I sum up another memorable day at the 2019 worlds, 240 (or fewer) characters at a time.Read More
Nathan Chen has had little down time at Yale University since the beginning of his first-year classes in late summer.
The reigning figure skating world champion had embarked in August on a journey unlike almost any other in the history of the sport. Not only was he trying to blend both full-time college studies and competitive skating, as other champions had successfully done in the past, he was trying to do it with limited input from a coach who was 3,000 miles away.
His skating practice schedule includes a one-hour round trip to a nearby rink. His courses this semester include calculus, statistics, abnormal psychology and Listening to Music.
But it’s typical of Chen that when he had a break from classes last week, he used it to take on another challenge.
He went into an empty common room at one of Yale’s 14 residential colleges and sat down at a piano that was, to be polite, in need of some TLC.
Chen, 19, later said the exercise wasn’t just for fun and relaxation but rather to see if he remembered how to play the instrument, on which he had achieved a solid level of proficiency nine years ago but played little since.
Judging from the video snippets Chen posted on Instagram, the answer is yes.Read More
There are two ways to do figure skating predictions.
One is based on the unlikely event that the top six or so skaters or couples in every discipline skate cleanly (wouldn’t that be wonderful to see.) Predictions then are relatively simple, since one can rely on measures of past clean programs and of pure ability.
The second method factors in recent performances, injuries, the way judges have perceived an athlete or team, how the athletes have done under pressure in big events and other intangibles. These are much more valid but also trickier, given what might happen when you combine all that information with a slippery surface, knife-blade-wide skate edges and limit-pushing, extreme sports skills.Read More
All you Hanyu bots can start getting your fingers near the send button.
Because no figure skating fans get more dyspeptic than many of Yuzuru Hanyu’s if anyone dares suggest the sport’s biggest global star is not one million times better at all times than any other men’s figure skater.
And I’m saying this: the free skate Nathan Chen did in winning his third straight U.S. championship nine days ago was considerably better than any other men’s free skate in the world since Hanyu’s at the 2017 World Championships.
That 2017 Hanyu performance in Helsinki simply is the best free skate ever when one looks at it in terms of execution and difficulty of jumps (four pristine quads), quality of footwork and spins and overall level of artistry and skating skills.Read More
In international sports, 2018 was a year of courage and cowardice and common sense in seeing through a con.
And, as usual, it was a year of athletes of all colors, backgrounds, nations, shapes and sizes rising above the inanity, craven callousness and amorality of the old, white men who run global sports.
To which one can only say this: Thanks, Yuzuru Hanyu and Simone Biles, thanks Ester Ledecká and Chloe Kim, thanks Eliud Kipchoge and Team Shuster. . .thanks to you and more for the achievements and goodwill that made us remember that sport, for all its ugly, scandalous warts, can show humankind at its most attractive.Read More