Thursday, September 29, 2011

Flashback: Trophee Eric Bompard Through the Years

It's time for another blast from the past!  Now we'll look back at some of the wonderful performances from Trophee Eric Bompard...

2010 Trophee Bompard winners...aren't they a pretty podium?

Trophee Eric Bompard will be the fifth event in the 2011-2012 Grand Prix.  It will be held on November 18-20 in Paris, France.  As per Wiki, Trophee Eric Bompard has been held since 1987 and usually in Paris, France though there have been a few exceptions.  The event was formerly known as Trophee Lalique.  After the Lalique glassware company dropped it's co-sponsorship of the event in 2004, the event became eponymous with its chief sponsor, the Eric Bompard company.

As always, a number of notables hold the TEB crown:  Surya Bonaly, Midori Ito, Josee Chouinard, Michelle Kwan, Maria Butyrskaya, Sasha Cohen, Joannie Rochette, Mao Asada and Yu-Na Kim.

Here are a few programs that are magnifique!

1992:  Surya Bonaly, Free Skate
Surya's style was never a favorite of mine and neither were her barely there skirts and too bright colored dresses...but she is definitely one of the strongest jumpers to ever grace the sport.  This FS was a demonstration of that skill.  She wasn't perfectly clean here, but the energy and stamina she showed in this program combined with her improved artistic expression and choreography helped to secure her the third of her five Trophee Lalique titles (two back-to-back and the other three consecutive).

1996:  Michelle Kwan, Short Program
This program is one of my absolute favorites.  You'll hear the commentators mention her boot problems (damn you, Riedell!) and how that had been affecting her.  Boot problems or none, this was a solid performance.  Aside from an arm swing on her 2A, everything else in the program was spot on: gorgeous choreography and interpretation, solid jumps...the entire package.  Michelle placed first after the SP and delivered a solid FS to place ahead of Butyrskaya and Lipinski, and win her first and only Trophee Lalique title.

2000:  Maria Butyrskaya, Short Program
This is probably my favorite SP of Maria's.  Again, not a fan of her style (just not smooth or fluid enough for me) but this was a lovely program.  I really loved the music and choreography of this program and she delivered it well. Lots of speed and attack, though sometimes I wished she could have approached the program a bit more delicately...but then again, that wasn't her style.  I bet Alissa Czisny would do wonders with this music...maybe I'll send her an email?  Anyhoo, Maria placed first in both segments of the competition, beating out Viktoria Volchkova and Jennifer Kirk to win number three of her four Trophee Lalique titles.

2003:  Sasha Cohen, Short Program
Ah, the glorious Sasha.  This is probably one of her better short programs and this performance was wonderful.  After having struggled at this same event (with the same program) the year before, Sasha came in ready to take the crown in a more convincing way than she took it the year before.  This was also the year she debuted her COE spiral in an effort to gain higher levels on her spiral.  She didn't manage a level 4 (that COE wasn't very convincing) but she did get a level 3.  Regardless, she scored 69.38 for the segment and 197.19 for the competition, placing her first and winning her the second of her two Trophee Lalique crowns.

2006:  Yu-Na Kim, Free Skate
"Lark Ascending" was a very light and beautiful program and this was very nearly a perfect performance.  Everything was sailing rather smoothly until the last few jumping passes: a step out of her 3s and a fall on a 2a at the end...but up until that point, I was almost spellbound watching her.  It's a really lovely piece.  This program vaguely reminds me of Michelle Kwan's "Lyra Angelica."  Maybe it's the light blue dress or the two worded title, both starting with the same letter...I don't know.  I think, overall, it's the lyrical presentation and gorgeous artistry that reminds me of Michelle's masterpiece.  Even with the mistakes, Yu-Na gave a solid performance and won the segment and the competition to win the first of her two TEB titles.

2009:  Yu-Na Kim, Short Program
This is the way you debut during an Olympic year.  This was, IMO, the best she ever performed this program.  The choreography, the presentation, the jumps, the outfit...WHOO!  After the stellar year before, this performance proved to the world that the Yu-Na domination train had not slowed down in the least, but was actually gaining speed toward Vancouver.  She broke her own world record with this performance and followed it up with an only slightly flawed performance of her Gershwin FS.  Needless to say Yu-Na won this one by a landslide, securing the second of her two TEB titles (so far...).

This year we'll see Carolina Kostner, Alissa Czisny, Kanako Murakami and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva.  Also competing with be Sarah Hecken, Viktoria Helgesson and Yretha Silete.

Next week, we'll take a look at the last event of the season:  the Rostelecom Cup aka Cup of Russia!

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