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Skate Canada Notes (Exclusive to SKATING magazine blog)
by Lynn Rutherford
Quad Lutz Contest
Brandon Mroz landed a clean quad Lutz at the Colorado Springs Invitational in September, and the four-revolution jump was recognized by the International Skating Union (ISU).
That threw down the gauntlet to Adam Rippon, who has been working on the four-revolution jump since March. Now the race is on to land the first quad Lutz in ISU international competition.
“I think I’m on the right track for later in the season,” Rippon said. “The Grand Prix are great competitions to go out and try those new elements. My goal is nationals, so every competition I do is a stepping stone to that.”
In Mississauga, the quad Lutz was the first element in Rippon’s Bach free skate. Although it didn’t go as well as it does in practice, he was happy with the attempt.
“It was my first time trying it in competition so I had a little bit of a nervous feeling about it,” Rippon said.
“I think it will only get stronger, more like what I do in practice at home. I got [downgraded] but if I just held into the jump a little bit more, it would have been fine. I stood on my feet and that was a goal coming in.”
The world’s top two pairs – Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, and Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Max Trankov – seem to have taken firm aim at each other at their respective first Grand Prix events, Skate America and Skate Canada.
At Skate America, the Germans tried a throw triple Axel in their short program, saying they thought they might need the element, with its hefty 7.5-point base value, to stay ahead of other teams. It didn’t work; Savchenko took a hard fall.
In Mississauga, the Russians unveiled a re-worked free skate to Evanescense’s “Bring Me Back to Life” with all three lifts and two throws crammed into the second half, to earn maximum bonus points.
“We completely changed our second half after Oberstdorf [Nebelhorn Trophy] and Slovakia [Nepela Trophy], and we have three new lifts,” Trankov said.
“We didn’t want to show our lifts [in those earlier competitions] because last year, when we skated in small competitions in Russia, other pairs take our lifts and use them for the season. We didn’t want to make some new lifts for other couples.
“When we were in Oberstdorf, five couples did the same lifts we did last season.”
Both teams won their opening events, with the Russians far outscoring the Germans, 201.38 to 183.98. Trankov scoffed at early-season comparisons.
“If our scores will be better than the Germans in Europeans and Worlds that will be good. Now we are at Skate Canada, they were at Skate America, the judges are different, and we don’t think it’s special to compare scores. When we are competing together, for sure.”
Still, Trankov couldn’t resist adding, “Plus, we made mistakes here at Skate Canada; we still don’t know how many points we will have when we skate clean.”
Anonymous Internet Fan Does Good
Sometimes skaters and coaches spend weeks scrounging through CDs and iTunes, trying to find the perfect piece of music. And sometimes the right selection falls right into their laps.
Take Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s “Je Suis Malade (I Am Sick),” for example.
“Someone sent it to us anonymously through the email on our website,” Weaver said. “This person sent it to us with a YouTube link and wrote, ‘I think you should listen to this music.’
“I had no idea what it was and I was kind of like, ‘Should I open this?’ I wasn’t sure. But I played it and I heard the Lara Fabian version and I was so taken with it, I brought it to Andrew and our coach, Pasquale Camerlengo, and they loved it. We had Karl Hugo arrange certain parts of the music with a rhythm, to have an ebb and flow, to fit with the rules. I think we came up with a beautiful program.”
The suggestion was especially timely, because as Weaver tells it, “We were completely at a loss for free music ideas.”
The only problem is they don’t know who to thank.
“I don’t know who he or she is, but that person is out there somewhere and they have great music choices,” Weaver said. “I’m hoping that maybe [he or she] will come forward once they see that this program is our season’s free dance.”
Nuggets from Skate Canada
by Joanne Vassallo Jamrosz
- The most popular T-shirt at the boutique seemed to be a long black sleeve tee with the Canadian Maple Leaf and the Skate Canada insignia. The ice sweepers even sported them all weekend.
- Many people were trying the signature Canadian french fries called Poutine at the Hershey Food Vendor booths. It’s french fries covered in gravy and cheese. I guess it was pretty popular during Olympics too.
- Many female fans who attend skating events here in Canada bring their knitting along and work on it between events. They knit socks and hats and sweaters. One woman told me it is very relaxing and a way to pass the time, but as soon as the skaters come out they assure me they drop their knitting and cheer them on.