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kwanatic712

Cup of China...Last Hope...

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Two weeks into the season and Alissa Czisny and Carolina Kostner are leading the ladies? What alternate universe have we walked into?

Skate Canada Recap


To sum it up, it sucked but Alissa Czisny (surprisingly) didn't. She walked away with gold after giving her best LP performance in several years. I've gotta say, I was really blown away by how lovely she can skate when she stays vertical for the majority of the program. Gorgeous performance and easily the best of the night. She often performs well in Canada whereas most skaters complain about the altitude. IDK, maybe the thin air benefits Alissa by depriving her brain of oxygen which makes it harder for her to think. As a result she can't over-think what she's doing; all she can do is skate and she ends up doing much better...that's my theory anyway .

Ksenia Makarova came away with silver and Amelie Lacoste of Canada got bronze. Agnes Zawadzki of the US came out strong in her debut on the senior scene, delivering well in the SP but falling apart in the LP; we'll chalk it up to senior debut nerves. Alexe Gilles...yeesh . She should probably enjoy her tour on the GP because it's doubtful that she'll be given anymore assignments after this year. Fumie Suguri...is still skating...yeah.

I'd like to comment about Patrick Chan winning gold in the men's competition after butt-planting four times, but I think that's a discussion best left for another time...

I knew Skate Canada was going to be a snoozer! A nice boring way to pass the time in preparation for....


Cup of China

S.O.S. (Save Our Season) Mirai!

Cup of China and the debut of Mirai Nagasu as well as several other top skaters. Obviously I'm looking forward to seeing Mirai the most but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high. She had a long summer dealing with the stress fracture and lost the majority of her "work on this for next season" time. Still, I'm expecting her to be relatively strong. She's had two months of practice time and Frank says that her key jumps (the lutz and flip) are back which makes me hopeful she can turn in a good performance.

My fingers are crossed that she debuts well. She doesn't have to be perfect but hopefully we'll see solid performances. After what's been brought to the table for ladies skating so far in general this year I'm confident that a decent performance from Mirai will blow everyone out of the water and she could easily win this competition, setting herself apart from the pack in a big way. There's always that question with Mirai though: will she hold it together? We've seen her blow some opportunities in the past but I'm hoping with a full year of working with Frank under her belt we'll see a more focused and poised Mirai who is ready to take over that top spot.

Also debuting at Cup of China will be two of Japan's top ladies: Miki Ando and Akiko Suzuki. Miki's new LP got a lot of praise from the figure skating fan community as a whole. Across many of the forums (the two I post on and three others I lurk around) everyone feels that it's a step up from last year's program. Miki's always a gold medal threat because at any given time she can lay down solid performances packed with huge, difficult jumps...

Akiko Suzuki has a special place in my heart . I love her enthusiasm, energy, fire and the joy the she brings to her skating. Her programs are always well choreographed and brilliantly performed so I always look forward to seeing her. Hopefully this year the judges will stop shafting her on PCS; she's a lot better than they give her credit for...

Also debuting here will be Alena Leonova aka Irina Jr. from Russia and several newbies: Kristine Musademba and Amanda Dobbs of the US, and Min-Jung Kwak of South Korea. Had Yu-Na Kim not withdrawn for the season, this would have been her debut event as well. I gotta say, I'm missing her this season. The skating so far has been nothing short of terrible but hopefully, by next week that will have changed.

I'd like to make a prediction here but I'm a little leery of making predictions without having seen the person skate yet--that's the main reason I refrained from making a prediction for NHK, thank goodness because I would have been 100% wrong. Still, I'd like to say that if Mirai skates cleanly here, she should win gold easily. No one else in the competition can match up with her across the board: she has a good arsenal of jumps, fabulous spins, great speed and personality to boot PLUS she's coming in a top 5 finisher from last year's Olympic Games which immediately earns her respect from the judges. As long as Mirai doesn't completely tank I believe her overall skating will hold her up and she'll get her first senior GP medal. It will be a battle between Mirai, Miki and Akiko for those top 3 spots with Alena and some of the newbies fighting for the remaining spots...

For those with Icenetwork passes, here's the streaming schedule for the competition.

Yay! I can't wait!! Ta for now!

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  1. iceman's Avatar
    My concern about Mirai is Frank's recent statement that they had had a fight about her not working hard enough. That coupled with her time off the ice due to her injury could mean a subpar performance
    in this first outing. Let's hope not or we might see the tears return.
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