There were a few updates to the senior Grand Prix rosters last week that I'd like to mention for you:
Karen Chen- Skate America
Veronik Mallet- Skate Canada
Kiira Korpi- removed from Trophee Bompard
Roberta Rodeghiero- Trophee Bompard
*There are 5 TBA spots left: Cup of China (2) and 1 each for Trophee Bompard, Rostelecom Cup and NHK
Ross Miner- Skate America
Elladj Balde- Cup of China
Ronald Lam- removed from Cup of China
*There are 4 TBA spots left: 1 each for Skate Canada, Trophee Bompard, Rostelecom Cup and NHK
Gretchen Donlan/Nathan Bartholomay- Skate America
Vanessa Grenier/Maxime Deschamps- Skate Canada, Cup of China
*There are 2 TBA spots left: 1 each for Trophee Bompard and Rostelecom Cup
Anastasia Cannuscio/Colin McManus- Skate America
*There are 6 TBA spots left: Trophee Bompard(2) and 1 each at the other events except Skate America
Don’t be fooled by the summer weather outside, there is a lot going on in the skating world! Last week marked the *official* start to the ISU season as the Junior Grand Prix Bratislava began. The U.S.’s Vivian Le won a bronze medal in her JGP debut with two strong skates. Last year’s U.S.junior bronze medallist, Le has a 3Lz(Rippon)-3T that you HAVE to see. Check out her free skate, and why not her short program while you’re at it? Lots of potential here!
JGP Riga is happening this week, check out the event page here. I’ve been loving the ISU Junior Grand Prix live stream and videos on You Tube- so nice to see such great coverage!
Pre-Season" Competition Announcements
U.S. Figure Skating shared the lineup for the 2015 International Classic, including Karen Chen, Madison Hubbell/ Zachary Donohue, Ross Miner, Richard Dornbush and Mervin Tran/ Marissa Castelli from the U.S. There’s also a strong Japanese contingent competing, with Satoko Miyahara, Kanako Murakami and Shoma Uno entered into the event. IceNetwork will stream that live for subscribers.
Also announced this week: (Some big names!)
Nebelhorn Trophy (Volosozhar/Trankov, Scimeca/Knieirim, Chock/Bates, Capellini/Lannotte, Aaron, Hochstein, Nagasu, Hicks)
Nepela Trophy (Stolbova/Klimov, Tarasova/Morosov, Brown, Mura, Lipnitskya, Pogorilaya, Bell)
Skater Features and Updates
Kiira Korpi has retired from competitive figure skating. I will miss her- she was always so lovely on the ice.
IceNetwork update on Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier. Here’s hoping that they return to Nationals this year as they are hoping!
The Skating Lesson shared lots of great practice videos from a recent road trip, featuring some of the best skaters in the world. Check them out on Twitter to see them all.
Mae Berenice Metite tweeted about her new “Black Swan” SP.
We got some great video shares from The Ice:
Ashley Wagner “Rather Be” exhibition
Adam Rippon “Who Wants to Live Forever” SP
Also- Piper Gilles/Paul Prioir’s new Free Dance
As more events happen, I’ll be posting more and more. I’m back, friends, and it feels AMAZING.
I got a VERY EXCITING email from the 2016 U.S. Championships yesterday with a fun announcement. Tickets for the Skating Spectacular and the Champions Weekend Package go on sale Monday, August 31st at 10:00AM.
Champions Weekend package includes a ticket to all of the senior-level free skates on Saturday, January 23rd and Sunday, January 24th. Pairs, dance and ladies free skates are scheduled for Saturday, with the men's free skate on Sunday, followed by the Skating Spectacular.
Prices TBA closer to August 31st. Sign up for the 2016 Championships email list here so you can get all of the latest updates.
I can't wait to buy my Champions Weekend ticket!!
As I shared earlier this summer, the roster for October's Japan Open invitational is loaded with lots of big names. New additions have just been announced:
Team North America: Jeremy Abbott, Patrick Chan, Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner
Team Europe: Javier Fernandez, Brian Joubert, Adelina Sotnikova, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
Team Japan: Mao Asada, Satoko Miyahara, Shoma Uno,(one more man TBA)
In this competition, each skater will skate only their free skate and their score will be added with their teammates' scores for a final total, with the highest team total winning the overall competition.
This will be a great event and I'll be following the results closely! This will be a good indicator of what shape some of skating's biggest names will be in before they start their Grand Prix seasons. Here is the competition website for your reference. http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/japanopen2015/
We got an exciting sneak peek this weekend at what the season will hold, with several top American ladies debuting new programs at the Glacier Falls Club event. Thanks to all who shared scores, videos and info for all of us who could not be there! Here’s my thoughts on what we’ve seen so far…
Gracie Gold- Short Program Video Long Program Video
Gracie debuted two new programs for the upcoming season and I was pleasantly surprised that they were a much needed departure from the type of programs we’ve seen from her the last two seasons. Her El Choclo short program and Firebird free skate add some nice variety to her repertoire and she already looks more comfortable on the ice with these music choices. Most notable is that she (and her programs) look to be in fantastic shape for so early in the season.
Technically, she skated strong- with only a hand down on her 3Lz-3T in the short and a doubled 3Lz in the long. Artistically, I liked Lori Nicol’s overall choreography in these two numbers and Gracie finally showed some improvement in interpreting her music.
Gracie won the event with a score of 202.54 (70.39 + 132.15).
Courtney Hicks- Short Program Video Ladies Free Skate Video (all)
Courtney Hicks also debuted her two new programs at this competition, a short program to A Feeling Begins and a long program to music from Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Overall, I think her team did a good job in picking out music for this season. Courtney skates best to powerful music, to match her powerful jumps.
Speaking of which, she made a triple axel attempt in her free program, but it was downgraded and she fell on it. A bold move for Hicks, perhaps the the addition of the axel will grab some points for her as that element develops.
Courtney finished second overall SP: 65.32 LP: 107.73 .
Mariah Bell- Ladies Short Program Video (all) Ladies Free Skate Video (all)
Mariah’s short program for the year will be Storm Cry and her free skate will be to Born on the 4th of July. I was a big fan of her free skate- I liked the music and choreography and I thought she did a great job of carrying the program from beginning to end.
In the technical department, she suffered from falls in both programs but it is early, so hopefully those issues will smooth out as she adjusts to the new music.
Third place Bell had a score of 54.72 in the short and 166.41 in the long.
Polina Edmunds- Short Program Video Ladies Free Skate Video (all)
Polina’s music choices took a HUGE step forward in the maturity department this season… hallelujah! Moonlight Sonata was a good selection for her short program; the music fits her style very well. I am hoping the concept of her Gone With the Wind long program will flesh out better in the next few months before her Grand Prix events.
In the short program, she had the highest TES to take the lead. In her free skate, she only completed one triple jump. This article quotes Polina as saying that was a planned decision, to better focus on her choreography.
Polina finished fourth (72.04 + 160.09).
Karen Chen- Ladies Short Program Video (all)
Karen competed here only in the short program and then withdrew for the long program, reportedly due to competing at a small event again this weekend. Technically, she had a bit of a rough skate, but it’s early on in the season.
Her music, though, overwhelmed her in this particular performance. I’ve always admired her ability to skate to big music, but the huge, operatic vocals of this short program are a big task to live up to. I’m excited to see how this program develops as the season goes on.
Her short program score was 65.32 and had her in third place entering the free skate.
I will be back next week with a short review of the top American men's programs from Glacier Falls- See you then!
About the Blog:
Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.