30 May 2012

Figure Skating Crossword

Need a break? Try your figure skating knowledge with this crossword I made for you. Try to complete it as quickly as possible and tell me how you did!

27 May 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Grand Final

Have you watched yesterday Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final? I'd say there were heaps of strange people on stage. What about the Russian Grannies, only to say the least. Very funny little old women for sure, but come on, second place? Seriously? And to say more, what about the Jedward? The sound wasn't bad, but from where in the universe are they from? Because I can hardly believe they're from Ireland...

So we had Loreen from Sweden in first, Buranovskiye Babushki from Russia in second and Željko Joksimović from Serbia in third.

I've liked Loreen's song. Maybe the choreographic part was a bit strange. Željko Joksimović's song was also good. I've liked very much Nina Zilli's international version of her song (you'd want to listen to the Italian version too).

Ivi Adamou should have been the sex bomb of the evening? Please! Angunn, 20 years her senior was way sexier in my opinion.

Roman Lob from Germany, Ott Lepland from Estonia, Pasha Parfeny from Moldova and Donny Montell from Lithuania were quite good too.

As for you, my readers, which Country was your fave? Go to the link and pick your favourite Country or add your own choice!

Want to listen to some music in this boring Sunday afternoon or have you missed yesterday Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final? You can rewatch all the 26 singers here. Just hit play and enjoy the playlist!

If you want more infos on the participants, places or points, visit the Official Site.

26 May 2012

Camerlengo choreographer of the year

PSA Twitter

The PSA (Professional Skating Association), during his annual PSA Awards Dinner held this in Boston on May 24, awarded Pasquale Camerlengo with the "Paul McGrath Choreographer of the Year Award". The other nominees were Phillip Mills, Scott Brown, Jeremy Abbott, Sheryl Franks & Deidre Williams.
In previous years the prize was awarded to Shpilband and Zueva (2010 and 2011), David Wilson (2009) and Lori Nichol (2008).

The other categories of PSA Awards were:

"Coach of the Year": John Nicks, coach of Ashley Wagner;

PSA Twitter

"Developmental Coach of the Year": Tammy Gambill, who has worked with Vincent Zhou, 2012 U.S. Novice Champion;

PSA Twitter

"Pieter Kollen Sport Science Coaching Award": Kat Arbour, an expert in medical sciences and sports.

PSA Twitter

The most successful choreographer of the year, Camerlengo worked with Alissa Czisny, Adam Rippon, but also with Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek and Daisuke Takahashi. And now, he has started working with the 2006 Olympic gold medalist, Evgeni Plushenko.

"He is very good," Camerlengo told Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com. "Of course, it is very different to work with him, because first of all, there is Mishin always there, right behind you. He will say, 'I want something like this, I want something like that, I wish he could go like this.' Even before you are doing something, he gives you direction of how he wants it. So it's a kind of a different procedure for me. Normally, I create [choreography] and then I show it, and then a coach may say, 'This part, I don't like.' With Mishin, it is before I even create something. It's, 'I want something here, then he turns, then he goes faster, and then he slows down.'

"Evgeni is really capable," the choreographer added. "He surprised me with his ability and skills as a skater. I'd ask, 'Why haven't you done that before?' He did so many things, but in a competitive program you have to consider all the time the elements, the jumps, the timing, the stamina, many things. So you cannot really skate a program using all of your skills, [including] all the steps you can do and all of the other things you can do on the ice. Because you have to think, 'If I overload the program, I'm not able to do the elements.' And in the end, the elements give you the results."

Plushenko has been criticized for a lack of transitions between elements, and that's what he and Camerlengo worked on. "We worked on having full transitions," the choreographer said. "I said, 'I want to see you doing something that is not crossovers.' And we went for that, and he was really, really positive. He feels so motivated; he wants to show everybody, 'I can do this, I can do that.'"

And even if Plushenko has turned 30 years old and he's going to be the oldest one at Worlds, according to Camerlengo "he has everything he needs to compete at the same level with all the others and even more, because he has such amazing experience, and he has a charisma that is so amazing on the ice. Already, when he is just standing on the ice, the people watch him so [intently]."

Sources: Professional Skaters Association, ArtOnIce, icenetwork.com

24 May 2012

Announcement of International Competitions 2012/2013

On the 15 of May the ISU announced the schedule for next season. Here you can read a summary and below you can see the full communication.

The Europeans will be held in Zagreb (Croatia) from 11 to 27 January 2013, the Four Continents in Osaka (Japan) from 6 to 11 February, the World Championships in London (Canada) March 10 to 17, the World Team Trophy in Tokyo (Japan) from 11 to 14 April.
The Junior World Championships will be held in Milan from February 25 to March 3.

The Grand Prix begins with Skate America in Seattle/Kent (19-21 October) to continue with Skate Canada in Windsor (26-28 October), Cup of China in Shanghai (2-4 November), Rostelecom Cup in Moscow (9-11 November), Trophée Bompard in Paris (16-18 November) and NHK in Sendai (23-25 ​​November). Conclusion in Sochi, 5 to 9 December.

In August in Taipei City, there is the 2012 ASU Asian Figure Skating Trophy, for Ladies and Men only.

A new entry is the Ice Stars, to be held in Minsk, in Belarus, from 8 to 10 September, for all categories Senior, Junior and Novice.
Another new entry, the U.S. Senior International, from 13 to 16 September , in Salt Lake City, only for the Senior category. It will be the first international competition, outside the ISU Championships and Grand Prix, held on U.S. territory.

News for Italy: no more Mont Blanc Trophy, which was canceled last season and will be replaced with the First City of Turin Trophy, from 21 to 24 February, for Senior and Junior, without pairs, and Novice, without pairs and dance couples. For now it should overlap with the Challenge Cup.

Source: ISU Communication 1727

22 May 2012

Supreme Court's ruling states that Steuer will be able to coach athletes serving in the German Armed Forces

On the eve of 2010 Olympic games Ingo Steuer talked to the German press about the uneasy environment he lives and works in, due to unsettled controversies regarding his relations with the Stasi (East Germany's secret police). He was born in East Germany, and there he grew up as an athlete, until German reunification. This situation prevents the German federation from using their funds for Steuer and his German pairs. Ingo Steuer appeared embittered and disillusioned: "It's a real shame that so many German athletes are damaged by this situation", he said.
Germany wanted to exclude Steuer from the official Olympics delegation. Steuer adressed the court, which ruled in his favor. However, in Turin he was prevented to wear the uniform of the team.

Then in January, we talked about financial matters impacting Savchenko and Szolkowy's withdrawal in Sheffield: it was well-known that Steuer's skaters needed to perform in as many shows as possible, because he did not receive any funds from the German skating federation due to his distant past as an East German Stasi operative.

And now the endless controversy between the German State and Ingo Steuer is enhanced by another episode.

Ingo Steuer's arguments have prevailed over those of the army before the Federal Supreme Court: the ruling, issued Tuesday, states that he will be able to coach athletes serving in the German Armed Forces.
This means that Robin Szolkowy could return to the ranks of the army as an athlete, and then receive financial support. Szolkowy had in fact had to resign because of his willingness to continue training with Steuer, Savchenko and Szolkowy had thus had to resort to sponsors and gala to support themselves.

The Supreme Court has based its decision on the assessment of the interests at stake. He established that Steuer's activity, as an high level coach in the field of skating pairs, was considerably damaged by the inability to train athletes who have joined the army, while the interests of the State (who complained a loss of reputation from admitting a former collaborator of the Stasi as a coach of his soldiers) were not significantly affected. In fact, the German coach holds no positions inside the army but acts as an external advisor. Also there have been no complaints about Steuer's activities and allegiance to the State since the reunification of Germany and sports bodies have not made any objection after the ruling in his favor issued by the Court of Brandenburg in March 2011.

Source: ArtOnIce here and here

21 May 2012

Grand Prix events assignments for the 2012-2013 season

The ISU announced today the Grand Prix events assignments for the 2012-2013 season. You can find the list below.

17 May 2012

Understanding the ISU World Standings

We've often heard about the World Standings of late, but have you ever wondered what exactly it is?

The ISU Council decided to implement two types of World Standings/Ranking, namely
  • the “ISU World Standings” which is taking into account results of the preceding two seasons and the current season and remains the basis for the draws at ISU Events;
  • the “ISU Season’s World Ranking” which is based on the results of the current ongoing season only. It has the main purpose to reflect the current competitive performances of the skaters.
A skater/couple's World Standing (WS) is hence based on results over the current and preceding two seasons. Competitors receive points based on their final placement at an event and the event's weight. The following events receive points:
  • ISU Championships (World, European, Four Continents, and World Junior Championships) and Olympic Winter Games. The best result by points per season, the best two results by points over the three seasons.
  • ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and Final (senior and junior). The two best results by points per season, the best four results by points over the three seasons.
  • International senior calendar competitions. The two best results by points per season, the best four results by points over the three seasons.
Weight (Factor) per season:
  • current and intermediate season’s earned points will count 100 %
  • previous season’s earned points will count 70 %
Following the current season's World Championships, the results from the earliest season are deleted.

A new partnership starts with zero points – there is no transfer of WS points if a pair or ice dancing couple split up and form a new partnership. For pairs, either senior or junior Grand Prix events are considered (they can compete at both levels in one season).

These standings do not necessarily reflect a skater/couple's capabilities. Due to limits on entries to events (no more than three from each country), and varying competition in each country, skaters from some countries may find it more difficult to qualify to compete at major events. Thus, a skater with a lower SB but from a country with few high-level skaters may qualify to a major event while a skater with a much higher SB but from a country with more than three high-level skaters may not be sent. As a result, it is possible for a skater who regularly scores higher to end up with a much lower world standing.

A skater/couple's Season's World Ranking is calculated similarly to overall world standing but is based on the results on the results of the ongoing season only.

Source: ISU Communication 1629

15 May 2012

Looking back at the 2011/2012 season and picking faves

Icenetwork.com's correspondents and editors picked their favourites moments of the last season (Part I, Part II, Part III). So why not doing it here at Hot Blades, Hot Passion as well?

Best program

Not so easy here. I've really liked Jeremy Abbott's SP, even if it wasn't a clean program for the most part of the time.

And how could I forget Davis and White's "Die Fledermaus" FD?

I was looking at Misha Ge interview, and I started to think that I had completly forgotten him while writing this post! How could I? So here he is. I really liked his "Black Swan", a strange and difficult choice of music for a man, but he did a really good job.

Best performance

And here I'm getting nostalgic already. After breaking my heart at Sheffield Euros withrawing for having injured his wrist, Kevin Van Der Perren decided to say goodbay to his fans in Nice. Here, before his last bow in a world championship, Kevin skated one of his best performance ever, with his trademark triple-triple-triple combination. Not bad as a farwell, don't you think?

Best rivalry

I have no doubt here. Absolutely German Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy versus Russian Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov. Both pairs are great.

Biggest upset

Well, there isn't really an upset for me this season. Let's say what I'd change, or what wasn't exactly of my liking? Ok, than it's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir over Davis and White and Patrick Chan over Daisuke Takahashi at Worlds. It's only a question of tastes, but after all the purpose of the entire post is exchanging faves, right?

Favorite breakthrough performance

Brian Joubert at Worlds in Nice. Like the phoenix, he is reborn from his own ashes and maybe deserved more in terms of points. Plus, I like it when Brian skates all testosterone-y! Lip or flutz? Who cares!

Best comeback story

Evgeni Plushenko at the 2012 European Championships in Sheffield. 29 years old, one leg, a quad, a gold. Strong, confident and glorious comeback for sure.

Best moment

Without doubt Carolina Kostner winning the first World title for Italy.

Favorite skating outfits

Wow, that's hard to pick my faves here. Let's see... Viktoria Helgesson's FP dress.

Kiira Korpi's FP dress.

Anna Cappellini's SD dress.

Tatiana Volosozhar's and Maxim Trankov's SP outfit.

And, to end with a classic, Davis's and White's FD outfit.

Worthy of mention

And worthhy of mention is the brave and funny Kim Lucine with his FP that I personally found very amusing and entertaining.

So, here you have my faves. And you, what are your favourite moments of the last season? I wait to read your picks!

13 May 2012

Carolina Kostner wins the first "Sonjastatuetten" - the Sonja Henie Trophy

Getty Images/Scott Heavey
Skøytesport, the Norwegian federation's official magazine, has reported that Italian Carolina Kostner is the winner of the first "Sonjastatuetten".

The award is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian skater Sonja Henie's birth in April 1912.

Carolina has been awarded for her outstanding performance at Worlds in Nice, where with a flawless triple performance, she advanced from third to win the first World Title for Italy. Carolina Kostner was the first European skater to win both Euros and Worlds in a season since Russian Irina Slutskaya in 2005. Carolina had an outstanding season in 2011/12, ending it at the top of the ISU world rankings.

Carolina Kostner will receive a statuette of Sonja Henie (1912-1969), created by sculptor Per Ung. The original statue is located outside the Frogner Stadium in Oslo, which was Sonja Henie home and the rink where she won her first World Title in 1927.

Source: Skøytesport

12 May 2012

Yuzuru Hanyu Interview


Here you can find an interesting interview to Yuzuro Hanyu, the promising young skater who charmed us all at this year Worlds in Nice.

The translation of the Hanyu interview is not made by me, but by yoko71. A link to the original interview and to yoko71 translation can be found at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy your reading!

He gave everything he got to that performance - it still glows in my mind even though several weeks have passed.

Yuzuru Hanyu won the Bronze Medal at his very first Worlds back in March in Nice, France. At 17, he was the youngest Japanese man to do so. After having been regarded as the next figure skating star after his accomplishemts in the Junior circuit including the gold medal at Junior Worlds, he made quite a stride in two senior seasons. At Worlds, he showed us everything - his reliable quad, great flexibility, and the charisma.

It has been almost a month since Worlds. Yuzuru showed up at our interview in Sendai, and opened his mouth with a bit of a shy smile: “I may be overpraising myself, but I really do think I did pretty well in my first Worlds.”

It isn’t an overpraise, however, considering he even thought about withdrawing on the night before SP.

On march 29, Hanyu was practicing for next day’s SP. Throughout the season, he struggled with the 4TLo in SP. So he chose to keep trying it 5-6 times instead of quitting after 2-3 tries. That is when he landed an under-rotated 4tlo and felt a pain in his right ankle. He sprained it.

He could not walk at all that night. It was swollen the next morning.

“I thought about withdrawing when I could not walk that night.”

In the end, he decided against withdrawing.

I thought about all the people who support me, the team doctor, trainer, my mother who came with me, and felt that I owed them to do it.

He ended at the 7th place after SP in which he singled the triple lutz.

“I didn’t expect to double the second part of my quad combo, and then I didn’t land a very clean 3A. After that, I think my injured ankle affected my performance. I did try to protect my ankle while performing. WIth all that, and my lutz taking off on the right foot, I must have hesitated.”

He was disappointed that he could not end SP within the top 6. But more than anything, he was mad at himself for getting injured.

“I was most mad at me for getting injured. The sprained ankle resulted in the poor performance. I was mad at me for the practice.”

How did Yuzuru regroup for the FS that was coming up the next day?

“I thought about all the people around me. My mom told me I did well considering the situation. She and I talked about that I did okay because of the immediate support from the team doctor and trainer as well as the moral support from the audience and fans back home. When I realized that I am supported by so many people, I decided that I will give everything I have the next day.

He began his FS. He nailed the quad at the beginning, followed by a flawless performance. The audience’s cheer started to become louder and louder. Then he fell.

“I fell while I was on my left leg. I think my left leg was exhausted because I was trying to protect my right foot. Yeah, I was mad. Excuse me for my word choice, but I yelled ‘$#@%^&’ during the following jump.”

How did he regrouped so quickly from the fall?

“I heard the audience’s encouraging cheers when I fell. That made me want to do the best I could. Sure, I felt the pressure - Worlds is a huge competition. But the audience cheered louder because it was Worlds, and I think I was able to use all that, the pressure, the significance of the competition, the audience’s cheer, to my advantage.

After the fall, he finished the rest of the program flawlessly. The audience applauded even more emphatically. Hanyu did a small fist pump, then he bent over as if to bow.

“I rubbed my right foot and thanked it for holding up. I was just so thankful for my right foot!”

His FS earned 173.99, and the total was 251.06. Both the FS and total scores were well above his season’s best. In the end, his FS TES topped that of Chan’s. Depite the little fall, it was a great performance.

“It must have been hurting when taking off and landing jumps. But I didn’t feel any pain because I was so focused.”

The pain returned when he was being interviewed in the mixed zone. I started to feel the pain while I was standing and getting interviewed. But I didn’t want to maken an excuse because talking to the media is how I can thank all the people who have been supporting me. After the mixed zone, though, I rushed to take of the boots and had my ankle iced. (laughs)”

In the end, he never even talked about the sprained ankle during Nice 2012.

“I didn’t want to let people know about it. Some workers and media people saw me with the ice, but the team doctor and trainer covered up for me by telling them that the ice was for a preventive purpose.”

This episode - that he didn’t let anyone know about his injury - reflects his personality. He didn’t want to reveal his weakness.

Hanyu watched his own performances on video afterwards.

“I saw me protecting my ankle every now and then. But maybe I skated with more care because of the injury. Also, it was important that my mind remained cool. The audience totally helped me with my last step sequence, the one that begins with my yell, with the loud cheers and vigorous clapping. During the step sequence, I was thinking - I’m gonna let the audience help me with this so I can conserve the last bit of my strength for the jump that’s coming up. I am so thankful that the audience gave me the strength. The owe the bronze medal to so many people.”

Before the season began, Hanyu said his goal for the season was to finish the season strong. His truly kept his words by skating an extremely strong FS at Worlds.

While discussing Nice 2012, he repeatedly mentioned that the fans and supporters gave him strengths. He said he changed a lot during the past year.

“The earthquake and tsunami changed me. The experience defined who I am.”

He was at his home rink in Sendai practicing when the earthquake struck on March 11. The ground swayed so greatly that it was not possible to stand or walk. He crawled out of the rink.

He and family spent several days at an evacuation shelter.

“It was hard, and I was sad. It was very hard to think about my and my family’s life and future. I was very sad about my hometown Sendai.

There was no electricity and no TV. There was little information about what was happening in the entire region. Finally, newspaper was delivered that showed the awful disaster.

“I saw pictures of the tsunami and all the damages. I was overwhelmed by sadness. I couldn’t think about skating. Even if I did think about it, I wouldn’t have talked about it.”

Despite the circumstances, he was able to start skating again within 10 days of the disaster.

“Several skating coaches invited me to their home rinks. It was starting to look like my family was able to settle down to a semi-permanent living arrangement, so I decided to go stay with a coach in Yokohama who used to look after me.”

Going back on ice would have been a welcome step forward at this point. However, he could not get his mindfocused on skating. He kept feeling guilty: (Why am I even skating? Why am I jumping, spinning and skating while so many people are suffering?)

“I should have been ecstatic about going back to skating, but in reality, I felt burdened. I didn’t know what to do. It was the most difficult time.”

The difficult times ended in early April, when he participated in the charity ice show in Kobe hosted by Daisuke Takahashi and Kenji Miyamoto. He skated in fromt of an audience for the first time after the quake. The audience cheered him on as he spoke in front of them as well as skaed an encore.

This show got him to start looking forward to skating again. He then skated in many subsequent ice shows.

One of those shows was an invitation-only show in late July in which those who were still living in evacuation shelters were invited.

After its finale, all the skaters left the rink and the show was over. Hanyu returned to the rink alone, and jumped a quad. He then waved at the audience and left the rink.

“I wanted to land a good quad during the program but couldn’t. I was unhappy with myself that I couldn’t do a perfect performance for those who are still living in shelters. To me, quads are the most difficult thing I can do, so I wanted to convey to them that their difficult situations will change as they remain positive and move forward.”

In the end, he skated in 60 ice shows.

“I wanted as many people as possible to see me skate. Also, by participating in shows, I was able to use the rinks for training, since my home rink wasn’t going to be repaired until summer.”

Before each show, He would come to the rink early so he could train. Traveling wasn’t easy, but this way he was at least able to prepare for the new season.

At every show, he was made to feel like he was representing Tohoku. He didn’t particularly like it.

“Toward the end of the summer when the season was approaching, I was definitely getting tired of being looked upon as a skater repping Tohoku. I wanted to be a skater, not “a skater from Tohoku.” I hated every time the media talked about me and mentioned that I was from Tohoku.”

In the end, though, he was able to come to terms with it.

“I think my attitude changed around the end of 2011. Now I feel honored to be repping Tohoku. If people associate my name with the disaster, and I remain as a top skater, then the disaster will not fade in people’s memories. This gives some meaning to me being here.”

He used to say he was skating for Tohoku. But at some point, he started saying that Tohoku was giving him strengths.

“After Japanese Nationals, I had some free time so was able to read the fan mails. Then I realized that there are people who are helping me help people. Because of those who are supporting me, I am able to help. I realized that it is me who is being helped instead of the other way around.”

He wrote a reply to every single one of ~500 fanmails.

“Lots of things happened and I had to deal with so many feelings and thoughts during the past year. Up until 3.11, I was like an innocent child, just chasing after my own dreams. But now I know that I am here because of all the people who support me. Now I know that I want to do well for those who support me.”

He continues that his performance has become more expressive because of all the things that happened since 3.11.

“There were incredibly difficult times, and there were great joys. I think I became able to handle a wider range of emotion because of these experiences. The joy I felt back in April when I skated for the first time in front of an audience was greater than any joy I felt before. Because of the disaster, I experienced stronger emotions than I ever felt before. I feel like I need to express these emotions, and also I feel like I am more capable of expressing them now.

The disaster that struck Hanyu also made him experience strong emotions. It made him more mature as a skater and as a human being.

By the end of the season, he had become one of the top international skaters. He talks about what is next for him:

“I want to become a great all-around skater. I want to be known as a skater who is good at everything. That would be the way to become an unbeatable skater. For now, my weakness is the skating, so I want to focus on skating. I hadn’t done much formal training on dance and expressions, so I think I want to take dance or ballet lsessons.”

In order to further grow into the skater that he want to be, he made one important decision.

He decided to part with Nananmi Abe who was his coach for many years. He chose Brian Orser as his new coach.

He first thought about Orser when he read an article on a skating magazine. The article talked about Orser’s Cricket Club in Toronto, and discussed how it boasts a number of coaches who take charge of different aspects of skating techniques.

“I’d never been in an environment where I would train alongside other top class skaters. That’s what made me want to move to Cricket Club. I want to be ready for Sochi. I will miss Nanami-sensei. I discussed this with her, and she gave me her whole-hearted blessing. So, I really want to work hard, for all the people who support me, and especially for Nanami-sensei.”

Yuzuru Hanyu is determined to keep reaching for the top. He has big plans for Sochi.

Sources: Starting Small (for the English translation) and Number 803号 2012年5月10日発売 独占インタビュー 松原孝臣 文 羽生結弦「恩返しの旅は続く」(for the original interview)

9 May 2012

All That Skate Spring 2012 - Full show to watch!

Figure skating queen Yuna Kim returned to the ice with a new gala program this month.

The 2010 Vancouver Olimpics medalist performed in All That Skate Spring 2012 in Seoul, wich presented a star-studded cast: Carolina Kostner, Stephane Lambiel, Alissa Czisny, Patrick Chan, Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov, Evan Lysacek, Shen Xue & Zhao Hongbo, Jamie Sale & David Pelletier, Minjeong Kwak, Haejin Kim, Jinseo Kim, Vladimir Besedin & Oleksiy Polishchuk.

All That Skate FB Page

Patrick Chan on Twitter

Here you can see the program of the show, with the skaters' peroformances and their order.

And here we come to what you're really waiting for, the videos of the show! So what are you waiting for? Hit play and enjoy!

7 May 2012

Off-season splits continue...

We read in April the news of Tanja Kolbe and Stefano Caruso splitting.
The German couple obtained good results this season, winning the NRW Trophy Ice Dance in november and placing 12th at their first Euros. They where coached by Barbara Fusar Poli in Milan and by Martin Skotnicky in Berlino and Oberstdorf.
Journalist Tatiana Flade twitted about quarrels on training conditions.

AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Than it came the news of another split: Carolina Gillespie and Luca Dematté.
The Italian athletes started to skate together two seasons ago, and they were trained by Rosanna Murante in Sesto San Giovanni. This season has not been easy for them, as they didn't compete until the National Championships in Courmayeur, where they became 2012 vice-champions. They confirmed their 12th place at the European Champioships in Sheffield, but a new injury sustained by Carolina prevented them from skating at the World Championships.
Now Luca is looking for a new partner. Here what they told to ArtOnIce:

Carolina and I have decided, with our team, to split because of technical problems. This decision has been taken after a deep reflection about our future, and it was not influenced by Carolina's injury. We will always remember the positive things that we created together and shared with our fans.
Now Carolina is fighting to get back in shape and Luca is looking for a new partner. We want to thank all the people who supported us during these years made of competitions, new challenges and emotions, especially our Club Sesto Ice Skate and the Italian Federation.
Luca Dematté and Carolina Gillespie


Now it's the turn of a Chinese pair: 2006 Olympic silver medalists Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang.
Jackie Wong remembers them as one of the most technically dynamic pairs in skating history, with huge throws and strong side-by-side jumps. They once hit the rare quad twist at the 2000 World Junior Championships and landed the throw quad salchow at the Chinese Nationals. With Zhang and Zhang now off the competition scene and the legendary Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao retired after the 2010 Olympics, the only one of the original big three Chinese pairs who remain are Qing Pang and Jian Tong, who recently took fourth at the World Championships.
According to Chinese news, their coach Yao Bin told Associated Press that because of Dan's increase in height and weight, Hao had to put a higher effort in their routine. Besides Dan wants to pursue her education and decided to retire from competitive skating. Hao is going to compete for the next two seasons, at least untill Winter Games, with 16 years old Peng Cheng.

5 May 2012

Plushenko talks about his work with Camerlengo

Here you can see Plushenko's press conference after the Charity show "Believe" published May, 03 2012 by PlushenkoOfficial. It's in Russian, for those of you who can speak the language.

For the others, like me, who aren't familiar with the language, PlushenkoOfficial provided an English translation of the part where Plushenko talks about his work with choreographer Pasquale Camerlengo. I'm correcting only minor errors.

The preparation for next season is going well. Yesterday I came from Rimini where I skated in the exhibition. The show went well. I performed today, too.

Now I'm going to take a break from the ice. Literally. Tomorrow I'm off to Kislovodsk to the mountains for general physical training and running. I'm going breathe fresh air, drink Kislovodsk water. I'll spend 20 days there. After that I'll be back on the ice and I'll be preparing for next season.

Besides, I want to reveal a secret. Maybe someone already knows... I worked with Pasquale Camerlengo, an amazing Italian choreographer. He created programs for many athletes last year and is one of the best figure skating choreographer. I like him very much, he is a superb choreographer, and he puts his life into his work.

I want to continue our cooperation. We'll make both the short and the long program together. He is a new type of choreographer for me, really: new moves, new ideas, new programs.

So, I continue to prepare for the next season, and of course, what is more important, for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. My 4th Olympics. I will try to skate with dignity there. After the Olympics I plan to do a big world show tour, a farewell tour to the amateur sports. So, now I'm preparing new programs for the next 2 seasons.

- Q: It was said that you were working with Camerlengo for 4 hours.
- Plushenko: We worked for two days.

- Q: But Alexei Nikolayevich Mishin talked about 4 hours overall.
- Plushenko: Well, probably he worked with Camerlengo for 4 hours (laughs). They were sitting together, listened to the music... No, he stayed two days. Of course, our work has not finished yet, it has just started. But more than a half of the short program has been  made already. I repeat, it was very interesting for me, because he has got skills, edges, some new unique moves. That's awesome. He is a former ice dancer and one of the best specialists in choreographing programs now. I really liked it.

3 May 2012

Russians secret attempt at cloning first human being proves succesful. (Un)scientific evidence follows

I really loved this totally (not) scientific and (not) serious article appeared in the most recent issue of the well (un)known Scientia Morozombus Journal. But before entering into deatails and presenting you the great Russian achivement, let me say a few more words on the publisher of this (un)scientific Journal.

Here an extract of the well (un)knwon luminary's biography:
Morozombie was the unfortunate result of a collision between a Russian babushka and a yak herder in the exotic locale of Ulan Bator. He spends much of his time drinking vodka, thus provisioning himself with the daily calorie total of 591,158,508 calories needed to maintain his active lifestyle of harnessing the power of Magicke Most Evile (also known by the scientific name of "voodoo") for completely benevolent and innocent purposes.
Before going on with the (not so) seriuos discovery that will shake the entire scientific world, I highly exhort you to read the others instructive articles published by the above-mentioned luminary at MOROZOMBIE

But let's go back to the main subject of this humble post, that is reporting the achivement of these great minds. Dr. Morozombie claims that the path-breaking research and experiments of a special team of Russian scientists supports the claim that human reproductive cloning can be a boon to society. And indeed the FFKKR have reported their unprecedented success in the science of human reproductive cloning. "We have recently succeeded in the creation of several genetically identical copies of a human being - specifically, figure skater Evgeni Plushenko," said Dr. Valentin Piseev, one of the scientists involved in the scientific project.

It didn't come as a surprise that the figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic gold medalist and 2010 and 2002 Olympic platinum medalist, was deemed the most worthy subject to be cloned by the members of the FFKKR, given his past successes and prowess in the sport. Lead researcher in the experiment Dr. Alexei Mishin remarked that "Evgeni Plushenko has a blond mullet, impressive arm-flailing ability and a natural affinity for upper-body posing - all important skills necessary for amassing top marks in the sport of figure skating. He is therefore the prime specimen for cloning if we are to have success in Sochi."

The 2014 Winter Olympics, that we know (not) to be a worldwide scientific exhibition where Countries makes their better specimens try themselves in phisical performances, will be held in Sochi, Russia. According to Dr. Morozombie, the FFKKR view their breakthrough in cloning Evgeni Plushenko as merely the first step in their plan to restore Russian national pride after the ego-bruising results in the last (un)scientific exhibition in Vancouver. As Dr. Piseev notes, "our research lays the groundwork for the development of new clones in the ladies field as well should either Adelina Sotnikova or Elizaveta Tuktamysheva live up to their promise, as well as cloning some judges to lend to other countries."

The 2014 Winter Olympics has still to come, so we'll have to wait to see the final results of the FFKKR's cloning. However, Dr. Morozombie has kindly provided some videos to show the progress of their clones so far:





I thank Morozombie very much for his/her post because it cheered me up. I hope to have succeeded in getting a smile out of you, too.

PS: For people thinking it's propaganda against Plushenko, think not. If you're a reader of my blog you should know that I'm a great fan of Plushenko. The post was without malice, only intended to make fans smile.

2 May 2012

Opera On Ice - FULL SHOW to watch (Updated)

If you've missed the show broadcasted on Christmas day, here for you the full show in streaming to watch! If you want more informations, read my other post about the event.


1 May 2012

World Team Trophy 2012 - REWATCH the Gala

Did you rewatch the 2012 World Team Trophy? Want more? What do you think about the 2012 WTT Gala? If you like the idea, sit, relax and hit play!

World Team Trophy 2012 - REWATCH the competition

Did you miss one or more of your favourite skaters on the ice? Do you want to rewatch a particular day of competition? Or maybe you want to see again the best French and Italian K&C moments? You can do it here! Just hit play and enjoy the 2012 World Team Trophy with me!

For full comments and results you can read World Team Trophy 2012 - Day 1

For full comments and results you can read World Team Trophy 2012 - Day 2

For full comments and results you can read World Team Trophy 2012 - Day 3

Victory Ceremony