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Lots of figure skating 1/10/04

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#46 vagansmom


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:20 AM

So glad to hear that Suguri continues to skate so well. I look forward to watching her skate in the Worlds. She has very lovely qualities on the ice; I wish I could see more of her.

One more comment about Cohen before leaving that topic alone for awhile :wink: . I think that when she rose to the senior competition level, her nerves increased proportionately. I remember seeing her skate while she was still a junior. She had a quiet calm about her back then. It may be possible it was simply a very good day for her, but I remember thinking that she had the whole package - with musicality galore - and I looked forward to seeing her skate at the senior level.

Soon afterwards she incurred the stress fracture in her back and was out of skating for many months. I haven't yet seen her skate with the same aura as at that earlier junior competition. I do wonder, once a skater has reached 19, if it will ever be possible for them to permanently break that mold of blowing big competitions (Todd Eldridge, another favorite who broke my heart regularly, comes to mind). But I can hope.

I agree about Kurt Browning's musicality and overall superior technique. I've always felt so sorry for him that his back was never healthy when Olympics rolled around.

So many skaters with musicality: Janet Lynn, an all-time favorite. Robin Cousins. The late John Curry whom I still miss. The "two Brians" - Boitano and Orser. Elizabeth Manley. The very lovely Chinese skater, Lu Chen.

#47 jorgen


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:45 AM

Look out for the Japanese supertalent Miki Ando. She is only 16 but just won the Japan Nationals beating Suguri, Arakawa and Onda. She landed a quad Salchow and earned a place at the Worlds. A Torino 2006 gold aspirant I think.

#48 Cabriole



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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:29 PM

I do wonder, once a skater has reached 19, if it will ever be possible for them to permanently break that mold of blowing big competitions

Yes, it can be learned and Paul Wylie proved it! :grinning:

Don't forget to add Yuka Sato to the listen of musical skaters...

#49 Dansuer85


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 01:19 PM

A little late,as I didn't see this thread, but OMG Michelle Kwan, was amazing. I think she is by far one of the most talented skaters around, if not ever. She has so much grace and quality and is so strong and powerful. She really draws you in. She is so, consistent too! I do like Cohen, but for me, she doesn't compare to what Kwan does! :-D

#50 dirac


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 02:07 PM

It's never too late, dansuer85. :wink:

True, Cabriole, but in general the men mature later than the women. In times gone by before the rules about amateurs earning money changed, most top women skaters retired from competition after one, or sometimes two, Olympic cycles -- usually between age 19 or 21 at the outside. So I don't blame Cohen if she is feeling some pressure at this point. (In re Wylie, although he didn't make the horrid mistakes he was often prone to, his Olympic program was far from perfect, contrary to legend.)

I would love to see Arakawa pull it together. There's a lady with a lot going for her -- beautiful edging and a powerful, airy jump, and I really like her program this year.

#51 Redstorm



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Posted 14 January 2004 - 02:56 PM

Sasha Cohen came to our rink one time when she was a junior level skater. I was in awe of her. She was so confident and breathtaking to watch. I don't think the pressure had gotten to her yet. At the time, her coach was coaching another up and coming star...Naomi Nari Nam. It wasn't too much later that both skaters had injuries. Some speculated that the training they had undertaken caused the injuries. Unfortunetely Naomi never really came back and Sasha's attitude changed.

#52 Old Fashioned

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:03 PM

That's a shame about Naomi Nari Nam. She was a breathtaking skater (probably had the best spins I'd ever seen, right behind Lucinda Ruh).

I'm rooting for Suguri and Arakawa. Arakawa's Turandot program is exquisite. And what a lovely girl she is. :yes:

#53 carbro


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:21 PM

I'd been wondering about Naomi Nari Nam. So much promise, such a shame. And yes, Yuka Sato's musicality is uncanny.

Another gorgeous, musical skater was Tiffany Chin, who, it seems, did not like the competitive arena. I hope she's able to convey some of her special qualities to those she now coaches, specifically the engaging Beatrisa Liang.

On the pro circuit, I'm a little amused by the two new husband-wife pairs teams. Former half-pair Jason Dungjen has made another half of Yuka, and former half-pair Ekaterina Gordeyeva has made her complement of husband Ilya Kulik. I'm impressed by how quickly Yuka and Ilya have mastered their new skills and become real assets to the specialty. (Kulik -- there's another very musical skater.)

#54 Redstorm



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Posted 14 January 2004 - 03:49 PM

Naomi went to Pacific Coasts this year and didn't make it into the top 4. She was 3rd in her short and then dropped to 5th. She has been plagued by injuries over the years. Both Naomi and Sasha were lifting weights and doing pilates when they were only 10 or 11 years old. That combined with the time on the ice working on triples at a very young age, most likely caused the injuries they have endured.
I just found an old skating magazine that featured Naomi as the new star of the ice and a hopeful for the Olympics...way back when.

#55 Paul Parish

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 06:16 PM

I was bar-tending for a wedding Saturday night and just happened to walk by a tv where the skating was on and just had my heart broken by what turned out to be ht tail end of Sasha Cohen's st\kate -- AFTER she had fallen. if she lost concentration after her fall, WHAT must iot have been like before that? "So that's Sasha Cohen" I said to myself, and I haven't really had anything else on my mind since.... I may find on further exposure that I don't like her, but so far, I find her ability to figure ideal alignments just inflames my imagination no end... What a sense of form!

#56 Funny Face

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 06:27 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments about Sato. I love everything about her skating. And I think she has the most beautiful back and arms since Hamill. I watched her on one occasion with a now retired ballet teacher (who has since returned home to spend his last years in Yugoslavia), and he commented about the way she connects everything, his most frequent correction in class.

She also has those 'cat feet' that allow her to land everything, even if tilted in the air.

I have admired Kulik since he went pro for taking chances with choreography. Sometimes those risks have resulted in falls and flubs, but I have to take my hat off to him for stretching himself in this regard. This is the kind of thing I want to pay my money to watch.

Another musical skater I loved watching, especially when Browning used her in his specials, is Josee Chouinard. A very magical presence.

And about Browning -- not only did he fare badly at the Olympics, but he went through a real soul-searching process as he went pro. Does anyone remember the following year during a competition when he completely forgot his program and had to skate over to the judges and apologize before he left the ice? I think he opened his heart up so much to the audience at large and took in all that strength. That's why the public loves him so.

I heard something interesting some years ago when he first introduced his 'clown' program. One of the commentators said that the Russian coaches had their proteges gathered around, watching the monitor very closely -- that this was the kind of artistry they appreciated, perhaps even more than Western audiences did at that point.

#57 tempusfugit


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Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:19 PM

That's such a shame about Naomi Nari Nam.
I can't imagine that any skater much likes the competitive arena, with its blatant improprieties and often glaringly unfair results. it is a matter of necessity if they want to skate professionally. no medals, no solo career. appalling, isn't it?
the loveliest thing I recall seeing Yuka Sato do was a program for a professional competition several years ago-- a song called "Hatful of Stars". beautiful song, exquisitely sad, nostalgic skating. it was memorable.

#58 cygneblanc


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Posted 15 January 2004 - 10:36 AM

The most musical skaters to my mind are Oksana Baul, Katia Gordeeva and Paul Wylie

#59 Funny Face

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 06:52 PM

Those are very good choices, IMO. Not the only people I'd choose, but certainly good ones. I've had a soft spot for Wylie ever since everyone got outraged that he was chosen to go to the Olympics instead of Mitchell. So many thought he was a "has been" or worse, "never was," at the tender age of 27. "Let's send the next generation, the future!" they cried. Wylie was asked after his performance at the Nationals that year about how he felt about his less than stunning performance, before the final results were announced. He smiled calmly, and said that he didn't believe anything in life happened by accident. In other words, he was prepared to deal with whatever the next step in his life might be. While others focused on "Bowman the Showman" and Eldredge, Wylie found and took his opportunity to step up to the plate. As noted earlier in this thread, it may not have been a flawless performance, but many thought his Olympic performance should have garnered gold, nonetheless, and that the only reason it didn't was that he was ranked 11th in the world at that time, and the judges could not reconcile bringing him all the way to number one. What a wonderful artist, and how great that he is out there performing again.

And yes, I think Gordeeva is a talented "modern dancer" in her solo career on the ice. Very interesting to watch. It would be really something if something could be choreographed for her, her daughter, and Kulik, all together.

#60 djb


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Posted 16 January 2004 - 03:14 AM

I'm another Paul Wylie fan who thought he should have won gold at the Olympics. Still, I like his response at a press conference when the question of whether he could have won the gold came up: "Hey, just how much of a Cinderella story do you guys want?''

One thing I appreciate about his performances is that he treated them as performances. I get tired of skaters who do supposedly artistic programs and then either pat themselves on the back or look chagrined, the instant the music stops. Wylie presented himself like a professional performer, no matter how his program went.

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