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”

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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”

Artistika Interview

This summer, I was honored to have my web site featured in Artistika, an online magazine devoted to the arts and the artistic sports. Artistika republished my interview with Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran, and also included a little interview with me about pairs skating in general. Many readers have probably already seen this interview, but I wanted to post a direct link to it here, in case anyone missed it earlier.

A big thank-you, again, to Artistika for featuring A Divine Sport! If you haven’t seen an issue of Artistika already, I encourage you to check it out! The magazine is gorgeous and includes lots of skating articles, in addition to stories about gymnastics and the arts. It’s great reading! 🙂 The first edition of the magazine had a great story on World champions Papadakis/Cizeron; the second edition includes an interview with British champion Philip Harris, as well as beautiful drawings by figure skating artist Yoshie Shibaike. Enjoy!

5 Reasons to Love Meagan Duhamel

Meagan Duhamel and partner Eric Radford have been World champions for 2 years now and have led the pairs discipline technically since the Sochi Olympics. Yet, despite all their accomplishments, this pair continues to be the target of criticism from skating fans, some of whom do not appreciate D/R’s style or approach to the sport. So much of the criticism of this team is over the top and unbalanced, in my opinion. I therefore feel compelled to offer just a little bit of a counterpoint!

Why should you love Meagan Duhamel?? I’ll give you 5 reasons right now. 🙂  Continue reading “5 Reasons to Love Meagan Duhamel”

Best, Most & Worst of Pairs: 2015-16

Welcome to the second annual edition of my Best, Most, and Worst of Pairs! This is a review of my personal highlights of the year in pairs. I’ve expanded some of last year’s categories and added a few new ones! Included are my picks for the top 10 long programs and short programs of the season (with videos). Enjoy (and feel free to disagree)! Continue reading “Best, Most & Worst of Pairs: 2015-16”

A Perfect Program: Patrick Chan’s Chopin LP

Skating fans are pretty lucky. Every season, there are many good,  and often great, programs to enjoy. Once in while, a perfect program happens. It’s a rare and special thing: When the right piece of music and the right choreography all come together at a particular moment in a skater’s career. When it happens, the program becomes part of the skater’s success, even part of their public identity sometimes. A perfect program may become iconic; a part of skating history. Continue reading “A Perfect Program: Patrick Chan’s Chopin LP”