Sunday, November 6, 2011

Highlights from Skate Canada: Adam Rippon's Freeskate

At last weekend's Skate Canada, Adam Rippon finished fourth with his freeskating effort to Bach's "Air & Toccata & Fugue". Adam attempted the most difficult quadruple jump: the quad Lutz. The jump was under-rotated and two-footed, but was still a valiant attempt that showed Adam is here to fight with the upper-echelon of men's skaters this season. He's now working with Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjeon, training alongside a pair of 2-time U.S. National Champs, Alissa Czisny and Jeremy Abbott, so I'd imagine his competitive juices are flowing and he's ready to make a statement this year.

At Skate Canada, Adam's triple Axel's continued to be his nemesis, but what really caught my attention were his other unique elements and combinations. Adam executed a beautiful "Rippon Lutz" (a Lutz with both arms over his head) and a triple Lutz-single loop-triple Salchow combination, the latter of which I've never seen anyone do before! Adam's "in between" movements--spins, footwork, and skating skills--are beautiful. If he can find a way to get his triple Axels consistent and land the Quad Lutz, Adam is going to be very competitive at his next competition, and more importantly for him, at U.S. Nationals in San Jose in January.

Despite the mistakes, I still really enjoyed Adam's performance at Skate Canada. It's evident that he's in terrific shape, and he never let the program or performance quality fall apart after mistakes. He's on the right track. I wish Adam the best for the season!

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