Olympic Thoughts: Dance, Ladies Short Program
Folks, the last few days have been hectic. So I’ve not had much time to discuss the latest doings in the world of Olympic figure skating.
But since I had a request from a friend to discuss a bit of the ice dancing, I thought I’d talk about that.
But wait — there’s more.
Because I managed to see every single one of the ladies perform their Olympic short programs yesterday, I thought I’d discuss a little bit about that competition as well.
First, let’s talk about the ice dancing. United States figure skaters Charlie White and Meryl Davis excelled in their short program, and skated a solid long program to a beautiful piece of music (Scheherezade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov) with technical brilliance and a great deal of speed to win the first-ever gold medal for the U.S. in ice dance. (Note that Davis and White won silver in 2010, while Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto also won silver in 2006.)
I enjoyed White and Davis’ skating, and felt they were worthy of a gold medal.
However, in some ways I responded a whole lot more to Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. They, too, are excellent skaters with the whole repertoire of moves . . . they won gold in Vancouver, though, so it’s hard to feel like they’ve been cheated.
As for the women’s short program, here’s my take:
- The American women are in good shape, with Gracie Gold in fourth place, Ashley Wagner in sixth and Polina Edmunds in seventh. All skated credibly or better; Gold has a real chance to win a silver or bronze if she skates a clean long program.
- There’s no way in the world Adelina Sotnikova belongs among the top six. Her scores were wildly inflated.
- What a shame that Mao Asada wasn’t able to complete her triple axel or her combination jump. Her program was lovely except for the fall, but missing those required elements dropped her all the way to sixteenth place. She’d need several miracles to get within striking distance of the podium.
- My overall winner of the short program? Carolina Kostner of Italy. She skated beautifully to “Ave Maria,” and was every bit as good as Yuna Kim.
In case you’re wondering what I’m looking for in Friday’s long program from the ladies, here goes:
- Russian ladies’ scores will continue to be wildly inflated, but none will medal (as if they did, an international judging controversy would no doubt ensue).
- Mao Asada will land at least one triple axel and a three-jump combo (probably triple-triple-double).
- Gracie Gold will skate clean and medal.
- Podium (who I think should win): Carolina Kostner, gold; Yuna Kim, silver; Gracie Gold, bronze.
- Podium (who the judges will inexplicably pick): Yuna Kim, gold; Carolina Kostner, silver; probably still Gracie Gold, bronze, unless Mao Asada lands two triple axels cleanly (if so, she’ll win the bronze somehow, and deserve it).