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Natalia

U.S. and Canadian Skating Nationals 2003 - predictions? comments?

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Now that I am in 'Siberia' I hope that some of you skating fans on BalletAlert can provide some iside scoop and interesting comments on these two events! The US Nationals are in Dallas, Texas, next week (Jan 14-18). I believe that the Canadians are going on now, this week.

re. the US Nationals, the Ladies event figures to be really exciting. Will Sasha continue the promise of this season and attain her first US title? Will Olympic champ Sarah Hughes (a) show up -- I'm not quite convinced that she will -- and (B) finally win HER first US title? Will it be yet another 'KwanFest'?? Will Angela Nikodinov finally get her emotional-act together and delight her many fans? Will the latest Korean-American Wonder, Ann-Patrice McDonough, build on her current Junior World title? Will the Boston Ballet-trained beauty, Jenny Kirk, overcome this year's growth spurt -- she has curves! -- and be able to land her jumps? There are many others, tiny Bea Liang (age 12? 13?), Andrea Gardiner, Amber Corwin, etc, etc who could make the podium.

Will America's 'quad king' Tim Goebel, who has been absent this entire season with injury, make it two in a row wins? Or will the Pride of Washington, DC, Michael Weiss, really have his long sought-after comeback, so that he can compete at Worlds, which are in his hometown, in March? [i've actually gotten to LIKE Weiss this season!! Less reliance on the family-hype and more on his own artistry!]

And what about the incredible Canadian men, who've done really well this year, e.g., Jeff Buttle, Sandhu, etc.

Predictions? Comments anyone? This is YOUR chance to be a Dick Button.

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what I've heard so far is that Jeffrey Buttle is 1st in his flight and Sandhu is 1st in his. I'll update as I get more info.

Leslie

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Please do. It's unpatriotic of me, but I'd love to see Sandhu get it together, and the little I've seen of Buttle impresses me. Perhaps in four years the Curse of the Canadians will be lifted……

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Sasha Cohen is spectacular to watch not only for her artistry but for the suspense she builds because she doesn't always skate perfectly. She is breathtakingly expressive and her line is in my opinion faultless. All the skaters mentioned are deserving but I for one would

love to see her achieve a US and World Title asap!

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I agree with Dirac. Sandhu's style does not appeal to everyone but when he has his head in the right place he is a phenomenal skater. Unfortunately his attitude does him in more times than not.

As for Buttle......I would love to see him win it. He has more personality than just about anybody else out there and he's a really nice guy. My 2 boys attended a spin seminar given by him and thought he was great. My 12 year old actually uses the ball spin in his solo that was taught to him by Jeffrey.

That's probably more info than you wanted.... :)

Leslie

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It's not too much information at all. Always nice to know that good skaters are good people, too!

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After the short program......

1Ben FERREIRA AB

2 Fedor ANDREEV EO

3 Emanuel SANDHU BC

4 Jeffrey BUTTLE NO

This surprises me a bit. The last couple of times I saw Ferreira(another really nice guy!) and Andreev skate they were not consistent and they seemed to be having all sorts of trouble. Obviously they got over it for this event. I will be watching the short when it comes on tonight. I'll be happy to report on it when it's over.

Leslie

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OK, now you have this non-television watcher intrigued!!!:)

Are these usually on regular TV or do I have to watch for them on ESPN, or, ????

Do tell--I know, I sound like a wackball....

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Uh-oh. Bad news for Buttle.

Coverage is usually divided between ESPN and the networks -- I think it's ABC, but someone else will know exactly, I'm sure. ESPN's coverage is more complete -- you can see the short and long programs of more obscure skaters as well as the Big Names.

Parenthetically, I still can't get over how coverage has exploded since way back when. Time was, you saw highlights only, often chopped up between exciting segments of luge competitions or whatever, on ABC's Wide World of Sports. (Also, they would rarely bother to show you skaters who weren't American, frequently you'd see only the tail end of a program, and Jim McKay would say "...and that was a promising young skater from Canada, Brian Orser. We'll be seeing a lot more of Brian!" Well, not on ABC Sports, you wouldn't. :)

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In Canada skating is usually on CTV, sometimes TSN. I doubt very much that you would find the Canadian Championships on any American station.

As for the short program........

Ferreira had the skate of his life. Turned out of the Quad toe on the landing but otherwise skated clean. Fantastic presentation.

Andreev skated well but his program doesn't do much for me.

Sandhu missed the quad and the triple axel.

Buttle had a terrible skate, at one point slid into the boards. His coach was interviewed and he said that they made the decision to put the quad in every program this year knowing it might cost him placings. He is apparently landing it in practice but it's a long way from being clean in competition. Hopefully he'll do better in the long. I felt he should have placed even lower in the standings.

Sean Sawyer, a young skater from New Brunswick had an excellent skate and is sitting in 5th.

In the pairs, Chris Wirtz hurt his shoulder in the warmup and he and his wife Kristy had to withdraw. That is a real disappointment for them as this was a comeback year after having a baby 7 months ago.

Lariviere and Faustino won the competition. They are local skaters so we have seen them quite abit at competitions.

The surprise(for most people) was that Sean Wirtz and Liz Putnam placed 3rd in the pairs. I saw them skate at sectionals(the qualifier for Canadians) and was very impressed so it was nice to see them do so well. They have only been together for 6 months.

That's all for tonight but I'll add more after the men skate their long program tomorrow.

Leslie

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Sandhu was 1st

Buttle was 2nd

Andreev was 3rd landed the quad.....had a great skate.

Ferreira was 4th after a disasterous skate.

Jennifer Robinson won the ladies again.

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Viktor Kraatz will win the dance unless...as the commentator said " they miss the bus"

Leslie

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Thank you for the North American updates. WOW, I had given up on Sandhu a while back jsut because of his inconsistency. It's so good that he put together two great programs to win. Will both Sandhu and Buttle go to Worlds?

Now I am really sad to be missing US Nationals, as there is no hope of picking it up on Russian satellite services. (On the other hand, we do get EuroSport for all of the Euro-based competitions, LIVE and commercial-free...but no Dick Button...bummer...)

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It's off topic, but I wonder if Buttle and his coach are following the wisest course. It sounds as if putting in the quad no matter what is not only costing him in low marks, but throwing him off his triples and other requirements as well. If he can't do it right now, he can't do it, but at least he can avoid hurling himself into the boards.

Commercial-free – sounds wonderful, Jeannie. I'd happily surrender Dick B. in exchange for no interruptions!

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dirac,

Buttle and his coach are taking the same approach with the quad that they took with the triple axel last year. It worked for that so I guess they are hoping for the same result for the quad. He skated a great program despite the quad attempt. I think I would leave it out of the short and attempt it in the long but then I'm not his coach. Missing a quad in the long program is only a small deduction so may well be worth the risk.

A name to watch for at next years senior nationals will be Ken Rose.....a local skater who I am very impressed with. He won the Junior mens this year at nationals.

Gotta go..........headed to the arena.

Leslie

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In 1980, I went to the Olympics at Lake Placid and saw the finals of the Ice Dance competition. Since then, I have been waiting for an opportunity to attend another skating competition.

It's here! I'm going to Dallas on Thursday for the final three days of the Nationals. A great combination of timing, frequent flyer miles and the desire to escape the tundra of upstate NY for a little while, and I am on my way.

Any other BAers going to be there?

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Dear rk -

That is fantastic! Wow - we have a BalletAlertnik on-site! Please do provide reports, if you can.

I'm going to begin a thread devoted to the US Nationals. Feel free to write your reports/impressions there.

Have fun, lucky you!

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Not I, unfortunately, but I do hope we'll be receiving your eyewitness reports!

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