Friday, October 28, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tribute to China: Sui and Han's 2016 Worlds Freeskate

As an up-and-coming pair on the figure skating scene, Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China, are taking the world by storm. With their power, grace, and beauty, I see nothing but the brightest of futures for this pair. I look forward to seeing them compete this season!

Tribute to China: Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao: 2003 World Freeskate to "Turandot"

One of my favorite performances of all time. Competing with an ankle injury, Xue Shen showed the ultimate determination and heart to perform a perfect and passionate performance to "Turandot." Shen and Hongbo Zhao performed as one and gave the world chills. This performance never ceases to remind me why I love this sport. Perfection.

A Tribute to China: Qing Pang and Jian Tong: "The Impossible Dream"

A stunning Olympic moment enjoyed and appreciated by all. Qing Pang and Jian Tong captivated audiences around the world with their near perfect performance to "Impossible Dream" at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. These two captured the Olympic spirit and delivered a heartfelt performance that won them the silver medal to their countrymen, Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao.

A Tribute to China: Lu Chen's "Butterfly Lovers"

I'm in Beijing right now. As I sit here in my hotel room, looking out the window at this beautiful, bustling city, I can't help but think back on all the amazing Chinese figure skaters that I have loved and appreciated over the years. Such wonderful memories. The first skater and performance that I'd like to honor is the lovely Lu Chen, 1994 and 1998 Olympic bronze medalist and 1995 World Champion. At the 1998 Nagano Olympics, she skated a magical, ethereal piece to "Butterfly Lovers." This performance was so significant as Chen had been 25th at the World the previous year and had struggled to regain her championship composure. She had lost favor with her country and the skating community, and this is the remarkable and emotional comeback performance that left everyone in tears. As Scott Hamilton said in his commentary, " I love when wonderful things happen to wonderful people."

'Edges of Spain': A Stars on Ice Masterpiece

This Stars on Ice performance to Aranjuez, titled "Edges of Spain," is everything that professional skating should be: quiet, beautiful, masterful, and strong. Love this!

Paul Wylie: Classics Never Go Out of Style

This will never get old.

Maia and Alex Shibutani's 2016 Skate America Freeskate

Watch out world! This is mesmerizing. I can't wait to see how this program will continue to evolve over the season. Pure and beautiful skating!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Adam Rippon: Taking Musical Risks

I've taken a 9-month hiatus from my blog. This is the longest break I've ever taken in my blog's 6-year history. The break had nothing to do with my lack of interest in skating, or a lack of interest in this blog, but rather, due to the craziest life-schedule that I've ever had. I've gone through a lot of ups-and-downs since January. Last I wrote was the evening of the men's freeskate. Since then, I have had six jobs and a new relationship. Needless to say, my blogging time has been non-existent. But I've missed it. I hated that this project that I've had going for six years was almost defunct, but I knew that at the right time, I would bring it back. Now is that time! I wouldn't say that my schedule has died down, but the desire to write about skating and to share the beauty and power of the performances was stronger has won out.

Since my last blog post discussed the men's final of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, it seems fitting that I am going to reprise my blog by focusing on that competition's gold medalist: Adam Rippon. Also since that blog post, I have had the chance to interview Adam on the telephone and write an article about him for a Pennsylvania lifestyle magazine. I had a wonderful conversation with Adam and marveled at how down-to-earth he was. So polite, respectful, friendly, funny, and insightful! It was a great experience.

In today's post, I'd like to feature Adam's awesome performance from the 2016 Worlds in which he threw down the gauntlet. Though he finished sixth, the result hardly matters, as his skating was the most smooth, confident, and consistent that I've ever seen it. That in itself was a personal victory! In skating to the Beatles, Adam, who typically skating to classical "War horses" in the past, tried something completely different. This season, he's skating to "Bloodstream" by Stateless. Prior to seeing Adam's performance at the Japan Open, I had never heard this song before. It was so different than anything that I've heard, and is certainly different from anything that we've heard in the skating world. So refreshing! I've heard some mixed reviews about this program, but just given the fact that it's something so fresh and will stretch Adam to new artistic heights, I am a big fan. I feel that this program is an authentic extension of Adam and I like the vibe that it delivers.

In my interview with Adam, he expressed that he wants to skate to music that more people can relate to--something that will bring in new audiences. I feel this "Bloodstream" program does just that.

My respect for Adam went up several notches since our interview and I wish him nothing but the very best for this season! I'll be rooting for him!

Adam's 2016 World "Beatles" Freeskate:

Adam's "Bloodstream" by Stateless: