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alchemy void
01-17-2012, 05:50 AM
Thanks guys for the updates re: Lepisto.

I really hope she can skate again next season. I think her 2010 Olympics FS is the program I've rewatched the most the past two years. :swoon:

Hanna
01-17-2012, 09:17 PM
Yes, she is amazing technically. That is good, because surely the rest will come later, the main thing is that her jumping is really good. On that one can build.



Ljubov did a very good SP today in novices 2nd qualifier in Tampere: 3S, 3Lo-2T, 2A all clean and nice, spins lv4 and sist lv3. She apparently lived in Kotka earlier (represented Kotkan Reipas) for some seasons. SP scores are here (http://www.figureskatingresults.fi/results/1112/YLSMN2vk/SMN2VK_Lohko2SM-noviisittytt_LO_Scores.pdf).
Happy for Emmi Peltonen (http://espoonjaataiturit.sporttisaitti.com/yksin/emmi-peltonen/)who landed 3S-2T, 2A and 3T also today!

The 1999 born is a very talented group of girls in general. There are four girls with at least 2 triples (and several with good 2axels).

I was already in Tampere for two other things last weekend so I decided to go and watch the novice qualifier a bit as well. Indeed there were some impressive performances. IMO these girls are now at a stage where it's easy to start stagnating so it's very important they keep making progress during the next couple of years. Who knows what will happen but I wish the best of luck for all. :kickass:

Here are the FPs of the top4

Liubov Efimenko (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsfgtZEBNkE&list=UUAmdd54ZnO752Pk-W5koV2A&index=4&feature=plcp)
Jenni Saarinen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q3sFeQVzQg&list=UUAmdd54ZnO752Pk-W5koV2A&index=3&feature=plcp)
Lyydia Määttänen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6RRPtaCwVg&list=UUAmdd54ZnO752Pk-W5koV2A&index=2&feature=plcp)
Emmi Peltonen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ExUCGmyRWM&list=UUAmdd54ZnO752Pk-W5koV2A&index=1&feature=plcp)

ETA: Lyydia Määttänen was actually born in 1998, I forgot. Oh well, still. I think she is my favorite of them - such natural movement, gorgeous.

Finnice
01-20-2012, 03:15 PM
I attended to the press conference of the Finnish Europeans team today.
The news was that Finlandia Trophy will be held in Barona Areena, Tapiola, Espoo, for the next 2&2 years. The major of Espoo was there, and he is proud to host this event.
I like this decision for purely egoistical reasons: It is so much easier to come there than to Tikkurila, Vantaa:o

The ice dancers Henna Leindholm and Ossi Kanervo know that it will be tough competition to qualify, but they are ready to fight. Maurizio Margaglio, their coach, was not there, because he is ill (Mauri). The dancers said tjhat woith Mauri, they enjoyt the dancing much more and they now undrstand that ice dance is not only steps and technique, it is also storytelling and expression.

(I know all the Maurizio haters will :lol:to that, but the dancers seem to appreciate him very much).

Ari-Pekka Nurmenkari was in a very good and friendly mood, and joked about many things. He is determined to do good programs and was especially happy that his FS is going so well now. When he was asked to comment Plushenko´s comeback, he said that he adrimers the guy and welcomes him warmly.

Kiira Korpi has been suffering a hamstring injury earlier in the season, but is in a positive mood and joked about winning the Häme sectionals! She said that medal is of course her aim, but there are good skaters from Italy, Russia and Georgia.

Juulia Turkkila is not that shy anymore, and she was happy about getting everyhting right in the Nationals. She said that it took time to get used to the new FS. She won´t be trying 3lo, but will but 3t-3t in her SP.

Susanna Rahkamo wasa sporting a very stylish green silk coat. Sorry, I took no photos...

Vagabond
01-20-2012, 05:51 PM
She is going to skate in an exhibition in North Korea(!) in February.

Yuck! One more skater who should know better is going off to skate in North Korea and thereby serves to reinforce the legitimacy of the despotic regime? What on earth is she thinking, and why didn't someone like an agent or a coach intervene before she made a fool of herself?

:wall: :wall: :wall:

Finnice
01-20-2012, 09:41 PM
Yuck! One more skater who should know better is going off to skate in North Korea and thereby serves to reinforce the legitimacy of the despotic regime? What on earth is she thinking, and why didn't someone like an agent or a coach intervene before she made a fool of herself?

:wall: :wall: :wall:

My colleague asked about it from Susanna Rahkamo, the Chair of Finnish Figure Skating Association, today. Ms. Rahkamo answered that they consulted the Finnish ministery of Sports and Arts, and thay said that it is ok for her to skate there. So FFSA gave her the permission to skate there.

This is not my opinion, this is the answer the Finnish journalists get when asked.

Hanna
01-20-2012, 09:51 PM
My guess is that there's a lot of :bribe: involved.

IDC a.k.a. Ritti
01-20-2012, 10:21 PM
Laura said the organizer of the show(s) is the American company Champions on Ice.
Anyway, it looks like the show - and the heated debate about if it's suitable for skater X to attend - is a yearly event:
http://www.praguepost.com/opinion/7578-skater-appears-in-pyongyang.html

Meanwhile, here are some articles from today:

Susanna Rahkamo about the Finlandia Trophy deal:
http://yle.fi/urheilu/lajit/muut/taitoluistelu/2012/01/taitoluistelun_gp-kisa_mahdollisesti_suomeen_3192895.html
She says the next challenge regarding the GP status is funding. "We are raising money but we need some more. First we are supposed to pay 300.000 euros to the ISU, and only after that we can start thinking about organising a competition."

Photo of the Finnish team for Euros:
http://hbl.fi/sport/2012-01-20/konstakningens-finlandia-trophy-till-esbo

Kiira:
http://www.iltalehti.fi/talviurheilu/2012012015104592_tl.shtml
http://www.mtv3.fi/urheilu/muutlajit/uutiset.shtml/2012/01/1480892/kiira-korpi-vaistelee-em-paineita-menen-nauttimaan?taitoluistelu
http://yle.fi/urheilu/lajit/muut/taitoluistelu/2012/01/kiira_korven_takareisi_vihoitellut_3192282.html
Basically, Kiira says she has been battling minor injuries this season, she had to re-set her goals for this season, hopes for solid performances, and will go to Sheffield "with the same package as Nationals". (Will that mean she won't be including the lutz and flip in her programs?)

Vagabond
01-21-2012, 06:41 AM
My colleague asked about it from Susanna Rahkamo, the Chair of Finnish Figure Skating Association, today. Ms. Rahkamo answered that they consulted the Finnish ministery of Sports and Arts, and thay said that it is ok for her to skate there. So FFSA gave her the permission to skate there.

Just because her country's foreign ministry says it's okay doesn't mean that it's a good idea. And we're not talking about some uneducated teenager from the backwoods. She's a twenty-three-year-old woman in her second year of studies at the Aalto University School of Economics. One would hope that, at this point in her life, she would be thinking for herself. Apparently, she isn't.


This is not my opinion, this is the answer the Finnish journalists get when asked.

Understood.

That doesn't mean that the journalists should accept the answer any more than Laura Lepistö should.

kwanfan1818
01-21-2012, 06:52 AM
Or, perhaps, she disagrees with your position.

IneZR
01-21-2012, 11:50 AM
I believe Julia Sebestyen also took part in some skating show in North Korea couple of years ago. I can't blame Julia or Laura for doing that - organizers probably offer a lot of money for participating in their shows.

With Laura having to deal with so many injuries and skipping two seasons in a row (which means not getting any prize money from the ISU competitions such as Grand Prix, Euros, Worlds) she probably needs A LOT of money right now.

Vagabond
01-21-2012, 05:15 PM
Or, perhaps, she disagrees with your position.


I believe Julia Sebestyen also took part in some skating show in North Korea couple of years ago. I can't blame Julia or Laura for doing that - organizers probably offer a lot of money for participating in their shows.

The event has been part of an annual celebration of the birthday of the recently deceased dictator, Kim Jong Il, and a glorification of the regime.

Several well-known skaters have participated in the Paektusan Festival. Last year, the participants included Evgeni Plushenko, Tomáš Verner, Surya Bonaly, Nathalie Péchalat, and Fabian Bourzat.

Here's an article about what happened to Verner after he accepted the invitation:

Tomáš Verner Skates Into Controversy (http://www.ifsmagazine.com/articles/520-tom-verner-skates-into-controversy)


When Tomáš Verner accepted an invitation to perform at the 20th Paektusan Prize International Figure Skating Festival in February, he had no idea of the furor it would cause in his Czech homeland.

Returning to Canada after an Asian tour that included three shows in the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, he found himself vilified in the Czech press and scorned by many of his Czech fans. It was a devastating blow for Verner, who viewed the festival as a chance to perform his programs in front of a live audience one more time prior to Worlds.

....

One evening some of the skaters dined at a restaurant in the international compound, where they had the chance to socialize with foreigners who work for various aid agencies such as UNICEF.

Verner said he felt good about the difference that these people are trying to make and that by performing in the shows, the skaters, in their own way, were doing the same. “I can’t do much, I can only skate. So I brought a little bit of the skating world to people who don’t seem to have a connection to the rest of the world,” Verner said.

As fate would have it, the Czech ambassador was also at the restaurant that night. Not all countries have diplomatic relations with North Korea, but the Czech Republic does, and when Verner was asked if he would like to meet the ambassador, he said yes. “The ambassador, instead of shaking my hand, told me I had been causing him trouble,” Verner recalled. “People back home had been calling to ask him about my appearance in the shows. He said that they were shows by invitation only.”

....

The Czech press went into overdrive. When Verner landed back in Beijing, he fired up his cell phone and saw that he had missed 35 calls and almost as many messages. Sensing something was wrong, he called his manager in Prague, who advised him not to read any e-mails, return any calls or speak to the press.

Not understanding the magnitude of what had been going on while he was incommunicado, Verner was shocked when he read his e-mails, some of which contained degrading language.

The messages left on his guestbook were equally offensive, causing his web administrator to remove some of the more outrageous posts and request that fans be respectful whether they agreed or disagreed with his position.

....

In the wake of the negative publicity, Verner was deflated and wondered if he would ever again be accepted by his countrymen. “I wasn’t training very well at all after this happened. Lori [Nichol] asked me if I was sick or what was wrong,” he said, admitting the matter had upset his equilibrium.

I wonder whether he thinks the money was worth it and what, if anything, Laura Lepistö and those who work with her know about this.

kwanfan1818
01-21-2012, 06:07 PM
You noted no similar reaction in France, Russia, or the US against Pechalat/Bourzat's, Bonaly's, or Plushenko's participation. Perhaps our Finnish posters will report if there is one in Finland against Lepisto's.

Finnice
01-21-2012, 06:16 PM
We will, at least I will, but I´ll be spending next week in Sheffied and the week after that in Taipei.

The Finnish media has had much coverage about the death of the North Korean dictator, about people imprisoned or taken to camps if they have not been showing enough sadness because the dictator had died, the hunger problem etc. So, basically, you have to live in a bubble not to know.

I can´t say what the reasons for this decision are, I can´t say why the ministery said ok. We have the presidential election now in Finland, the first round is tomorrow, our media is interested mainly in that and has not reacted at all to the North Korean thing, just reported it.

Ms. Rahkamo said also that sports are always about politics, one can not avoid it.

I am not a sportsperson, I am just a writer. Being a skater, I would have decided differently, but I still do not want to start a witchhunt against Laura Lepistö or anyone else skating in that show.

kwanfan1818
01-21-2012, 06:27 PM
There's a long-standing debate about whether participation in cultural events should be shunned because it is an endorsement of a political regime, or whether the trade-off is that it exposes a closed society to another cultural viewpoint, and opinions on this are not monolithic. Especially now with a new leader, there may be a sense that there's a slight opening and possibility, and that it's worth a shot. Unfortunately, not every country has a Juan Carlos to take over after a Franco.

Vagabond
01-21-2012, 07:07 PM
You noted no similar reaction in France, Russia, or the US against Pechalat/Bourzat's, Bonaly's, or Plushenko's participation.

I don't know whether there was a similar reaction, but there should have been.

Gala Affairs for Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat (http://www.ifsmagazine.com/articles/519-gala-affairs-for-nathalie-p-chalat-and-fabian-bourzat)


In mid-February, Péchalat and Bourzat received an invitation to perform in a series of gala shows in North Korea.It was their second trip to one of the world’s most remote and secretive nations, having performed there in 2009.

The event, known as the 20th Paektusan Prize Festival, marked the 69th birthday of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-il.

....

Both agreed there were many surprises when it came to the ice shows. “Every routine was strictly monitored and rehearsed, especially the one when we had to bow to Kim Jong-il’s picture,” Péchalat recalled.

....

Bourzat, who was fascinated watching the audiences, explained how it all worked. “In a corner, there was an orchestra that performed patriotic songs at the beginning and end of the galas,” he said. “In the middle section, the high dignitaries were seated, and close to them were the ‘rewarded’ members of the Party. There were also some students dressed in military or folkloric costumes.”

:scream:

By the way, I'm not sure why you mentioned the U.S. It's true that Bonaly is now a U.S. citizen, but, as far as I know, she has never identified herself professionally as a representative of the U.S., and she's no longer competing in ISU events.

If any eligible skater affiliated with the USFSA went off to Pyongyang to skate in a festival glorifying the regime and bowed in front of a photograph of Kim Jong-un or his father, there would be hell to pay.

I understand that different countries have different social values, but I think Verner's experience shows that skaters who think they can just go skate at the Paektusan Festival, do a little bit of chaperoned sightseeing, grab a paycheck, and not have to worry about what their countrymen will think of them are kidding themselves.