Sunday, July 31, 2011

Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig's "Love Actually" Short Program

Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig are 2-time U.S. Silver Medalists, 2-time World team members, and 2010 Olympians. They have been skating together than any top U.S. pair, setting an example of what teams can accomplish if they put in years of dedication.

Amanda and Mark are the epitome of delightful sophistication. I've enjoyed their skating for a number of years, mostly because their love for the sport shines through every time they perform.

I have chosen their "Love Actually" short program from the 2009/10 season as inspiration today. Here they skate a perfect short program at the 2010 World Championships in Torino, Italy.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Kwan-spiration

Hi Everyone! It's been nearly 20 days since my last post. I've been insanely busy with summer classes and traveling and my blog has taken the back burner. Today, however, as I was plodding through my assignments, I needed a little inspiration. Off to You Tube I went to find some Michelle Kwan videos to infuse myself with energy and passion! Michelle's commitment to every detail of her programs and her uncanny ability to mesmerize and energize an audience are unmatched. As watching the end of her 2002 Nationals rendition of "Scheherazade" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, as Michelle flew into her two "Falling Leaf" split jumps, I felt chills, which is hopefully just enough inspiration to finish my homework for this evening with vigor and verve! Perhaps I exaggerate on the effect it will have on my homework, but still, this performance of Michelle's 6th National title win is one that will leave you wanting to applaud from your seat on the couch. Hopefully it will bring a bit of cool inspiration and enjoyment into your hot and humid July afternoon.

Michelle's "Scheherazade":

Thursday, July 7, 2011

In honor of Michelle Kwan's Birthday: 1996 short program to "Romanza" and "Fiesta Flamenca"

Happy 31st Birthday to my favorite skater of all-time, Michelle Kwan!! Thank you, Michelle, for giving us all so many moments of inspiration and joy!!

In honor of Michelle's birthday, here is a video of her sensational, sophisticated 1996 World Championships short program to "Romanza" by Salvador Bacarisse and "Fiesta Flamenca" by Monty Kelly.

My favorite part of this video is at the end when the commentator declares: "Unreal! For heaven's sake, she's 15-year-old!"

It's hard to believe that this program was skated 16 years ago, but Michelle is still just as captivating on the ice today (when she finds the time amid her busy schedule to perform) as she was back then.


Tribute to Russian Singles Skating: Ilia Kulik's "Revolutions" by Jean Michel Jarre

Watch Ilia Kulik, then 20-years of age, deliver one of the most calm, cool, and collected Olympic short programs in recent memory.

As 1984 Olympic gold medalist and commentator, Scott Hamilton, says in this broadcast, while the other competitors were "sweating themselves to sleep at night", Ilia skated as if the Olympics were "ho, hum...just another day at the office!"

Ilia's effortless style of skating, his huge, airy jumps, and his air of youthful musicality secured him the 1998 Olympic title in convincing fashion.

Enjoy Ilia Kulik's 1998 Olympic short program to "Revolutions" by Jean Michel Jarre!!

Skating News!

Click HERE to read news about Jeremy Abbott's new competitive short and long programs

Click HERE to read about Evan Lysacek's planned return to competition this fall

Click HERE to read about South Korea being awarded the 2018 Winter Olympic

Michelle Kwan sighting! Posted on the Washington Post Entertainment page:

Hey, isn’t that...? : Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan in Beverly Hills, California last week. (Matt Sayles/AP)

• Michelle Kwan at Reagan National Wednesday, boarding an Atlanta-bound Delta flight. Black leggings, black top. Her hair, long, looked amazing, we’re told. Very smiley. The skating star was headed to Greece for the Special Olympics (she’s a board member). . . but what was she doing in D.C.? Well, turns out she’s moved here! Unclear what she’s up to (a rep didn’t return calls), but with a new Tufts M.A. in law and diplomacy, she recently told the Chicago Tribune she’s looking into government work.

By | 05:21 PM ET, 06/22/2011

The Unfortunate Split of Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates

Last week I was extremely disappointed to learn the news of the split of 2010 U.S. Olympians in ice dance, Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates. Click HERE to read the official press release on Emily and Evan skated together for 11 years and have achieved a number of accomplishments, including 2008 World Junior Champions, 2009 U.S. silver medalists, and 2010 U.S. National bronze medalist. They are two-time senior World competitors.

The future for Emily and Evan has been unclear since Evan suffered a serious, season-ending injury to his achilles tendon last fall,but I never imagined they'd split. I thought it may take them awhile to make up the time that they lost on the ice, but after skating together for 11-years, I figured they partnership was secure. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Evan has now teamed with 2011 U.S. National bronze medalist Madison Chock, who recently split from her partner, Greg Zuerlein. Emily is searching for a partner.

(I'm starting to think that my blog is a curse. Every time I post about a team, they split up! First Yankowskas and Coughlin, then the Hubbells, then Chock/Zuerlein, and now Samuelson and Bates.)

Despite the loss of this truly lovely, classy pair, I celebrate the wonderful moments that they gave the skating world and the U.S. fans. I will never forget their senior national debut in 2008 when they skated to "Luna" by Allessandro Safina, and when I saw them skate live at the 2009 U.S. Championships in Cleveland. Emily and Evan's 2010 freeskate is also one that I will fondly remember as they skated joyously at both the Nationals and the Olympic Games.

In honor of Emily and Evan's partnership, I will share their 2010 freeskate to "Canto Della Terra" by Sarah Brightman:

Here's another Emily and Evan video from their gold-medal performance at the 2008 World Junior Championships to "Luna" by Allessandro Safina: