31 December 2011

Milano Golden Gala - 30 December 2011

Unluckly, I've found only Plushenko's esxibiotions. And the quality isn't great, but I hope you can enjoy the videos anyway.

Plushenko's SP "Storm"

Plushenko's FP "Tango de Roxanne"

And an interview after the exibition.

Some pics from the show.


Kolbe/Caruso - Milano Golden Gala 2011

Valentina Marchei

Valentina Marchei - Milano Golden Gala 2011

Valentina Marchei - Milano Golden Gala 2011

Valentina Marchei - Milano Golden Gala 2011

Fabio Mascarello

Fabio Mascarello - Milano Golden Gala 2011

OFFICIAL - ISU allows Plushenko to compete at Europeans

The International Skating Union has granted 2006 Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko an exemption to compete at the European Championships in January!
As I've already pointed out in older posts ( Russia announces its team for Euros, Russia is fighting for Plushenko and Valentin Piseev: "Cinquanta promised to do everything possible to let Plushenko compete at the European Championships"), under the current rules, skaters competing at the major ISU championships (Worlds, Europeans, and Four Continents) must have attained a minimum score in an ISU competition in the last two season.
The ISU regulation is as follows:

To be entered into and participate in the Championships/Preliminary Round of a Senior ISU Championships a Competitor/Couple must have reached in an ISU recognized International Competition (as per Article 38, paragraph 7 and Rule 107, paragraphs 1 to 9) during the ongoing or immediately preceding season the applicable minimum Total Technical Scores (points). The applicable minimum Total Technical Scores shall be decided for each season by the ISU Council based on a joint proposal from the respective Technical Committee and the Sports Directorate and shall be published in an ISU Communication.

Because Plushenko has not competed since Vancouver, he did not have a score in an ISU event either this season or last season, making him ineligible for Europeans.

Note that this regulation is for a minimum technical score, and, as I've already pointed out, it is designed to create a threshold of technical competence to maintain a adequately high level of skill even amongst the lowest-performing entrants.
The minimum technical scores for the men this season are 20 points for the short program and 35 points for the free skate. For reference, Plushenko's technical scores at Russian Nationals were 42.30 in the short and 77.77 in the free skate. Of course, there is no doubt of Plushenko's technical ability.

Some may think that rules are rules and Plushenko should not be exempt from them. But, as Jackie Wong justly writes, how silly would it be for the ISU to deny him entry to Europeans based on a rule that was created to weed out skaters who aren't technically adequate?

30 December 2011

Johnny Weir prepares for marriage!

Yesterday, Johnny Weir told Icenetwork's Lynn Rutherford that he and his betrothed, Victor Voronov, a lawyer from Russia, are getting married on New Years Eve.
Yes. New Year's Eve.


Congratulations, dear Johnny and Victor!

Speaking of his betrothed, Johnny says that "he's kind of everything that I've ever looked for and aspired to be in a relationship with. We've known each other for a long time and we reconnected over the summer, and it's just been a whirlwind".
Awww, isn't that sweet?
"He's wonderful. He's totally not in my field at all. He didn't even know I was a figure skater when we first met". And he adds that "he loves watching me perform and seeing what I actually do".
"Everything is going perfectly. He is moving to Jersey. We will be [living in] metropolitan New York. I can't picture myself living anywhere else".
Listening to Johnny speak of his sweetheart doesn't turn your romantic mood on?

Weir plans to resume serious training with his coach, Galina Zmievskaya, with a possible return to competition in mind.
"Victor and I are going away on vacation, before I close myself off from the world and see what I can still do. I can do all my jumps and spins and I enjoy performing now more than ever. I do miss the structure of competition and training and everything that goes into it, the dieting, looking hot all of the time. But in the past few months, I've really started to enjoy going into the rink and working on different spins, things like that. I've fallen back in love with it", says Weir.

Is he serious about possibly returning to competition?
"I'm not saying no, I'm not saying yes. I am going to start training as though I were to come back." An official announcement could come in the spring.

Has he kept up with what's happening in the eligible ranks?
"I've seen a little bit", says Johnny. "I don't know how a certain person keeps winning by falling down. When I was competing, falling was bad and you would lose for falling. I just don't understand". Is he reffering to who I think he is reffering (Patrick Chan, but don't tell anybody I've said it)?
"I also don't understand how ladies can win events and not do all of their triple jumps. No matter how good they are, this is the top tier of women's figure skating and they should do the jumps".

Source: icenetwork.com

Brian Joubert gives Plushenko his compliments

French skater Brian Joubert told to L'Equipe about how he feels about Plushenko's comeback.
Joubert thinks it's really interesting. Evgeni Plushenko is a very strong athlete and it will be very difficult to defeat him at the European Championships, but he prefers to compete against him, than against Patrick Chan or Evan Lysacek, because he always takes risks.
According to Brian, in fifty years we will still be talking about his longevity in this sport, his technical prowess, his strength of will. He remembers seeing him at a gala in 2009, before his first comeback: he had then a couple of extra pounds, but Joubert says he knew that if Plushenko really decided to comeback, then he'd give everything to the maximum. Joubert adds that he thinks Plushenko had to win the Olympics 2010 in Vancouver.
He watched a recording of Plushenko's SP training. Brian admits that he was never thrilled with Plushenko's artistic choices, but the technique remains on top. That persuades him that this career doesn't necessarily finish after 23, and Plushenko testify to that.

Source: sports.ru

Valentin Piseev: "Cinquanta promised to do everything possible to let Plushenko compete at the European Championships"

Tatiana Flade wrote on sports.ru about the current situation of Plushenko's not having the minimum score required by the ISU to compete at Euros. [N/A: for more infos, read Russia announces its team for Euros and Russia is fighting for Plushenko].

The Russian Federation has already contacted the ISU about this issue, and according to Valentin Piseev, Ottavio Cinquanta has voiced his support for Plushenko.

Tatiana Flade thinks it would be ridiculous to exclude an Olympic Champion from Europeans because of this rule. The rule in fact was meant to exlude weaker skaters, but the problem is that the ISU didn't think at the case of a former champion returning. Plushenko actually intended to compete internationally this season, but was prevented by his knee surgery and the recovery from his injury.

Flade thinks this rule should have an exception for former champions, like the Grand Prix has, and that there is no reason Plushenko, or any other former top skater who decides to comeback and didn't have the chance to compete internationally, should be excluded from Euros because of this rule.

Source: sports.ru

29 December 2011

Russia is fighting for Plushenko

The participation of  Evgeni Plushenko in the forthcoming European Championships in Sheffield is in question. Not long ago, the International Skating Union (ISU) decided that a conditions for participating to Euros will be ranking points earned during the last two years of competitions. Since Plushenko took three seasons off after winning in Torino in 2006, then he has no points.

Yesterday, the President of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia, Alexander Gorshkov, started consultations with the ISU. "The rule intend to exclud from official championships low-level athletes. This certainly not applies to Plushenko. Since the case is unusual, we need to solve the problem with the ISU", said Gorshkov.

The Russian team that will compete in Sheffield's European Championships was formed taking into account rankings in the national Championship, but also the age of the athletes. To participate in the European and World Championships, skaters must be 15 years old on 1 July 2012. This means that neither the three-time Russian champion Adelina Sotnikova, nor silver medalist Julia Lipnitskaya will be able to go to Sheffield. [A/N: to see the Russian athletes selected to compete in Sheffield go here]

At 29 and at his second comeback, Plushenko looks pretty damn good. Ok, definitely this was not Plushenko. His short program had some shaky moments and he lost steam in the second half of his free skate. But the technical prowess that made him dominate men’s skating for seven years is still there.

The field of men’s skating this season is vastly different from what it was two years ago when Plushenko competed last. The fact of the matter is, the thing that gave him his dominance was that same technical prowess and consistency I was talking about. But the men’s field now has caught up to Plushenko’s technical abilities (Patrick Chan now has two quads in his free skate, as does Javier Fernandez) and we have great skaters who are also great jumpers.

The intricacy of Plushenko's two programs is certainly not up to a Chan or a Takahashi or an Abbott. Of course, this is his first competition in quite a while. So he will have to make improvements for him to have hopes of regaining that top spot.

Plushenko is clearly making an effort to be competitive with the other top skaters in the program components department. The entrances to his jumps are getting shorter. His step sequences are also much improved. And while he’s never going to win a spinning competition (that would be Stéphane Lambiel, no doubt), he’s improving (he never did a flying sit before).

Being a Plushenko supporter, I will no doubt say that he’s the best skater in the world. But there are a few things that are against him. Components marks, to start. And putting the highest-scoring elements at the very beginning hurts his base value. Furthermore, the lack of a second quad in his free skate is a disadvantage to Chan. Add that to the fact that Plushenko doesn’t yet have eight triples planned in the free skate, and it brings down his base value relative to the other skaters even more.

He recognizes that he needs to make improvements to be at the top again and coming back two seasons early in anticipation of Sochi gives him time to adjust as needed.
But there’s no doubt, Plushenko is back.

Sources: examiner.com, mn.ru

28 December 2011

Russia announces its team for Euros

After the end of its nationals, Russia announces the team that will be sent to compete in Sheffield's European Championships.

Russian Nationals - RESULTS - with medalists's videos

Федерация фигурного катания на коньках России. Фигурное катание: новости, видео, фото, соревнования, результаты, календарь, расписание, правила

Wondering how Russian Nationals ended? Let's have a look at the final standings!

26 December 2011

Russian nationals - PLUSHENKO WON NATIONALS - videos and photos

Федерация фигурного катания на коньках России. Фигурное катание: новости, видео, фото, соревнования, результаты, календарь, расписание, правила

MEN final standings

1. Evgeni Plushenko 259.67
2. A. Gachinsky 249.53
3. S. Voronov 240.79

And here some pics of Plushenko, Russian champion for the 9th time!




Фигурное катание. Чемпионат России. Второй день

Фигурное катание. Чемпионат России. Второй день

Russian Nationals - Plushenko's FP practice

Федерация фигурного катания на коньках России. Фигурное катание: новости, видео, фото, соревнования, результаты, календарь, расписание, правила
While waiting for today FP (Plushenko's 17th, that is 5th of group 3, while in the same group Bush is 2nd, Voronov 3rd and Gachinsky 6th), watch this video of Plushenko's FP practice!

25 December 2011

Russian Nationals - Plushenko's SP and photos

Федерация фигурного катания на коньках России. Фигурное катание: новости, видео, фото, соревнования, результаты, календарь, расписание, правила
MEN standings after SP

1. Evgeni Plushenko 88.24
2. Arthur Gachinsky 83.52
3. Jean Bush 81.81

Plushenko had a rough landing on his opening quad toe and later did a double toe instead of a triple on the end of his triple lutz combination. But his solo triple axel was solid, and his performance earned him a lead of over four points over the rest of the field.

UPDATE: I've also found Gachinsky's and Bush's SP!

And some Gachinsky pics.

Russian Nationals - PHOTOS of Plushenko's practice

Beautiful smile...

Go Zhenya!!! We're waiting to see you winning again!!!


Merry Christrmas everybody, from me and these great skaters!! May you get everything your heart desires.

CAROLINA KOSTNER's Christmas message 

SAVCHENKO and SZOLKOWY's Christmas message

 PATRICK CHAN's Christmas message

And, from her facebook profile, SINEAD KERR gets us into the Christmas spirit with this great video!

Not Enough? Watch VALENTINA MARCHEI's Christmas performance.

And JEFFREY BUTTLE's Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

24 December 2011

Russian Nationals - Plushenko's SP practice

Федерация фигурного катания на коньках России. Фигурное катание: новости, видео, фото, соревнования, результаты, календарь, расписание, правила

Waiting for Russian nationals (starting tomorrow, see here for schedule and streaming), let's see how our Zar is doing!

23 December 2011

Fashion on ice- STREAMING

24 December 2011, 14:45-15:45 (GMT+1)


You can watch ART ON ICE streaming on Schweizer Sport Fernsehen (link here).

24 December, 22:00-23:59

22 December 2011

Pandora Unforgettable Moments on Ice - STREAMING

You can watch PANDORA UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS ON ICE in streaming on Schweizer Sport Fernsehen (link here).

23 December 2011,  20:00-22:00 (GMT+1)

and again on

24 Dec 2011, 09:00-11:00 (GMT+1)

21 December 2011

Russian Nationals - ENTRIES

Федерация фигурного катания на коньках России. Фигурное катание: новости, видео, фото, соревнования, результаты, календарь, расписание, правила

Here you can find the names of the skaters that will be entering the Russian nationals.

Russian nationals - SCHEDULE and LIVE STREAM

Федерация фигурного катания на коньках России. Фигурное катание: новости, видео, фото, соревнования, результаты, календарь, расписание, правила
Time for Russian Nationals, yesss!! Plushenko's coming back, a great Christmas present, don't you think?

Only one Russian channel will broadcast the whole competition live, НТВ+ Спорт Онлайн (NTV+ Sport Online). You can find the streaming link on the streaming page of my blog, here.

SCHEDULE (time is GMT+4) [N/A: for Italy it's 3 hours earlier]

Sunday, December 25
  • 14:00–14:30 – Opening ceremony
  • 14:45–16:15 – Short dance
  • 16:30–18:30 – Pairs short
  • 18:45–21:15 – Men's short
Monday, December 26
  • 14:00–16:30 – Ladies short
  • 16:45–19:45 – Men's free
  • 20:00–22:00 – Free dance
 Tuesday, December 27
  • 16:00–18:25 – Pairs free
  • 18:40–21:30 – Ladies free
Wednesday, December 28
  • 16:00–16:30 – Medal ceremonies
  • 16:45–19:15 – Exhibitions

20 December 2011

Czech Nationals - PHOTOS and VIDEO

Look at these two pics of the podium from the "3 National Championships", 17.12.2011, Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Tomas and Michal, you're great!!!

If you weren't able to follow it live, you can watch the free part of the competition here!

Mishin confirms Plushenko's plan to compete

Evgeni Plushenko's coach, Alexei Mishin, confirms the champion's return. Plushenko will compete for his ninth Russian national title at the end of December. "We have completed the costumes," said Mishin, Plushenko's coach of 18 years.

The points-based judging protocol requires competitors to execute much more difficult moves between the elements and perform more intricate footwork and spins.
Mishin said that Plushenko has improved his transitional steps and spins, conceding that those components of his performance were costing him crucial points under the new system.
Mishin added: "He does not jump better. He can do the quad but his left knee has some trouble. He needs to save it. He does triple Axel easily. Triple lutz, triple toe, no problem."

No Russian man qualified among the world's top six to compete at the Grand Prix Final. Artur Gachinski, also coached by Mishin, finished fifth in both his Grand Prix assignments this season, although he won a bronze medal at last season's world championships. Mishin reported Gachinski is currently "not healthy." Nonetheless, he will prepare both men for the nationals and the European championships in Britain in January.

"When Plushenko returned the first time (for the 2010 Olympics), I called him a hero. Now, returning a second time, I call him twice hero because it is very difficult for him to be coming back in this season. To do it twice is extremely complicated," Mishin said. Mishin affirmed that Plushenko's ultimate plan is to compete on home soil in Sochi, although the injury to his left knee could be a problem.

Plushenko needs to place first or second at nationals to be able to compete in Euros and Worlds.

Source: Yahoo!News

19 December 2011

OPERA ON ICE - Arena of Verona - STREAMING


Opera on Ice, an incredible show where the biggest stars of figure skating meet the magical world of the Opera, playing with their performance and their art the most famous arias of opera.
The first World figure skating gala was held on 1 October 2011 in the largest open-air opera theater of the World: The Arena of Verona, the true temple of the Opera.
By combining different art forms, the beauty of the theater with performances of the best skaters in the World: Carolina Kostner, Stephane Lambiel, Qing Pang & Jian Tong, Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin, Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte, Isabelle Delobel & Olivier Shoenfelder, Emanuel Sandhu, Hot Shivers team synchronized.
The first edition of Opera on Ice has staged the most famous arias planned in the 2012 opera season at the Arena of Verona: Don Giovanni, Aida, Carmen, Romeo and Juliet, Turandot, Tosca, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Nabucco, William Tell, L'Elisir d'Amore.
The orchestra and chorus of the Arena di Verona with 200 elements and 6 famous international singers, have made Opera on Ice an event magical and unique. 

Have a look at these beutiful promo of the show from the official site of the event!

Promo 1

Promo 2

Want to see more of it? Don't forget to watch Canale 5 on December, 25 at 14,00 (GMT+1): the entire show will be broadcasted by the Italian network!

Promo Canale 5

Valentina Marchei Italian national champion for the 4th time

Congratulations to Valentina, our new national champion!! This is how she commented her first place on her facebook profile:

hard to believe this is happening for the fourth time...national Champion! the gold medal goes to my team, my family, my teammates and ME, ME AND ME!


And here a pic of our champion!

18 December 2011

Brian Joubert interview after FP at FRENCH NATIONALS

Listen to Brian speaking after he won this edition of French Nationals.