I sum up another memorable day at the 2019 worlds, 240 (or fewer) characters at a time.Read More
Ok, I’m going to try something here. And, not, it’s not because it’s the easy way out. It’s because I said everything I wanted about Day I of the World Figure Skating Championships in a 14-item Twitter thread…and a couple later tweets.
So, in a bow to 2019 short-form journalism, here they are: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
Over three days in late January, Alysa Liu turned into a sensation whose fame briefly reached beyond her sport.
Liu went from becoming, at age 13, the youngest senior national champion in U.S. figure skating history to appearances on TODAY and the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon, charming both viewers and the hosts.
And then, because of her age, Liu disappeared from not only the wider stage provided by those shows but also from figure skating’s stage until next season.
The situation is similar for the three young women, Anna Shcherbakova, Alexandra Trusova and Alena Kostornaia, then 14, 14 and 15, respectively, who swept the senior podium at the Russian Championships in December.
And for Stephen Gogolev, 14, senior silver medalist at the Canadian national championships in January.
At least the three Russians and Gogolev made the minimum age cutoff for this week’s World Junior Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, although Kostornaia withdrew for unspecified medical reasons. Liu is too young even for junior worlds.
But none of those five are old enough to compete in the senior world championships later this month in Japan.
That means the premier figure skating event of this season will be missing five of the best and most compelling skaters – at least as determined by national championship results – from three of the world’s traditionally powerful skating countries.Read More