I love this competition (except from the lame swedish commentator on my tape lol) and I've always been quite puzzled about the outcome. I really, really wanted a medal for Anna Rechnio, but she herself made sure she wouldn't get one. I also really wanted a medal for Latitia Hubert...but again, no... I do not question Kwan being the winner, she skated very wel (though not her bestl, and as a non-Kwan fan, I was surprised I actually enjoyed her free skate very much. Her speed was great, she seemed fresh and light. In the latter years, she bored me so much, not so here. I also have to say, I loved Slutskayas Russian dance. even though she was still a little girl here, and skated more mature programs later, I always preferred the little girl. this was full of spark and joy, her later Carmen and Tosca and the likes all appeared the same to me, I never felt like they really showed her personality. in Minneapolis, she tried to skate a really difficult program, and almost everything suceeded. She fell on the flip, but her energy made sure she didn't ruin the program. She also tried a 3t3t very late in the program, and landed it almost clean. her speed going into the combo was amazing. so, the fact that she was on the podium, was in my opinion correct. I wonder....what would Rechnio and Hubert have had to do, to win a medal? would it have been enough, even if they skated perfectly clean? Both girls short programs were so fab, I loved the energy of Rechnio's Gone with the wind (and I hated all the others GWTW) and Hubert's Piano was so sophisticated and really showcased her special style. the way she used her arms, the way she highlighted the music...and the 2a to finish, in the last second. wow! I still get goosebumbs watching it. but back to the free! both Hubert and Rechnio skated relatively well, I thought Huberts program as a concept was a little better, she really felt it, and it was again original and very Latitia. She made some mistakes, so did Rechnio, who fell on a 3t, and stepped out of the 3l. Latitia tried the 3t3t very late in the program, and almost made it. would she have been on the podium had she stood on her feet on that combo? I thought Butyrskayas program was good, but not fab, she skated it much better at Euros. she also fell in her steps. If everyone was clean, I would have the standing 1.Kwan 2.Slutskaya 3.Hubert 4.Rechnio 5.Butyrskaya but would the judges? I doubt it.... I know there was qualifying too, but after the short p, it was clear the free skate would decide the outcome. Here's the overall standing, with placements in qualifying, short and free: 1. Kwan 1 1 1 2. Slutskaya 2 4 2 3. Butyrskaya 1 5 3 4. Hubert 8 3 4 5. Rechnio 2 2 5 Other highlights on my tape was a shaky, but so charming Marie Pierre Leray, Energy-bomb Joanne Carter (miss her still!), up-and-coming Diana Poth, Sokolova and her tap-toe program, she did some great combos, 3s3t f.i., Yulia Lavrenchuk, with the stroking from hell (love her still!), Vanessa Gusmeroli landing one triple, Tatiana Malinina bombing to Alladin, and Yulia Vorobieva, bless her, who pre-rotated everything, but still had one of the best scratch spins ever! I do had a soft spot for her!