The competition wrapped up today. The pairs skated the free skate this afternoon and Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov – Russia, won with a score of 209.16. They skated a beautiful program. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier – U.S.A., took silver with 183.84, and Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang – China, took bronze with 182.43. U.S.A. also took 4th place. Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim had a score of 168.62.
In the ladies’ competition, Mirai Nagasu – U.S.A. skated very well and moved up several spots from the short program. The Russians took the gold and silver. Elena Radionova overtook her countrywoman to win the free skate and overall with a score of 195.47. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva took silver with 189.62. Gracie Gold – U.S.A. skated a beautiful program to earn the bronze medal with 179.38. And Samantha Cesario – U.S.A. had the audience clapping along with her program. She took 4th with a score of 174.58.
Skate America continued today with the pairs’ short program with Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov – Russia, leading with 69.16. Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang – China are 2nd with 62.38, and Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier – U.S.A., are 3rd with 61.08. Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim – U.S.A., are 4th with 60.61.
A highlight for me was the short program of Madeline Aaron/Max Settlage – U.S.A., who are in 5th with 58.41.
In the ladies’ short program Elizaveta Tuktamysheva – Russia, skated all out to take the lead with 67.41. Another Russian, Elena Radionova, sits 2nd with 65.57. Gracie Gold – U.S.A., skated well until the last spin and sits 3rd with 60.81.
The ice dance and the men finished and medals were awarded today. The top three dance teams skated very well. I also really enjoyed the free dance of the Canadian team of Elisabeth Paradis/Francois-Xavier Ouellette who are in 4th with 85.19.
Ice Dance Gold – Madison Chock/Evan Bates, U.S.A. – 171.03, Silver – Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani, U.S.A. – 160.33, Bronze – Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin, Russia – 143.87. The Russian’s were impressive even though they haven’t been in the senior ranks very long.
Tatsuki Machida – Japan, ran away with the men’s event. He won by almost 35 points. WOW! He had a total score of 269.09. Jason Brown came 2nd with an outstanding performance to earn a total score of 234.16. The bronze medal went to Nam Nguyen from Canada with 232.24. His free skate was a highlight for me. Jeremy Abbott had a total of 219.33 for 5th and Douglas Razzano had 204.48. Douglas had the crowd clapping during his free skate.
The announcer told the audience that they had been requested to throw as many stuffed toys as possible onto the ice after Jason Brown skated because he was going to donate them to Ronald McDonald House. Jeremy Abbott had to skate after that. He had to skate dodging all the toys and even some rolls of paper towels on the ice while he was warming up. I am sure that didn’t do a thing for his concentration.
The Skate America competition began tonight (Friday, October 24, 2014) at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, with the short dance. The U.S. has the top two spots after this segment. Madison Chock/ Evan Bates are in first and the Shibutanis are in second. The Russian team of Alexandra Stepanova/ Ivan Bukin round out the top three.
Topping off the men’s short program are Tatsuki Machida – Japan, Jeremy Abbott – U.S.A., and Jason Brown – U.S.A.
Skating fans can now bid on a rare opportunity to spend a day with Olympian, Ashley Wagner. The Spa Days will be on October 11, 2014 in Marina del Rey, California. The estimated value of this day is $1,500.00 USD. Bidding is currently up to $1,100.00 USD with seven bids in. There are five days left in this auction. The auction will support U.S. Figure Skating.
Your Girl’s Weekend will include:
Ice-time at Paramount Iceland, including skate rentals and a gift bag
Town car service between locations on the day of your spa treatment
Mani/Pedi services with Ashley at Spa Del Rey at Marina Del Rey
Two nights of accommodations at a property of Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Dinner at Luigi’s Restaurant at Huntington Beach
A sunset harbor tour with Harbor Breeze Yacht Charters and Cruises
Donated By: U.S. Figure Skating, Spa Del Rey at The Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Luigi’s Restaurant, Harbor Breeze Yacht Charters and Cruises, Paramount Iceland
Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir have done such as good job commentating during the Sochi Olympics that they have been promoted to the top NBC skating commentators. Weir and Lipinski will cover Skate America in October 2014 for NBC’s two hours of live coverage.
It is unknown what will happen to former commentators: Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic. Hamilton did state that his role as a primary commentator is done and wished Lipinski and Weir well.
Source: Chicago Tribune
30 March 2014
Saitama, Japan, Super Arena
Three of the top ladies were planning to retire from competition after Worlds – Mao Asada, Carolina Kostner, and Akiko Suzuki. Perhaps with her big win here, Mao Asada will change her mind???
Mao Asada, Japan, more than made up for her disappointing short program at the Olympics by winning Worlds handily. The audience was applauding non-stop until the end and then gave her a standing ovation. She landed her trademark triple Axel. The only obvious error was a step out on her double Axel. A spectacular skate for the win.
Another highlight for me was So Youn Park from Korea. You can see the influence of Yuna Kim on her skating. I didn’t see any mistakes in her program.
Julia Lipnitskaia, Russia, took the silver medal with her portrayal of the little girl in “Schindler’s List”. She was 3rd in the short and 2nd in the free.
Carolina Kostner, Italy, held on for the bronze medal. She had a wonderful footwork sequence, but overall it was a challenge today.
The US ladies put on a good show earning 3 spots for the ladies at next year’s worlds. Their placements in the short and free were: Gracie Gold 5th, 7th; Ashley Wagner 7th, 4th; and Polina Edmunds 12th, 5th. Way to go ladies!
The final results were:
1 – Mao Asada, Japan – 216.69
2 – Julia Lipnitskaia, Russia – 207.50
3 – Carolina Kostner, Italy – 203.83
4 – Anna Pogorilaya, Russia – 197.50
5 – Gracie Gold, USA – 194.58
6 – Akiko Suzuki, Japan – 193.72
7 – Ashley Wagner, USA – 193.16
8 – Polina Edmunds, USA – 187.50
9 – So Youn Park, Korea – 176.61
10 – Kanako Murakami, Japan – 172.44
29 March 2014
Saitama, Japan, Super Arena
I have never seen anything like this competition. The top three teams were separated by only 0.06 point.
Anna Cappellina/ Luca Lanotte, Italy, were 4th in the free dance but managed to squeak out the gold medal by 0.02 point over Kaitlyn Weaver/ Andrew Poje, Canada. Both teams achieved a dream tonight. The Canadians added extra choreography to their program since the Olympics. The French team of Nathalie Pechalat/ Fabian Bourzat, France, captured bronze, just 0.04 behind the Canadians. They skated with their hearts – a clean skate in what is said to be their last competitive skate. They got a rare level 4 on their footwork.
The USA teams were Madison Chock/ Evan Bates 5th, Alex and Maia Shibutana 6th, and Alexandra Aldridge/ Daniel Eaton 16th in the free dance.
The final results were:
1 – Anna Cappellini/ Luca Lanotte, Italy – 175.43
2 – Kaitlyn Weaver/ Andrew Poje, Canada – 175.41
3 – Nathalie Pechalat/ Fabian Bourzat, France – 175.37
4 – Elena Ilinykh/ Nikita Katsalapov, Russia – 174.38
5 – Madison Chock/ Evan Bates, USA – 167.59
6 – Maia Shibutani/ Alex Shibutani, USA – 158.57
7 – Victoria Sinitsina/ Ruslan Zhiganshin, Russia – 155.35
8 – Piper Gilles/ Paul Poirier, Canada – 153.86
9 – Penny Coomes/ Nicholas Buckland, Great Britain – 153.66
10 – Alexandra Paul/ Mitchell Islam, Canada – 148.76.
17 – Alexandra Aldridge/ Daniel Eaton, USA – 137.37
28 March 2014
One of the highlights for me was Jeremy Abbott’s free skate. He placed 4th in this portion of the competition and 5th overall. He landed a beautiful quad toe loop to begin. It looked like the best skate of his life to me. It was a special skate. Unfortunately his short program was too weak to get him onto the podium.
Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan, took the title with a terrific skate. He fought – he wasn’t going to let anything go. He won the Olympics and Worlds in the same year. Tatsuki Machida, Japan, took silver. Kurt Browning said that he also skated to “Firebird”, but that Machida has more fire and definitely more bird than he did.
Javier Fernandez, Spain, took the bronze. In the past a skate like that would have won the gold. Hard to believe a beautiful skate with 3 quads only got the bronze. Wow! The crowd was really into it. In the interview Javier said, “I worked very hard. I skated a good program, but they skated better. I have to train harder.”
Max Aaron, USA, was in 8th place with a total of 225.66. Jeremy and Max were able to qualify 3 men for 2015 Worlds. Good job, guys!
1. Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan – 282.59
2. Tatsuki Machida, Japan – 282.26
3. Javier Fernandez, Spain – 275.93
4. Maxim Kovtun, Russia – 247.37
5. Jeremy Abbott, USA – 246.35
6. Takahiko Kozuka, Japan – 238.02
7. Han Yan, China – 231.91
8. Max Aaron, USA – 225.66
9. Chafik Besseghier, France – 224.19
10. Tomas Verner, Czech Republic – 223.14
28 March 2014
The Finn Step was the required dance for the 2013-2014 season. It seemed like most of the teams were more cautious than at the Olympics in this section of the dance.
Anna Cappellini/ Luca Lanotte, Italy, are in the lead with 69.70. They looked like they came here to win, as did Kaitlyn Weaver/ Andrew Poje, Canada, who earned 69.20. Sitting in 3rd are Nathalie Pechalat/ Fabian Bourzan, France, with 68.20.
The USA teams sit in 4th, 6th, and 18th. Madison Chock/ Evan Bates, USA, sit in 4th place with 67.71, the Shibutani’s are in 6th with 63.55, and Alexandra Aldridge/ Daniel Eaton are in 18th with 53.34.
The ladies really delivered in the short program. What a competition! The top four ladies appeared flawless.
Mao Asada from Japan is in the lead with a world record score of 78.66. Her triple Axel in the short program was successful, unlike at the Olympics. That skate was about as perfect as you can get. She received a standing ovation, and oodles of flowers were thrown onto the ice.
Another magical performance skated to Ave Marie produced the third highest all-time score of 77.24, which came from Carolina Kostner of Italy.
Next in third came Yulia Lipnitskaya of Russia with 74.54. She is very flexible and excels at her spins.
Akiko Suzuki from Japan received a season’s best score of 71.02. She skated an emotional performance from her heart – the program in honor of her coach.
The U.S. ladies came in 5th – Gracie Gold, 70.31; 7th -Ashley Wagner, 63.64; 12th – Polina Edmunds, 60.59.