Watched some of those Nebelhorn performances

At least some of those that happened Saturday morning, plus a few others later.

I watched most of the men’s final two groups, for instance.  I was disappointed when the new Swiss Stephane didn’t qualify for the Olympics; I liked him.  But the most memorable performances, I supposed, were from the skaters who weren’t trying to qualify Olympic spots.  In different ways, though.  On one hand, there was Artur Dmitriev being a poor man’s Philippe Candeloro.  On the other hand, there was Jason Brown being the best thing that’s come out of US men this quadrennium; he might not be ready for the Olympics this year, but I will be disappointed if he isn’t leading the team come 2018.  Also Nobunari Oda being so good you suddenly wonder if he might be the one with the advantage of Kozuka and the two other guys competing for the last Olympic spot.  Certainly if he came from most other countries the idea of his not making the Olympics would be absurd.  But then again, he’s shown this level at senior Bs and then failed to deliver on more important stages before.

Have also now seen both Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov’s programs, and to some extent I understand why they scored as high as they did.  Hell, during the free program I was so stunned by their technique I failed to develop the dislike for the program that it seems everyone else in the world has.  Maybe seeing it a few more times in other competitions will change that, but for now…the only other pairs program I’ve seen at the moment is Kemp & King’s free, but now I’m half -amused, half-sorry Takahashi & Kihara failed to qualify(less sorry, as it happens, because not only will they probably get invited to the team event, but French politics looks like it might cost that country their second berth, so that would get Takahashi & Kihara in anyway).  Almost more sorry Purich & Tran didn’t medal; their free limits the good their short did them in the race for that third spot.

Saw some of the earlier free dances as well, and liked the Reeds’ program, though in general the teams I saw were shaky; that really was a nerve-wracking competition for them.  You wish the ISU would agree to expand that field to 30 entries.  At least Hurtado & Diaz made it in…was out of the house during the last part of the competition, but actually pretty sad Paul & Islam lost their gold to a twizzle error; it would have done them a lot of good to win that, I think.  They need to stop making these big errors….glad also to see O’Brien and Merriman make it in, because after what happened four years ago how could you not be happy for them?

But speaking of Spain, really, what on earth happened to Sonia LaFuente?  Pressure to get in so Spain could make the team event(it’s rather confusing whether they still could by inviting her)?  But meanwhile, yay for Isadora Williams, getting South America onto Olympic ice(really, has any country from that continent ever qualified a skater for the Olympics?)  Good for the Philippines getting a men’s berth too, though I think which of their two guys gets it is officially in question; Martinez needed too much help getting it to be any sort of lock.  With people still ranting about figure skating dying, and its popularity certainly down in places where it used to be big, the more countries with serious skaters in them the better.

And now we dust ourselves off, just in time for the week of a zillion competitions.  This time next week there’ll be enough videos to watch to keep everyone going a very long while…


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