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(SPOILERS) Olympic skating thread


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The NBC Olympics website has streaming video for some of the skating performances. First there is a 10-sec commercial, and then the site searches for a license from NBC, at least the first time you use the site on that computer. This didn't work on my Mac, but I don't know if operating system was the issue. It works on my PC.

To see the video, click the little camera icon to the right of the skater's name.

Pairs Short Program:

Totmianina/Marinin, Zhang/Zhang, Petrova/Tikhonov, Pang/Tong, Shen/Zhao, Inoue/Baldwin.

Pairs Free Skate:

Totmianina/Marinin, Zhang/Zhang, Shen/Zhao, Pang/Tong, Inoue/Baldwin, Hinzmann/Parchem

Men's Short Program:

Plushenko, Weir, Lambiel, Joubert, Savoie, Lysacek

Men's Free Skate:

Plushenko, Buttle, Lysacek, Lambiel, Savoie, Weir, Joubert.

The videos appear on the results pages. Nothing's posted so far on Compulsory Dance, and I suspect there never will be, but here is the link, just in case:

Compulsory Dance

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I can't believe I'm saying this because it's usually my least favorite discipline but I am really looking forward to ice dancing. I think mostly because while the talent level for the other disciplines has been, to be honest, pretty poor. The pairs medalists of this year couldn't stack up with the winners in 1988, 1992, and 2002. (1998 was a weak pairs year, but very good for men.) The men this year suffered because so much of the field was so young and inexperienced. Lysacek, Weir, Buttle, et al I can all imagine improving enormously ... in a year or two. But with ice dancing, there is so much talent. The one team I *don't* think deserves much acclaim is Barbara Fusar-Poli and her partner Maurice. I have never like Fusar-Poli's style, and her partner is just not up to international skating levels, I'm sorry. Their choreography has always hidden his weaknesses and that kind of turns me off, when there are so many couples where the talent is equal.

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dufay, I think you have to wait for the Original Dance and Free Dance before you wail. The rules haven't changed for compulsory dances in quite a while, except to limit them to one per competition, instead of two; that change was made in 2003 or 2004. There are a group of standard compulsory dances, and I think one of the few that was added after Torvill and Dean's time was the Golden Waltz, which was based on an Original Set Pattern that Klimova/Ponomarenko did. The only things the skaters can add to compulsory dances are the start and finish, which aren't supposed to count in the judging. The patterns are set and performed twice, and everyone does the same ones, without lifts or spins.

Unfortunately, of the three Compulsory Dances in this year's mix, Ravensburger Waltz, which was chosen, is difficult for the woman and simple for the man and gives the advantage to teams where the woman dominates, like Grushina and Fusar-Poli; the Yankee Polka is extremely difficult for taller skaters and gives the advantage to the shorter teams, like Belbin/Agosto; and the Tango Romantica, which was selected for Europeans and Four Continents, is the most balanced, but wasn't chosen.

I preferred the old Original Set Pattern, which was like a compulsory dance in that there was a defined rhythm, and the dancers created a pattern which they repeated. I'm not sure why they've been doing a combo rhythm Original Dance: by the time the teams set the mood of a waltz, they have to switch to a polka. Yuck. Next year, it will be a single-rhythm, the tango, and, hopefully, the ISU will keep to one.

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Thankyou so much, Helene!

So you have been to Malmö -one of my favorite places in Sweden. While you were

there I do hope you had a meal at "Petri Pumpa" - a truly wonderful restaurant. If not, maybe next time...

Thanks for the links, though my ancient equipment is not quite up to it. Got the Finnish one - though Finland is a neighbor, that is one language where I cant even make out a single word.

And speaking of Finland, we do have some Finnish posters here who could throw some light on the subject, I hope. Judging by others, not only Swedish TV broadcasts very little skating, but I have yet to see a single lady skater.

A couple of years back, I saw a lovely Finnish girl, black hair, very graceful, actually it was truly ballet on ice. Her name was Susanna Pöykinen (apologies to Finns if I have butchered her name). Are there any Finnish girls at all taking part?

There was also a very good blonde Finnish girl. Finns, please answer, it would make me glad.

Norway does not seem to be much of a skating nation these days - in the olden days they had Sonia Henie who won I think that infamous 1936 Olympics.

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I still have fond memories of Klimova and Ponomarenko's "Polka." It was choreographed by Marina. These two usually had such serious freedances, that it delightful to see that they were able to be lighthearted and cute. It was also an extremely difficult dance.

Interestingly, I think there has always been "holding up" in ice dance, but the teams that complained about it weren't necessarily the teams that truly suffered. For instance, I truly believe the Duschenays were "held up" in 1992. Usova/Zhulin were much superior skaters. And I think Grishuk/Platov were held up, but Bourne and Kraatz were placed about right. The teams that suffered from G&P's "holding up" were Torvill/Dean, Krylova/Iforgotherpartner'sname, and Anassina/Pezzerat.

The good thing about the COP is the mobility of skaters now. Under the old system Evan Lysachek never could have moved from 10th to 4th.

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I can't remember a Norwegian skater from the last few decades.

But Susanna Pöykiö is at the Olympics now. She came in 8th at the World Championships last year, earning a second spot for Finland at the Olympics and 2006 Worlds, and was second at the European Championships in 2005, which helped to earn Finland three spots at this year's European Championshipos. I liked all three Finnish women I saw in Malmö, but Elena Kettunen retired, Alisa Drei came in third of three Finnish women at Europeans and didn't qualify for the Olympics, and Kira Körpii, a skater just up from Juniors, scored higher than Drei to get the second Olympic spot. The Finnish women have among the softest edges in Ladies' skating.

Unfortunately, Ari-Pekka Nuremenkari, who has a little of Sandu's dance quality, but not all of the jumps, didn't qualify a Men's spot for Finland in last fall's Karl Schaefer qualifier.

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Thanks for the replies about the Finnish girls - nothing but hockey on Swedish TV tonight so I gave up :angry2:

Well, folks, I hate to reveal my age, but here goes. I actually saw Sonia Henie! Yes, it is true... I was a small kid, there was a venue in Gothenburg then (caught fire later) called the "Circus". A very tiny round arena, no larger than a fairly large sitting room, and they had an "Ice revue". Star spot Sonia Henie! She was then of a considerable age, married to a Norwegian ship owner and a multi millionaress. Yet, she did this show and I vividly remember it to this day. She ran madly and then launched into some multiple pirouettes, stopped, bowed and skated out.

Well, at least I have seen Hitler's absolute darling live. :jawdrop:

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I hope they were showing women's hockey :jawdrop:

I'm thrilled for the Swedish women's hockey team for a great comeback against the US team, and I'm hoping they can get it together like the 1980's US men's hockey team, and focus in on the gold medal game. What a star Kim Martin is, killing a 5-on-3 penalty, and keeping her composure after Angela Ruggiero was given a re-shot, and the other teenager, Pernilla Wiberg, the first Swedish player to score in the shootout. And hopefully Maria Rooth can continue her goal-scoring in the championship game.

I hope they show the Ladies when the short program starts next week. Right now, the English-speaking press seems to be hovering over Emily Hughes, which Kimmie Meissner and Sasha Cohen are practicing out of town to avoid the press hounds.

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After a fall-filled Original Dance segment, the Free Dance is complete. Belbin/Agosto won the silver medal after finishing 4th in the Free Dance behind Navka/Kostomarov, Delobel/Schoenfelder, and Grushina/Goncharov. With Denkova/Staviyski in fifth, the top five in Torino is identical to the top five in Moscow at last year's Worlds. I am very sad that Delobel/Schoenfelder ended off the podium in fourth, after a second-place skate in the Free Dance. The top Men place almost identically as in Moscow, with the exception of Plushenko, who withdrew with double hernias: Lambiel, Buttle, Lysacek, Weir.

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Re Helene's post above, I dont have to write the names again.

Just seen it, Swedish TV did broadcast it - in the middle of the night - and glory be :tiphat:

All the couples were wonderful - this discipline has really developped over the years, presumably thanks to Torville-Dean. Had I been a judge I would have wanted to give them all a gold medal and I was sorry Stavisky-Denkova didnt make it. Belbin-Agosto were superb, it is so hard to choose, but I think you cannot get any better than the gold couple. She seemed to be pretty taken with it, mopping tears, for sheer joy, one presumes.

Now I promise I wont gripe more over Swedish TV, but why in the middle of the night? I am sure many young kids would have loved it. There will be a repeat tomorrow, but that will be during school hours. If they want skaters here they must inspire youngsters!

OK, from 16 hours until 11.30 there was hockey solid, and never ending analysis and interviews with the hockey girls - deduction: inspire to more hockey.

Anyway, a night to die for, absolutely perfect! :yahoo: :huepfen024: :hyper:

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Historical Videos

The NBC Olympics website has streaming video for some of the skating performances.  First there is a 10-sec commercial, and then the site searches for a license from NBC, at least the first time you use the site on that computer. 

The website of the International Olympic Committee offers a selection of videos from past events. Among them is my all-time favorite -- John Curry's 1976 Don Quixote long program :tiphat: . I couldn't help but appreciate the importance of real choreography here and wonder if we'll ever see the likes of this in competitive skating again. :yahoo: The scoring system certainly does nothing to encourage it.

To access the videos, scroll to the foot of the page and click on "Multimedia Gallery." On the next page, you'll find a drop-down menu with all sports -- summer on top, winter grouped below. You can figure it out from there.

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The OD last night was truly shocking ... never seen so many falls in an ice dancing competition. Dubreil/Lauzon couldn't even skate the free dance today. And the ugliest fall had to be Fusar-Poli and Margaglio's. The expressions on their faces after the fall was painful to watch.

I think Belbin/Agosto are talented and fun to watch, but Tanith needs to learn how to point her toes. She naturally has large feet, and without pointing her toes her skates stick out like a sore thumb. I'm sure with time and experience her overall line and posture will improve. They are very young.

ETA: NBC's coverage of Fusar-Poli and Margaglio's "soap opera" is so funny. Seriously though her deathglare last night was frightening. I've never seen one skater look so angry at a partner.

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Whee! Dick Button is definitely a balletomane. On Olympic Ice he mentioned: Plisetskaya, Ulanova, Baronova, Toumanova, the "baby ballerinas" ... He actually said "baby ballerinas of the 1930s". This is not a Nutcracker balletgoer. He's the real thing  :tiphat:

Dick Button used to take Leon Danielian's ballet classes at the Ballet Russe School (NYC in the fifties).

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Hockey all evening and then came the magic midnight hour. And what an hour!

What ladies! The original sourpuss is rolling on the floor here with joy. What high standard throughout :D

I wish I had had some champagne at home because this was something to celebrate.

Sasha Cohen is divine and that was very well deserved. My congratulations to her.

And I got to see my two Finnish girls as well, Susanna Pöykiö and Kira Korpi, though unfortunately they didnt make it to medals. But they were good! It is really weird that no other northern country can achieve anything at all.

But to me, there was a revelation: that young Georgian girl, Gedevanishvili, very promising I thought.

By the way, have you noticed that many Russians (Georgia is a former Soviet republic) choose Spanish style and Spanish music. And they generally manage to carry it off as well. There must be some, probably unrequited, love affair with Spain. When I was in Russia I met masses of people learning Spanish. Sorry, that was off topic.

A truly wonderful evening, and I thought that the standard was the best I have ever seen. More like that! :yahoo::clapping::clapping::clapping:

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By the way, have you noticed that many Russians (Georgia is a former Soviet republic) choose Spanish style and Spanish music.

I'm ready to start a petition drive to deduct points from anyone using music from Carmen for the next three Olympic cycles. Doesn't necessarily mean the programs will be better, but at least :yawn: the music :yawn: won't be redundant. :clapping:
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I'm a huge Kwan fan, but Cohen, Meissner, and Hughes had such good short programs that I barely thought about Michelle all evening. Cohen is at the peak of her career and Meissner and Hughes well represent the future of U.S. Ladies skating. The U.S. mens' alpine team and even the speedskaters should be taking notes from this group on how to compete. Hope the long program is as good as the short for all the skaters -- U.S., Russian, Japanese, Georgian, and the rest.

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Well, I still miss Michelle. Not the same without her. :)

I prefer watching the men over the women, even if the guys have a splatfest as they did this year, but the ladies do have the added element of suspense -- there really is a chance that Arakawa or Cohen could beat the favorite. I wouldn't mind seeing Arakawa at the top, but I suspect that it will come down to nerves, and I doubt hers will hold.

Three cheers for Slutskaya's costume. I love the way she displays her splendidly athletic figure while taking advantage of the rule allowing women to wear pants in competition. She makes Cohen look like JonBenet Ramsey. I also like her cute short hair, swimming against the bunhead tide. She has my fashion vote.

Delighted for Meissner, really happy for her.

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