Cranberry Open 2018: Notes

Cranberry Open is a U.S. club competition that takes place every summer in the town of Hyannis, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I usually try to make it down there for one day each summer to see some early-season skating.

The competitors at Cranberry are mostly local New England skaters. However, the event sometimes draws skaters from further afield. This year, Florida coach Jim Peterson brought a contingent of his skaters, including U.S. bronze medalists Deanna Stellato-Dudek/Nate Bartholomay. Yesterday, I got a chance to see the debut of Stellato-Dudek/Bartholomay’s new short program, plus a mix of programs in other divisions. Continue reading “Cranberry Open 2018: Notes”

Remembering Denis Ten 1993-2018

A couple days ago, I was reminded again of all that we lost on July 19, when Denis Ten was killed in Kazakhstan.

Russian skater Sergei Voronov announced that Denis had choreographed his new short program. Usually I love it when gifted skaters try their hand at choreography; it’s wonderful to think of their artistry carrying on, even after they’re no longer skating. But this …. To know that Denis Ten’s first year as a choreographer was also his last, just left me with an ache inside. Continue reading “Remembering Denis Ten 1993-2018”

Interview with Stellato/Bartholomay (June 2018)

When Deanna Stellato and Nate Bartholomay announced their new partnership in 2016, many in the skating world were taken by surprise. Bartholomay was a U.S. National medalist and Olympian; but at 27, his skating career was in doubt after partner Felicia Zhang retired in 2014 and a subsequent partnership did not work out. Stellato, for her part, was just returning to elite-level skating at 33, after an unheard-of 16-year absence from the sport. She also had no previous pairs experience. Yet somehow, this unlikely duo joined forces to become a pairs team. Continue reading “Interview with Stellato/Bartholomay (June 2018)”

Colonial Open 2018: Report

This past weekend, I went to Colonial Open in Boxborough, MA. Colonial Open is one of the first club competitions of the season in New England, and it’s only about an hour from my house, so it’s fun to go and see some early-season skating.

Colonial Open typically attracts a fairly strong field of skaters from the Boston/New York metropolitan areas. The competition includes singles skating only (no pairs or dance). This year, I saw the Novice Men, Junior Ladies, and Senior Ladies events at Colonial, plus some bits of Intermediate and Junior Men. Of these divisions, Junior Ladies had the most competitive field, so I’ll cover that one first. Note: I tried to keep track of the skaters’ jump elements, but there may be a few errors; my apologies if so!   Continue reading “Colonial Open 2018: Report”

Ice Shows 2018: Highlights

Springtime is show time in figure skating. Spring is when U.S. skating clubs present their annual ice shows, and it’s also when Stars on Ice tours the country. Figure skating fans may miss competitions during this time of year, but at least we do have an alternative–ice shows.

In April, I was fortunate to see two of the biggest ice shows in the U.S.: Ice Chips, the Skating Club of Boston’s annual show, and Stars on Ice, which I saw in Portland, ME. April was a cold and dreary month here in New England; plus, my family got the flu. It was nice to escape from it all with a couple of nights of figure skating!  Continue reading “Ice Shows 2018: Highlights”

The Significance of Trusova

A week and a half ago, 13-year-old Alexandra Trusova won Junior Worlds in Sofia, Bulgaria, with a record-setting performance in the free skate. New world records in ladies’ skating have become fairly common in recent years, due to the technical brilliance of Russian ladies. In senior ladies, Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova have taken turns setting new world-record scores over the last 12 months.

Yet, as common as new records have become, Trusova’s long program at Junior Worlds 2018 is particularly significant. It may even be among the most consequential events in the history of the sport. Continue reading “The Significance of Trusova”

Olympics 2018: Pairs Review

The Olympics are so big. So many countries participating, so many people watching. For two weeks, we see figure skating on the biggest stage in the world. Well, I’m happy to say that the pairs skaters did not disappoint when it was their turn to take the stage in Pyeongchang. It was a great pairs event, by any measure you could think of. The overall standard of quality was high, the pairs delivered many personal-best programs, and the drama at the top was intense. When it was all over, Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot were the new Olympic champions. And they were joined on the podium by two other great teams: Sui/Han and Duhamel/Radford. It was a truly satisfying end to a competition that fans had looked forward to for years.  Continue reading “Olympics 2018: Pairs Review”