The Skating Season Is Over – Sigh

By , April 1, 2017 8:13 pm

As usual I’ve watched a lot of figure skating this season. Most happily I have watched Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in every competition. That all wrapped up today at the World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

TV+SM_Worlds_2017 (Global News)

While it wasn’t their best free dance, it was a great feather in their cap for Tessa and Scott to win at Worlds  in the first year of their comeback. I cannot be happier that they have decided to return. CBC ran an interesting feature on them in which they said that in the past they had created some programs they felt were never finished. I hope they weren’t referring to “Carmen”, one of my favourites. This year’s program is an absolute masterpiece of understated elegance. Even nicer, they have such a contrast between their uptempo Prince short dance and their subdued, emotional free dance.

While ice dance is a scoring mystery, I am very confident in my own preferences. In Tessa and Scott’s absence I had transferred my loyalty to Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, perennial oh-so-close finishers. Much was made this year of their coaching and training locale changes. I had not been buying in until the free dance today. I thought she was much more understated than in the past (which I prefer). They opted not to go over the top, a good decision in that they finished fourth. Again, oh so close, but much better than last year. Apart from Tessa and Scott’s free dance, my favourite program of the year is Paul Poirier and Piper Gilles’ exquisitely sharp tango.  Paul can cool it with the moustache antics – their skating is plenty fine.

I had quite a few Patrick Chan moments as well this season, from the high of clean skating at Canadians to the low of flailing at Grand Prix finals. I thought his long program at World’s, while not clean, was a good culmination to a rough season. At least he ended on a relatively high note: great quad salchow, no stupid doubling of jumps, beautiful programs as usual. I’m very happy he finally has some quality coaching and some recognition that his mental game is not strong enough.

I have said to Val many times that it’s hard to be a Patrick Chan fan. At Canadian nationals this year after his fantastic long program I actually cried.

PC_SP_Worlds2017 (Toronto Star)

I have to give a shout out to Javier Fernandez (who I love as much for his skating as for his personality) for an incredible short program and to Yuzuru Hanyu (who I normally do not love) for a perfectly controlled free program when it really mattered. And of course, to Brian Orser for having three pupils in the medals and Marie France Dubreil and Patrice Lauzon for their amazing coaching of the gold and silver dance teams! Heartbreak for their American team who were sitting in third but sadly screwed up what was a mesmerizing program.

It was most interesting to see Tracy Wilson on the sidelines and in the kiss and cry area with her students. I used to really like her as a commentator for the insights she’d share. I’m kind of done with her now as I tend to disagree with her assessments. It’s nicer to see her coaching and sharing her technical  knowledge and artistic intuitiveness.

I look forward to seeing most of our amazing Canadian skaters at Stars on Ice in May.



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