One Busy Weekend of Skating

I have so many things I would like to do and constantly seem to be finding myself behind these days, so I am going to record some of my thoughts from this weekend while they are still fresh and hopefully get more in depth with the pairs from Europeans and multiple Nationals later. We’ll see how it all pans out. We’ve also been seeing lots of new dresses lately and I want to get to them too. Anyway, despite the time differences and the internet’s best attempts to keeping me from watching skating programs, I fared pretty well. There are a few things I haven’t been able to see but that, I’m pretty sure, is because they aren’t out there and never were.

Someone shake that man’s hand!

Yes, someone really does need to shake Patrice Lauzon’s hand, and Marie-France’s and Romain’s. I really think the work they are doing is tremendous. There has been a number of comments about the Gadabois group being over-saturated at the moment, and yes, they have a lot of teams, but I think we should maybe just send everybody there. They are doing a lot of good work. Not every program is a hit and not every couple has delivered in competition but their teams steadily improve and in general their skaters genuinely seem happy about their training situation. And, from the wide variety of programs and styles we see this season, they seem to be doing fairly well at developing each team individually. Their American teams have all made huge strides, some in a very short period of time. Chock/Bates, in my opinion, have never looked better; Hubbell/Donohue seem to have reached a new level of confidence and power in their performance; Hawayek/Baker are breaking through but it’s not just a “paid their dues” step up the ladder. They seem to have a fresh energy and I think their material is the best it has ever been. And of course, they still have the top team, and good luck anyone in catching them.

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Thoughts on the Challenger Series Thus Far

Now that the flurry of competition opening of the Challenger Series is over and before the opening of the Grand Prix, I think it’s time to do a survey of what we’ve seen and how the season is shaping up. There is so much to say but I just get to it each week, so I’m going to do a bit of a round up now of my initial impressions.

Who means business –

Skaters who have come out prepared and with focus, determination and energy from the start. 

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From Slovakia to Canada – Men, Ladies and Dance

I just have so many thoughts and I can’t bury my sister in them all, so I’m going to do it here. I enjoyed a lot this weekend! So here comes the stream of consciousness…

Over in Bratislava, which is quite fun to say, I did’t pay much attention to the men (I couldn’t make time for everything) but I had to see Kolyada. I think it’s his year. Everything we’ve seen from him so far, here and at the test skates, has been good; he has delivered well. I definitely enjoy his programs this season – he makes a good toreador. I can totally overlook the use of Carmen for him (and for guys, in general, it’s not used quite so much). He just does everything well. So… keep up the good work! That’s maybe all I have to say about the men. Unless you are really good, if you aren’t a wearing dress, my attention wanders.

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Thoughts on the New Season So Far – Ladies, Men and Dance

I think I’m going to use a stream of consciousness style for this post. So many thoughts…

In Europe, Liza looks so happy, like she is having fun skating again. It’s great to see. Her spins have improved. There is still not much between the jumps but what jumps! What I want to know is: will she have new costumes ? (Rather than the shirt and pants and dress from last year she’s got now…. Although they are kind of working.) I always love watching Shoma. Nothing has changed there. Actually, he’s the guy I’m behind this year. Shoma all the way! Or Kolyada. I like what she showed at the test skates. I’m fine with either one. I like that Kaori‘s programs seem to bring out the softness in her skating and knees. Does that make sense? I still want more stretch though. Her layback isn’t my favourite but I always enjoy watching her. I feel like she is a real competitor too. She showed that she’s got some backbone. It’s seems strange to me that Sofia Samodurova has the same coach as Liza. As skaters, they seem complete opposites. Obviously, they have different strengths ’cause it can’t all be the coaching. How have I never watched Andrei Lazukin before? I swear I haven’t. I like him. He’s good!

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