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Figure Skating Updates

With the Olympics quickly approaching, I thought I would give you some updates on your favorite figure skaters.

Swiss skater Stephane Lambiel is attempting a comeback after being away from the sport for one season. In December, he won his ninth Swiss title. Though he struggled with his quad-toe and didn’t attempt a triple-axel, he has improved greatly since the Nebelhorn Trophy at the beginning of the season. He also won that event, but didn’t look nearly as solid. In the Swiss Championships, Lambiel received 83.91 pts in the short and 160.32 in the long program, which gave him 244.23 pts overall.

According to reports, Aliona Savchenko, who is one-half of the German favorite pairs team along with her partner Robin Szolkowy, is suffering from mononucleosis. Due to her illness, the duo may not appear in the European Championships, which are set to begin on Jan. 18. The reigning two-time world pairs champions won the last three European Championships.

French skater Brian Joubert is expected to return at the European Championships now that he has recovered from an injury to his foot that required surgery. Joubert, who won the NHK Trophy in Japan, was not able to compete in the Grand Prix Final because of his injury, but his coach insists that he is steadily improving and should be adequately prepared for the Olympics.

There may be more competition for Kim Yu-Na as her rival Mao Asada skated fantastically to win her fourth straight Japanese national title. Asada, who has struggled with her triple-axel all season, perfectly landed the jump in the free skate and later found herself at the top of the podium for the first time all season. Joining Asada in the Olympics will he Akiko Suzuki and Miki Ando.

Reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko not only recently won the Russian national title, but he did it with record marks. He won his eighth national championships with a score of 171.50 in the free skate and a score of 271.59 overall.

Russian ice dancing duo Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin are the reigning world champions, but after Shabalin sustained a knee injury, they were unable to compete for the bulk of the season. They debuted their interesting “Aboriginal” themed original dance, but they didn’t seem to have the crispness and fluidity that we have all become accustomed to seeing from them. Though they easily won the event, they skated very slowly and Shabalin struggled with his twizzles. Their free dance wasn’t any better and I would actually say that it was boring, which is not a term that I have ever previously used to describe their skating. They will be lucky if they make the podium in Vancouver.

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Johnny Weir’s Documentary Trailer “Pop Star on Ice”

Watch here

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Just a Thought…

May 16, 2009 2 comments

Which rivalry are you currently a fan of most?

1. Rafael Nadal- Roger Federer

2. Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic

3. Yu-Na Kim-Mao Asada

4. Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals

5. Boston Red Sox-Tampa Bay Rays

6. Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees

7. Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics

8. Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers

9. Real Madrid-Barcelona

10. Other

Why We Should Be Happy that Sasha Cohen has Returned for the Olympics…

2004 World Championships SP to “Malaguena”

2006 Olympic SP to “Dark Eyes”

2004 Marshalls LP to “Swan Lake”

World Figure Skating Championships: Domnina and Shabalin Edge Out Belbin and Agosto for the Gold

Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin put Russia back on the map in Ice Dancing, as they won their first ice dancing gold at the World Championships. This was their first medal at Worlds and the first for a Russian couple in four years. Domnina and Shabalin’s performance, which was to Khatchaturian’s “Spartacus,” may not have been the most emotional dance of the night, but it was a difficult program and the Russians delivered.

After the performance, Maxim Shabalin said that “we gave so much power today, I am feeling just empty. At the end of the program I said ‘thank God.’ This probably means very, very much but right now I am not feeling anything. We reached a goal we have been living for and strived to achieve for many years.”

The American team of Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto had to settle for their second silver medal at the World Championships. They performed a very emotional and dramatic routine to Puccini’s “Tosca” and at the end of the program, Belbin looked to be overcome with emotions. In the end, however, it wasn’t enough to defeat the Russians and become the first American pair to win the gold at the World Champioships.

After the Free Dance, Belbin said that “we really improved and we are just happy to show the program and what we have developed this year.” Agosto added “This year we made so many changes. The coaching change and just trying to change everything about the way we perform. This program allowed us to develop a new side and show our new adult, mature sense.”

The Canadian team of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took the bronze.

Here are the Free Dance performances of the top four finishers:

Oksana Domnina/Maxim Shabalin

Tanith Belbin/Benjamin Agosto

Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir

Meryl Davis/Charlie White

Figure Skating World Championships: Belbin and Agosto win the Original Dance, Trail by Less than 1 Point

Evan Lysacek may have won the mens title, but during the Original Dance, it was his girlfriend Tanith Belbin and her partner Benjamin Agosto who brought down the house. Belbin and Agosto, who skated to “Stepping Out” by Liza Minnelli, are attempting to become the first American team to win a world championship title. Belbin and Agosto won the Original Dance and they, consequently, closed the gap between themselves and the Russian team of Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin from 1.12 points to just 0.64 points.

The free dance will take place later tonight.

Leaderboard: After the Original Dance
1) Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin–105.45 (RUS)
2) Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto–104.81 (USA)
3) Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir–100.42 (CAN)
4) Meryl Davis and Charlie White–100.33 (USA)

Here are the Original Dance performances of Belbin/Agosto and Domnina/Shabalin:

World Figure Skating Championships: Yu-Na Kim Leads After Short Program

The womens competition was centered around the rivalry between Korea’s Yu-Na Kim and Japan’s Mao Asada, but while Asada faultered in her short program, Kim was simply brilliant. Asada turned a triple lutz into a double and as a result, she finds herself in third place and over ten points behind Kim. Canada’s Joannie Rochette is in second place after the short program.

Yu-Na Kim, however, brought the house down with her short program, which was to “Danse Macabre.” She beautifully mixed artistry with difficulty and finished the night with a world record score of 76.12.

Leaderboard: After the Short Program

1) Yu-Na KimĀ –76.12 (KOR)

2) Joannie RochetteĀ –67.90 (CAN)

3) Mao Asada –66.06 (JPN)

4) Miki Ando –64.12 (JPN)

5) Carolina Kostner –63.18 (ITA)

Here is a video clip of Yu-Na Kim’s Short Program: