Figure Skating Fanfessions

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GRACIE GOLD LEADS AFTER CoR SHORT PROGRAM

1. Gracie GOLD (USA)

2. Kiira KORPI (FIN)

3. Agnes ZAWADZKI (USA)

4. Alena LEONOVA (RUS)

5. Adelina SOTNIKOVA (RUS)

6. Kanako MURAKAMI (JPN)

7. Viktoria HELGESSON (SWE)

8. Polina KOROBEYNIKOVA (RUS)

9. Valentina MARCHEI (ITA)

10. Caroline ZHANG (USA)

I almost cried of happiness when I checked the SP results this morning and saw Gracie in first with a score of 62.16 points. She skated an entirely clean program (not easy, considering she was under pressure as the first skater) and—I think—proved to the post-Skate Canada cynics that she’s capable of being a real contender. The real challenge will come tomorrow in the FS, as she hasn’t yet had a clean run this season, but only a SC-esque disaster can prevent her from medaling. If Agnes skates clean tomorrow, we may even have two US ladies on the podium. Adelina again showed her inconsistency by singling a triple flip, and at this point she’ll be lucky to medal. Someone did research and found that she hasn’t had a clean FS in 18 months…

MAO ASADA WINS CUP OF CHINA

1. Mao Asada (JPN)

2. Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS)

3. Kiira Korpi (SWE)

I have to say, this is the podium I predicted for CoC, though not in that exact order. I did expect Nagasu to put up a good fight for a medal, but it seems that she fell short. Great showing by little Julia at her first senior GP…I have no doubt we’ll be seeing more and more improvement as the season progresses.

SKATE CANADA RESULTS

1. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)

2. Akiko Suzuki (JPN)

3. Kanako Murakami (JPN)

4. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS)

5. Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO)

6. Ksenia Makarova (RUS)

7. Gracie Gold (USA)

8. Amelie Lacoste (CAN)

9. Caroline Zhang (USA)

10. Polina Shelepen (RUS)

My house is rocking with the bias from the SC judges. Putting Osmond ahead of Suzuki, Murakami, AND Tuktamysheva? Please reevaluate your priorities.

Okay, now I’m just feeling some serious bias coming from the SC judges…

The worst feeling for a FS fan is watching an enormously talented skater flub out of the top three.

I’m talking about Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Gracie Gold, who are 6th and 9th after the SC short program, respectively. Neither of them were in full command this afternoon, and it definitely showed.

Tuktamysheva looked exhausted before the halfway point, falling on a triple loop, and didn’t have the same passion that I’m used to seeing from her. Mishin, her coach, said that she’s been having back and leg problems recently, along with stress brought on by puberty. For the defending champion, it doesn’t look like she’s headed for a repeat victory.

Gracie…poor Gracie. I could tell from the moment the music started that she had a severe case of first-GP jitters. Everything was more rushed than it should have been, and the nerves carried into her jumps—she popped her signature triple-triple combination and was so tilted entering her double axel that I’m impressed her skates touched the ice before she fell. The good news is that she sits less than eight points from the podium, which is definitely a bridge-able gap if she gives her all on Sunday.

My hope for the SC podium is that Liza, Gracie, and Suzuki all go home with medals around their necks, because today was absolutely heartbreaking.

EDIT: Ah, how much better Twitter makes me feel. Gracie is only 6.35 points away from 3rd and Tuktamysheva 5.70 points…I definitely don’t see Osmond holding onto second against a resurge from Liza, Gracie, and Suzuki.

ASHLEY WAGNER WINS SKATE AMERICA!

The official standings are:

1. Ashley Wagner (USA)

2. Christina Gao (USA)

3. Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)

Both Wagner and Gao skated flawless, inspirational free skates. It looks like the US women are headed for world fame once again.

Men’s free skate at Skate America just ended…some pretty heartbreaking falls, but here are the results.

1. Takahiko Kozuka (JPN)

2. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)

3. Tatsuki Machida (JPN)

I don’t think there was a single clean program tonight. Maybe it’s because it’s the start of the season, but none of them seemed to be on their game. Hanyu, the leader after the short program, fell on both of his quads, a triple axel, and a triple flip. Jeremy Abbott of the US finished fifth and Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic sixth. Overall, a disappointing free skate. I really expected better from all of them, and I hope they can pull their jumps together before their next GP assignment. Hopefully the ladies’ free skate tomorrow will be cleaner.

After the ladies’ short program at Skate America, the standings are:

1. Ashley Wagner (USA)

2. Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)

3. Christina Gao (USA)

Russia’s Alena Leonova is in 9th after a disappointing skate, and the USA’s third skater, Rachael Flatt, is in tenth. Sotnikova trails Wagner by less than 2 points; I daresay that had she not missed a triple flip, she would be in first.

Have you all been keeping up with Skate America results?

Yuzuru Hanyu’s short program…*dies*