Tag Archives: olympics

Olympic Withdrawal & Jump Warm-Ups

3 Mar

 

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Mirai Nagasu, Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

 

And so the Olympics are over and so is my wonderful tv figure skating time

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Now, I finally know how everyone else feels when they get to watch all that commentary about football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. It’s everywhere and you can get your fix at any time. Interviews, commentary, practice sessions, tv time, web time, you name it and you can get it but with figure skating? The only time that is possible is when the Olympics are on… at least in this country. Otherwise, I spend most of my time listening to skating commentary in a mix of Russian and Italian on youtube (and no I do not speak Russian so I have no clue what they are saying…hello google translate) The rest of my time is spent trying to get icenetwork.com to work (which it does not most of the time). Maybe I should move to Japan? I hear they have figure skating on around the clock. Sigh. I’m sure my husband would not be on board with moving to Japan so I will need to find other ways of getting my fix.

So, while it’s been fun getting my figure skating fix for the next four years it’s back to youtube and ice network coverage for me. Seems a little less exciting now. I was perfectly happy before the Olympics with my second-rate coverage.

At least we still have Worlds, right? And now that Adam Rippon has become America’s sweetheart surely we will see at least more figure skating related commentary? I absolutely loved him and his comments. Now, I’m going to go down a very deep rabbit hole on my next comment but I was really getting sick of the Johnny and Tara commentary. I used to like them but now I always end up switching over to Euro Sport on youtube vs. listening to NBC just so I can listen to people who call the jumps and seem to have something more to say about the sport. I’m a big Johnny Weir fan so I wouldn’t even mind if they just let Johnny commentate on his own but the two together? Please. Also, it’s an ice rink so why did I feel like I was going clubbing whenever Tara was commentating? Or was that just me? It may be or it may be that I would just like to focus on the skating rather than what matching sequined outfits the commentators are wearing. Please just put Tanith on! Or just put more clothes on Tara. Is that too much to ask? It probably is but I’m asking anyway.

So, now that the Olympics are over I find myself refocusing more on my actual skating. I’ve been really enjoying my jump class and have started a new group lesson session with the same coach. This month’s lesson will focus on the flip and lutz but before we even get into practicing these jumps (or in my case learning) he has us do a series of jump warmups. These are perfect for anyone at any level and so much fun to do. I’ve posted them below:

  1. Start with two foot slaloms. First forward: Stay down in the knees and then come all the way up, arms completely out. Repeat. Then try backwards.
  2. Swizzles (I’ve mentioned these before)  Forward and Backward, moving arms in forward and out to simulate jumping. Then on the backward swizzles perform a jump from both feet on every other swizzle. Try to maintain speed and push hips forward when jumping.
  3. Backward swizzles with the jump up, land on two feet, then hold landing edge.
  4. Backward Slaloms again: Right slalom: hold right arm back, turn head and jump then slalom on the left side and jump (head turned to back, left arm back). Jumping is on both feet but your jumping on a curve.
  5. Forward Lunges, right and left. Keep arms out. Keep weight on heel.
  6. Backward Lunges. These are extremely difficult and I cannot do them yet. But I keep trying. Keep your back up.
  7. Forward Lunge into forward outside 3 turn to back lunge. Very hard, I haven’t mastered this yet either. Try on both sides. The free foot boot must be on the ice at all times during this move.
  8. Forward outside 3 turn to back crossover and hold landing edge with arms in landing position (similar to a wide v). I mentioned this in another lesson. Hips and arms must be squarely over skating foot. Hips forward, free foot turned out but hips do not turn out. Keep your free foot out and be careful not to let it travel too far crossed behind you… If you are having trouble holding your landing edge from jumps and you are making a small circle curving in (like I was) then your free foot on your landing edge is probably not being held to the outside. Repeat this pattern.
  9.  Add a hop from the landing edge (mentioned in lessons post before).
  10. Do 2 crossovers in your jump direction and jump from backwards to forwards (1/2 rotation) repeat on both feet. Try full rotation, land on both feet. I can only do a 1/2 rotation. Try to keep feet together in air.

Now, we are ready to do the regular jumps : ) By this time though I’m ready to die on the ice from overexertion and I’m usually leaning over the edge of the boards trying to catch my breath. Don’t worry, if you do cardio you’ll be fine, just fine. ; ) At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Till next time!

 

 

 

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Olympic Figure Skating Predictions!

8 Feb
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Carolina Kostner of Italy in her new neon green bodysuit costume. Photo by Nick Verreo

I know everyone who is obsessed with figure skating has been waiting for the Olympics to start so we could all completely gorge on continuous figure skating coverage! And it’s finally here! YAYY!

So, I have some last minute Olympic figure skating predictions. We’ve all seen the numerous articles on ice network about who is predicted to medal and I thought I would add mine to the mix. This isn’t who I want to win, mind you, rather it’s who I think will win. That would be a completely different list with Carolina Kostner’s name at the top. HA.

Team Event: 

  1. Canada (I think they have a good all-around team where as we and the Russians have gaps)
  2. Olympic Athletes From Russia (Problem area: Mens)
  3.  USA (Problem area: Pairs and Ladies)

Men’s Figure Skating

  1. Yuzuru Hanyu – Japan (maybe a wild card at this point? but then again…fierce competitor, he knows how to win)
  2. Nathan Chen – USA (I think if Yuzuru just skates clean even with one less quad against a clean skate from Nathan they will give it to Yuzuru)
  3. Shoma Uno – Japan (so consistent, we may be all completely surprised if he ends up winning gold or silver instead)

Women’s Figure Skating

  1. Evgenia Medvedeva- Russia (I think she’s going to fight for this and if she skates clean they will give it to her over Alina)
  2. Alina Zagitova – Russia (I don’t like her skating overall.. but who else can do that Triple Lutz Triple Loop combo?? Just. Like. THAT?)
  3. Satoko Miyahara (she is out to win and is so consistent where others falter… if I was to switch third place out with anyone I would say Katelyn Osmond or Carolina)

Ice Dance 

  1. Papadakis and Cizeron – France (is there even any doubt about this? It’s them or Virtue and Moir)
  2. Virtue and Moir – Canada (unless they have a major error)
  3. Shibutanis – USA (Anyone see Alex’s face after they came in second at Nationals? They are out for the win here… otherwise I think Hubbell and Donohue will do it)

Pairs

  1. Sui/Han (Does it matter that they’ve been injured? I don’t know… they are hard core competitors)
  2. Savchenko/Massot – Germany
  3. Radford/Duhamel- Canada

So despite who I think is going to win, my favorites are Carolina (now that Ashley is out… admittedly I am less invested in the ladies event because of that). Also, I really like Maria Sotskova (I like her skating in general and her classical programs over the other Russians), and Satoko (someone who actually has artistry in her program while still rotating the jumps no matter how tiny they are). If we are talking US skating… then it would have to be Mirai. I am not a Karen Chen or a Bradie fan. Hopefully, Mirai will land one of her axel’s cleanly and then skate to the music in her program rather than going in and out of character.

For the men, I love Adam Rippon purely because of his artistry and Nathan Chen, I am beginning to like, mainly because of his short program.  I hope Patrick Chan has a clean skate. That would be lovely to see at this point. I don’t get into Ice Dancing and Pairs as much so no overall favorites, I like Virtue and Moir but I’m not obsessed so I’ll be happy just to watch the programs. I’m interested to see the North Koreans though. I saw their programs at Four Continents and I was very impressed! Wow. I think it’s amazing that they skated so well considering where they came from. I am sure all eyes will be on them because of that reason.

If you have picks of your own please share!

Alright, back to watching the NBC live practices! If you haven’t see the full schedule just for figure skating you can view it all in one place here:  https://goo.gl/zype6X

Happy Skating!!

 

Olympic Figure Skating Reflections

27 Feb

After staying up many late nights for the Olympic figure skating competitions, I’ve decided that I am either getting too old or the competitions were on way too late for working adults to watch and not look like zombies the next day.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed all the figure skating that was on tv the last two weeks. I also loved that everyone and everything seemed to be about figure skating on tv, magazines, talk shows, twitter, facebook, and blogs. It was like being treated to a buffet after being on a long 4 year fast! I’m so used to only having an hour or two of skating on every couple of weeks that I think I’ve gorged myself.

I’m on figure skating overload and I LOVE IT!

That’s not to say that there weren’t a few moments when I felt really cranky watching the press light up with the ice dancers Aboriginal costume drama, the Weir “anti-fur” hate articles, or the constant debate on whether figure skating was really a “sport” due to the Plushenko quad debacle.

It also does not mean that I didn’t feel that the judging wasn’t without its bias as far as the ice dancing and singles competitions. I thought I was going to have a heart attack after seeing Johnny in sixth after perfect short and long programs and I really did throw my pillow at the tv after seeing Tanith & Ben placed in fourth behind the slowest and sloppiest Russian free program I have ever seen. Fast forward to the ladies competition and I was stomping out of my living room when Rachael Flatt was downgraded too harshly for her jumps and Mirai was placed in fourth after two inspired programs without a bobble to be seen.

Those aspects aside, there were also moments when I was completely inspired. When both Shen & Zhao and Evan Lysacek won gold you knew they had earned it with hard work, determination, and perseverance. Equally inspiring was Weir’s clean short and long programs where his personality finally shone through after years of inconsistent skating and training. I also cannot forget Yu-na’s beautiful long program finale when she wept on the ice in relief and happiness. Finally, Joannie’s struggle to compete after the loss of her mother and her rise to the top was a magical moment for many (although I cannot completely agree with her placement I do think it was a gorgeous program for her). These are all wonderful moments in this year’s Olympics, which I am sure will be remembered by fans and non-fans alike.

Despite all this coverage I still crave more figure skating!
I guess this is how football fans feel all the time 😉

The best part of this olympic skating smorgasbord is that it has hopefully inspired a new generation of adults and kids to skate and has revived a waning interest in a sport that is as controversial as it is beautiful and athletic.

Let’s hope people are more inspired by the beauty of the sport and not the drama and that the interest lasts until the next Olympic smorgasbord of figure skating.

Sasha is back?!

19 May

Well, I love it! I am not Sasha’s biggest fan but I still love her skating. Now that she has announced her intention to try and compete at the olympics I am very excited. Super excited as a matter of fact. Now we have a face that has meaning to it and that can make some type of media impact on the US public. Figure skating really needs a media lift this year. Its really dying in the US and its such a shame. Its overshadowed by Football and Hockey etc. I keep saying they should really show all the pain, falls, bruises that go into training and then maybe people would see just how difficult it is. Of course, I know they have had reality shows on before (last olympics) about the training. I think some of them came across as whiny teenagers (my thoughts 😉
Maybe they should film the training of sasha, yuna and maybe Mao?
This is awesome news though! Move over Yuna and Mao… Sasha might just climb to the top this time.

Now, if we could just nail down Michelle.

That might be more of a stretch. She has more then proven that she is a great competitor and I do think it might be too difficult in this system for Michelle to come back to competition. She would have to start at the bottom again too. Hmmph. However… her and Sasha together? Trying to make the Olympic team?? Amazing. That would just be so fascinating to watch. May 30 is her cut off date. So we’ll all know soon what Michelle decides. So exciting!