Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 JGP Tallin Cup: Ladies Review + Yu-Na Kim News and More

A lot has happened in the figure skating world in the last few days.  So here's a quick run-down of what's going on as we gear up to begin the Grand Prix series...

2011 JGP Tallinn Cup

Gracie Gold came from seemingly nowhere and ran away with gold at this event.  Looking at this girl's jumps, you have to question why in the hell the USFSA only assigned this chick one event.  The scores she put up (172.69) are much better than any of the other US girls who competed on the JGP this year...actually better than nearly all of the ladies all season.  That 172.69 is second only to Julia Lipnitskaya's 183.05.  She's still a bit rough around the edges and not nearly as polished as Julia, but she's got Julia squarely beat in the jumps category.  Gracie's jumps get a lot of air, cover a lot of ice and have good speed going in and coming out.  It's a real shame she didn't get more exposure on the JGP this year but I think she definitely made her mark.  It'll be interesting to see her at nationals this year...

Risa Shoji came in second (157.83) and Samantha Cesario in third (145.96).  Check out all the videos at ISU's YouTube channel.

2011-2012 JGP Final Standings

Top 6 will advance to the JGP Final in December

Risa Shoji's silver medal at JGP Tallinn gave her a total of 26 points and qualified her for that fourth spot in the final.  Samantha Cesario's bronze medal gave her a total of 22 points; however, she lost the tie breaker against Polina Korobeynikova and missed out on that sixth and final spot, so she'll serve as an alternate.  So that's it for the junior ladies until December.  They have a ridiculously long break between now and the Final so it'll be interesting to see who improves, who regresses, who gets injuries, who has a few mental breakdowns, etc.

An Evening with Champions

Yu-Na gave the crowd a Fever!
An Evening with Champions was held at Harvard University this past weekend.  All proceeds from the two shows went to The Jimmy Fund which is part of fundraising for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

No, I didn't watch much of it, but being that there were a large number of figure skating stars and has-beens there, I figured I should at least mention it.  Yu-Na Kim headlined the event; also included were Maia and Alex Shibutani, Yasmin Siraj, Ross Miner, Christina Gao, Rachael Flatt, The Haydenettes, Stephen Carriere and Oksana Baiul among others.  The event was hosted by Paul Wylie and Harvard's own Emily Hughes (thanks for taking her off our hands Harvard!).  The event reportedly raised about $100,000.

There are several different fan cam versions of the event floating around on YouTube.  SaSherka of FSU posted videos of the whole event but asked that none of the links be re-posted.  So if you're interested, you can go here to the post which has all of the links.  I'm very happy that all of these skaters came together for a good cause, but I've already expressed how I feel about skating shows so...moving on.

Yu-Na Kim Will Not Compete This Season

Yu-Na gots too much other chiz to do right now!
Yu-Na Kim announced today that she will not be taking part in any competitions this season.  I can't say this came as a big shock to me.  If you've been paying attention to how busy this girl has been all summer, I can't imagine why anyone would think she'd be gearing up for another competition anytime soon.  She has way too much on her plate at the minute.  Competitive skating is going to have to take a backseat for a while, and I'm fine with that.  If Yu-Na never steps foot on competitive ice again, I'd be just fine.  She's won everything there is to win, she broke records, then shattered them...then ground them into a fine dust, she's been a wonderful role model and a great representation of this sport.  Her work, essentially, is finished.  Everything is extra at this point.

I wish Yu-Na all the best and I love that she is using her celebrity and her influence to do great things in the world and make a difference.  All of her fans should be very proud of her.

Evan Lysacek Not Competing in GP

No EL on the GP.  Nationals maybe?
Adding to the list of Olympic Champions not returning to the ice, Evan announced that he will be skipping the GP this season.  I don't think this announcement came as a shock to anyone either.  He was assigned to Skate America and Trophee Eric Bompard.  To be honest, there's no mad rush for Evan to jump into competing right now.  If he's truly aiming for Soichi in 2014, he should look to throw himself back into competition this time next year.  But if he pulls a Sasha Cohen and attempts to jump right back in a few months before the Games, he might end up suffering her same fate.  No word yet if he's planning on going to nationals and worlds this year.  I suppose as we get closer to those events we'll hear more about it.

Okay, so that's it.  Skate America takes place this week and I'm really excited.  With the NBA season looking more and more likely to be cancelled, I have only figure skating to look forward to right now.  I'll definitely post my thoughts after each competition as well.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great blog, loving your "this week in figure skating" style.