Wednesday, March 20, 2013

London Called, Regarding the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships

Sometimes this love/hate relationship I have with figure skating wears me out. Make no mistake; what I love is the sport itself, while what I hate is the way the ISU seems determined to govern it into oblivion. In other words... I’m guessing I feel the same thing as just about every avid follower.

But when you get in deep these days—as a commentator, a “skundit” (skating pundit) or the like—you blog about it, read other’s blogs about it, Facebook about it, Tweet about it, read countless other Tweets about it, “click-through” to read countless articles about it, listen to podcasts about it...

And if only for your own sanity, you watch skating. You watch as much as time will allow because you love it at its artistic finest... and, at times, its athletic rawest. You love the athletic artists as well as the artistic athletes... watching them grow, feeling like you know something about them as human beings by way of their performances.

You do all this, painfully aware that when you step out of your frozen reverie, the writing on the wall of Twitter/FB/Blogs/Articles remain... and you know what they say has a lot of merit, and needs to be read and (most likely) shared... but because you’re a little “worn out,” as previously mentioned, you start your own Worlds wrap-up with just a few lines about each discipline. Like this:

PAIRS: how weird and ironic that Savchenko/Szolkowy landed that always elusive THROW TRIPLE AXEL at the very end of an otherwise meh program... but nobody seemed that impressed... well, other than the judges, who must’ve been thankful they had a “legit” reason to keep S/S on the podium after being outskated by not one, but TWO Canadian teams.

MEN... if just a fraction of the judging panel had brought Patrick Chan’s PCS scores down a point (as penalization for a seriously flawed program)... and if just a fraction had brought Denis Ten’s PCS up a point (as reward for a cleanly executed program)... many of the negative articles that have surfaced about figure skating in the past 5 days might have been written very, very differently.

DANCE... OK, here’s the deal. Every time I predict a world title for Virtue/Moir, they get silver... and vice versa for Davis/White. So when you see me predict silver for D/W in Sochi, remember this strategy!

In any case, I’m always happy to be wrong when it results in U.S. gold... so big congratulations to our two-time world champions!

LADIES... thank goodness this one was easy to call once everyone had skated! Kim Yu-Na is back, and skating to near perfection again just in time for the next Olympic season. Carolina Kostner’s SP score (with a fall) seemed higher than necessary, but by the time she got through her free skate—with a big nasty nosebleed, no less— her silver medal seemed well-earned. And while my prediction for gold (Mao Asada) didn’t get the job done, her bronze medal marks the first time back to the World podium since she won it all in 2010... so that’s definitely something to be proud of!

Speaking of proud, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give big huge props to Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold for “getting it done”... 5th and 6th places might not meet their long-term personal goals, but they’ve nudged U.S. Figure Skating a crucial step forward by way of a third Olympic spot for Sochi.

The night it happened, Phil Hersh of Chicago Tribune was quick to remind us (via Twitter) that the U.S. ladies were World Podium-free for the seventh straight year. But Michael Buckley (of What the Buck and numerous other Internet outlets) Tweeted right back “Oh shut up, Phil. It’s a great night. Have a drink.”

And on that sentiment, I’m going to leave the comments and critique right there, ready to pick up all those articles and dive in tomorrow. 

1 comment:

Robin Agnew said...

Wonderful post, I agree completely. I was almost in tears reading about Chan-flation, etc. but I was at the Dance & Ladies final and it was AWESOME. Also it was packed to the rafters.