Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coming Soon - It's Spamtastic (2009)

When, contrary to prior custom, one's beloved is spending May training break in Europe with her mom and sister attending to critical matters vital to your mutual happiness in the months ahead, and may also be seeing to a personal refinement, a good partner is tasked with responsibilities of his own.

This is no time for mere r&r as one migrates to the Dominican for a week in early May, along with countless other Canadians and figure skaters.

While soaking in Bavaro sun and Bavaro rum, he must carry out the upcoming season's essential first order of business in the company of a familiar face and her loyal siblings.

Fortunately for our friend, when one wearies of do it yourself photo opportunities, all-inclusive resorts such as Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa offer the romantic beach photo shoot. Free. One dons swim attire, is put through poses a la romance novel, and pays $10.00 American for each shot selected for your <3 facebook album, your end of year memory collage, and your many future facebook profile shots, the first of which (along with the <3 album within) is scheduled to be publicly unveiled four months later at the start of Skate Canada's High Performance Camp, soon after the inaugural performance of a romantic, future Olympic gold medal winning free dance. Years of smoking gun profile photos and album content can be stockpiled from one hour's effort - a cost/benefit win/win.

While the main event is prepared, here is French-Canadian figure skater Catherine Miller and her (platonic) friend Roxanne Bourque, making do in their own May 2009 Punta Cana beach photo shoot.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A few of Canada's best

Tracey Wilson, Michael J. Fox, Moosehead Lager, Henrietta Muir Edwards

Also Canadian:

Debbi Wilkes, Pierre Albert Sévigny, the Teddy Bear Massacre, William Thompson

Ow ow my left thigh

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Overdoing It

Skate Canada sanctimoniously links itself with Canadian patriotism while treating actual Canadians - i.e., figure skating fans - like idiots and easy marks.

There's also Skate Canada's moronic image management strategems and schemes to have things both ways. SC's allergy to reality and honesty even when reality and honesty would be constructive is, of course, a classic feature of control freaks.  SC's solutions complicate problems, call attention to problems, but as long as the solutions are controlled by Skate Canada, that's what matters.  One wonders if they're living through their famous skaters. Debbi Wilkes' mug is certainly pasted over at Skatebuzz a hell of a lot more than any figure skater's.

The small, not-shin, not-thigh reason Virtue and Moir's free dance wasn't ready won't be revealed.  The longer Scott and Tessa hide, the more impossible coming clean will seem.  Revealing the truth could release the Pandora's box of lies set in motion years ago, ludicrously compounded, and recently, stupidly committed to publication in their book and reiterated in promotional appearances.  Lies that, ironically, conceal normal, very lovely, non-scandalous realities.  Lies that were ovedone from inception, ridiculous in execution, and demean Scott, Tessa and fans.

Skate Canada's hubris is such that this season they've seemingly convinced Scott and Tessa they can fake out not only fans, but nature and biology too.

Everything that fakery was and is intended to achieve for Scott and Tessa could have been accomplished with professionalism, maturity, respect and, frankly, smarter lies.  But, I believe Skate Canada piggybacked its own self-aggrandizing agenda onto its management of Scott and Tessa, and Scott/Tressa feel trapped.  It's easy to suspect Skate Canada enjoys having its fingerprints on every inch of Scott and Tessa's public and private existence.  Isn't Skate Canada run by mediocre former competitive Skate Canada figure skaters?

Skate Canada needs VM more than VM needs SC. Scott and Tessa need to behave like the adults they are in the management of their skating careers and personal lives. Seek sane and common sensical direction out of the merely ephemeral prison SC has built.

Nice new profile shot Jessica, btw. (Well, not new. May 2009)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pigs Are Flying: Fan Forum

From Reve at Fanforum, the VM thread:
I've read back through the thread and thought it interesting that initially everyone stated that there was no way it was an injury: 'she didn't look injured' - was the idea being thrown around. However, upon the statement released by various sources claiming that in fact Tessa was injured, we all believed that. When I watched the video (the first 100 times) each time I did not see a girl who was injured. Her expression to Scott after the Rotational Lift told me this was planned before they took to the ice. It was a pure smile - no grimace. Furthermore, the coaches did nothing (where dancers have previously been injured have had their whole team rush forward), and the expressions of Scott, Marina and Igor were passive. Debbi Wilkes also was there in the background, not looking phased in the least. There was nothing unexpected about the whole scenario. The team didn't actually do much talking, they all kind of stood at the boards before Scott skated over to announce the withdrawal. People going back now and looking at the section of video before they started their program thinking, she looks a bit injured there because she shook her leg, that's actually the way a lot of the ice dancers warm up.
I agree it was pre-organized, and Skate Canada's idiot officials gave the game away in advance. 

Its distrust of, contempt for and superiority towards the public while unctuously pandering to its patriotism has reached the tipping point.

Why do they turn everything they do around on the public when the public has questions?

Why aren't their skaters handled so that common sense, simplicity and intelligence are applied in the management of the best interests of their personal lives, careers and health?

Skate Canada's athletes, from gold medalists to journeymen and women skaters, are ordinary people with an ordinary need for privacy; an understandable need for some control over the information shared with the public. Also a commonplace need to protect their interests as competitors as they prepare for each season while managing personal goals and whatever challenges and other life events enter their world.

The management of athletes is not rocket science. Many sports organizations ably meet the needs of both their athletes and the public.

But not at Skate Canada, whose public relations "go to" is subjecting athletes and public to sustained, ridiculous charades.

How come intelligent-seeming top athletes and their families go along instead of seeking less absurdist management of their circumstances? Skate Canada's expertise is figure skating; yet both Patrick Chan and Virtue/Moir train outside Canada with non-Skate Canadian team coaches. Both are currently the only international gold medal calibre skaters on SC's roster.

But in the management of VM's personal public relations, where Skate Canada is incompetent, Skate Canada runs the show. It's mortifying. A pompous, obnoxious, bungling, arrogant, transparent and over-reaching mess.

The transparency of the lead-up to 4CC's - the hugely overstated review of VM's "masterpiece" of a closed free dance practice seen by almost no one, the release of only VM's fully costumed practice photos but none of the rest of the team, William Thompson posting that he doesn't lie on twitter then immediately closing his twitter account (dude!),  Mike Slipchuk reporting only on VirtueMoir and their emphatically TWO (count em - TWO!!) programs and TWO program practices while SC's other 4CC dancers, pairs and singles were consigned to "the rest of the Canadian skaters" was akin taking out a front page ad that another shoe was ready to drop.

(PJ Kwong's post-hoc remark that she could never have forseen Virtue and Moir's withdrawal, never even in a million years, not if she had a crystal ball, and Scott Russell chiming of course not, Taipei is such a long long way was a joke.)

Taipei's distance is a key reason they attended the competition. Ditto the closed practices. As many people know, and as Team VM knows many people know, Team VM has never been averse to traveling for one purpose - the overstatement of sham over actuality, aimed at a small audience. On these occasions we see them habitually cross the line of taste and self-respect, because for them, the ends justify the means. Why assume they'd operate differently for a professional purpose in a conveniently scheduled, conveniently remote, no harm-no-foul competition like the 4CCs where the benefits outweighed the risks?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Meryl and Charlie SD press conference, Taipei, Taiwan

Something makes Meryl and Charlie look sad, weary, turned off, and pissed off, and it ain't coming in second.

Me sad too, Meryl and Charlie. Me sad too.

And Meryl? Love you for this. It's February. A chill is appropriate:

They have gone through a lot this season," Davis said of the Canadians. "I'm not exactly sure what happened, but we don't really think about it too much. When we come into competitions, we worry about skating our best. When we leave a competition, we're thinking about how we can improve. I'm sure they are disappointed but we are excited and happy with how we skated.
A lot of people are alarmed by V/M these days, wondering why somebody reality-based doesn't step in and stop it.

When a figure skater experiences a "thigh spasm" in the middle of a lift, it inhibits their range of motion when they withdraw and skate to the boards. It hurts like a mofo. They don't look like this when they have a program stopping muscle spasm:

Conveniently, what stopped the program was a spasm so far up her leg there is no question it wasn't shins.

Noted though, that a lift strains the core (a core that needs to be not only strong, but ELASTIC for dance lifts) not a thigh.

P.S Nice costume Tessa. Suits the fd masterpiece nobody ever sees.

This guy's left quad actually hurts

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Here are Scott and Tessa, one month after her 2008 surgery, 1 month prior to her return to training

In their many book promotion interviews from late 2010, Scott and Tessa dramatically describe how they never saw each other, spoke, phoned, texted, im'd, pm'd or communicated in any way during the two months she was recovering from compartment surgery on her legs. This unprecedented cut-off in any and all contact precipitated a painful year long estrangement.

Here, in the video above, they are one month after her surgery conducting an interview and declaring the hope for her return by the end of the month (November). She was, in fact, back in early December. Perhaps this tragic delay wiped from their minds that they were in each other's company at Skate America here, in 2008, during her recovery, discussing their withdrawal from Skate Canada and chatting with Kurt Browning.

Their discussion in this interview of their expectations for her post-recovery return turned out to be on the money; their season resumed just about exactly as forecast here.  Yet today, Scott and Tessa both get actually teary when they stress how absolutely literally they were cut-off during those two months.

Scott and Tessa tell us now this interview was not possible. Did CBC fake it? Is it a moon landing situation?

Maybe Next Time Scott Checks WebMd.com

The Rift Between Virtue and Moir:  Erosion of Trust and Year-Long Estrangement Stemming from Tessa's Failure to Return to Olympic Level Figure Skating Training Sooner than Immediately After 2008 Compartment Surgery That Sliced Open the Fascia in Her Legs in Four Places.


In their recently published book, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir tell us they didn't communicate at all for the two months she was gone recovering from her 2008 compartment surgery.  They confess this  absence of communication led to a nearly year long estrangement that persisted into their Olympic season.

Setting aside this story is belied by video evidence and every interview they gave at the time, also that Marianne Strong indicated Scott spent much time at Tessa's apartment in London working on expression while she recovered, also that they previously claimed to have texted and phoned constantly, and most of all, that they continually expressed how the experience made them respect, trust and appreciate each other even more, enabling them to win Nationals and get on the Worlds podium with nearly no training ...

It also means they choreographed Mahler and Farrucas in the summer of 2009 while behaving as virtual strangers, all stemming from Scott's upset with Tessa's failure to return to training from leg surgery in under 6-8 weeks.  After psychological counseling, they finally reconciled and so were able to be as one in time for Vancouver.

(Could they have patched things up faster by taking an IQ test, checking for water on Scott's brain, or cracking open an Anatomy 101 text and turning to the part that says "SLICED SHIN FASCIA = FIGURE SKATING HURTS"? )

Compartment surgery means "releasing" the muscle compartments in the leg so the muscle can expand. "Releasing" means slicing open the fascia and leaving the raw slices to heal while they simultaneously expand for the muscle.  So, ouch.

Contrary to how the story was presented, this isn't an uncommon condition in elite level athletes who use their legs with intensity.  The customary prognosis, not to mention ordinary logic, indicates this is painful, and two months is not time enough to heal up and get back to Olympic level figure skating training.  By these common indicators, Tessa's return in early December was rushed. Indeed, at the time, and after the season's conclusion, the team acknowledged  it was rushed.

But consistency plays no part in the many historical revisions presented by Scott and Tessa. Today, they earnestly inform us that in the ever-inspiring world of Canadian sports medicine, a compartment surgery patient can be expected to be healed up and ready for elite, Olympic level figure skating training a whole lot sooner than six to eight weeks later, an amazing assumption by a group we're told took a year to diagnose it in the first place, and nearly a year to figure out a second surgery was needed months after her pain persisted. (For contrast, a US lacrosse player swiftly diagnosed herself).

We're told Tessa's failure to return until early December created continual disappointment in Scott. They tell us now that return dates were set for sooner, Scott's hopes would be crushed, and so not until a whole two months after surgery did she get her ass to Canton and thus was the damage done and trust broken.