30 January 2012

Euros 2012 - Gala

These European Championships came to an end. A great comeback, a farewell, many mistakes, good recoveries, and, like always, so many emotions!
And what's better to say goodbye to these Euros than watching together the closing gala? (Remember to click on the playlist button to see the list of videos, or just hit play and the player will play all the videos.)

Video 1
00:00 Opening
06:50 Ilinykh/Katsalapov
12:05 Florent Amodio

Video 2
02:30 Vartmann/Van Cleave
07:04 Viktoria Helgesson
11:42 Riazanova/Tkachenko

Video 3
03:57 Michal Brezina
08:10 Stolbova/Klimov
12:56 Polina Korobeynikova

Video 4
04:45 Cappellini/Lanotte - wonderful performance, with a drunken Luca and Anna scolding him!!!
09:10 Elene Gadevanishvili
13:55 Bazarova/Larionov

Video 5
03:55 Kerr/Kerr - with John playing tricks to his sister; I miss the Kerr bros so much!!!
08:29 Second half Opening

Video 6
03:18 Coomes/Buckland
07:40 Tomas Verner - funny and crazy and wonderful performance: sexy, and he knows it!
11:28 Berton/Hotarek - pretty costume for Stefania and great music.

Video 7
05:04 Kiira Korpi
09:19 Bobrova/Soloviev
13:24 Artur Gachinski - "Oh Susanna", with a more relaxed Artur...

Video 8
04:48 Volosozhar/Trankov - they're great, they can go from the dramatic Black Swan to the super funny Super Mario!
09:30 Carolina Kostner - with a dramatic exhibition to "Halleluia"
14:45 Pechalat/Bourzat - they changed the jungle routine for the beautiful music "The time of my life"

Video 10
00:24 Evgeni Plushenko - "Je suis malade", a really touching performance for the Tsar
05:50 Closing

29 January 2012


Yesterday the new european Queen has been crowned, and she's our girl, the Italian skater Carolina Kostner! On the second step of the podium the beautiful Kiira Korpi, followed by Elena Gedevanishvili.


Carolina Kostner

Carolina took her fourth gold yesterday, winning her second big title of the season after taking the Grand Prix Final in December. She opted to not include a triple lutz, but she was steady throughout, hitting five triples in her routine to Mozart's Concerto No. 23 for Piano and Orchestra and picked up a level four for the spins. “I am very pleased with the whole week here. I had an awesome feeling on the ice and just hearing the crowd cheer me on, it was amazing. I completely canceled the pressure out of my mind. I am looking for good performances, especially just for myself because this is my 10th European Championship; I've won it three times and in those three times I never had the chance to really enjoy it. That's what I did this whole week and I'm very pleased with how it turned out”, Carolina commented.

Kiira Korpi

Korpi started her free skate to “I Got Rhythm” with a triple toe-triple toe. But she had her first triple loop called underrotated and had her second triple loop completely invalidated because she had already repeated two other triple jumps in her free skate. But she was still able to hold on to finish with the silver medal. “The beginning of the program was not so good but then I fought back and the rest of the program was better and I am satisfied with the result”, Kiira shared. “I didn't know about the rule which is why I was confused as to why the last triple didn't count. It was a stupid mistake which I must learn from”, she added.

Elene Gedevanishvili

Skating to “The Phantom of the Opera”, Gedevanishvili hit four triples and two double Axels. She moved up from fourth to the podium. “I think my performance was pretty good. When I ended my performance I was just happy that it was over and that I had been strong enough to hold my programs together. The most important thing for me is that after a long time I enjoyed skating again. I didn't care if I was in fourth or in tenth place. I just enjoyed skating”, Elene explained.

And going on with the other ladies...

Source: ISU

Euros 2012 - MEN FP RESULTS

Yesterday the new European champion has been finally announced, and seeing the Tsar again on the highest step of the podium, the gold medal at his neck by right, was so moving and exciting! The first time Evgeni Plushenko won the gold at the Euros was 12 years ago. And now at 29 and in his second comeback to competitive ice, he has taken the title again, troubled knee and all.

Gachinski skated well, but couldn't compete with the force of nature that was Plushenko. Amodio was great and clean, and thanks also to other skaters' mistakes, he claimed the bronze medal.

But, among all the happiness and excitement for Evegeni winning, I feel also a deep sadness and sorrow for Kevin Van Der Perren withdrawal. These European championships were Kevin last competition before turning professional, and seeing him ending his career with a withrawal made me heartbroken. I'll miss you very much, Kevin!

This is a screenshot I took during the ceremony. And from that expression, I'm imaging Plushenko's thoughts: "Eheh boy, you've done well, you've done your best, but I'm still the Tsar here. Did you really think I'd give up to my crown so easily? Nope. You'll have it, one day. But for now, it's mine to wear."

Evgeni Plushenko

Evgeni proved today that his comeback to competitive skating was no joke, winning his seventh European title. And proved, to all who accused him to talk the talk but to not walk the walk, not only to be able to skate with only one leg, as his coach Mishin put it, but also to do a quad in style with only one leg!
"Simply holding my breath after watching Plushenko's free program... Wow", told Laura Lepisto on twitter. And we wowed with her: 4T, 3A, 3Lo, 3A3T, FSSp4, 3Lz2T2Lo, 3Lz, CiSt3, 3S2A seq so, CSp4, 2A, CCoSp3. I was holding my breath at frist, not a sound in the room, then the music started and I wasn't so anxious for him in ages. Then he finished his performance and I was already jumping up and down in front of the tv and I read the points and couldn't stop wowing!
He opened his "Tango the Roxanne" with a strong quad toe, then added seven more triples, including two triple axels, to win with a total score of 261.23. Incidentally, both his total score and his free skate mark of 176.52 were highest recorded by any skater this season internationally. “I'm so happy with my performance because I did the whole program clean, I did the quad and I skated with big emotions. Like a real Plushenko! It is my seventh title and I wrote a little bit of history. I am proud of myself. I decided yesterday in the practice that I’m going to do the quad”, Plushenko said.

Artur Gachinski

I was so happy for him! He skated so well, even he was so worked up for being ahead of his idol.
It's strange how, having a close look at him, you can see how his technique, his jumping skills are the same as Plushenko! I know, maybe not so strange if you think that they have the same coach, but  it's stunning all the same. I think Artur needs only to learn to smile more, to be a little more confidente, and he will be a great showman like his idol. He's 18 years old, he has plenty of time to learn!
Artur hit two solid quad toes at the beginning of his program and went on to land four more clean triples, including two triple axels, in his routine to “Interview with a Vampire”. Though eclipsed by Plushenko, Gachinski captured the silver with  246.27 points. “I did everything I wanted and I landed two quads in the free skating for the first time. I am very pleased with what happened today. To come second in my second Europeans is a big step forward for me. I got a seasons best and a high score”, Artur commented.

Florent Amodio

I've never been a fan of Amodio, but witnessing his happiness and his excitement for his bronze medal made me change my mind a little. I think I may start to like him...
Performing to “Memories of Sobral”, Amodio produced two triple Axels and four more triples, but doubled his planned quad Salchow,  pulling up from fifth to third. “It was a difficult beginning of the season and I am proud of myself and my time now. I worked really hard and now I feel fee”, Amodio told the post-event press conference.

And on we go with the skaters that didn't make it to the podium...

Michal skated what I think is a great routine, but unluckly he didn't menage a clean performance, falling once.

Tomas did what Franca Bianconi called once, speaking about Kevin Van Der Perren, "disastri inenarrabili", that I could render as an "unspeakable mess". Poor Tomas, I really enjoy watching him skating every time, and I was really sorry to see him like that.

Fernandez didn't take the strain: he improved greatly from last year, but maybe he was under too much pressure... He has plenty of time to make up for the lost medal.

That was really a pity, for Samuel Contesti: a wonderful FP couldn't make up for a bad SP... Come on Samuel, we want to see you shining at the Worlds in Nice!

Not only Brian clearly didn't take the strain, but he also was really jinxed: that damned pant was all he neded! I was really sorry for him, I was touched.

After Kevin Van Der Perren withdrawal, Jorik must have been under real pressure, but he did well.

I've heard many critics to Kim Lucine program, but I must admit that I've loved it! He was unconventional, absorbing and funny. He made me smile. I've loved him!

And here a pic of Kevin Van Der Perren removing his skate after withdrawing with an injury from the free programme. It made me almost cry seeing him go to talk with the judges, because usually this means only one thing: withdrawal. And knowing this will be his last competition, it made me very sad.

Kevin acknowledges the crowd after withdrawing. “He fell on his wrist in the short program. We didn't go to hospital with it but we think it may be broken”, coach Silvie de Rijcke commented. “We tried to make it numb but then he couldn't feel anything. He decided just now (at the beginning of the free program) to withdraw. This was to be his last competition so he is very sad that he could not compete.”

By Kevin! Hope to see you soon as a professional in some exibition or gala...

Source: ISU

28 January 2012

Euros 2012 - MEN FP practice: Joubert and Plushenko

What do you think about having a look at yesterday free program practice, while waiting for today men competition?
All the guys were so tense in the short program, let's see how they're doing for today free program.

Here it is Brian Joubert. He sounded a bit downhearted in his interwies after the short, even if he seemed to have taken quite well what I'm sure is only a setback.

It's not a convinced expression the onein the last pic... Come on Babou! We're rooting for you!!

And let's see now how Evgeni Plushenko is doing. The Tsar seemed to have taken well the fact of being beaten by what everyone call his heir, Artur Gachinski, who is 11 years his junior. Sure enough, he had to urge an embarassed Artur to go and get his small gold medal during the small medal ceremony.
Wait, is he attempting the quad here among the other jumps?

Evgeni practicing footwork and spins.

Euros 2012 - MEN FP detailed shedule

Time is GMT, but you can find the time for your country searching it here.

11:55:00 - 12:02:00 Warm-up Group 1
12:02:30 - 12:10:40 1 Paul FENTZ GER
12:10:40 - 12:18:50 2 Alexei BYCHENKO ISR
12:18:50 - 12:27:00 3 Viktor PFEIFER AUT
12:27:00 - 12:35:10 4 Maciej CIEPLUCHA POL
12:35:10 - 12:43:20 5 Dmitri IGNATENKO UKR
12:43:20 - 12:51:30 6 Viktor ROMANENKOV EST

12:51:30 - 12:58:30 Warm-up Group 2
12:59:00 - 13:07:10 7 Peter LIEBERS GER
13:07:10 - 13:15:20 8 Kim LUCINE MON
13:15:20 - 13:23:30 9 Sergei VORONOV RUS
13:23:30 - 13:31:40 10 Justus STRID DEN
13:31:40 - 13:39:50 11 Zoltan KELEMEN ROU
13:39:50 - 13:48:00 12 Paolo BACCHINI ITA
13:48:00 - 14:03:00 Ice Resurfacing

14:03:00 - 14:10:00 Warm-up Group 3
14:10:30 - 14:18:40 13 Kevin VAN DER PERREN BEL
14:18:40 - 14:26:50 14 Brian JOUBERT FRA

14:26:50 - 14:35:00 15 Alexander MAJOROV SWE
14:35:00 - 14:43:10 16 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL
14:43:10 - 14:51:20 17 Samuel CONTESTI ITA
14:51:20 - 14:59:30 18 Chafik BESSEGHIER FRA

14:59:30 - 15:06:30 Warm-up Group 4
15:07:00 - 15:15:10 19 Tomas VERNER CZE
15:15:10 - 15:23:20 20 Evgeni PLUSHENKO RUS
15:23:20 - 15:31:30 21 Michal BREZINA CZE
15:31:30 - 15:39:40 22 Artur GACHINSKI RUS
15:39:40 - 15:47:50 23 Javier FERNANDEZ ESP
15:47:50 - 15:56:00 24 Florent AMODIO FRA

27 January 2012

Euros 2012 - Joubert's thoughts after the SP

A disaster. It's how Brian Joubert commented his performance in this short program in Sheffield. Brian Joubert fell on his quadruple jump, ranking 10th, and admitted having already turned over a new leaf on this European Championships, where he will not mount the podium for the first time in his career.

But what happened? "It's a big question mark," Brian said. "I am disappointed because I worked hard. I do not have much in the preparation to reaproach myself for, but there is clearly something wrong. This program was a disaster. I did not enjoy myself and it irritates me."

Will he be able to repeat last year exploit, when he finished seventh in the short program to end second in the final standings? "No, Joubert said."Maybe I reassure you or not: there will not be the last year exploit.Last year, I had not made a clean performance in training. But here I have skated a clean performance (in training)! That's  what is amazing.I honestly feel I can not repeat last year exploit.Because I had very bad feelings today, and Saturday it will be twice as hard with two quads, two triple axels."

Here Joubert interview after the short program; "I am completely lost. During training everything was perfect, I arrive here and it's a catastrophe, 6 minutes' warm-up were a catastrophe... You can miss jumps, it can happen and it's no big deal, but what worried me is that I had no feelings, I didn't know where I was, so skating the program feeling that way was very difficult, but that's the way it is, that's life."
But, as he says, "c'est la vie!" Go Brian, you've always all our support and you're always our champion!

And here how we want to see you Brian, smiling! Keeps smiling!!!

Source: ouest-france.fr

Euros 2012 - Plushenko's thoughts after the SP

After the competition, Evgeni thanked all his fans for their support on twitter: "Thank you all!!!!! Your support helps me and I skate for you, my dears!!!!!!! "

Always on twitter, he added: "Yesterday I aggravated my knee injury. Therefore we decided not to do the quad today. It was either doing a program without the quad or not competing, and I want to finish this competition. I know it is hard to win without a quad. For me, it is about finishing this competition. A program without a quad was like a trip into the past. Doing a program without a quad is not my level, but I can't do it now."

Sport.ria reported him saying that "Yesterday I decided not to do the quad. I tried to do it twice in the training and I could not skate after that. It was a real disaster. That is why we decided not to make the quad. I made the program easier. Otherwise I had to give up. But I will not give up."

Evgeni Plushenko will continue to compete at this week's European Championships in Sheffield, but the knee injury sidelines him for the World Championships. Plushenko told reporters he's been receiving injections to deal with the pain, but that the latest setback won't deter him from his goal of competing at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi in his home country.

That he is still in contention for yet another European gold is testament to his enduring class, and the struggles of his challengers. A master at thrilling audiences for the past decade, Plushenko hasn't lost the art of playing the showman. Enticing the judges by circling in front of them before his routine, he was all smiles as he gave a performance full of energy and expression.

His jumps were largely spot on, too, with a triple axel particularly impressing the judges. But no quad, as we just said: "When I do the quad toe, I need three or four minutes to recover from the pain," Evgeni said.
That gave his rivals a chance to keep pace. But, one by one, they faltered. "To be honest, I think my rivals gave me a big present today," Plushenko jokingly said.

"Today I am happy about Artur but especially happy about Evgeni: after one or two years away, he is able to compete again, with just one leg," said Alexei Mishin, who coaches both Gachinski and Plushenko. However, Mishin thinks Plushenko can try to do the quad in the free program.

Plushenko thinks Gachinsky's leadership is well deserved. “Arthur skated at a high level. I simply cannot compete with him with the program I skated today. But I am very happy with my little medal, no matter that it is silver.”

Sources: cbc.ca, espn, sports.ru and sport.ria

Euros 2012 - Tomas Verner's thoughts after the SP

Tomas was third after yesterday short program, behind the young Gachinski and the Tsar Plushenko.

Speaking about Plushenko comeback, Tomas' thoughts were reported on his Facebook page:
I didn’t feel any pressure because of Evgeni, this is an event of 24 skaters, and whoever will be the best will be decided by the judges. I tried to do my best. But I felt some pressure because during the Grand Prix season I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. That was the only pressure. Evgeni being here is actually a great pleasure because it’s always good to compete against such great skaters.

Right after skating, speaking of his performance, Tomas said:
It was a disappointing opening to the program. I knew when I missed the quad and I’ve been struggling with the triple Axel in practice so I felt I didn’t have anything to look forward to. But then it was better. I just hope I did good enough for the free skate and will be in the last group. That was my goal.

On his injury, Tomas added:
In the summer I slipped a disc in my lower spine and had two months off at the beginning of the season – two months of a lot of pain. It was desperate. Then at New Year I pulled the bands in my left knee. So it has not been the best start to the season. I think I am now at 80 percent fitness. But you will rarely find an athlete at full fitness. I would like to say congratulations to Sheffield. It is a really lovely crowd.

A beautiful pic of our top skaters waiting for the press conference to start.


And yesterday the pairs competition has ended, with the Russian couples still on the podium. Here the final standings after the free program.


John Kerr on Facebook congratulated to the Russian couple on their title: "Congrats to Tatiana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov. European Champion 2012!"
Volosozhar and Trankov rocketed to the top of the standings with a superb free skate to the Black Swan soundtrack. They were not as clean as they skated at the Grand Prix Final, making errors on their side-by-side spins and their final lift. But their big elements were solid. They earned a level four for two lifts and the pair combination spin. This was their first European Championship as a team. “Of course we are very excited to have won. It is our first European Championship together and to win the gold is amazing”, Trankov said.


They skated a strong free skate, but a mistake on their double axel-double axel sequence kept their free skate from being clean. Skating to “Doctor Zhivago”, Bazarova/Larionov's performance featured a triple toe, high triple twist, throw triple flip and loop, but Bazarova stumbled on the double Axel sequence. “We are extremely happy. We gave everything we had. It was a little hard to skate last as we had to wait so long and it is already late in the evening. We had practice in the morning and waited all day. We are glad that it's over now”, Bazarova commented.


They had trouble with their side-by-side jumps but were good enough to win the bronze in their debut at the European Championships. Stolbova and Klimov were replacements for teammates Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, who withdrew earlier in the month after Smirnov had appendix surgery. “It is great for us to have won the bronze in our debut at Europeans. Hopefully it will be a good experience for us to build on”, Klimov told the press.

Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek

The Italian couple came fourth with a solid routine to “Adagio” by Albinoni.

And don't forget to watch also the other performances!

Source: ISU

Euros 2012 - MEN SP RESULTS

This competition was full of emotions and surprises, for sure. The stress was obviously very high: there were many mistakes, even from great skaters. But you can see it for yourself, having a look at the standings after the SP. The FP is on Saturday 28.

Gachinski seems embarassed, poor boy. And Evgeni needs to urge him to go and get his small gold medal. It's so cute! And Tomas giving his teddy bear to Brezina and then not knowing were to stand? So cute!

Artur Gachinski

Artur was the true surprise of today SP. The young heir of the last Tsar of Russia become his main opponent, and... he beated him! Ok, we're speaking of 0.09 points, but all the same Artur is in first place! And the expression on Mishin's face was priceless! While Artur was beaming and grinning from ear to ear, Mishin was like '84.80, first place... wait, first place? No, I got it wrong for sure, let's read it again: FIRST PLACE! Yesssss!!!'
Artur performance was really wow!
Gachinski opened with a quad toe-triple toe combination and was the only one of the 29 skaters to hit a quad-triple combination. He went on to skate cleanly, landing a solo triple axel and a solo triple loop. The 18-year-old picked up a level four for two spins and the circular footwork and scored a new seasons best with 84.80 points. “I think this was my best ever skate so far. I did all the jumps, the spins and the footwork as I had planned. I basically expected such a performance as I was ready for the short program. Right now I feel only that I am the leader in the short program. The free skating is still to come and everything can change”, the current World bronze medalist commented.

Evgeni Plushenko

Without any doubt the Tsar is back, and I'm so very happy and proud of him! Ok, he was not in top shape and the injury prevented him to overdo, making him to give up on the quad. His condition was reflected on his presentation: he was not so brilliant and lively as usual. But Plushenko proved for sure that he is still a hardcase.
Skating on a knee that will require surgery later in the year, Plushenko opted to ditch the quad in his short program in favor of a clean program. His triple lutz-triple toe was solid, and he was clean through his two other jumping passes, a triple axel and a triple loop. His spins and footwork were a level three. “These Europeans are very tough for me, I have two injuries. Yesterday I aggravated my knee injury and when I do the quad toe, I need three, four minutes to recover from the pain. Therefore we decided not to do the quad today. It was either doing a program without the quad or not competing, and I want to finish this competition”, the Russian said.

Tomas Verner

Tomas was third after two-footing and stepping out of his opening quad toe, which received credit for full rotation. The rest of his short program was strong. “It was a disappointing opening to the program. I knew when I missed the quad and I’ve been struggling with the triple Axel in practice so I felt I didn’t have anything to look forward to. But then it was better”, Tomas noted.

Javier Fernandez

Fernandez made errors on his triple lutz-triple toe and his triple axel.

Florent Amodio

Amodio stumbled on the quad Salchow and is currently ranked fifth.

And let's go on with the videos of the other great skaters that hit the ice yesterday.

Kevin, Kevin, what ar you doing? This is the last European for the Belgian skater who will retire after this season. It's a pity, maybe he's not constant, but I've always loved his power, his strenght, even if his muscles make him not so light on the ice.

Oh dear, Babou! What happened? That wasn't you. It's the first time Brian Joubert is likely not to step on the podium in the European Championships. I really wish him to be in better shape, mentally and phisically, for the free program! Go Brian!

Samuel, not you too! Everyone fell yesterday! The stress must have been very high for so many skaters doing so many stupid mistakes. Come on Samuel! Your program is bautiful and you can do better than that. Go Samuel!!!

Ok, there's somthing wrong. Even the "cat" fell? Come on Paolo, we want to see you at your best for the free program!

Source: ISU


Friday ended the competition for the couples who skated the free dance. Russia didn't manage to double the result of the pairs podium, but placed two couples in second and third place, after the French chanmpions Pechalat/Bourzat. 


Reigning gold medalists Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat made it two titles in two years at the European Figure Skating Championships. Pechalat/Bourzat put out a fast paced Egyptian themed dance titled “The Pharao and His Mummy” that was highlighted by strong lifts and smooth footwork. They earned a level four for the lifts and the spin while the circular steps and twizzles were a level three. Pechalat/Bourzat won the Free Dance with 99.29 points and moved up from second to first at 164.18 points. “We’re pretty happy at this moment. After the hard beginning with the short dance we just had to go on the ice and fight. We were the reigning European champions and there is no way we would let go of this. We trained to get more relaxed on the ice and we went out with anger and determination”, Bourzat said. ”It is easier to attack than to defend”, added Pechalat. “It was very important for us to win, also when thinking of Worlds where we want to take a medal”, she continued.


Bobrova and Soloviev also had a strong free skate, but they could not match Pechalat and Bourzat either in the technical elements or in the program components. Dancing to “Walpurgisnight”, Bobrova/Soloviev completed level-four lifts, but got a level two for the twizzles and footwork. “We skated well overall technically and emotionally. Unfortunately, I made a stupid error, in the twizzle series I didn't grab my leg. It happens”, Soloviev commented. “We didn't feel pressure after being in the lead. We just wanted to skate as well as we could, technically and emotionally. The second place is also very good”, he added. “For me personally it was our best performance of the season. It wasn't easy to skate. It put a little pressure on us that we stood in first place, although it was nice. I enjoyed skating today”, Bobrova noted.


Ilinykh/Katsalapov produced strong lifts and footwork in their powerful Free Dance to “Ave Maria”, collecting a level four for six out of eight elements. They won their first medal at the European Championships. “We went out in a fighting mood, ready to give it all we have. We knew we had a chance (to medal) and tried to concentrate on us and on the feeling between us”, Katsalapov said. “We are very happy with our experience today. It is a great feeling. After we were seventh in the short dance we had nothing to lose”, Ilinykh explained.


Anna and Luca were edged out of the podium by just 0.03 points, finishing fourth with 153.09 points. They gave a strong performance to “La Strada”. Come on guys, next time you'll make it!

Source: ISU


Friday was time for the ladies short program, and neither a temporary blackout at my home prevented me to enjoy the competition!

Carolina Kostner

Italy’s Carolina Kostner, looking for her fourth career gold at the event, made her way to the front of the pack after a strong skate. Caro opened with a solid triple toe-triple toe and went on to land a solo triple loop and a double axel, but a botched fly during her final combination spin cost her some marks in execution. "I was a little nervous when I approached the ice rink and saw the people. But then I thought, this is the 10th time I’m doing this, just enjoy it because you don’t know if next year you’ll still be here. It helped me a lot to calm down, to just do what I do in practice, so I’m very pleased about how I did", Carolina commented.

Kiira Korpi

Kiira looked to have skated a clean short program to "Somewhere over the rainbow", but the technical panel called her solo triple loop underrotated, which kept her from taking the lead. But her triple toe-triple toe was strong. "I feel good, it was absolutely the best for me this season. I'm so happy that I did it today although I felt quite nervous. I have had a rough season. I had some injuries in the beginning of the season and also the preparation for this competition wasn't ideal, so I wanted to come here and not think about any placements but just to do my best performance and try to enjoy the competition”, Korpi told the press.

Ksenia Makarova

Makarova fought through her triple toe-triple toe and saved it with only a turnout on the landing. “I’m content with my program. I came out to skate a clean and very confident program, which I did. It’s hard to explain how I felt, but I knew when I was coming out I had to do what I do every single day in practice, just do it well”, the 19-year-old said.

I really love Alena-the-pirate routine! And she wears trousers! That reminds me of a great Russian champion, the Tsarina Irina Slutskaya...

Our wonderful Valentina Marchei!!!

Our young girl made the preliminary round and took the 22nd place!

Source: ISU

26 January 2012


The short dance ended with two Russian couples on the podium, and Pechalat/Bourzat in second place. The free dance is on Thursday 27.

Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev

Russia's Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev captured the lead in the Short Dance ahead of defending European Champions Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat of France. Bobrova/Soloviev put out a confident performance to Samba, Rhumba and Samba that included a level-four twizzles and a level-four lift. The Rhumba sequences and the side by side circular footwork were graded a level three. The reigning European silver medallists picked up 65.06 points, just short of their seasons best. “Being in first place is a big success for us. We are very happy with the way we performed today. Tomorrow we'll rest a little and then we'll fight again (in the Free Dance)”, Soloviev told the press conference. “The score is just a little lower than our seasons best, and it is much higher than at the Grand Prix Final and the Rostelecom Cup, so we are pleased with it”, Bobrova noted.


Pechalat/Bourzat's lively Samba was highlighted by a level-four curve lift and difficult twizzles. Their side by side footwork and the Rhumba looked smooth, but garnered a level two and three only. The European Champions scored 64.89 points. “We don't feel pressure. Sometimes it is better to be the challenger than the leader and maybe it is good for us to be in second place, very close to the first place. We won't let our title go. We need to skate and fight (in the Free Dance)”, stated Pechalat. “We thought we showed a good performance, tried to entertain the audience and gave a lot of energy, maybe too much energy for paying attention to all the edges”, Bourzat said.


Riazanova/Tkachenko received a level four and three for the Rhumba sequences and a level four for the twizzles and curve lift in their dance to Rhumba and Salsa to collect a seasons best with 61.34 points. “(Being in third) is very surprising for us and we are very happy with this success”, Tkachenko commented. “After Nationals we worked hard on the Rhumba and the footwork, maybe therefore we got a level four and three now. We didn't do anything special and we didn't make any changes”, he continued.

That's all for the top three performances, now enjoy the others!

6th place, guys. Come on, you can do better tan that!

Source: ISU

Euros 2012 - MEN SP detailed shedule

Time is GMT, but you can find the time for your country searching it here.

12:54:00 - 13:01:00 Warm-up Group 1
13:01:30 - 13:08:00 1 Jason THOMPSON GBR
13:08:00 - 13:14:30 2 Slavik HAYRAPETYAN ARM
13:14:30 - 13:21:00 3 Ali DEMIRBOGA TUR
13:21:00 - 13:27:30 4 Evgeni PLUSHENKO RUS
13:27:30 - 13:34:00 5 Dmitri IGNATENKO UKR
13:34:00 - 13:40:30 6 Maciej CIEPLUCHA POL

13:40:30 - 13:47:30 Warm-up Group 2
13:48:00 - 13:54:30 7 Paul FENTZ GER
13:54:30 - 14:01:00 8 Zoltan KELEMEN ROU
14:01:00 - 14:07:30 9 Alexei BYCHENKO ISR
14:07:30 - 14:14:00 10 Justus STRID DEN
14:14:00 - 14:20:30 11 Viktor PFEIFER AUT
14:20:30 - 14:35:00 Ice Resurfacing

14:35:00 - 14:42:00 Warm-up Group 3
14:42:30 - 14:49:00 12 Vitali LUCHANOK BLR
14:49:00 - 14:55:30 13 Pavel KASKA CZE
14:55:30 - 15:02:00 14 Viktor ROMANENKOV EST
15:02:00 - 15:08:30 15 Kim LUCINE MON
15:08:30 - 15:15:00 16 Chafik BESSEGHIER FRA
15:15:00 - 15:21:30 17 Sergei VORONOV RUS

15:21:30 - 15:28:30 Warm-up Group 4
15:29:00 - 15:35:30 18 Michal BREZINA CZE
15:35:30 - 15:42:00 19 Peter LIEBERS GER
15:42:00 - 15:48:30 20 Javier FERNANDEZ ESP
15:48:30 - 15:55:00 21 Tomas VERNER CZE
15:55:00 - 16:01:30 22 Brian JOUBERT FRA
16:01:30 - 16:08:00 23 Florent AMODIO FRA
16:08:00 - 16:22:30 Ice Resurfacing

16:22:30 - 16:29:30 Warm-up Group 5
16:30:00 - 16:36:30 24 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL
16:36:30 - 16:43:00 25 Artur GACHINSKI RUS
16:43:00 - 16:49:30 26 Samuel CONTESTI ITA
16:49:30 - 16:56:00 27 Alexander MAJOROV SWE
16:56:00 - 17:02:30 28 Kevin VAN DER PERREN BEL
17:02:30 - 17:09:00 29 Paolo BACCHINI ITA

25 January 2012


And so we've entered the real competition with today pairs SP, that will be followed by the FD later this evening.

Unluckly, after some rumours about the possibility of  German couple Savchenko/Szolkowy withdrawal, the news has arrived some minutes before the start of the SP that Savchenko was in no shape to compete and they had to withraw. Poor Aliona, she bursted into tears. They're are the second top pair to withdraw, after former European champions Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov pulled out because of Smirnov's appendix surgery earlier in the month.

But to go back to the competition, the pairs SP ended with a completely Russian podium! The first 16 couples out of 18 will compete the FP on Thursday 26.

Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov

They led a Russian sweep in the Pairs Short Program. Volosozhar/Trankov opened their routine to “Bring Me Back to Life” by Evanescence with a huge triple twist followed by a side by side triple toe. However, Volosozhar put down both hands on the throw triple flip. The World silver medallists picked up a level four for the spins, footwork, lift and death spiral to post a new seasons best of 72.80 points. “We are pleased with the score, but I am not completely satisfied with my throw triple flip, I made an error. Overall it was an okay skate”, Volosozhar commented. “It was like a practice run-through, we can do much better and hopefully we'll get more points at the World Championships because we skated with errors today”, her partner added.

Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov

Bazarova/Larionov, who skated last out of the 18 couples, gave a solid performance to “Tosca” that was highlighted by a triple toe, triple twist and throw triple flip. They scored 66.89 points. “Unfortunately I had a little error on the jump (triple toe) today, it was a little scratchy. We won't relax now, there is another day to come”, Larionov said.


Stolbova/Klimov produced a double twist, throw triple flip and triple toe in their routine to a modern arrangement of “Bolero”. They earned a seasons best of 58.66 points. “That was probably the best performance of the season, we are very happy with it. Obviously we were a little nervous, but not more than at other competitions. It is harder to compete here than in Juniors. There are stronger rivals and the programs are harder, but basically a competition is a competition and there are always rivals and we try to focus each time in the same way”, Klimov told the press.

Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek

Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek are currently ranked fourth at 54.38 points. Unluckly, Ondrej fell in the footwork. Not to mention that damned tie! Glue it better!!! Good luck guys for the FP, you can make the podium!!

And, for your enjoyment and mine, here all the videos of today competition! If you've missed it, or you want to re-watch your favourite pairs, just press play!

I loved Popova/Massot costumes! Just the shade of red I love...

I loved Kemp/King costumes, too! So elegant!

Go guys! For a freshly made couple, that was great!

I loved Montalbano's dress. Ok, I know, it's not a catwalk, but appearances count too!

Awww, Sissi for the Austrian couple. Not very innovative, but always nice. And please, have you seen how their coaches are dressed (min. 3:25)?!

Source: ISU

Joubert's thoughts on the upcoming competition against old and new rivals

For Babou doing better than last year would mean winning or achieving two good programs because he feels having missed the short last year. He says having the means to be European champion. But this is not the his main objective: he want in the first place to skate a good competition.

For what concerns his rivals, he says there are Florent Amodio, his fellow French skater, Tomas Verner and Michal Brezina, and Javier Fernandez who is among the world's top skaters since the start of the season. Kevin Van Der Perren can also be listed among the skaters to watch out for.
For what concerns Plushenko, Joubert says this will be their reunion in competition. Brian was not surprised by his return, since the next Olympics are in Russia and that Russian skaters are falling short of his level. For Joubert Plushenko remains Plushenko: although he is a bit slower than before, he remains technically great.

And while we wait to see Babou on ice, lets hear him talking about himself, his love for animals, high speed and his costumes.

Source: LaNouvelleRépublique.fr

Wounded Savchenko thinks about withdrawing

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy still don't know whether they will compete in the short program today.

Although Savchenko, who suffered a left upper thigh injury a little over a week ago, managed a few jumps in the first official practice, she did no throws, lifts or spins.
"It is hard, and I do not know yet if we can skate," Savchenko said. "My left upper thigh still hurts. I cannot go down even for a spin.

"If it does not work tomorrow, maybe we cannot skate or we will skate our program with a reduced level of difficulty. We will do another practice tonight and tomorrow morning and maybe decide only after the six-minute warmup," she said.

Financial matters may be impacting the decision. The pair is scheduled to perform in Art on Ice shows in Switzerland next month, and if they do so after a withdrawal in Sheffield, they could be banned from ISU competitions for one year.

While Steuer, the team's coach, might prefer not to make a decision based on financial need, it is well-known that his skaters need to perform in as many shows as possible, because Steuer does not receive any funds from the German skating federation due to his distant past as an East German Stasi operative.

"No matter what, they will not skate unless they can do all of their elements," Steuer said, contradicting Savchenko.

At this point, we have only to wait and see.

Good luck guys!

Good luck to pairs and dance couples skating their short today!

For more information about the schedule and live streaming of the competition have a look here.

European Championships 2012 - PRELIMINARY ROUND LADIES RESULTS

Yesterday in Sheffield ladies competed the preliminary round to qualify for the remaining places in the SP. The top ten ladies moves onto the short program. Full results below.

LADIES (preliminary round)1. Polina Korobeynikova RUS – 109.73
2. Joshi Helgesson SWE – 96.27
3. Monika Simancikova SVK – 91.99
4. Yretha Silete FRA – 90.38
5. Natalia Popova UKR – 88.70
6. Alina Fjodorova LAT – 87.82
7. Francesca Rio ITA – 73.23 --> Go girl!!!8. Clara Peters IRL – 69.92
9. Fleur Maxwell LUX – 67.35
10. Kaat Van Daele BEL – 67.22
11. Birce Atabey TUR – 65.98
12. Kerstin Frank AUT – 65.86
13. Rimgaile Meskaite LTU – 65.38
14. Manouk Gijsman NED – 64.07
15. Patricia Glescic SLO – 63.06
16. Camilla Gjersem NOR – 63.04
17. Ksenia Bakusheva BLR – 61.60
18. Eliska Brezinova CZE – 60.43
19. Daniela Stoeva BUL – 60.33
20. Georgia Glastris GRE – 58.85
21. Sabina Mariuta ROU – 57.15
22. Marina Seeh SRB – 52.24
23. Mirna Libric CRO – 50.70

Source: examiner.com

24 January 2012

On Plushenko's health

As I've pointed out in my last post, I´m a little worried about Zhenya´s health. If he´s not able to deliver his jumps well it means that something is very wrong. By the end of his program in yesterday qualification he looked exhausted.

And, in fact, he said he might miss the world championships later this year because of injury problems. Plushenko added that he suffered a back injury on his arrival in Sheffield in addition to an ongoing knee injury.

"It's very hard to compete when you don't feel yourself completely healthy. That's why I want to undergo knee surgery once again as soon as possible. And nobody can say how much time I will need to recover completely after the operation," he said. That's what makes me worry. I can't help it.

"I decided to compete only at one of this year's major events," he added. "And I hope I will be able to perform at the European championships here with dignity." I don't doubt it in the least: like I've already said, he's back, and  I really admire his strength of will and determination. This makes his performace dignified, regardless of the final rankings.

Source: Yahoo!News