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”

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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”

Is the ISU on the Wrong Course?

It’s unclear what problems they are trying to fix with recent rules change proposals

In the last 6 months, the ISU has passed or proposed significant changes to the competition format/judging system of figure skating. The scope of these changes could be far-reaching. Yet, their full purpose and effect remains unclear.

Change can be a good thing–but it should happen for a reason. The trouble with the ISU’s changes is that often, it’s not clear why they are happening or what the expected results are. In this case, I have serious doubts that the new proposed changes will benefit the sport. Continue reading “Is the ISU on the Wrong Course?”

U.S. Classic 2017: Highlights from Ladies, Men, Ice Dance & Pairs

I had a great time last weekend attending the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City! I covered the event for Figure Skaters Online. It was my first time going to U.S. Classic, and my first time attending any Challenger Series event.  Continue reading “U.S. Classic 2017: Highlights from Ladies, Men, Ice Dance & Pairs”

Best, Most & Worst of Pairs: 2016-17

Welcome to my third annual round-up of the best, most, and worst in pairs skating!! Included are my picks for the top 10 long programs and top 10 short programs of the season (with videos). As usual, all opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. (And possibly more idiosyncratic than usual.) So feel free to agree—or disagree!  Continue reading “Best, Most & Worst of Pairs: 2016-17”

Walking in the Judges’ Shoes: The Sochi Judging Project

Figure skating fans love to talk about judging–everyone has an opinion on it! But, talking about the judges’ work is quite different from actually getting in there and doing it yourself–as I recently found out.

This spring, the Naked Ice web site launched a judging project (“We’ll Be the Judge of That!”) in which fans would actually judge an entire competition, issuing a full set of TES/PCS marks for each skater, just like real judges. Not only that, Naked Ice upped the stakes by choosing the 2014 Sochi Olympics ladies’ event—one of the most controversial of the IJS era—as the competition to be judged. The results of the project are available tonight on the Naked Ice site: “We’ll Be the Judge of That–2014 Sochi Olympics Results.”

I participated in this project as one of the 7 judges. It was really interesting and a lot of fun! It was also a lot of work; and very educational. To be honest, I think this is one of the most important fan projects I’ve ever seen done in the skating community. Because, as much as we all talk about judging, very few of us have actually done the job and really understand the challenges. This project gave us a window into what judges really experience when they’re using IJS. And I have to say: Judging under this system is not easy. Continue reading “Walking in the Judges’ Shoes: The Sochi Judging Project”