Evgeni Plushenko, an 8-time Russian National Champion, 3-time World Champion ('01, '03, '04), and 3-time Olympic medalist (silver in 2002, gold in 2006, silver in 2010) is the epitome of a flamboyant, powerhouse Russian skater. The 28-year exudes athleticism and panache.
In 2001, Evgeni defeated his great rival, Alexei Yagudin, to win the coveted World title with a flourish of triple jumps and choreography infused with personality and pizzazz, as the great Dick Button would say.
I hope you enjoy Evgeni's performance that established him as the best in the world in the 2000/2001 season, and as the one-to-beat heading into subsequent Olympic season.
Albeit a little outdated, and despite the fact that American pairs team Erika Choi Smith and Nate Bartholomay have split since this year's Nationals, here's a 2009 interview with the couple that I compiled after their stint as guest performers in that spring's Penn State Ice Show. Click on the link to my online portfolio, HERE. Story is located in the second row on the far right.
As a belated birthday gift to myself, I'm posting one of the most spellbinding performances that I've ever seen. Natalia Mishkutenok and Artur Dimitriev's 1994 Olympic freeskate to Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto No.2" is a work of pure genius. Though Natalia and Artur finished second behind Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov that night in Lillehammer, many, including myself, felt they should have won gold. No matter, Natalia and Artur, the 1992 Olympic champions, were stunningly brilliant and gave the skating world a marvelously compelling performance that I will never forget.
In celebration of 3-time U.S. Champion Michael Weiss' 34th birthday, here he is at age 25 skating his 2002 Olympic free program to "Nessun Dorma". I remember watching this performance live on TV. It was great to see Todd Eldredge, Michael Weiss, and Elvis Stojko all skate so well in the second to last group before the medal contenders. This strong freeskate moved Michael up from 8th after the short program to 7th place overall.
Here's thanking Michael for years of enjoyable skating and wishing him a very happy birthday!!