28 July 2012

London 2012 - Opening Ceremony

Honestly? I still haven't fully recovered from the disappointment of last night's Opening Ceremony...

I've been in London and if someone asked me I'd pack right away and fly there today. I love the UK and its culture. And when they started speaking about Milton and Rowling I was thrilled. That was before I saw how they was concerned...

The Opening Ceremony was so boooooring! That was an apotheosis of the history of the UK, not the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games! Come on, guys! Interesting? Well, a bit. Well done? Without doubt: great work on the costumes. But I started thinking to be on History Channel... And, by the way, it seems they forgot some centuries of piracy, colonisation and slavery. How it came, I ask myself? An innocent inattention, I'm sure.

Please UK people forgive my sarcasm. I understand that the organisation decided to stake all on history, but they should understand that Olympics are not about the UK, not entirely at last. It's about 204 Countries.
I think that after all comparing London 2012 and Beijing 2008 have no sense. They dealt with two very different ideas. Beijing was a visual spectacle, London was a story. Maybe a story that hadn't much to say to all that 204 Countries.

And what what can I say about the choreography with the hospital beds? And the chorus of kids in pyjamas???

But the video inserts were great! The one with the Queen and James Bond arriving via parachute after jumping from a helicopter was wonderful. Lovely old little lady with great sense of humour...

And I've loved the fireworks, and the wonderful light play!

As soon as I can I'll upload the video of the Opening Ceremony and I'll post it here! Good luck to all the athletes!

Photos from http://totallycoolpix.com/

26 July 2012

Ghiaccio Spettacolo Italian Summer Tour

Ghiaccio Spettacolo, directed by Andrea Vaturi, former ice dancer with partner Alessia Aureli, organizes like every year its Italian Summer Tour in the main mountain resorts of the north of Italy.

This year the main theme is Brodway:

- Bob Fosse
- Mary Poppins
- Burlesque
- The Blues Brothers
- Singin' in the rain
- Chicago
- Dirty Dancing
- The Artist
- Grease
- Moulin Rouge
- The Rocky Horror Show
- ... and more!

The tour is dedicated to its founder Alessandro De Leonardis, former ice dancer and historic manager of many Italian ice shows, who passed away in April following the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.

The dates of the show are as follows:

8 August: Corvara
13 August : Courmayeur
14 August : Pinzolo
15 August : Asiago
17 August : Baselga di Piné
18 August : Cortina d'Ampezzo

The cast is full of international and well kown skaters:

- Evgeny Plushenko: the tsar, this year special guest (who will miss the show in Corvara).
- Tomas Verner: his great interpretive skills and irony make him ​​one of the most loved skaters.
- Valentina Marchei: she's loved by all Italian and international fans for her charisma and interpretative skills.
- Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek: their combination of strength, elegance, smoothness, and interpretation make them unique.
- Aidas Reklys & Akop Manoukian: the acrobatics on ice at its highest levels, .
- Lorenza Alessandrini & Simone Vaturi: they combine high level technical skills with a great artistic expression.
- Elisa Angeli: performer at the New York Ice Theater, she combine skating skills and circus performances.
- La Compagnia di Ghiaccio_Spettacolo: more than 15 professional skaters who have been part of the Italian team, among wich 10 are selected every year to performe in the Summer Tour.

Official website: Italian Summer Tour

24 July 2012

Shpilband wants Barbara Fusar Poli in Novi

We already knew that former Italian ice dancer Barbara Fusar Poli, European and World Champion and Olympic bronze in Salt Lake City with partner Maurizio Margaglio, is one of the best dance coaches.

And it seems that also the great coach Igor Shpilband knows it. Indeed, he wants Barbara Fusar Poli in Novi, Michigan, to prepare the new season with her.

“It has been a sudden and unexpected offer”, Barbara said. “I contacted him for my junior pair Moscheni/Lukacs to be coached in August, and he asked me to leave with them for the USA to help him coaching all his athletes. It is a great honour for me. Coaching alongside him is going to be a unique experience, and his respect makes me very happy. It is important to be awarded at an international level for my job.”

Maurizio Margaglio is working in Finland, Massimo Scali is part of the Camerlengo/Mrylova team. And now the Italian figure skating could lose another athlete and coach.

But it seems that Barbara won't leave Italy: “I could not go away from Agorà (the rink in Milan where she coaches). President Guarnieri, the people who work in that Arena, they are my family. I am deeply attached to them, and I appreciate the work that they are doing to organize in the best possible way the Italian National Championships and the Junior World Championships, that will be a great event for the Italian Figure Skating. The Junior World Championships Organizing Committee, guided by Pompeo Guarnieri and Diego Cattani, has been working hard, and I want to stay alongside them. Moreover, since this season an ex-Scala ballet dancer, Corrado Giordani, is going to work with us. He is a member that was missing in our team. I am flattered by Shpilband's offer, but I am not going to leave Italy. Anyway I can confirm that Igor and I will continue our collaboration in the future.

Source: ArtOnIce

23 July 2012

Kostner & Kim: two Queens committed to fight for one crown

by sineddine
After news of both Carolina Kostner and Yu-na Kim undecided about going on competing, things have notably changed over the summer.

At the start of June, Carolina Kostner told the Italian weekly magazine Gente "Now that I've had the satisfaction of climbing onto the world's highest stage, I'm happy, and I might choose to resume my (normal) life."

"I've devoted all of myself to this sport for 10 years," she said. "I've sacrificed friends and affection, and sweated for every single victory." But she also said that she needed time to reflect.

And after a month, a note on her Official Website restored her fans's hopes, and Italians's in particular:

"Dear friends, I've been thinking about my life and future a lot lately and after consulting my coach and family, I decided to continue my competitive career until Sochi 2014. It won't be an easy challenge, therefore I hope you will keep supporting me the way you did through all of these years! Thank you. Love, Carolina"

by eisenjimmy
Also reigning Olympic champion Yu-na Kim was undecided at the end of June about resuming her competive career, but some days later at a press conference in Seoul she announced she will return to competitive skating and continue through the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

"After Vancouver, I couldn't find a bigger goal for myself as a figure skater, but expectations from fans kept growing," Kim said. "I was really burdened by them all. I had no idea just how much harder I had to train to stay in form, and I was afraid that I would let so many people down if I made mistakes in competition."

But after training with younger skaters in Seoul "I was inspired by their hard work. It also gave me the drive to keep going, and I decided I still had some business left to take care of."

She can't participate in the 2012 Grand Prix Series, so it is still unknown when her first competitive appearance will be, and also by whom she will be coached.

Yu-na Kim is 22 and Carolina Kostner is 25 years old, which makes her one of the oldest active competitors. The competition in the female field in the next two seasons will get tougher and tougher. With the comeback of Miki Ando, Joannie Rochette pondering her return, Akiko Suzuki in great shape, along with the new coming Russian youngsters, the two queens are ready to fight hard for the throne?

Good luck girls!

Sources: icenetwork.com, icenetwork.com, Karolina Kostner's Official Website

22 July 2012

Joannie Rochette pondering return to Olympics

Canadian hero Joannie Rochette may decide to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Guys, that's what I call an unforeseen piece of news!

At the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, Joannie's mother, Thérèse, died of a heart attack at age 55 after arriving to watch her compete. Joannie received the tragic news while practicing for the short programme, but she chose to remain in the competition in her mother's honour, and with two poignant performances captured hearts around the world.

Joannie won a bronze medal in Vancouver and the respect and love of all figure skating fans.

After carrying the Canadian flag in the Olympics closing ceremony, Rochette went home to Quebec to grieve in private. At her mother's funeral, during the mass, she placed her Olympic bronze medal on the casket.

"I would love to be on the Canadian Olympic team once more, for sure," Joannie said. "I would like to go back and have an Olympic experience that is more light on the heart, to have a happy Olympics. But at the same time, it's a big commitment."

"I think I'll know (what decision to make) by how I feel on the ice. I love to skate and I think I'm still in good enough shape to go back but, at the same time, I could have other opportunities in my life," she continued. At age 26, Rochette is already looking forward to a non-skating life, finishing her college studies and one day having children.

"If Joannie wanted to be part of the 2014 team, we'd love to have her. She's been a great competitor, a great role model for Canadian skating. Who wouldn't want her included in the mix?" said Skate Canada high performance director Mike Slipchuk.

Good luck Joannie, with love to see you in competition again!

18 July 2012

Waiting for London Olympics

London Olympics are coming, and what an athlete wouldn't do to be there? Well, lets see, would we?
Hope to make you smile with these short videos, while celebrating all the greats athletes that will fight for a medal at London (and those who would love to go). Go guys!!

Well, rugby isn't an Olympic sport. But this does not stop Martin Castrogiovanni, Captain of the Italian rugby team, to try to get to London! He trains with our "butterflies", the Italian team of rhythmic gymnastics. A true butterfly, isn't he?

OK, maybe he lacks in gracefulness. Let's try with volleyball. That should be easy: a team, a ball... Go Castro!

No Castro, you can't ran away with the ball here! Simona Gioli seems not happy with her new teammate. What about water polo? Big guys in trunks fighting for a ball, that should suits you, Captain!

Not exactly swimming like a dolphin, eh? And you can't drown opponents! Maurizio Felugo and the others guys of the Sette Bello, the Italian water polo team, will have to go to London without him.

Thanks to all these great athletes who can still see the humorous side of things and who train hard to make their Olympic dream come true.

Good luck to all the athletes that will fight for a medal at London, and in particular to the Azzurri headed by our standard-bearer, Valentina Vezzali, fencer, who has won five Olympic gold medals.

And your guys, by whom will be them headed? Answer the question on Facebook writing the name of your Country standard-bearer and his/her speciality!

16 July 2012

Cappellini and Lanotte join Shpilband in Novi

Anna Capellini and Luca Lanotte for Vanity Fair
And we go on talking about Shpilband and the big off season drama. But first we may need a little recap.

Act I: Zoueva and Shpilband's conflicts led to the latter being fired from the Arctic Club of Canton.

Act II: U.S. Figure Skating announced that Davis and White along with the Shibutanis intended to continue training under Zoueva.

Act III: Skate Canada confirmed that Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will continue to be coached by Marina Zoueva at the Arctic Club of Canton.

Act IV: Igor Shpilband moved to Novi Ice Arena, followed by Chock and Bates and Lithuanian ice dancers Tobias and Stagniunas.

And now we came to Act V.

Anna Capellini and Luca Lanotte for Vanity Fair 
Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, the reigning Italian ice dancing champions, started training with Shpilband in Novi.

"Our original decision, when we talked to Marina and Igor at worlds, was to go to Canton and train with the whole crew," Anna said to icenetwork.com. "It came kind of sudden, the news of their breakup -- it was really unexpected for us. With the separation [from Zoueva], we thought that Igor was the person that could help us the most."

But Paola Mezzadri is still their primary coach, in Milan. "She's a very artistic coach," Cappellini said. "What we really needed to improve were our elements, our skating, our training methods -- it was a natural idea to go to Igor."

"In the last two or three years, we've started more than one cooperation [with coaches, ie Muriel Boucher-Zazoui and Romain Hagenauer, and Nikoli Morozov] that didn't pan out as well as we've hoped," Cappellini added. "Our base is in Milan, but we're planning to come [to Michigan] often during the season, before the Grand Prix, for sure, before worlds, for sure. Some parts of the training will be done here and some in Italy."

Anna Capellini and Luca Lanotte for Vanity Fair 
Cappellini and Lanotte's music choice for next season short dance is from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. "We wanted to do something that wasn't classical, but something with a story that we could relate to. The polka is very lively and very funny. We connected right away with that music. You have to get ready for a whole year of jumping, smiling, jumping, smiling," Anna said.

Their music choice for the free dance is Carmen. "It will be our personal take on the story of Carmen. Carmen has been done in the past for sure, but we feel like we have a deep connection to these characters. We want to do something original and do our own interpretation."

Good luck Anna and Luca!

2013 Junior Worlds

That Milan was the 2013 host city for the Junior Worlds I already know. But what I still did not know was what rink would be chosen to host the competition.

This morning I open the World Figure Skating website, and what do I read? The 2013 Junior Worlds will be held at Stadio del Ghiaccio Agorà, between February 25 and March 3. At Agorà! I mean, at my favourite rink! Wow! That means I may decide to go and follow the competition.

So excited about it!

Via Dei Ciclamini, 23
Milano - Italy
TEL. 02/48.300.946
FAX 02/41.21.821

11 July 2012

Opera On Ice 2012 - Confirmed cast

Here you can see the confirmed cast for the 2012 Opera On Ice (updated at 11/07/2012).


She is the 2012 World champion and has three other World medals. Kostner is also a four-time European champion and has three other European medals, the 2011–12 Grand Prix Final champion, the 2010–11 Grand Prix Final silver medalist, the 2007–2008 Grand Prix Final and 2008–2009 Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, and a six-time Italian champion. Carolina Kostner finished the last two seasons (2010-2011 and 2011-2012) as the first in the world rankings by the International Skating Union (ISU).

He is the 2006 Winter Olympics gold medalist, 2002 Winter Olympics silver medalist, and 2010 Winter Olympics silver medalist, three-time World champion, seven-time European champion, a four-time Grand Prix Final champion and a nine-time Russian national champion.

He is the 2006 Winter Olympics silver medalist, 2007 Worlds bronze medalist, 2005 and 2006 Worlds medalist.

savchenko-szolkowy-thumb-bigALIONA SAVCHENKO and ROBIN SZOLKOWY (Germany)

They are a four-time World Champions, the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist, a four-time European Champions, a three-time Grand Prix Final Champions, and a seven-time German National Champions.

cappellini-lanotteANNA CAPPELLINI and LUCA LANOTTE (Italy)

Since 2012 Italian Champions. Fourth place at the European Championships in 2012. Ranked sixths in the World Championships 2012.

hot-shiversHOT SHIVERS (Italy)

Champion Team of Italy since 1996, among the top 10 in the World.

You can watch the last edition of the show on my blog here: 2011 Opera on Ice - Full Show to Watch.

5 July 2012

Kerrs' Puzzles

What about a puzzle, just to change a bit? Try these Kerr's puzzles and tell me what you think about Lady and Lord Kerr!