Olympic "Preview" Reflections
Was Sochi GPF really an Olympic “preview?”
Was something wrong with the ice, btw?! Was there something in the water in Sochi?! It was like splatfest, stumblebum city, aside from a few really great highlights: Dai sp; D/W brilliance; V/M cool sexy hotness; Suzuki sp; Ashley sp and her fighting back in the fp after a hard fall -- there was nothing "entitled" about that final 3flip ... it was due to hard work and courage; Hanyu's adorable cuteness and his Pooh Bear; Orser's self-satisfied grins; Korpi's beauty and her smile; somber but stalwart and lovely Mao winning easily after having to withdraw during last year’s GPF and losing her mother; MZ's obvious disappointment in the fp gap in marks between her star teams; and Zhulin's "cosmic sadness embodied." The overly high scoring in general simply did not reflect much of what was witnessed on the ice, IMHO. I'm wondering if ISU judges at Worlds will bring things back down a bit re scoring. Again, that's part of the problem tho': the unevenness in scoring from event to event.
I sat there watching on television earlier yesterday afternoon and I began grumbling at the television set and the commentators (for a variety of reasons). For one thing, no matter how much I love Terry Gannon, the Olympics is NOT taking place "next year." Yep, that's right, fyi too Weiss and Lipinski! Where's Johnny Weir when he's needed? Johnny's commentary is so honest, refreshing and entertaining, but apparently he wants to be competitive again on the ice ... Good luck Johnny from the bottom of my heart. Of course, Weiss and Lipinski are good people and I've enjoyed their skating, but not so much their commentary, at least for this GP season – maybe because they’re closed up in a studio with Gannon commenting on international events that already took place. Am I just being nostalgic I wonder? No, I definitely used to enjoy Michael’s and Tara’s skating back when it wasn't all about the jumps and frantic skating on one foot and endless spin revolutions. But ya know, perhaps it's just me and I need to see a psychiatrist for ‘lack of enjoyment of figure skating’ withdrawal symptoms.
I mean ok, kudos to Fernandez for landing 3 quads in a program (one of them just barely), and kudos to Orser for helping him come back a bit from a disaster fp at NHK and missteps in GPF sp. But it's not as if 3 quads landed in a program hasn't occurred before. Timothy Goebel did it first, and didn't Joubert do it too? I mean ok, so what!? Is this quad skating or figure skating? It looked to me like Fernandez' marks made the rest of the guys tense up thinking they absolutely had to land 2 quads or bust! It just wasn't very enjoyable watching, aside from Chan’s SS and earnest artistic efforts, some lovely moments in Kozuka's skating, and of course Dai's cool sp and his fight in the fp (but the Morozov hugging I can do without). I was interested to see if adorable Prince Hanyu was going to fade again in his fp, but it looks like Orser has finally helped him pace himself, or something. However, despite your adorable cuteness Yuzuru-san, all the frantic and overwrought shaking of arms and head while making fierce facial expressions does not mean you’re artistic.
Eh, where's Jeremy Abbott when he's needed?! Please show up healed, and bring it at Nats and Worlds Jeremy! Pretty please?
I loved the mens competition. It seems you want to go back to 2010 where a quad-less champion was crowned. It's good to see the men challenging themselves atheltically. The jumps are the most difficult and the most athletic part of FS; they are what separates the elite from the good skaters. Figure skating- particularly the Olympics- is a Sport, not an exhibition. I am excited with the competition among men. I wish the ladies would challenge themselves too. I don't want to see someone like Kiira Korpi winning the gold. With Yu na's return and Liza & Adelina doing two 3Lutzes in their programs, hopefully the standard will go up for the ladies before the Olympics. However, the two young skaters may not develop their artistry by Feb. 2014 to challenge Kim. May be Ashley will add a 3-3 and may be Carolina will do a lutz and a 3-3. It's exciting when sktaers are challenging themselves, even if they fall.
About 3 quads in a program, IIRC Goebel was the first to do them, and then Goebel. Under the 6.0 that carried a lot of weight. Here Fernandez delivered a very solid and complete program in the Lp. It wasn't just about the quads.
Regarding the ice, one thing that I noticed was the falls -when they occurred were really bad, with the skater lying face down on the ice- like Akiko, Ashley, Trankov. As long as the skater stayed on her/his feet- even with other mistakes- they did fine. So I don't really think anything was wrong with the ice. It may have been a fluke that the falls were really bad.
^^ Yep, and maybe the splatting was just contagious. Also, perhaps as I said, it's been a long season and many of the skaters were just not on their game. Fernandez apparently would have medaled had he not had mistakes in his sp. I think Kozuka is being under-rated, and Hanyu a bit over-rated re the force and beauty of his effortless quads. I also think the scoring was a bit overly high at this event in any case, and Fernandez' marks while in line with what the judges seemed to be doing in general, they were seriously a bit too high, especially for PCS. It looked to me like Fernandez and subsequently most of the men were more focused on the elements rather than combining athletic precision with a cohesive program. Skating is about art and sport, no matter what some fans seem to think.
No way can we ever turn back time. The thing is, figure skating is still mired in the past in many ways. They should move forward in lots of ways but still take the best of the sport's traditions forward as well, instead of trying to act like this sport is just like any other sport. It is NOT! I have nothing against an evolution in jumping if it is done with vision and better planning (same for the scoring system), and taking into account how to best ensure that skaters bodies are not destroyed in the process of pushing the sport forward athletically. TPTB truly need to do more with advancing the technology end of the sport and examining the skate boot in order to find ways of easing the impact of jumping on skaters' bodies.
TPTB also need to examine and appreciate the sport's fan base a lot more, and learn how to truly market the sport to gain new fans. What they have done is ignore and insult figure skating's die-hard fans and confuse and thereby lose would-be fans.
I don't know what it was about the ice because most of junior skaters skated brilliantly prior to senior skaters
^ Don't the junior skaters get an earlier start to their JGP season? Perhaps the juniors had a bit more time to rest and prepare for the finals than did the seniors.
What an awful typo! I meant ".....and then Joubert".
Originally Posted by Vash01