Archive | January, 2010

So Many Choices, So Little Time: Fantasy Skating Picks

15 Jan

I finally chose my fantasy figure skating championship picks! I usually don’t debate too much over my choices. Usually it’s an easy decision. Not so this time. The sheer number of great US skaters who could possibly make the Olympic team are mind boggling! Lots of fresh talent and the door is wide open to anyone. It’s going to be a really exciting Nationals.

For those of you who have not experienced Fantasy Figure Skating, you can do so on Click on “About Us” and on the pull down menu chose fantasy skating. You can register your user id for your team and pick a password. Then voila! You’re in baby.

So, I’m going to share my top A & B category picks with one disclaimer. My weakness lies in the pairs category and my skating fanaticism is mainly focused on the ladies and dance. If you can handle that then read on my friend.

My Fabulous Fantasy Skating Picks:

Ladies A: Rachael Flatt (extremely consistent and she could unleash that triple triple in her short) Now, if I could have picked this according to my favorites, I would have picked Ashley Wagner or Alissa Czisny. Ashley has gone so far so fast that if she could just hold it together for the free she could beat Rachael! If Alissa could hold her jumps together she would be difficult to beat as well, her artistry is unparalleled and her spins are so well centered! Sasha is the wild card. There is no doubt that she is artistically unmatched (well maybe Alissa can match her) but like Allissa she can stumble on her jumps. I have no idea what her program looks like. Depending on the difficulty of her jumps and if she skates perfectly she could make a good run for the Olympic team. It will be interesting to see how she practices.

Ladies B: Bebe Liang (She usually stays in the top 5 and comparatively, she has a lot more experience, tough choice here, she can be inconsistent)

Men’s A: Evan Lysacek (the man is unstoppable! He’s got a great arsenal of jumps and his artistry and consistency are awesome this season. I think Evgeni is going to have his hands full if they both make it!

Men’s B: Parker Pennington (great potential)

Pairs A: Denney & Barrett (love this teams flow and passion and they seem to be consistent despite how new they are)

Pairs B: Castile & Okolski

Ice Dancing A: Belbin & Agosto (no brainer there although they now have a few other skaters nipping at their blades)

Ice Dancing B: Chock & Zuerlein

I think this is going to be the best competition we’ve had in years! Don’t forget to watch nationals live on NBC:

Sat. Jan. 16 4:30-6
Nationals (Pairs Long)

Sun. Jan. 17 4:30-6
Nationals (Mens Long)

Sat. Jan. 23 3-6
Nationals (Free Dance)

Sat. Jan. 23 9-11
Nationals (Ladies Long)

So now that I have shared my picks, what’s yours?

Ten Years and Still Skating

11 Jan

I still remember ten years ago as a college kid how I performed in a group number to Sting’s new song “Desert Rose.” I launched into my newly learned forward and backward crossovers in front of my very first arena audience and prayed that I wouldn’t crumple to the ice on a botched waltz jump. I didn’t botch the jump and I didn’t fall, but I was totally hooked on skating from then on. It’s been ten years since those first group lessons and I haven’t skated in the holiday ice show since.

This year the show was also during my birthday and I thought it would be the best kind of present to myself if I challenged myself to perform my silver program in the holiday show on club ice. I thought of it as both torture and pleasure combined. I also thought that it was important to commemorate those 10 years of skating by going back to where it all started. As it turned out, I also performed in a fun and exciting group number among the other adults at the club. The program combined kilts and cowboy hats and you can imagine the rest!

After the rehearsal of my solo the adults presented me with flowers for my birthday which was a really lovely gesture. I was so touched! It’s something I will always remember. Since I have spent so much time at the rink over the last 10 years it was amazing to look back and see how far I had come. I think if I asked myself where I would be in my skating when I started at age 21 I would’ve said axel and doubles but some of the most rewarding aspects over the last ten years have not been the actual skating tricks but the people I have met and the places I have gone because or for skating.

It’s really a tight-knit community wherever you go and figure skaters and fans alike are always friendly and eager to share their knowledge and love for the sport. Of course, I am much further along in my skating then I was 10 years ago but I have learned that most of the joy gained from skating hasn’t come from completing that difficult jump or that perfect spin. The joy has all been from the journey it has taken me on through the years. Every success I have experienced on the ice has taught me that discipline, diligence, and determination pays off on and off the ice in tenfold. Nothing comes easy and nothing great ever happens without working at it tirelessly. Figure skating has taught me the value of a great work ethic more and of course the rewards are pretty sweet too πŸ˜‰

I think also that skating has always been my outlet and whether I’ve been sick, upset, tired, or stressed I’ve always come off that ice feeling ten times better then before. I am sure many others feel the same way about the sport. Skating has been such a great motivator and passion in my life that I can’t imagine life without it!

I guess I could say, it’s been a great ten years, and that I am looking forward to the next ten… but there better be a double in there!