oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
OMG with the new team event, watching all the figure skating is like a sport in and of itself! I have not yet seen the men's free skate or the results: SPOIL ME AND DIE!

(CB just got spoiled by a well-meaning friend, and I have only barely avoided them everywhere! And this is when I'm trying to Google ice dance programs from five years ago!)

(apologies for all name misspellings; I am not risking Googling it right now)

Team skate

I have no real thoughts on the team event, save that it felt like most of the participants were using it as practice for the individual events. Also, the winners were so clear just going in that there wasn't much suspense. Sigh. All the politics around Sochi have been terrible, but it is hard not to feel a bit pumped up by all the Russian crowd cheering at the team win. And I was amazed Plushenko skated his short as well as he did; this is his FOURTH Olympics! His free skate was kind of eye-rolly, but I guess when you have been to four Olympics and gotten a gold or silver at all of them, you get to create a free skate that is a tribute to your past routines.

The young Russian girl is very good, but it'll be more interesting to see what happens over the next few years (my sister really does not want her to win, but I am not particularly caught up either way, except I do like seeing home crowd win). I never really liked Ashley Wagner (ugh US women's skating has been boring for the past ten years imo) and am even less into her after the whole thing with Mirai Nagasu. I don't like Davis and White's free skate as much as I have others, and I kind of wish the Orientalism theme would stop. I also thought Davis' outfit for the short was frumpy, but once they started, I loved the program. Virtue and Moire's short, on the other hand, didn't stand out very much, but I very much liked their free dance, which reminded me a lot of their free dance in Vancouver. I also am fond of the French team (are there two? The one with the woman with a slight gap in her front teeth... I remember liking their routines back when I was still watching), but I am mostly going to be cheering for the Shibutani siblings once the individual ice dance events start! I greatly admire Davis and White, but the Orientalism kind of gets in the way of loving them. (Really guys! I wish you had stuck with the opera stuff... I liked your La Traviata dance a lot!)

Okay, that was more thoughts than I had realized....

Pairs

I also have no real thoughts about the pairs; I don't think I've found pairs to be very exciting for a really long time. And I like Savchenko and Szolkowy overall, but I really did think Pang and Tong were better. I got a little sappy during their "I Dreamed a Dream" free skate! The other Chinese pair is kind of weird with the age difference, but they are pretty good! Also, the Russian team that won (Maxim Trankov and I forgot her name) had a short that was seriously just like an ice dance free skate to the same music by a Russian team (Domnina and Shabalin?) back in 2008 or so! I was so confused and totally thought they had brought back an old routine! I liked the pair with the Addams Family routine, but the Russian team that didn't place seemed awkwardly matched--the guy's lines never seemed to match up with his partner's. I am also wondering what happened to the Russian pairs team with a Japanese woman whose name I forgot; I think they did a Swan Lake routine a while ago, and I thought they were interesting.

(Also, France has black women in women's individual and in pairs? Yay! It is very nice to see non-Asian POC in figure skating.)

Men's short

OMG WHAT WAS THAT??? I had been spoiled about "an Olympic legend" having to withdraw and guessed right away that it was Plushenko being injured, and since they had him slated to skate, it could have only happened during the practice right before! And I'm not the hugest Plushenko fan, but that just kind of sucked all around! (And I felt terrible for the two guys who had to skate after that... it was like skating in a giant sucking mass of indifference.)

And then Jeremy Abbott?! I have been joking the entire time that he is not my favorite because he is so unmemorable to me (I kept having to remember what he looked like, and I never quite remember his routines), and because he always chokes, but wow, that was something! The smash into the boards! The pause! GETTING UP AND CONTINUING! And doing it WELL!! It was really awesome to hear the crowd cheering for him, and I hope this helps with the choking.

I think Jason Brown is going to be the next really big US men's skater; he is remarkably entertaining AND his lines are actually very nice AND he seems fairly solid. We'll see how the free skate goes, I guess. CB nearly died when Brown came out and he saw the Prince symbol on his back. Evan Lysacek was really the only US guy I had cheered for in the past, and all the guys other than him didn't really seem to have a chance at medals and whatnot. I like Johnny Weir, but I actually liked Johnny Weir much more after Lysacek started to win... I found Weir kind of insufferable before—the program where he's Jesus of Nazareth!!—but it felt like once he wasn't really in Olympics contention, he just started to have fun, which was awesome.

Brian Joubert is still skating!! I didn't even recognize him! I am impressed he did so well! I never really liked him (brown naugahyde! cheesy programs!), but after he was ill or had surgery or something a year or so before Vancouver, it seemed like he never quite recovered, and I assumed he had stopped skating after his poor showing at Vancouver. I guess not! And he placed fairly well!

Tomas Verner is also still skating! I was always fond of him and was super happy for him the year he won World's (I think he won World's? With the Zorba the Greek program?), but he does choke a lot! He did mess up a jump here, but the rest of it was good, and I don't quite remember him being that polished. His routine was fun, though, as they almost always are.

Skater from the Philippines!!!! He was actually really good! Especially after they said he could only meet his coach twice a year and learned by watching figure skating on TV. *_* so impressed.... I hope a coach wants to pick him up after this and he gets funding or something, because fundraising to get yourself to the Olympics is kind of hardcore.

Florent Amodio! I have always really liked him, but he never really does all that well in big events, le sigh. His routines are usually very cool, though, and I definitely admired the low-cut shirt sans illusion netting.

Dennis Ten is so big now! He was such a baby at Vancouver. I really liked his routine; it's so sad he missed a bit on the jumps. He is definitely one I am keeping my eye on.

And then OMG Yuzuru Hanyu WOW. I saw him for the first time in the team short program, and he was amazing, and he was just as amazing for the individual. He just... it doesn't even look like he's trying. It looks like he is dancing and really into it and oh by the way have some jumps and amazing footwork and spins. I LOVE his short program, and just... wow.

Oh poor Patrick Chan, who has been unhappy about Vancouver and now has to face Yuzuru Hanyu! And his nemesis the triple axel strikes again... I do think his program was beautiful, but it kind of lacked the insouciance and sheer joy of Yuzuru Hanyu's. It will be interesting to watch the free skate, since I haven't seen either of their programs.

DAISUKE TAKAHASHI HELLO YOU ARE SKATING YAY!!! I don't like this program as much as some of his others (all-time favorite is still the "Digital Swan" one), and it feels like he is past his peak, but I like him so much that it is hard to regret seeing him. I heard about him making the team despite being fifth at Japanese nationals, but instead of resenting him like with Ashley Wagner, I am just happy to be able to see him in an Olympics again. (Also, Ashley Wagner wasn't the only woman in her country to ever medal at the Olympics or the person who most likely started the current spate of amazeballs skaters before Japan was known for having an incredibly talented individual skaters field!) I kind of feel like he never quite recovered from his pre-Vancouver surgery, and his jumps are still shaky, but watching him go through his footwork and choreography even when he's not on is great. <333

Anyway, I am wondering if there's the possibility of three Asian men on the podium this year! Pretty sure there will be two there (Hanyu and Chan), but the field of skaters after them are basically just separated by a point. It will be an exciting free skate to watch!

For women's skating, I am wondering how Kim Yuna will do, since it sounds like she hasn't really been in the competition circle for a while, and I hope Mao Asada does well. I think the last I really watched her was when she was retooling all of her jumps, and it was so painful to see. Also happy to see Akiko Suzuki on the team. Aaand aside from that, I really don't know much re: what's going on.

It's so weird: I feel all the skaters I used to watch when I first started getting into figure skating are now retiring (or have retired), and I can't quite believe the new judging system is ten years old!

Date: 2014-02-15 05:01 pm (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
From what I've heard, Kim Yuna returned to competition recently and was in top form? At least, I know she won last year's Worlds with a massive lead over the rest of the competition. I think barring any injury issues, she's going to be incredibly hard to beat.

ETA: Though oh my gosh, I just saw an article that says this is going to be her last Olympics! Wow, I can't believe she plans on missing out on 2018 in South Korea…granted, by that point, she's likely to be past her prime...
Edited Date: 2014-02-15 05:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-02-15 09:52 pm (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
I think she's 23? Though I can't remember if that's Korean age or Western age...

Date: 2014-02-17 01:43 am (UTC)
vonniek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] vonniek
Here's Kim's winning long program from 2013 World Champion, set to *le sigh* Les Miserables, where she appears to be in top form. But more and more people seem to be considering the little 15-year-old Russian, Julia Lipnitskaia, as a major threat to Kim's Gold. She's super-flexible and a great jumper, but I found myself doing a major frowny-face at her long program during the team competition. (She was skating to Schindler's List from the POV of the little girl in red coat, who dies during the Holocaust. It just feels sketchy, y'know? I might have been OK with it if Linitakaia was Jewish but as far as I know, she's not.)

Date: 2014-02-15 09:06 pm (UTC)
glass_icarus: (korra: lin bei fong eyes on you)
From: [personal profile] glass_icarus
I haven't followed much of the Olympics AT ALL, but all the glimpses I've had were figure skating. :D Barely caught any of the team skate and skipped pairs altogether (SO MUCH AGREE re: Davis & White, I have never recovered my appreciation after the wincefest that was their "Bollywood" thing).

I saw bits and pieces of the men's free skate the other night and I feel like now I should go back and hunt down some of the shorts.... I also really like Yuzuru Hanyu, and "OH HELLO DAISUKE TAKAHASHI" was my reaction too, hahahaha! My only real interest is women's though, because Kim Yuna, I want to watch you skaaaaaate.

Date: 2014-02-15 10:50 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
It is very nice to see non-Asian POC in figure skating.

For the US, not since Debi Thomas, I think. The era of her and Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt, and Brian vs. Brian is when I watched most. (Then I went to college and had no tv access.)

Gosh, it seems impossible to see even short clips of Olympic coverage honorably (no IP address masking or proxy, e.g.). WTF, NBC.

ETA Also, it seems that one of the German pairs includes a skater of color, FWIW. Didn't catch his name in this swift overview from before the 2014 Games began.
Edited Date: 2014-02-17 10:44 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-02-18 07:14 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
Ah, good to know. Yes, because of NBC's chokehold, I haven't been able to indulge casual browsing during the last few years.

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