2011 GP Final – Viewer’s Guide

9 Dec

Useful Links

icenetwork.com (LIVE streaming of the GP Final)

Starting Order/Results Page  Twitter

TV Schedule/Competition Notes (PDF)  Photo Gallery

2011 GP Final (All times Eastern)

Friday, Dec. 9
1:00 p.m.: Senior ladies short program
2:05 p.m.: Senior short dance
8:00 p.m.: Senior pairs short program
9:15 p.m.: Senior men’s short program

Saturday, Dec. 10
3:40 p.m.: Senior ladies free skate
4:55 p.m.: Senior men’s free skate
8:15 p.m.: Senior pairs free skate

Sunday, Dec. 11
1:50 p.m.: Senior free dance

Notes

The DefenderAlissa Czisny is the reigning Grand Prix Final champion. The 2011 U.S. titlist began the season by winning gold at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America, the first event of the Grand Prix Series. She went on to secure bronze at Trophée
Eric Bompard in Paris in mid-November.

Three’s CompanyJeremy Abbott, the 2008 Grand Prix Final champion, makes his third trip to the Grand Prix Final and first since placing fourth in 2009. Abbott’s season includes a gold medal from Cup of China and a bronze from Rostelecom
Cup.

The Rookie(s)Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani earned their spot at the Grand Prix Final thanks to a gold medal at NHK Trophy, their first Grand Prix Series win, and silver at Cup of China. Both U.S. ice dancing teams in the train in Canton, Mich., under coaches Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband.

The Whole Nine YardsMeryl Davis & Charlie White enter the event having won eight consecutive events dating back to 2010 NHK Trophy. The 2011 World champions, Davis and White, are the two-time reigning Grand Prix Final titlists and also
earned the bronze medal at this event in 2008.

History in the Making? Davis & White look to become the fi rst Americans to ever win three consecutive Grand Prix Final titles. They would join Russia’s Tatiana Navka & Roman Kostomorov as the only teams in history to do so (2003-05).

Final Facts –
* The U.S. has won 29 medals since the Grand Prix Series’ inception in 1995 (11 men’s, 12 ladies, 6 ice dancing)
* The U.S. has won 9 gold, 8 silver, 12 bronze
* Michelle Kwan has won the most Grand Prix Final medals (5)
* The U.S. has won medals in ice dancing every year since 2007 (4 consecutive years)

JGP Quotes

Junior Pairs

Britney Simpson (Golden, Colo./Broadmoor SC) & Matthew Blackmer (Detroit/Detroit SC)

(training town: Colorado Springs, Colo.) – 3rd place – 50.91 points (season-high)

(on short program) Simpson – “It felt like what we have been training at home. It was so much fun with the Canadians here watching it. It was really easy to skate”

Blackmer – “From a components standpoint, it felt really, really good. We emoted really well and had a strong connection between us. Overall, it was a great performance.”

(on free skate) Simpson – “What we’re coming here to do is to skate and not worry about placement. We want to enjoy skating and that is what we are going to show tomorrow in the long.”

(on the Chinese team performing quad throws and twists) Simpson – “We can’t control anything other than what we are capable of doing. We are going to go out tomorrow and do what we can do best.”

(on intensity of short program today) Blackmer – “We spend a lot of time on our component mark because we feel that is something we are strong at. We work on basic posture and stroking and enhancing the dynamics of our skating.”

Junior Ladies

Vanessa Lam (Bellflower, Calif./trains in Westminster, Calif./All Year FSC) – 3rd place – 54.34 points (international personal best)

(on short program) “I felt really excited to get out there. Warm up was good for me. I was just ready to do my thing. It felt nice to perform. I’m pleased with the performance and presented my program the way I feel I wanted to present it.”

(on transitions in program) “Mostly transitions felt better for me. I’ve been working on them for the past few weeks after my Junior Grand Prix events and hopefully people see improvement.”

(on goals for free skate) “To land my jumps of course. But also presenting to the audience. I’m working on my components score.”

(on competing at first JGP Final) “It’s so amazing here. Everything is so pretty. To be here at this event is so exciting and I’m looking forward to watching the seniors after I’m done competing.”

(on final goal for the season) “My goal is to improve on my transitions and skating skills, my program components in general. I want to be able to get more into the music when I perform.”

Junior Ice Dancing

Alexandra Aldridge (Birmingham, Mich./Detroit SC) & Daniel Eaton (Bloomfield, Mich./Detroit SC)

(training town: Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) – 5th place – 51.59 points

(on short dance) Aldridge – “It was not our best, that’s for sure. We started off really strong. The lift was great and the first of pattern of cha cha was pretty good. Then we had a stumble, recovered well and finished the cha cha. The twizzles were very good. Our choreography got a little sloppy, but we finished as strong as we could.”

(on tomorrow’s free dance) Eaton – “We’re going to reset our minds and get ready for the free dance. We want to do what we are good at doing.”

(on free dance being the stronger of their two programs) Aldridge – “The free dance is definitely our stronger program. We love doing the Irish dance, the crowd loves it. It’s good that we have that to look forward to tomorrow.”

Junior Men

Jason Brown (Highland Park, Ill./trains in Highland Park and Northbrook, Ill./Skokie Valley FSC) – 2nd place – 68.77 points (international PB)

(on short program) “I felt really good about it. I stayed focused. I tried to use my excitement to my advantage and express to the audience how much fun I was having. Hopefully they felt that way.”

(on what he has improved this season) “I have improved in my program components and my skating skills. I have gotten faster and am more confident in what I do. I think my spins have improved and the speed into my jumps.”

(on triple Axel) “It’s coming. It’s one of those jumps where I keep thinking it’s coming and it’s coming. Every day I think it gets closer. We were thinking about doing it in the short but decided not to. I’m not planning to try it in my free skate.”

(on free skate) “I’m going to use the short program and go forth from there. I want to stay focused and keep up with how well I did today. I’m going to try my best to go through my long like I did my short today.”

(press conference opening statement about short program and experience here) “I tried to stay calm. It’s been amazing to be at this event with six of the best senior men in the world. It’s unbelievably motivating.”

(on where short programs ranked in terms of season) “This was my personal best. There were parts of the program that weren’t as strong as other competitions, but as a whole it was my personal best.”

Joshua Farris (Colorado Springs, Colo./trains in Colorado Springs, Colo./Broadmoor FSC) – 1st place – 72.99 points

(on short program) “I opened with a great triple Axel. Probably one of the best I’ve done in competition this year. I did my triple flip but fell out of the circle a little bit do I did a double toe to have a nice skate. My spins were great. I also did a really good Lutz. Overall, I felt really good about the program. It felt very easy and over my feet.”

(on competing in second JGP Final) “I feel much more confident. I was focused on myself instead of others this time. That is something I’ve done all year.”

(on where short programs ranked in terms of season) “I don’t think it was my personal best. There were things that were better than other programs. But it was my second best of the season.”

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