I'm so glad that jiggs opened this thread.
I cannot describe with words how much I love Carolina's skating.
I never skated until I was 19, in 2005. I did watch fs before, but totally randomly. She definetely caught my attention with her olympic short program in 2006. I couldn't care less about the falls, there was such a sense of beauty in her flow, lines, speed, in that "Mission" that I immediately felt the need to rewatch it all over again. I still have goosebumps just thinking about it.
After that I was so interested in figure skating that I rewatched every single competition of the Olys, Euros and I couldn't wait for worlds in Calgary.
Ever since then, I didn't miss to watch a competition, and not just for Carolina (I'm much more interested in ice dance right now that I am in the ladies field), but she really was the reason why I found out that skating was my sport, after that I even started taking lessons etc, but this is another story.
The Olympics in Italy were really a huge thing for many of us, it made us know many sports of which medias never ever talk about, nor there are many places to practice them. For Carolina it was such a huge thing as well, probably too much to handle and still some people only remember her for being "the one who fell at the olympics at home", but for many many skating fans that was really a turning point.
I remember the first competition I attended was Zagreb 2008, there she won her second European title and that was the first time I brought a banner in a sports competition which later became a kind of luckycharm for some of us Carolina fans. I really had a blast at that event, I made myself some new skating friends, watched practices, met some skaters, it was great.
Ever since I watch fs I have memories of every single competition Carolina attended, either because I actually went to see them live, or stayed at home watching it with my mom, or because of get-togethers we organized with other caro-fans. The best thing is that I met some wonderful people because of her, which I can actually count as my best friends right now. I know this post is very sentimental, but I needed to say this.
For some reason Carolina's career means a lot to me that just her medals and meltdowns. It really, really is the story of a life and I feel like her story is part of my life as well and it means a lot to me how well it ended - although I hope it's not over yet. It is a story of falling and getting up again and again no matter what, it's a story of tears, and smiles and pain like many others, but it's special to me. No one, really no one believed in her after 2010 Olys, but she was able to believe in herself and find her way, agains all odds.
If I had to say what was the moment to remember in her career, I'd have no doubt: Torino 2010. I still can't help crying watching that competition. Even though we booked tickets months before the event, after what happened in Vancouver and all the critics she had in Italy (including a very harsh one from the president of italian OC) I really felt for Carolina and I feared that is she had a meltdown in Torino too, that could have been the end of her career so I almost hoped she decided not to skate there.
Probably it was not an option, anyways Carolina did skate there, didn't fall and skated a wonderful program. I remember screaming in the middle of the silence right before the beginning of her step sequence, it was such a liberating moment, at some point everybody was clapping and screaming and we all stood up before she ended. She-and we-started crying right after. That skate meant a lot for everybody.
Of course Nice 2012 was the skate of her life and I will keep it in my heart forever too, also because of the people I got to share this experience with
I couldn't be happier of how this two last seasons went, even if I don't know her and I'm feeling kind of stupid and emotional writing this post, for all this time I really really felt like her moment had yet to come, like she said after Vancouver, and here it is.
I'm so so glad I was able to be there when it happened
and sorry again for the emotional post - i really feel like a stupid uber right now and also I'm sorry for my poor english
Now here is Caro's GPF LP season 07/08:
BTW like you, I too started skating as an adult after watching a show in Russia.
Thanks everyone for your posts, and thank you Eleonora for sharing your story with us! I loved reading it because I saw so many similarities to how I have experienced the past 10 years being a Caro-Fan
I personally became an instant fan when I saw her FP on Eurosport at Euros 2003. She skated a clean program including 3lz3t, 3f3t and 2a/half loop/3sal and I was just amazed by her natural talent, edging and flow.
I was a skater myself in the region where Carolina comes from and where she practised until she was 14 years old, so I knew her vaguely from competitions. I quit competitive skating when I was 16, three years after she moved to Oberstdorf so I hadn't seen her in a while. And then when I saw her on TV it was like WOW, this is what she has been doing for the past three years!
I wrote to congratulate her after Euros 2003 and we have been in touch ever since and she has become a good friend. She is such a lovely, nice and down to earth person and so is the rest of her family. And I think this "down-to-earth" personality really shows in her skating style, it's not fake but very natural and real.
Personally, I never doubted her. Even when she hit rock-bottom in Turin 2006, LA 2009 and Vancouver 2010, I never had a doubt in my mind that one day, it will all come together for her. I have seen her in practice so many times and she is so incredibly good, it was just a question of time when her head would be in the right place and she would be able to show what she is made of in competition. It was not easy for her, not at all. And I think there were quite a few times when she was ready to give it all up.
Turin 2006 must have been so difficult for her, with the inhuman pressure she was under, and she was so young. But she bounced back winning her first European Title the very next season. LA 2009 was the start of what would continue during the 2009/2010 season and eventually came to a low point in Vancouver. She was ripped apart badly by the media, her country and high representatives, it was painful to watch. Honestly, thinking back now, I suppose after Vancouver was the only time I really thought that this would be the end. For a moment there, I thought she would not recover from this and I felt so bad for her.
But she proved me and everyone else wrong. She fought and fought and fought and fought and most importantly, she regained her love for figure skating. And in the end, it paid off.
Being there in Nice and watching it all come together for her live was an incredible experience. I will cherish it forever and I can't explain how happy and proud I am of her. My favourite moment actually was at the after party for which her family, friends and Team Italy gathered in a room at the hotel and waited for her to come out of the press conference. When she was finally there, the atmosphere was so nice and touching, it was like everyone who was there knew the entire story and was aware of the whole picture behind this gold medal. It was kind of a mixture of happiness and sentimentality that was in the air and everyone was just so happy for her.
Well, that is my personal story. I wasn't sure whether I should share it publicly but I feel like the other Caro fans have shared the same path so I thought it would be nice!
Last edited by jiggs; 04-26-2012 at 03:40 PM.
This year is the first time I have enjoyed watching Carolina. It was a surprise to me!
I usually can't take my eyes of of her when she's skating in 6 minutes warm-up. She has so much speed and flow. When she is able to execute her program, her artistry can be compared to none. To me, "L'Après-midi d'un faune" is the best lady's program of all time.
She is one of the few skaters that has I can watch again & again & find something new each time I watch her.
Her Free at the 08' Skate Canada had some nice choreography. Does anyone know why she did not continue with the program ?.
The program was not performed well, the judges were not too kind with pcs and I think the italian federation forced her to change it.
Here it is, Carolina's Black Swan program from Skate Canada 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP0rj4lNfP4
She performed this program only two times, first time being at Karl Schäfer Memorial in Vienna.
I think there are several reasons why she dropped this program, but I think Ele is right that there was definitely some outside pressure for her to go back to her old program. There were rumors that the judges did not like it. And it was obvious in her PCS as well, she received 53 in PCS at Skate Canada which really isn't much for someone who had just won the silver medal at Worlds a couple of months before.
To be honest and I don't like the program that much. While it might have improved with some adjustments and changes, I don't find Carolina to be a skater who can portray characters that well. She is much better with a neutral piece of music around which she can construct a program and in which she can accentuate her speed, flow and musicality. She rarely had a program in which she was portraying a character or telling a story (Memories of a Geisha is the only one I can think of at the moment - I did like that program though), also in her exhibition skates.
I think it's because Carolina doesn't feel entirely comfortable portraying someone else. She said herself in an interview that when she was working with Stephane on her "Carmen" program for Opera on Ice, it was rather hard for her to really get into the character and perform it to its fullest. I think she still did a great job, I just find her to do much better when she can be herself and just let the skating speak for itself.
Kostner was a little awkward to be skating to ballet music, but I really liked the way the music was arranged and the choreography was done.
Perhaps if she revamped the program for next season it would be good? She was never going to be a balletic swan but she could still be a musical, elegant skater with her own take on the music.
P.S. those telegraphed flip and lutz entrances hurt my soul still.