that two men in the top five (Rippon and Yannick Pansero) wouldn’t make their respective Olympic teams a few months later?
+ that the same “kid” that was getting his hair scruffed by Nikolai Morozov in the Kiss-and-Cry (Oda) would be married with his own kid on the way by the following spring?
+ that Oda, Tomas Verner, and the gold-medal pair of Mukhortova/Trankov all essentially gave us the best they had on that first competition… and then never really gave it again?

I’m including Verner’s "Zorba" SP as the
Clip of the Day… if he stays with competitive skating beyond this year, here’s hoping he can find his way back to performances like this.

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