Start of the JGP season

And the figure skating season is now more or less underway, with the first JGP in Bratislava finishing up yesterday.  So far, we have a new Russian Polina on the block, Rachel & Michael Parsons have won a long-awaited gold, and Argentina has won what I’m pretty sure is its first medal ever on the circuit.

It’ll be interesting to see if Polina Tsurskaya can come to a better fate than the three Russian Polinas who preceded her.  On one hand, she had that 3-3-2 combo.  On the other, she’s still only barely 14, and we don’t know if they’ll still have those jumps in a few year’s time.  Excited about Vivian Le’s success so far(pity about the fall costing her silver), but sorry Emily Chan missed the top five by so little and now may lose her second event because of it.

Not that the Russian success in the ladies seemed to sooth certain people who took over the chat room on the livestream to scream about how the Russian skaters were all robbed during the ice dance and the early phase of the men’s competition (although they stopped after Samarin blew it fair and square, at least).  Much sneering about a Canadian technical controller.  Never mind that a tech panel that wanted the Parsonses to win probably wouldn’t have given them an extended lift deduction when they skated before the team ahead of them, and a corrupt Canadian controller would have likely given the two Canadian teams better level spreads than they got.  Truth is, Alla Lobodza & Pavel Drozd weren’t as sharp as the Parsonses were; also, in a final group where three of the five teams did some tangoing, Rachel & Michael were the team that generated a genuine feeling of it.

Although Vincent Zhou was kind of robbed, especially considering Roman Sadovsky won both segments on PCS, and when that advantage had to have least come partly from his having had success on the circuit in the past, while Zhou was out with injury.  Hope that problem eventually rights itself…

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People who have impressed me so far this week

The Intermediate Ladies, especially the top two, who would’ve won the men’s competition too!

Any junior dance team who managed to fashion a short dance this year without falling back on Shakira!

Emily Chan, and Caitlin Fields & Ernie Utah Stevens.  Fields especially has taken a big step up. And Caroline and Gordon Green, though I’ve only seen their pattern dances.

Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker.  Finally gave in and watched them lip sync to the Black-Eyed Peas, and that was something.  Kind of still amazed the USFSA actually uploaded that.(I still really want both the Shibs and Hubbell & Donohue to make Worlds, though, so guess I can’t cheer for them this year).

Tim Smyczek.  I really, really wish he’d won that match.

Thanasi Kokkinakis.  Though maybe it’s more I’m grateful to him for getting rid of Gulbis.