Sunday, January 31, 2016

Better five years late than never

I was pretty sure I knew how both the Canadian Championships and the U.S. Championships would play out, so I decided to sit them out and take a look after both were finished.

I am shocked the Shibs were allowed to win. Chock & Bates were clean. The Shibs won by almost 4 points. I believe that figure skating doesn't care about public appeal, nor attendance revenue, not weighted against the stuff it really cares about, so the fact that the Shibs have crowd appeal by virtue of being the best, most honest, most musical ice dancers currently competing isn't something I'd have guessed would be factored into a decision to actually let the skating determine the outcome. I'm beyond happy for them. Maybe now that they're National Champions they'll be allowed to win worlds. Weaver & Poje - seriously? Cappellini & Lanotte don't have the same edge quality and speed.

You know she's been thinking that for years.
Marina is some kind of zen master,
but most people would have gone
over the edge a long time ago.
Bitchy resting face.
I'm not current with Madison Chock, but I read that when she was in high school, she was class president. (Or similar.)  I don't think she's the glacial, ice queen sex goddess her programs have her portray. I miss the cheeky Madison who skated with Greg Zuerlin. It's obvious Madison's current on ice persona is part of a formula her training center understands will get the right scores, so never EVER deviate, and if you alienate the crowd, everyone will just pretend you got them excited, just as when Davis White were winning.

For Hubbell Donohue fans.
There was a lot of this.
Tanith Belbin is the new Scott Hamilton. She never shuts up. She mashes up informed observations with bullshit, and perpetuates disinformation.  I'm still looking for a Shibs video without her commentary.

All right, schadenfreude.
Enough already.
I'm surprised their new training center hasn't revamped Marinaro's alignment, and drilled his edges until he fell over. Also, get him to stop racing ahead of his body and his blades. In this maneuver, when he pivoted, he got on his flat and bounced a little, then his ankle fell over. I'm sure he has a strong core, and I'm equally sure he doesn't work from it when he skates. He skates from the neck up, and then God help the rest of him. I am not a skating expert, and it was obvious to me, looking at his skating with his previous partner, that the height of his previous partner wasn't the problem. He's not over his skates, he's not skating within himself, he's always in his head, and his skating isn't secure because of it. I just don't know how you do a try out with somebody and not see that. Or ascribe it to newness, or his other partner was too tall, or you have to get used to each other. How does an elite skater, and her TEAM, not perceive fundamental technical issues with a prospective partner?

I feel better about Ilyushechkina Moscovitch. In the start of the season, I was about to write her off as someone who did her utmost to lower expectations as the stakes got higher, and then met those lowered expectations. I had her pegged as one of a long, long roster of skating's underachievers, somebody who hedged their bets at crunch time. Simultaneously, I still hoped that skating at Katia Gordeeva's "From the Heart" event would rub off in some way, give her a bit of the champion's ruthlessness (Gordeeva and Tessa Virtue are both the sort who would blast through their program even if the rink collapsed. Even if they fell six times.) I consider their skates at this championship a step up, because they skated as if they were comfortable in the environment.

Random observations: For the past little while, at least on twitter, Virtue and Moir have been doing what they always should have been doing on social media. Sharing shared experiences. How hard is that? It's never been zero sum. Oh geez, my options are a) Mindfucking and exploitation, OR b) spilling, explaining every intimate detail of our lives.


I read a few tweets from Barb McDonald. When did she decide to become human?