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Jayne

Winter Olympics, Vancouver 2010

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I can't believe I forgot Adam Rippon. He's a beautiful skater, one of my favorites. Sadly, he didn't make the Olympic team this year. His free skate this year was to Barber's Violin Concerto. He's been learning Korean from training mate YuNa Kim, which he tried out during Four Continents, which he won:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2HCNTsz9B8...PL&index=37

Also, there are a couple of young Chinese Men who are a lot more artistic than their predecessor.

I agree about Flatt and her coach.

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I also agree about Rachel Flatt. I hope she changes coaches and that the first thing the new coach does is to have her take ballet classes at a really good school. It would vastly improve her upper body carriage. For all that I didn't like Yevgeny Plushenko's skating this year (he looked out of shape), his body carriage is that of a danseur and I have a lot of respect for that. However, I also think it's partly what's responsible for the "arrogant" label he's always had (the other part responsible is his own personality! :wallbash: ).

I'm most excited about Mirai Nagasu. I've been too busy lately to pay much attention to the figure skating season, so my first look at her was at the Olympics. She was such a delightful surprise!

Like the others, I adore Jeremy Abbott's skating. I DID see him skate at U.S. Nationals and became a huge fan of his then. I fear, though, that he might be one of those skaters, like Sasha Cohen, Todd Eldridge, and even Michelle Kwan (at Olympics) who chokes at the most important venue. As an aside, how I miss her expansive spirals! I find the current spirals (the second one in most skaters' sequence of spirals) to be downright ugly in most skaters.

Has anyone else gone nuts at the mispronunciation of Kim Yu Na's name? It s/b almost yaw-nuh with accent firmly on the first syllable. The English language doesn't have a comparable phoneme for the vowel in the first syllable, but yaw is close enough. The Olympic officials got it right when they announced her name for both the short and the long programs, but none of the USA announcers did. Not once. And whoever announced her name for the exhibition skating got it wrong too. I'm a reading specialist. Didn't it ever occur to the Americans newscasters and announcers to ask how to pronounce her name? Such a simple and respectful thing to do.

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Yes, Plushenko's a jerk, but a lot of first rate athletes answer to that description. Abbott has had trouble with consistency in the past, but also he had barely left the ice at the national championships before Team Lysacek started playing head games with him. He was easily the best American figure skater this season. Too bad, and these opportunities don't always come around again.

I saw Canada v. Norway in the men's curling final and it was splendid theater although I felt bad for the Norwegians because it's hard to lose but it must be even harder wearing those checkered pants. I assume it was also good curling but I wouldn't have any idea.

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I saw Canada v. Norway in the men's curling final and it was splendid theater although I felt bad for the Norwegians because it's hard to lose but it must be even harder wearing those checkered pants. I assume it was also good curling but I wouldn't have any idea.

According to the Hack Radio commentators, someone in the Norwegian org presented the team with the pants -- they later got both the red and the white versions -- and then Thomas Ulsrud, the Norwegian skip said, "Why not?" after the pants grew on them. However, had this been a Dutch curling team, the results could have been tragic or more tragic.

According to this article a man in Rochester, NY started a Facebook Page called The Norwegian Olympic Curling Team's Pants, which had 526,000 members worldwide when the article was written.

When the page reached 100,000 fans, D'Orazio was contacted by the chief executive officer of Loudmouth Golf, maker of the pants.

In exchange for D'Orazio putting a link to Loudmouth on his Facebook page, he was offered a portion of the proceeds from all pants sold. The pants retail for $90.

That's when D'Orazio decided to send the money to Omaha's Katie Beck Memorial Fund.

Beck was a member of a junior world championship team in curling. She enrolled at the University of Minnesota and continued to train.

She was then diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a bone cancer that afflicts children and young adults. She underwent surgeries and chemotherapy but died about a year after her diagnosis.

(The link to purchase the pants is on the "FYI -- Available for Purchase" tab. )

A number of Norwegian fans wore the pants with the matching jackets, which are custom-order and take 45 days to make. I saw several women with the pants tucked into boots. The fans were stopped over and over to pose for photographs. It was quite a scene, and I don't think anyone will forget this team.

The curling was very fine. Thomas Ulsrud had two throws that were a little light, and that was the difference between a 5-3 lead and a 3-5 deficit. Kevin Martin's rink, one of the best in the world in this Olympic cycle, got to redeem his loss in the gold medal game in Salt Lake City to none other than Ulsrud's role model, Pål Trulsen. (Brad Gushue's rink represented Canada in Torino.)

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Finally I managed to see a bit of skating today - these Olympic games will not go down in history as memorable - idiotic schedules due to time differences and small bits and pieces of skating which doesnt allow one to compare the skaters. No use crying over lost opportunities, next big event, World Championship, will be next month in Torino Italy. Good for me, but maybe then you Americans and Canadians will suffer the same problems as I have had

:) , hope not anyway.

Thanks Helene for your kind words about Adrian Schultheiss, yes, he is a guy to watch. I worried a bit about him, I know he is good, but being away and this was his first real big event, would his nerves be with him. Well, apparently he did fine and I will expect a lot in the World C. And that beautiful Finnish girl, Laura Lepistö, she is elegance personified on ice.

Now I have got the DVD working while I am sleeping, tomorrow I will see the closing ceremony - just hoping that Swedish TV will do the entire thing - waiting for Lopatkina of course :wallbash:

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Pamela - you should try to get these video feeds:

www.nbcolympics.com

www.hulu.com

if you scroll 3/4 down the screen, you can watch the figure skating, opening and closing ceremonies in repeats. Usually without the appallingly poor commentary by the NBC millionaire broadcasters.

I am on the west coast, so haven't seen anything yet, but saw the news feed pictures, looks like the Sochi portion of the program features ballet dancers. Curious to know which ones were given the honor...looking forward to seeing it on tape delay, with commentators talking over it, freqent breaks for commercials, interrupting performances for shots of American athletes, etc.

I watched everything I could - to answer dirac's question - curling, skiing, snowcross (which is a seat of your pants, nutty sport), and of course - hockey!!! both men's and women's were completely enjoyable. But I missed watching the figure skating exhibition on Saturday evening, as I was too busy watching curling and hockey. However, my mother tells me they would show one skating performance....then 45 minutes of fluff....then another skating performance.

I figured better to watch MSNBC live, and watch the exhibition skating the next day online.

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That's when D'Orazio decided to send the money to Omaha's Katie Beck Memorial Fund.

Beck was a member of a junior world championship team in curling. She enrolled at the University of Minnesota and continued to train.

She was then diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a bone cancer that afflicts children and young adults. She underwent surgeries and chemotherapy but died about a year after her diagnosis.

I have been fangirling all over the Norwegian's pants, but did not know this part of the story -- many thanks!

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The closing ceremonies met all expectations. Like Bob Costas, I was especially taken by this.

I just love the Olympics.

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It was a total hoot to be there for Closing Ceremonies.

I have to watch a friend's DVR version to see the Sochi 2014 presentation, because it was overwhelming at BC Place, and impossible to know where to look. There were dancers, but I was in the third to last row, and they looked like moving ants.

I prize the foam antlers they gave us all to wear during the "Made in Canada" bit and the Sochi 2014 snow globe with lights we waved as our hockey jersey-clad mayor -- Luongo's, of course -- passed the Olympic flag to the mayor of Sochi. But I'm easily amused.

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I prize the foam antlers they gave us all ...
Oh, lucky, lucky you (and the 60,000 others)! I liked the moose antlers better than the inflated beavers (cute though they were) and even better than the Mariinsky dancers.

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I just love the Olympics.

Me too. And, alongside the beavers, a kid dressed as a hockey puck, set down among all those jumbo-sized cutouts of hockey players. I don't know about you, but on my television, the kid looked pretty worried.

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Thanks a lot Jayne! Worked fine, though I think I must fix a broader broadband. When skaters - or dancers for that matter - freeze on the screen one sometimes sees positions that would not make them happy if they could see themselves, but which would pass unnoticed at proper speed! I do have a fairly large computer screen, but I do have a very large TV screen so it will be a joy to see the World Championship - not many days to wait now. Of course, then you Americans might have the same problems as I have had with timing. Anyway, I promise to report what I see :)

I saw the entire closing ceremony - they graciously broadcast a repeat of the entire event here. It was magnificent, so glad everything worked OK, not like the opening which left a bit to be desired. And that beaver :thumbsup: Yes, I agree, the dancers looked like ants on the TV as well, it was not a memorable thing and I had looked forward to it so much.

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It's official: I know nothing about curling. I just read wrap-up articles on the Women's and Men's gold medal games in "The Curling Times", and according to their analysis, each set of teams played badly.

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Can someone here explain the requirements for 'on ice'? I feel like the jumps are so emphasized that we miss out on understanding anything else. I'm guessing there are required positions for the spiral sequences. Is that also to for the spins? (How many spins, different edges, positions, rotations?) And the footwork?

Sorry for all the questions -- I'm truly interested. And to some extent, I find the focus on jumps similar to what I see amongst the younger dancers at my studio -- you may dance beautifully, but if your triple pirouette became a double -- HORRIFIC! I know a lot of people who watch dance in the same way -- all flash and splash.

Sorry to answer this so late. The following is based on this years rule; they are tweaked each year.

Spirals:

Requirements:

1. Spiral positions are a combination of edge (inside and outside) and leg position.

2. To be considered a spiral position, the knee and foot of the free leg have to be above the hip.

3. Only the first three attempted position+edge combos count.

4. A position+edge combo counts only if it is held for at least 3 seconds.

5. In the Short Program, there has to be at least one change of foot.

6. The spiral step sequence is a required element in the Short Program.

Mandatory deductions, not based on quality, if:

1. In the Short Program, fewer than three positions are counted; in the Free Skate, fewer than two positions are counted.

2. Less than 50% of the pattern from the beginning of the first spiral to the end of the last is in spiral position

The combination of edges and positions reflect difficulty, and there is a technical panel that determines the level of the spiral sequences, step sequences, spins, and footwork (and for Pairs, lifts and twist lifts). Difficulty is increased by changes of edge and changes of positions; higher risk changes of positions, like weight changes, increase levels. The higher the level, the higher the base score to which Grade of Execution -- rated by the judges on a scale of -3 to +3 -- is added or subtracted. The level also affects the scale of Grade of Execution: For example, a Level 4 spiral sequence begins with a base value of 3.9, with positive GOE adding a point for each grade (+1 adds 1 point, +2 adds 2 points, etc.), which is the same for most triple jumps, but a Level 3 spiral sequence begins with a base value of 3.3, and each positive level of GOE adds only .5 instead of 1.

For levels, there are all kinds of criteria, mostly based on how long positions are held, when the change of edge are done, and body position: For example, if all three positions are assisted, then it doesn't matter if you do 40 revs in a Biellmann spin, you can't get higher than Level 1. For change of edge spirals, the skater can't change position during the change of edges, etc.

Spins are broken down into three basic positions (upright, camel, and sit), with layback being classified as a subset of upright, and three types (basic [on one leg], combination, and flying entrance). Combination spins can be one one leg (change of type of position only) or with a change of foot (same type position on both sides or change of type of position on each foot). There are 12 classifications, and skaters can't repeat a classification in the Free Skate.

Requirements:

1. In the Short Program this year, a flying spin, a combo spin (with change of feet), and a layback spin (Ladies) or single position type with change of foot (Men) were required.

2. In the flying spin, there had to be "fly" -- both skates in the air at the same time in the entrance.

3. In the sit spin, the skater's butt had to be at least as low as the knee.

Mandatory deductions, not based on quality:

1. Less than the minimum revolutions (three) in the spin; for combo change combo or single type with change of foot, three revs on each side.

The changes of edges and positions, a single position held for eight revs, and the number of basic spin positions in combo spins determine the level set by the technical panel. Risk is usually a factor in upping the level of a spin.

Step sequences are handled similarly.

Requirements:

1. For the Short Program, men must do two of three of straightline, serpentine, or circular footwork; Ladies must choose one of these three in addition to the spiral step sequence.

Mandatory deductions, not based on quality:

1. Less than 50% of the pattern has steps or turns

2. The wrong pattern is skated (although who can tell now?)

3. Jumps with more than one rev are included

The levels are set based on the combination of the number and difficulty of turns, whether turns are equally in both directions, the amount of upper body movement (this is not supposed to be just arms) -- again this goes to risk -- and the types and combinations of types of steps done on the correct edges: mohawks, rockers, brackets, loops. The steps are the basic components of skating that were the tools of figures, and are much like tendu, jete, ronde de jamb, fondu, etc. in ballet.

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Thank you so much for this wonderful information, Helene!

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