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Nov. 20 2009 — 12:17 pm | 176 views | 0 recommendations | 4 comments

“Skating the Issue” takes a break

As most of you may know, in addition to writing this blog I am a full-time college student. While writing for True/Slant and learning to balance blogging and school has been an invaluable experience, over the past few weeks it’s become evident that school has slowly taken precedence over blogging.

Because of this, I have decided to take a hiatus from True/Slant for a bit while I focus on my final exams and settling into my winter schedule. It’s been wonderful sharing my opinions and views on the skating world and its members, and although this break is needed, I hope to return to blogging before the Olympics.

I have really appreciated all your feedback and interest in my writing, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the skating season has in store for us. So far this season has brought with it many surprises, like Kim Yu-Na’s struggles last weekend at Skate America and Evgeni Plushenko’s strong return to competitive skating in Moscow. If the past six weeks are any indication of what’s to come, the next few months are sure to be jam packed with excitement.

While I’m gone, please feel free to email me at Jeki815@gmail.com if you have any story ideas that you’d like me to address once my school schedule calms down a bit, or if you’d like to offer any feedback on the blog.

Thank you for being such a great audience, and I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season!

Nov. 11 2009 — 8:16 pm | 415 views | 0 recommendations | 6 comments

Skating’s quarter-season report cards

Last week, the 2009 Grand Prix series officially hit the halfway mark. At this point, besides reigning world silver medalist Patrick Chan and two-time world champion Stephane Lambiel, we‘ve seen performances from the most likely contenders for Olympic medals. For some skaters, the first four Grand Prix events have been filled with excitement, surprise medals, and satisfaction. But for others, the start of the season hasn’t gone as planned. Here’s how things currently look in the men’s and ladies’ events as we inch closer to the Games.

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Nov. 9 2009 — 9:17 pm | 836 views | 0 recommendations | 8 comments

Cohen’s comeback stalls

Sasha Cohen

Sasha Cohen

On Monday morning, Sasha Cohen announced her withdrawal from this week’s Skate America. Cohen has been battling tendinitis in her right calf and was absent at her first event of the season, Trophee Bompard. Over the past few weeks, Cohen’s reportedly been rehabilitating her injury and recently announced her decision to train with former coach John Nicks in Aliso Viejo, California.

Cohen’s withdrawal from Skate America was predicted by nearly everyone in the skating world. Cohen’s critics have chosen to believe that this injury is acting as a convenient excuse for a skater who isn’t prepared to face international competition and never planned on competing in her fall events. Cohen’s fans, on the other hand, see this injury as a side effect of her extensive training for this important Olympic season. Unfortunately, after two withdrawals it’s realistic to think that even the most loyal Sasha fans have to see this week’s announcement as something that doesn’t portend well for Cohen’s chances at Nationals.

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Nov. 6 2009 — 1:04 pm | 519 views | 0 recommendations | 24 comments

‘Star rules’ hurting skating

Brian Joubert

Brian Joubert

After Friday’s short program at the NHK Trophy, the international judges seem to be sending a clear message: They want to see Brian Joubert on the podium in Vancouver.

The five-time world medalist, who skated much better than at his Grand Prix opener four weeks ago, is currently standing in first place over the strong field of men. After earning himself a short program score of 85.35 points, Joubert is almost two and a half points above reigning U.S. national champion Jeremy Abbott and seven points above three-time U.S. champ Johnny Weir.

With such an impressive score, one would think that Joubert’s skating was head and shoulders above Abbott’s and Weir’s. In reality, while Joubert had a great technical performance, it seems as though his presentation score was inflated to the detriment of two much more artistic skaters.

While Joubert landed a huge quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination in his short program, making him the strongest jumper of the evening, Joubert’s spins–particularly his combination spin–were noticeably slower than the two Americans’, and he lacked the polish and choreography that both Abbott and Weir displayed. This is why it’s puzzling to see how the strength of Joubert’s second mark was the catalyst behind his win.

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Nov. 2 2009 — 10:44 pm | 662 views | 1 recommendations | 24 comments

Simplifying skaters’ routines: Best for the sport?

judgingFigure skating is at a crossroads. The casual viewer may not notice it, but it permeates every competition. And this past weekend at the Cup of China, this dilemma was brought to the forefront.

The debate about the new judging system has now become a debate about the growing oversimplification of skating routines. After two days of watching the ladies’ event at the Cup of China, questions of whether or not the current judging system is best for our sport continue to arise. In an event that was marred with mistakes, it was the downgrading of some subtle mistakes that spoke the loudest.

In last Friday’s short program, American Mirai Nagasu skated with impressive command and speed, winning the event. Nagasu wasn’t a favorite heading into Beijing, but the speed of her spins, stretch of her spirals, and strength of her jumps helped secure Nagasu a victory in the first phase of the competition.

The long program, however, held a different story for the 2008 U.S. champ. Taking the ice as the last lady to perform, Nagasu fell on a planned triple loop late in her program, and, while she stood up on the rest of her elements and skated with her usual speed and a greater sophistication than we‘ve seen from her in the past, Nagasu dropped to fifth place in the standings. The reason for her plunge? Nagasu received credit for only two of her seven jumping passes. The rest were downgraded.

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    About Me

    I’m originally from Boston, living in LA, with a passion for the world of figure skating. During my career on the ice, I was a world junior champion, a five-time U.S. national medalist, and a three-time world team member. Since retiring from the sport, I have dedicated myself to attaining my college degree with a major in broadcast journalism. I’m looking forward to sharing my views on the ins and outs of the skating world, along with my opinions and thoughts on various issues coming from the ice. I welcome you to my blog!

    To contact me: Jeki815@gmail.com

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    Contributor Since: June 2009
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