2000 Grand Prix assignments

November 1

  • Skate Canada, the second Grand Prix event, is starting today. All reigning World champions will compete there and it should be the toughest competition of the Grand Prix. For more info visit the official Skate Canada website. Three skaters who were scheduled to compete there have withdrawn: Elvis Stojko of Canada, Lobacheva & Averbukh of Russia and Mikkeline Kierkgaard of Denmark.

 

  • The 2000/2001 Senior Grand prix is now underway! Skate America took place last week and already, there were some exciting competitions. You can find the results here and links to many articles here. Here is a list of reviews and photos available on the Net (this list may well be updated later):

Official Skate America website

Reports:
Sandra Loosemore's reports
Louis Di Cesari's reports
Lenny Faustino's reports
Cat's Lairs' reports
Rink notes - Day 1
Rink notes - Day 2
Rink notes - Day 3
Rink notes - Day 4
Ladies' FP review
Men's FP review
Free dance review
Original dance review
Men's SP review
Ladies SP review
Compulsory dance review

Photos:
Sandra Loosemore's photos
Jay Adeff's photos
Beth Hamill's photos
Daniel Weiss' photos (and reviews in German)

October 1

  • The 2000/2001 season has begun this week-end with the Keri Lotion Figure Skating Classic! Read a review of the event and see the results at SkateForum.

September 6th

  • Nicole Bobek, 1995 World bronze medalist, has recently announced her decision to turn professional. She has signed a 3-year contract with Champions on Ice and will take part in the Grand slam this year.

April 17th

  • Angelika Krylova, 1998 & 1999 World ice dance champion, is retiring. A very serious back injury, which she had been suffering from for 5 years, forced her to withdraw this season, but she was still hoping to come back next year. But her doctors told her to stop, because skating at a competitive level with such an injury might lead to paralysis. Oleg Ovsiannikov, her partner, doesn't know what to do yet. For more info, read Paula Slater's article at about.com.
  • Rudy Galindo, World bronze medalist in 1996, has been diagnosed HIV postive. Rudy is openly gay and has already lost his brother and two coaches to AIDS. He is still willing to skate and is currently touring with Champions on Ice.

April 2nd

World championships this year where full of bad and good surprises. Here are my short reports of the events:

  • Pairs

    Tha pairs event was the most dramatic from start to finish. The competition started with the surprising announcement of Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze's withdrawal on Sunday. Elena Berezhnaya, World and European champion, tested positive for a banned substance at Europeans this year. She and her coach Tamara Moskvina said that Elena had taken cough medicine containing the stimulant that she had been prescribed by a doctor in the United States, without knowing that it would cause her troubles. The pair may be suspended for 3 months and may also loose their 2000 European title. Then, on Tuesday, Stephane Bernadis, the French pair skater who had placed 4th in the short program the day before with her partner Sarah Abitbol, was slashed with razor in his hotel room. Actually, he opened the door of his room thinking it was Sarah, and a man attacked him. He immediately shut the door without trying to identify the man. Although he was terribly shocked, his injury was very superficial and he was able to skate without real physical problems, and the pair placed 3rd overall. The pairs free skate was also very dramatic. The Ukrainian pair, Obertas & Palamarchuk, at about 20 seconds before the end of a very good skate, had a disastrous fall on a lift. Dmitri Palamarchuk stayed inconscious for a while and had to be lifted off the ice. He spent a night at the hospital but fortunately got over it without serious injuries. The final surprise was the victory of Petrova & Tikhonov. With a clean program, the Russian pair won over the favorites Shen & Zhao and Sale & Pelletier.

  • Men

    After losing his European title to his teammate Evgeny Plushenko, Alexei Yagudin had to fight hard to regain his World title. He had changed his free program and presented a wonderful interpretation of Puccini's "Tosca" to win the qualifying round, while Plushenko barely placed second in his group behind Elvis Stojko. In the short program, Yagudin skated out of his skins to place first, landing all the technical difficulties and showing great charisma and speed. Then in the free program, he tried everything to win. He landed 2 quadruple toe loops, one of them in combination with a triple toe. After that, probably tired by such a start, he tried hard to land the other jumps and fell on the triple lutz. However, the overall package that he presented was really good, and he was first, ahead of Elvis Stojko - who had skated quite well but missed the quadruple jump-, before Plushenko's skate. The door was open for Plushenko to win his first World title, but he had a very bad skate. He missed his quadruple jump at the start and wanted to land it so badly that he tried it twice after that but missed it again and again. His technical content was quite poor (considering his usual level), and the long preparations before each quadruple jump attempt didn't help his coreography. He ended down in 4th place, Yagudin won his third title, Stojko won the silver and Weiss the bronze.

  • Ice Dance

    Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat started the competition as red hot favorites in their home country. With perfect compulsories, they were leading the competition over Fusar-Poli & Margaglio. But in the original dance, the always-improving Italians took the lead with an entertaining latin combination, while the French had a little stumble in a dance that had been their "weakest" program all season. With the tremendous support of the crowd and a wonderful free dance to "Carmina Burana" that earned them four perferct marks, Anissina & Peizerat finally won the World title over the Italians, who did very well to get their first medal at Worlds. There was a question mark over the bronze medal, and finally, it was Drobiazko & Vanagas who came to win it. Their moving free dance to "Spente Le Stelle" by Emma Shaplin put them ahead of the Russians Lobacheva & Averbuckh, who had chosen to skate to their old (and out-of-date?) routine to "Jesus Christ superstar". The Israelis Chait & Sakhnovsky skated a powerful program to move up from their 13th place finishing last year to 5th place this year!

  • Ladies

    Michelle Kwan had never faced so much adversity to win the World title. Indeed, Kwan had had disappointing results before these championships, being beaten by Irina Slutskaya at the GPF and having troubles regaining her National title. Furthermore, she didn't come here as the favorite and it looked like the judges wouldn't give her any favor. It was Irina Slutskaya who came as the favorite after winning the GPF and Europeans with wonderful performances. The qualifying round had Slutskaya in first place, beating Kwan. In the short program, Kwan had decided to replace the easy triple toe by a triple flip as her solo jump, but had troubles landing it. It was enough for the judges to put her in 3rd place behind a very impressive Irina Slutskaya, and Marya Butyrskaya, the 99 champion. Butyrskaya, who was considered as an outsider for the title, skated wonderfully to take the lead. In the free program, Kwan skated the performance of her life, with a the only clean triple-triple combination of the night and very good artistry. However, the judges gave her quite cautious marks that left room for the 2 Russians. Marya Butyrskaya didn't quite have the magic she had the day before, and Irina Slutskaya couldn't land any of her triple-triple combinations, so Michelle Kwan (who was so nervous she couldn't watch her competitors) deservedly won her third World title. Vanessa Gusmeroli of France and Sarah Hughes from the USA both skated really well and placed 4th and 5th respectively.

March 19th

I'm sorry I haven't updated this page for so long!

  • World championships are being held in Nice, France, from March 27 to April 2. For more info, check these sites:

    Official site
    Kelly Behning's site

  • Sasha Cohen, after placing 2nd at US Nationals with brilliant performances, unfortunately didn't qualify for senior Worlds, because she only placed 5th at Junior Worlds.
  • Lobacheva & Averbukh, disappointed after their 4th place finishing both at the Grand Prix Final and at Europeans behind Drobiazko & Vanagas, have decided to skate to their free dance from last season, "Diabolo", at Worlds.

January 8th

  • The Grand Prix Final will have a totally new and experimental format. Basically, there will be 3 rounds:

    Round 1: all the skaters perform a 4 min. (4.30 min for pairs & men) free program. It counts for 1 for the men, pairs and ladies (1st place gets 1 point, 2nd place gets 2 points, 3rd place gets 3 points, etc) and 0.6 for the ice dance (1st place gets 0.6 points, 2nd place gets 1.2 points, 3rd place gets 1.8 points, etc).

    Round 2: all the skaters perform a normal short program (2.40 min.) or original dance (3 min.). It counts for 0.5 for the men, ladies and pairs (1st place gets 0.5 points, 2nd place gets 1 point, 3rd place gets 1.5 points, etc) and for 0.4 for the ice dance (1st place gets 0.4 points, 2nd place gets 0.8 points, 3rd place gets 1.2 points, etc).

    Round 3: this is called the "Super Final". It is a second free program that must be different in at least 50% of the first one. Only the top 4 skaters or team in each field are competing. Talking about scores, the top 4 skaters are those who have the less points at the end of the 2 rounds. There are no more scoring factors in this round. The skaters who placed 4th and 3rd in the first two rounds skate head to head for the bronze medal or 4th place (which means that they can't reach first or second place even if they skate the best program of the day!!), and those who placed 2nd and 1st skate head to head for victory or silver medal.

    I don't think this is a great format especially for this competition (I mean this is not a Pro-Am nor an Open competition, this is the GP Final!!). Places 5 and 6 are eliminated after the short even though they might have been able to be on the podium after the second free program, and more importantly a skater who places 3rd in the short program (which is not bad!)and who skates the best free program after that, can't win!!:-( I also think that the skaters will be very tired for the second free program, because the short & free programs take place the same day, and there are just 2 hours between the two. Anyway, I'm going to attend this event and will tell you all my thoughts about it later!!

 


Photo (c) J.Barry Mittan

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