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Winter Olympics Skating News/Impressions


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:05 AM

Ladies & Gentlemen - I'm opening this thread for any & all discussions relating to the figure skating events at the upcoming Winter Olympiad at Salt Lake City, Utah, USA! (Olympic fanfare blaring in the background)

Here in the USofA, the televised festivities commence on Friday at 8 pm (EST) with the Opening Ceremonies on NBC. That's when we get to cheer our respective favorite delegations of athletes as they march into the stadium, usually sporting some dopey fantasy on their country's 'native' costume or winter gear that makes them resemble Nanook of the North. Personally, I'm looking forward the most to Team Rossiya, who will be decked out in Imperial-era Cossack military coats & tall fur hats. (I saw the photos on a Russian website - they will be quite spiffy!) Needless to say, I'll also be cheering for the good old USA and the delegation of my great island of Puerto Rico, which usually consists of a skier or two who happen to be studying at a university in continental North America. And for Estelle/J-L/Francoise, I'll hold the flag of France...and for Anton/Susy/Guido I'll cheer the Italians...and for Alexandra the Danes...and for Eugene/Jane/felursus/Mary, I'll cheer for Team England...and for JosephC, the green-red-white of the Magyars...and for Pamela, those amazing skiers from Sweden...and for Kevin & Xinxin, the delegation from Hong Kong & China (go, Shen & Zhao!)...and for Marc, Team Belgium & the Dutch speedskaters! Mitsuko & Takashi - you'll be hearing my 'Bravo!' for skater Takeshi Honda, all the way to Japan. And how can I forget to cheer for Paquita/Ottawamom, with the all-powerful Team Canada? Ok, ok - I'll be cheering for each and every country participating in Salt Lake, with representatives on BalletAlert; this is simply one of the most exciting int'l events on TV.

The skating action kicks-off on Saturday night with the Pairs short programs. [Estelle - sorry to read the news about the French couple, Abitbol/Bernadis. That's a real loss.]

On US television, it will be Scott Hamilton (not Dick Button) doing the calling, so we will be spared the comments about women's layback positions or fannies sticking out as they go into a pair death spiral. [I happen to be one who can handle Button's comments with laughter so I'll miss him this time.] A bit of good news for the 'old-timers' among us: Jim McKay will be back to do overview analysis - first time since 1988 Calgary!

Here is the schedule of skating-related events + Opening/Closing Ceremonies. Most starting times are 8 pm; ending 11:30 om (EST). Of course, you must consult your local TV guide for times in your area. [For folks in Europe, I know that Eurosport will be showing tape-delay broadcasts on the evening of the day following each event.]

Friday, Feb. 8 - Opening Ceremonies; there will be groups of dancers. I'm not sure which groups will be in Friday's ceremony but BalletWest & Pilobolus, among others, are participating in the parallel arts festival throughout the two weeks.

Sat., Feb 9 - Pairs short programs

Mon., Feb 11 - Pairs finals

Tues, Feb. 12 - Men's short programs (YIKES - I'll have to set my VCR here...Kirov opening night @ Kenn. Center)

Thurs., Feb 14 - Men's Finals...promises to be THE most exciting, unpredictable skating event this year...Yagudin vs Plushenko Duel-on-Ice + other assorted Quad Kings! [Anybody want my Kirov ticket for that night? wink.gif ]

Fri., Feb 15 - Ice Dance - two compultory set-pattern dances

Sunday, Feb 17 - Ice Dance - Original Dance (their version of a short program...this year's required beat/style is Latin)

Mon., Feb 18 - Ice Dance finals

Tues., Feb 19 - Ladies short program

Thurs, Feb 21 - Ladies finals (Will Michelle Kwan finally achieve her Olympic Gold Medal?)

Fri., Feb 22 - Exhibition of Champions

Sun, Feb 24 - Closing Ceremonies

So there you have the daily schedule. LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!

[ February 05, 2002: Message edited by: Jeannie ]



#2 sneds

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:30 AM

Hi!
I will be out in Park City for the duration of the Olympics, and as of now will be attending the Pairs SP and LP and Ladies SP (as well as other non-skating events).
Depending on how fast my internet connection is, and how tired I am from all the traveling (~4 hours from the house to the skating venue), I'll try to post a few times with my comments.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get a ticket to one of the ice-dance nights, as five of the teams train at the rink where I skate (Russians, Ukranians, Koreans, Israelis and Swiss) and I know the male half of the Ukranian team.

Kate

#3 Natalia

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:38 AM

That's wonderful, Kate -- lucky you!!! smile.gif

We would be delighted to receive your 'Up-Close and Personal' view of the games. Have a ball!

#4 Natalia

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 12:07 PM

One more thought. Will any of our Canada-based readers be following the Olympic skating? You, my friends, are the truly lucky viewers, as Canadian TV will be showing all of the skating events in their entirety and, I suspect, much fewer commercials than in the USofA.

As most of you know, skating is practically a national sport of Canada (as it is in Russia). Watch out for Sale/pelletier in paris + Bourne/Kraatz in ice dance. And we cannot forget the original 'quad king' Elvis Stojko (several-times World champ in the mid-1990s), who refuses to give up without one more shot at Olympic gold.

#5 Siren

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 12:29 PM

Where can I find the exact TV airing schedule? I went to the official Olympics website for Salt Lake City but couldn't seem to find the TV airing times, just the schedule in terms of tickets. I wonder if NBC's web site would have the info. I want to set my VCR. Thanks.

#6 Natalia

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 12:48 PM

Siren - Your best bet is to go to the supermarket & purchase your local edition of TV Guide, it will be tailored specifically to your viewing area. Here in DC, we buy the "Washington edition" of the magazine. Cost is under $2. *The issue that you need was published yesterday; it has a sultry-looking Michele Kwan on the cover (quite a photo - no little prissy ice princess she!).

I normally would say to look at the 'free' TV pull-out from last Sunday's paper but that would only include information about this Friday night's program.

By the way, ALL of the skating will be on NBC. Some of the less-often-seen sports (curling, etc.) and complete hockey games are being shown on the sister-networks, CNBC and MSNBC. But, as far as I've seen, all of the skating + opening/closing ceremonies are on the main NBC channel.

****UPDATE:

A friend just passed-on to me the following URL, with perhaps the most comprehensive skating-on-TV schedule around. All times listed here are EST in the US....so that TV guide might still be necessary if you are in Mountain or Pacific time zones, where NBC might be purposely delaying the telecast to ensure that they occur during the lucrative 'prime time' period.

http://heatherw.com/mk/sch.htm

Quite a bit of skating on TV beyond the big networks, isn't there? Time to buy 12-packs of blank cassettes at the discount store! I'm sorry that I don't get this 'ESPN Classic' that is showing highlights from old Olympics, such as Grenoble 1968 (Peggy Fleming & the Protopopovs). Wouldn't it be great to have a 'Dance Classic' cable network...ugh...

[ February 05, 2002: Message edited by: Jeannie ]



#7 Siren

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 04:11 PM

Wow. Thanks for posting this. The web site is quite comprehensive. This is exactly what I wanted.

#8 Melissa

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 04:12 PM

Jeannie,

"I happen to be one who can handle Button's comments with laughter so I'll miss him this time.]"

I feel the same way about Dick. His frankness is awfully funny, and I respect him for calling a spade a spade. The man just has very high standards.

#9 vagansmom

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 07:08 PM

I love Dick Button. I'm sure it's because I grew up on him. As a child, I drank up his comments and thought of him as a sort of god. Childhood loyalties are hard to give up.

A couple tidbits:

MOMIX will also be performing at some point. They'll be doing "Skiva" (see Dance Mag's Feb. cover), Moses Pendleton's homage to skiing - a passion of his.

Also, did anyone read NY Times article today about Sarah Hughes and her "flutz"? Is it true that she, along with most of the American skaters, takes off from the wrong edge when she starts a lutz? I don't know enough about jumps in terms of skating edges to tell. And, if true, it begs the question: why haven't the American coaches been stricter with their skaters?

Thanks for putting up such a comprehensive schedule. I've printed it out for reference.

#10 mom2

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 07:56 PM

You BET I'll be following the skating! We're big fans here in our house! We are crossing our fingers, toes, etc. for Emanuel Sandhu (who I'm sure you've heard spent a number of years at the National Ballet School in Toronto). Of course we are also rooting for Sale & Pelltier and Bourne and Kraatz.

Thanks for the schedule...we're lucky to get both Canadian and US channels where we are, so it should be a great show!

smile.gif

#11 Natalia

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 08:03 PM

Vagansmom - It takes trememdous power & control to maintain the long backward-outside edge that leads to the lutz jump, especially for finely-boned women. [The tall & muscular Viktoria Volchkova of Russia or Julia Sebestyen of Hungary are rare examples of women who truly lutz, rather than 'flutz.'] Dainty physiques compensate by shifting body weight to the backward-inside edge (making it a 'flip' jump rather than 'lutz') just before the right toepick jabs the ice for the take-off. Tara Lipinski also had a noticeable flutz. Michele Kwan less so but she, too, flutzes. Sarah's seems to be the more noticeable flutz among the current female competitors. It's an unconscious habit; once 'registered' in the brain, almost impossible to change...so I am told, as I've never tried to lutz or flutz myself. smile.gif

#12 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 08:39 PM

i'm kind of more the triple "klutz" kind of girl myself...(ok i know it's horrible but somebody had to do it!)

[ February 05, 2002: Message edited by: Mme. Hermine ]



#13 OCBalletMom

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 10:00 PM

Let the games begin!

We are so looking forward to the Olympics at our house, especially the figure skating. We're hoping that it is an all USA podium for the women (Michelle winning the gold medal).

My husband (and kids) will be happy to hear Dick Button won't be doing the commentary -- when they don't agree with him they always tell him to "button it, Button". You know when someone is having a great skate because he's quiet!

#14 Natalia

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 06:26 AM

I love both posts, Patricia & OCmom. You made my morning with some laughs!!!

Annual meeting at office...I'll need a laugh or two to survive til 6 pm. Hold the fort.

#15 OttawaMom

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Posted 06 February 2002 - 01:41 PM

Of course, like mom2 I am rooting for the Canadian skaters but cannot help but admire all the lovely American skaters! This article was in my home town paper today but was from the L.A. Times so I found it on their website and thought I would post it here:

http://www.latimes.c...an05feb05.story

Let the games begin!!


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