Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Countdown to the New Year: Day Three: Nancy Kerrigan's "Desperate Love"

Beautiful! One of my favorite Olympic performances from my childhood. And oh that iconic spiral...!

Countdown to the New Year: Day Four: Kurt Browning's "Play that Funky Music"

This man can move!

Countdown to the New Year: Day Five: Katarina Witt's "Robin Hood"

The 1984 and 1988 Olympic Champion, East Germany's Katarina Witt, returned to Olympic competition in 1994 when a rule change allowed professionals to reinstate as amateurs. This time around, at age 28, one of the sport's legends decided to compete for the love of the sport rather than medals. Under the Iron Curtain, her parent's had never been allowed to leave the country to watch their daughter compete in her previous Olympics,but in Lillehammer, Norway in 1994, under a United Germany, Katarina's parents were able to watch her compete on Olympic ice for the first time. This short program to the music from the movie "Robin Hood" is a lovely display of both athleticism and artistry. A job well done to the 2-time Olympic champion in her third Olympic appearance!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Countdown to the New Year: Day Six: Elizabeth Punsalan and Jared Swallow's 1998 Tango Freedance

One of my favorite ice dance programs. An underrated program and pair. Both the performance and pair are wonderful! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Countdown to the New Year: Day Seven: Ilia Kulik's "Who Wants to Live Forever?"

The perfect combination of athleticism and pure skating skill. The 1998 Olympic gold medalist performed this program to "Who Wants to Live Forever?" during last year's Stars on Ice tour. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Holiday Bonus: Todd Eldredge's "Lord of the Rings"

A beautiful Olympic farewell to an one of the great American champions.

Holiday Bonus: Brian Boitano's "Shenendoah, They Call the Wind Maria"T

Fantastic Skating from one of the all-time greats!

Holiday Bonus: Kristi Yamaguchi's "The Gold" by Linda Eder

Kristi is such a beautiful, person, skater, and role model to so many, all these years after winning an Olympic gold medal in 1992. This is such a gorgeous performance to "The Gold" by Linda Eder. Ironic that this performance was from Kristi's last year with Stars on Ice when just a few minutes ago I watched a video from the 1993 Stars on Ice with Kristi's Stars on Ice debut. What an elegant and sophisticated skater she evolved into throughout her tenure with SOI. Enjoy!

Holiday Bonus: Jeremy Abbott's 2010 Nationals Freeskate

Magnificent!! One of my favorite competitive skating performances of all time!

Holiday Bonus: Yu-Na Kim's Olympic Freeskate to Gershwin

Olympic perfection.

Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown: Day One: Michelle Kwan's "Winter" by Tori Amos

A beautiful inspiration to all: the lovely Michelle Kwan.

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to you and your families!

Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown: Day Two: Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov "Reverie" by Claude Debussy


Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown: Day Three: Scott Hamilton's "Someone to Watch Over Me" by Frank SinatraA

A Master on ice.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown: Day Seven: Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean's "Rhumba"


Update on Michelle Kwan

Saw this update about Michelle Kwan on yesterday:

Kween of Washington

According to a Dec. 6 article in the Washington Post, Michelle Kwan has taken a job as a senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs at the U.S. State Department.

Kwan, who recently got a degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, also mentioned that she and fiancé Clay Pell are planning a Rhode Island wedding sometime next year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown: Day Nine: Ashley Wagner's "Samson and Delilah" by Camille Saint-Saëns

Ashley Wagner has been on fire this season! The reigning U.S. National Champion made a bold statement during the Grand Prix Series, both with her striking orange costume and her sensual commanding programs. At the Trophee Eric Bompard competition in November, Ashley put together the best freeskate of her life. I said it earlier in the season and I'll say it again: Ashley has been channeling Michelle Kwan this season. No one can ever reach Kwan's level exuding pure heart and soul on the ice, but Ashley has greatly impressed me with her artistically "complete" and dynamic programs this fall. Her level of sophistication and finesse has vastly improved.

Wishing Ashley the best when defending her national title in January! Enjoy her beautiful rendition of Camille Saint-Saëns' "Samson and Delilah."

Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown: Day Ten: Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov's "Vocalise" by Sergei Rachmaninoff

Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov's "Vocalise" is profound. The premise of this piece, created by the great choreographer Marina Zoueva, is that Rodan's famous sculpture "The Kiss" comes to life. "Vocalise" is one of my favorite Gordeeva and Grinkov masterpieces. The two-time Olympic champions are simply magical.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this spectacular work of art.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown: Day Eleven: Jeremy Abbott's "Hometown Glory" by Adele

For the last four years, Jeremy Abbott has been one of my favorite men's competitors in the world. Though the three-time National Champion hasn't always been in the upper-echelon of World standings, his artistic presence is nothing short of World Class. No one in the world of skating commands the blade as well as Jeremy does; floating across the ice as he casts a magical spell over audiences time and time again. Jeremy's skating style is sublime. His elements are seemingly woven across the ice in one beautiful, fluid thread. No other skater has moved me to tears more than Jeremy has in the last four years.

While this exhibition piece to Adele's "Hometown Glory" from last year's Fashion on Ice TV special isn't Jeremy's piece-de-resistance, it is indeed a fantastic display of first-rate skating skills and heart, what we've come to expect from this talented athlete and artist.

I wish Jeremy all the best in the coming year, especially at the U.S. Championships in January, where he will try to win his fourth U.S. title. His new feeskate, an instrumental of the grandiose piece "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables, is one of the most beautiful freeskates I have ever seen.

I hope you enjoy Jeremy's "Hometown Glory" on this lovely December afternoon!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown: Day 12: Meryl Davis and Charlie White's "Notre-Dame de Paris"

My new favorite program of the season is Meryl Davis and Charlie White's new freedance to the music of "Notre-Dame de Paris" by Roberto Cocciante. The program caters to the strengths of the 4-time U.S. National Champions, whose hallmarks are speed, passion, and dynamism. The highlight and rotational lifts are stunning, as well as the drama and verve of the final movements of the program. Charlie, in particular, skates with an inspiring reckless abandon. The final pose of the program creates great artistic and emotional impact.

Meryl and Charlie are undefeated this season, winning both their Grand Prix events. Last weekend they made history, becoming the first U.S. team to win four-consecutive Grand Prix final Championships. In the final, they defeated their main rivals, Olympic Champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Meryl and Charlie are the reigning Olympic silver medalists, as well as the reigning World Championship silver medalists, after narrowly losing their World title to Tessa and Scott at last year's Worlds in Nice, France. Meryl and Charlie have renewed motivation and passion this season. I wish them continued success and luck on their way to defending their U.S. title in January and regaining the World title in March.

Regardless of results, this team continues to be my favorite dance team in the world. I am constantly in awe of their raw passion, speed, and spectacular skating skills.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful-winning performance from last weekend's Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia.

The Third Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Skating Countdown

For the next 12 days, I will count down to Christmas by highlighting some of my favorite figure skating performances. During the holiday season, as with every other day of our lives, it is so important to take the time out of our busy schedules to perceive and appreciate beauty. I hope that you can take a few moments to watch these luminescent performances and enjoy the moments of happiness that they bring.
I hope that you and your families have a very blessed and beautiful holiday season!