2017 Euros of Figure Skating

Not really sure what to expect from this tournament beside the fact I will be watching almost all of it on YouTube
:/ thanks a lot, NBC Sports, for wanting to broadcast this live when most of us normal people have jobs during the day.
Either that or there’s no use getting excited over it because there’s no Americans or Canadians competing in this event.

Anyway… I was thinking about the line-up going in and realizing I didn’t know who to expect at all.
I know the Russian women are going to dominate, led by Evgenia Medvedeva- unless something crazy happens.
But the men… I just know Javier Fernandez is competing and maybe Alexei Bychenko and Daniel Samohin because they’re from Israel.
Most of my favorite skaters are either from the US, Japan or Russia and two of these countries can’t compete here because it’s the EUROPEAN championships.

Hmm… I’m suddenly in the mood to watch Plushenko’s run at 2012. But I digress. I’ll get back to him at a later point- maybe this weekend.

Ladies first and I’ll start with the person I’m pretty sure is going to win anyway.
Evgenia Medvedeva
oh, I found NBC Sport’s broadcast

That was so beautiful to watch. I kinda missed seeing her do the jump with the hand over the head and just look so flawless. Other than her doing this “all jumps in the 2nd half” format, it’s hard not to fall in love with her.
And it brings me back to the notion- if I was this avid about figure skating when Plushenko was actively competing, I don’t think I would have liked him that much. I hate people that win all the time 😛 ask Tom Brady

but at least in Plushenko’s case, he was trying to push the sport with quads.
Evgenia, I don’t think a lot of people will be wanting to do this “all jumps in 2nd half” format. The hand over the head, maybe, but not at every jump the way she seems to.
And she’s working on a quad salchow… if she can get that perfected, the possibilities for the women’s side are endless. I just wish they had the standard set of the triple axels. Almost nobody is doing them.
78.92- no surprise, in first place.

Next, Anna Pogorilaya. I didn’t think she’d make it here. I saw the top 3 finish of a Russian competition and she wasn’t one of those three.
can’t believe she’s only 18- she seems so much older than that. but I also thought Elizaveta was 21 the entire time she was competing in 2015 😛
a great solid skate and such confidence. Ostrava has a really great audience, clapping along with the music as she did her step sequence at the end.
74.39- a new season’s best. Great job.

Next I’ll have to watch Carolina Kostner from Italy. I don’t think I’d seen her compete since Sochi where she won bronze. I think there was a scandal about doping where she either doped or her boyfriend did and she covered it up. I don’t know the entire story. But my point- Plushenko tweeted about her, saying bravo. So obviously she did something amazing- might be in 3rd place. I’ll have to see.

Wow… btw, the story is that she helped her boyfriend get around a drug test.
At first, I thought she was skating to “Tribute to Nijinksy” music… but it wasn’t. “God of Thunder” was the piece. I remember her being really good at Sochi, but I don’t remember her being quite this amazing. Maybe it’s the music, but this felt like something I’d never seen before. Something special. Great ease through her jumps, consistent and really great charisma that matched the music.
And maybe Plushenko tweeted also because Alexei Mishin is coaching her 😉
72.40… I think she might be in third like I guessed.

There’s one more Russian, Maria Sotskava I’ll watch. And then I’ll go over to the guys. I didn’t recognize many of the other names of the women’s side.
A clean skate overall, but after these three performances, it was very underwhelming. Not much of a spark, not as dynamic a performer.

oh, interesting… Anna and Maria were 3rd and 4th (maybe not respectively) at the National championships and the one in 2nd was a junior. That explains this line-up.

yeah, maybe the guys aren’t posted yet because they’re not listed in the right side as recommended videos to watch.
but seeing Elena Radionova there… it just hit home that she’s not here. she’s been such a fixture in this sport these past couple years. Even she can’t keep up with Evgenia and she’d been pretty reliable and consistent.

and poor Yulia… she’d been having so much trouble after Sochi. I’d hate to never see her in this sport again in good shape. I just hope that when she gets over this injury that she can return stronger than before. Also hope Elizaveta doesn’t disappear completely either because her presence on the ice is something I wish more girls had.

Now I’m cutting it close… the guys are going to perform their free skates soon so I gotta watch the short programs within the next 45 minutes.

I’ll start with Maxim Kovtun because he’s the first one I’m seeing in the line-up here. I’ll start with him, Javi and Alexei Bychenko and then fan out.

Max almost looked like a different skater out there. I mean, his style is still a little different and odd to watch sometimes. But he seemed to have more confidence and it was good to see his reaction at the end when he was pumped at doing a clean skate. I hope he stays consistent to at least make the podium.

Next, Javier Fernandez.

Wow, Javi seems a little off as of lately. He nailed all his jumps, but he had to fight to stay on his feet. Particularly with the quads. I wonder if he’s going through some health issue or his stamina is taking some hits. He could have had that excuse earlier in the season when he had to compete two weeks in a row. Which led to a struggle at the grand prix final. But with it being a month later… I don’t know.
I’m a little concerned, that’s all.
Even then, he got a season’s best of 104.25.

I guess we’ll see what happens…

Alexei, I’ll watch next then. And I’ll see what the heck happened with Mikhail Kolyada… I wonder if the hype got to him. I hope not. And Alexander Samarin was supposed to compete, I think.

That was fun. Alexei had great energy with his program. The jumps might not be all there for him. I don’t think he had any quads. But loved his choreography and personality coming out.

The video with Maxim Kovtun didn’t show his score, so I have no idea what he got. It had to be over 90 with two quads, though.

Ok, so Mikhail popped his axel. That’s why he’s not in the top 3. That explains a bit. The rest of his program was flawless, though. Two more great jumping passes, great spins and choreography. But maybe it lost a little something when he missed that one jump. I hope it doesn’t put him too far back, though.
83.96- okay, so not too bad. He could catch Max and Alexei to get on the podium. But he’ll need help from them and himself.

Wow, there are a bunch of names popping up that I want to see, but don’t know if I’ll get to see them all. I’ll start then with Deniss Vasiljevs from Lativa. (wow, can’t believe I still know how to spell his name- haven’t seen him in a while).
Well, the crowd certainly liked him. Maybe because Latvia has a closer proximity to the Czech Republic. His jumps maybe didn’t carry enough weight and that’s why the score is so low. But great energy and performance. The music was all guitar, kind of wonky guitar, very funky. He made it look really good. Almost like a rock star in the making.
79.87. And Stephane Lambiel is his coach. Well, he’s certainly learning from the best 😉

Whoa, I saw in the video description on one of the recommended videos- Evgenia Medvedeva got a new world record for her free skate here.
No surprise, she still won this thing. But per a tweet Plushenko sent out (yeah, of all people to spoil the results for me, it’d be him, but I can forgive that because I clicked on the instagram link- I couldn’t really make out the Russian for whatever reason… but yeah, that’ll be exciting).

Next, Ivan Righini, who had a bad injury the last time I saw him months ago. I hope he’s bounced back.
Not quite… he had trouble on all his jumps. But he made the most of it with his performance. He’s one of those skaters so lyrical and great to watch. But it’s sad when the technical aspect lets them down because they could be better than what they show.
yeah he’s in 9th place with 69.95.

Dang, I’m out of time. I see Alexander Samarin and Daniel Samohin listed here as well 😦
I’ll have to watch afterwards just for the sake of being entertained. I don’t know where Alexander is or if they’ll show him… I really hope they do because his “Maybe I Maybe You” program is so good.

They’re showing live track and field now. Hopefully it won’t run over too long. Although the videos for the free are showing up on YouTube now, so if they don’t show it at all, it won’t be a complete tragedy.

Amazing results for sure.

Unless he had a complete meltdown (which was highly unlikely), Javi was going to win because nobody had the quads or the personality/performance to catch up to him with the points.

But it was really great to see two Russians on the podium at the end of it.

I’m going to be cautiously optimistic with Maxim Kovtun because he got 2nd place with the most impressive skate I’d seen him do. He had a silly mistake where he popped a lutz, but otherwise, a strong showing with great high/fast jumps and a little more self-assuredness. The commentators talked about his plan to prepare better mentally for competition and so far that seems to be working. I believe more that he wants this and maybe he deserves his spot on the world team.

Although he still probably won’t compete with Yuzuru or Patrick Chan (who is a stronger, more consistent skater than him) or Nathan Chen right now… but I believe he has a little more of a chance at a podium finish or at least a top 10 to help earn Russia two places on the Olympic team.

I’d hate for Russia to only get one place for a male skater for the Olympic team. But I’d also hate more if they’re completely banned from the next winter Olympics. They NEED to be afforded at least a shot. All these Russian men deserve a shot in the spotlight so the country won’t be missing Plushenko as much as they are. They need a strong skater to take his place out there because he doesn’t seem capable of it anymore. And he also doesn’t seem to want it as much as he did a couple years ago.

Mikhail Kolyada got third place, which is good for him, but I know he wanted to do better. He had some mistakes with his quads and couldn’t find that consistency he needed. He also looked so disappointed afterwards.

I’ll save Alexander Samarin for last, I think. At the end, he finished in 8th, which is great. He wasn’t on TV at all, but at least with an 8th place finish on the world senior stage- just maybe he’ll be on his way to become a strong leader in Russian men’s skating.

Javi had a few mistakes in his program, but I fist pumped so hard when he landed his first quad. Great performance overall, although not perfect.
Alexei had a bit of a meltdown. He started strong, but the mistakes started piling up. It was hard to watch.

Daniel Samohin, I don’t know what happened with him. He popped or fell on every jump in his short program.
I see a lot of the juniors I got to know here, but I don’t know how well any of them did if they finished so low in the standings. Kevin Aymoz, Graham Newbery, Sondre Oddvall Boe among others.
Daniel didn’t even advance to the free skate, he did so poorly 😦 I hope this doesn’t put a standstill or stop to his career when it’s just barely begun.

All of the other juniors at least qualified.
Sondre was 24- dead last of those who qualified. Graham was 16th, Kevin was 15th, Ivan Pavlov from Ukraine was 14th, Ivan despite his issues on his short program was 13th.

I will note that Jorik Hendrikx from Belgium was shown in the telecast and got 4th place. He had no quads, but he had such a commanding presence on the ice. Like he was playing such a serious character throughout and maintained it, but when it ended, he broke character and he seems like a really nice guy. He’s someone I’d seen a few times, but overlooked.

I mean, I have a lot of favorite skaters from different countries, but I don’t have room in my head for everybody 😛

I’ll guess I’ll watch Alexander then. I’ll save the women for tomorrow. I need a break for a while 😛

He started out really rocky. He fell on his quad to start. He had a rough start into his combination jump at the end, but he held it together otherwise. For a while, I forgot it was a competition and I was just enjoying watching him.
Tatiana Tarasova mentioned Plushenko in her commentary afterwards… I think because she was listing all these strong skaters from Russia and how she wants Alexander to be one of them, but isn’t quite there yet.
his score was around 77… which is really good for a junior, but not on this stage so massive.

whoa, he finished 4th at junior worlds last year… I don’t remember that… anyway, I will be watching him this time no matter how well he does.
I’ve got British commentary for his free skate now.
He had a bunch of mistakes, but held it together again. I was just enjoying it so much, though. By this point, he’d about made this music his own and Plushenko’s exhibition he did the one time is the rear view mirror.
230 is a really good score for 10 years ago, not so much now, though.
I hope he will continue to improve over time so he and Dmitri will be able to take Russian’s senior men skating where it sorely needs to be.

Just went to YouTube (for reasons other than seeing the top women skaters)… and saw a video title “Javier Fernandez injury”… automatically I panicked and went to Twitter…

Anyway: in the video, he said he couldn’t skate because he injured himself in the free skate and needs to take care of himself, but no real detail about it. I know he kinda fell on his hand on that bad fall. Either way, though, good luck to you, Javi. Rest well and recover and hopefully your worlds competition will go well.

Now for the women:

Maria Sotskova
She’s pretty to watch for sure, but her skating is like what women’s skating used to be in the days of Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan. It’s nice to watch, but there’s no spark or anything particularly exciting about it. She doesn’t have that special spark yet that sets her apart from other skaters her age.
Also, she wasn’t perfect. She had at least 3 falls, one on a combination.

Carolina Kostner
wow- she’s only a year younger than I am. And she’s still in great shape.
she had to fight for some jumps, not a completely clean program. But there is a little something extra with her that maybe comes from Alexei Mishin’s coaching. Not as exciting as her short program was, but still well done.
her components score was quite a bit more than her technical by at least 8-9 points.

Anna Pogorilaya
at this point in the competition, she was the last to skate and right after Carolina Kostner.
there were some jumps she had to fight for, but that was the best skate of the three I’d seen so far. So dynamic throughout. She brought the music to life, kinda like she was acting in the opera. Mesmerizing.
Ryan Bradley thinks she might be able to catch up with Medvedeva at worlds if she continues doing as well as she has been… I wouldn’t be surprised, but I think she’d also need Evgenia to make mistakes. Mistakes that I’ve only seen maybe twice.
I love her reaction when she gets a good scoring/placing. She is so happy and thrilled and that makes me excited for her. I’m already super excited for the world championships and I have one skater left to watch. Just for the sake of being complete in this.

Evgenia Medvedeva
I’d never seen her so excited after a program. She couldn’t even keep her composure at the end of the program where it’s supposed to be such a serious solemn moment. But yeah, another stunning beautiful performance. Makes it look so easy. The only misstep was being tight on a landing of a combination jump. She had to get around on the 2nd jump, but otherwise… yeah, perfect as usual.
yeah, that’s so close to being a score that would compare with the men 10 years ago… phew…
and it was kinda nice hearing the commentators give little tidbits about her, how she still is only 17, she likes to stay home on weekends and watch cartoons. With her especially, you kinda forget her age sometimes.

Yeah, I have a feeling the comments section is going to be mean as it always is, so I’m not going to bother reading it now.
This was a great competition. A little predictable, maybe, but some exciting skating for sure.

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One Response to 2017 Euros of Figure Skating

  1. That was really interesting, thank you for that.

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