I watched the final marks come up for the 2014 World Figure Skating Championships this earlier week. Over the weekend I was in Arborg, so I avoided social media feeds and the news like the plague.
There were beautiful dresses, fantastic skating, costumes that raise an eyebrow and some photo finishes.
I like to think I invested my time – all 18 plus hours of figure skating coverage. So, to make it an educational experience, I compiled a list of what I took away from the 2014 World Figure Skating Championship:
1. Kevin Reynolds should always use music from AC/DC, Metallica or Guns N’ Roses for his programs. His short to AC/DC’s Back in Black and Thunderstruck was beyond cool.
2. Even though there’s only one in the ladies event, it is possible to hope for a five way tie. Plus the gold medal spot on the podium would accommodate this, as it’s twice the size as the silver and bronze medallist spots.
3. Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu has a Pooh Bear tissue holder and it has its own Twitter handle: @HanyusPooh. This just makes him more lovable.
4. How much I detest the word “athleticism.” Skaters are athletes. As well, calling them a “tremendous athlete” is redundant. They are at the worlds – it’s self explanatory.
5. If I were a pair skater, I would choose Canada’s Dylan Moscovitch to hoist me up with one arm, carry me while he glide across the ice on one foot and then twirl me like a pizza.
6. I don’t want to know if there is anything steamer than Canadian ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s passionate tango free dance. I just don’t.
7. If you have a truly stunning program, despite multiple missed jumps, your program component scores and short program will hold you up in the standings. After a strong second place in the short, Caroline Kostner’s sultry Bolero program placed sixth in the free skate because of multiple missed jumps. Her free program was sheer choreographic genius, though, and she was rewarded with the highest PCS of the night. She won the bronze medal overall – well deserved.
8. To get a standing ovation at worlds, first crash a quad into the boards at the Olympics. Finish that program knowing you will be in pain tomorrow. Then land that quad at the worlds within a nearly flawless, emotionally charged program. American Jeremy Abbott may not have a medal, but he has guts, determination and class.
9. Clearly some skaters forgot to ask themselves, “If I win a medal, is this the dress I want to wear on the podium?”
10. They can get the medals confused at the award ceremony. Canadian ice dancer Kaitlyn Weaver glanced down at her medal and realized they awarded her the bronze, not the silver.
11. Jewels, crystals, sequence, peacock designs, lace, oh, yes. Real Ostrich feathers, long red strings, Raider of the Lost Ark bandanas, oh, no.
12. I maintain Mao Asada’s triple Axel was beautiful and fully-rotated in her free program. I don’t care if her score card called it an under-rotation. When the GOE ranges from -1 to +1 on a so called under-rotated jump and the judges are on the same side of the rink – chalk it up to yet another poor call.
13. Women can rock out too when they dress the part. In black tights and a glitzy sequence top, France’s Maé-Bérénice Méité pulled a Kevin Reynolds and skated to selections from Europa, We will Rock You and La Grange. Méité had technical issues, but she kept my Shazam app busy!
14. That whenever a skater downgraded a jump “Hey, I used to be able to do that jump” went through my mind.
15. Just how much a skater’s personality shows during the short program. This is why people love Canada’s Elladj Baldé and Czech Republic’s Tomáš Verner. Controversial ISU President, Ottavio Cinquanta, set off a firestorm within the skating community at the end of March when he sent a letter to ISU Council and technical members recommending they put the short program on ice. This from the man who used to be a speed skater.
16. How much I will miss Akiko Suzuki for her elegance, grace and breathtaking dresses.
17. How much I will miss the 2014 World Champion pair duo of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy skating together. They will split after this season. They’ll be remembered for their throws and presence on the ice. Along with their attention grabbing costumes.
18. How easily the name Lori Nichol could be turned into a drinking game.
19. How I would give a best smile award to Russia’s Julia Lipnitskaya and Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond. Rarely does Lipnitskaya smile. When she realized she won the silver medal, for a brief moment, she smiled! And when is Osmond not smiling? During warm up, after warm up, during her performances. This girl is always smiling and loves to perform.
20. Even though the Japanese men were uber impressive, I still miss Daisuke Takahashi.
21. That there’s always next year.