Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 World Championships - Final Results + Notes

2010 World Champion Mao Asada

Mao Asada - Gold
Yuna Kim - Silver
Laura Lepisto - Bronze
4. Miki Ando
5. Cynthia Phaneuf
6. Carolina Kostner
7. Mirai Nagasu
8. Ksenia Makarova
9. Rachael Flatt
10. Viktoria Helgesson

Mao Asada becomes the first woman to regain the World title since Irina Slutskaya in 2005. Yuna Kim's inability to defend her world title means Katarina Witt remains the last woman to go undefeated all season in the year she took Olympic gold. Laura Lepisto is the first lady from Finland to ever medal at the World Championships. Cynthia Phaneuf has bragging rights as the highest placing North American skater. For the third straight season, the lady with the higher US Nationals finish is not the highest placing American at worlds.

Friday, March 26, 2010

2010 World Championships - Ladies Short Program Results

Mirai Nagasu in the lead.
Who saw this coming?

Top 24 advance to the long program

1 Mirai Nagasu USA 70.40 40.20 30.20
2 Mao Asada JPN 68.08 37.12 30.96
3 Laura Lepisto FIN 64.30 34.98 29.32
4 Carolina Kostner ITA 62.20 33.20 29.00
5 Ksenia Makarova RUS 62.06 36.90 25.16
6 Rachael Flatt USA 60.88 33.80 27.08
7 Yu-Na Kim KOR 60.30 30.02 30.28
8 Cynthia Phaneuf CAN 59.50 33.94 25.56
9 Viktoria Helgesson SWE 56.32 32.68 23.64
10 Julia Sebestyen HUN 56.10 30.06 26.04
11 Miki Ando JPN 55.78 28.70 28.08
12 Elene Gedevanishvili GEO 55.26 30.34 25.92
13 Sarah Hecken GER 55.20 33.64 21.56
14 Alena Leonova RUS 54.36 29.40 25.96
15 Jenna McCorkell GBR 52.12 29.92 22.20
16 Kiira Korpi FIN 51.72 26.68 26.04
17 Cheltzie Lee AUS 51.36 31.40 19.96
18 Yan Liu CHN 49.96 28.52 21.44
19 Anastasia Gimazetdinova UZB 49.10 29.34 19.76
20 Akiko Suzuki JPN 48.36 23.32 26.04
21 Sonia Lafuente ESP 47.72 27.08 21.64
22 Elena Glebova EST 47.72 26.32 21.40
23 Min-Jung Kwak KOR 47.46 27.30 21.16
24 Manouk Gijsman NED 47.44 30.60 16.84
25 Ivana Reitmayerova SVK 45.96 25.60 20.36
26 Sarah Meier SUI 45.06 23.10 22.96
27 Tamar Katz ISR 44.96 25.20 20.76
28 Tugba Karademir TUR 44.52 23.88 20.64
29 Myriane Samson CAN 44.20 24.44 21.76
30 Kerstin Frank AUT 43.80 26.76 17.04
31 Victoria Muniz PUR 41.08 25.24 15.84
32 Bettina Heim SUI 41.00 24.60 16.40
33 Fleur Maxwell LUX 40.22 24.70 16.52
34 Teodora Postic SLO 40.20 23.64 18.56
35 Karina Johnson DEN 38.22 23.78 15.44
36 Zanna Pugaca LAT 38.20 24.48 13.72
37 Mirna Libric CRO 37.24 22.52 14.72
38 Lauren Ko PHI 33.34 19.30 14.04
39 Martina Bocek CZE 32.90 18.66 15.24
40 Irina Movchan UKR 32.60 19.00 14.60
41 Sonia Radeva BUL 32.12 20.60 12.52
42 Ana Cecilia Cantu MEX 31.88 16.64 15.24
43 Crystal Kiang TPE 31.72 18.36 13.36
44 Georgia Glastris GRE 31.36 18.00 13.36
45 Gwendoline Didier FRA 29.32 15.28 16.04
46 Marina Seeh SRB 28.32 17.84 10.48
47 Clara Peters IRL 28.20 16.00 12.20
48 Tamami Ono HKG 27.74 13.54 14.20
49 Abigail Pietersen RSA 25.76 14.88 11.88
50 Charissa Tansomboon THA 25.22 13.90 12.32
51 Sabina Paquier ROU 24.42 14.46 10.96
52 Yoniko Eva Washington IND 24.24 15.00 10.24
53 Beatrice Rozinskaite LTU 23.68 13.72 10.96
WDR Isabelle Pieman BEL
WDR Sonja Mugosa MNE

Photo AFP

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Can Yuna Kim Channel Her Inner Katarina Witt?

Katarina Witt went undefeated in the 1987-88 season

As Yuna Kim prepares to defend her World title this week, it's worth noting that a win would make her undefeated all season long. Who was the last Olympic ladies champion to produce a flawless season in the year she won? None other than Katarina Witt in 1988. Shizuka Arakawa (2006), Sarah Hughes (2002), Tara Lipinski (1998), Oksana Baiul (1994) and Kristi Yamaguchi (1992) all had blemished records in the same season they won Olympic gold.

Yuna Kim goes for a perfect season this week.

Photo Reuters

Monday, March 22, 2010

Flashback: Sjoukje Dijkstra Wins 1963 World Championships

Sjoukje Dijkstra - Olympic and
Three-time world champion

The 2010 World Championships take place this week in Torino, Italy. The last time the world championships were held in Italy? 1963. Sjoukje Dijkstra of the Netherlands won the ladies event with Regine Heitzer (Austria) taking silver and France's Nicole Hassler finishing third. Dijkstra turned professional shortly after winning gold at the 1964 Olympics and toured with Holiday on Ice. Nowadays, she works as a commentator for Dutch television.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Three Olympic Ladies Champions on "Thin Ice" Tonight

Kristi Yamaguchi will be a judge on tonight's "Thin Ice"

Tonight at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central, ABC premieres their new reality competition "Thin Ice." The premise: 10 professional figure skaters from four skating disciplines - ladies, mens, pairs and ice dance - will be paired as five couples and compete for $220,000 in prize money. 2006 Olympic Champion Shizuka Arakawa will represent the ladies discipline, while 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and 1984 and 1988 Olympic Champion Katarina Witt will serve on the judging panel.

Joannie Rochette will also appear on the show to skate a special exhibition for her deceased mother.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Favorite World Bronze Medalist from 2000-2009?

Reigning World Bronze Medalist Miki Ando

In honor of next week's World Championships, who is your favorite world bronze medalist from the 2000s (2000-2009)? Poll is to the right.

Photo AP

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Which woman is most likely to play spoiler for the Vancouver medalists at the 2010 Worlds? - RESULTS

Mirai Nagasu

Which woman is most likely to play spoiler for the Vancouver medalists at the 2010 Worlds? - RESULTS

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Nancy Kerrigan Barbie That Never Was

Nancy Kerrigan's deal with Disney was just
one of her many endorsements in 1994.

Back in early 1994 Nancy Kerrigan was raking in endorsements following her inspiring performances at the Lillehammer Olympics. Kerrigan even inked a deal with Mattel, Inc. for a line of Barbie Dolls in her name that were set to hit toy shelves in fall of 1994. After Kerrigan experienced a number of pr blunders, Mattel nixed the deal and the Kerrigan Barbies were never produced - sort of. Mattel had gotten so far as making a mold of Kerrigan for the dolls before shelving the idea. So what did they do with the mold? They used it for their Esmeralda Barbie (from the Hunchback of Notre Dame film) seen below. So in a convoluted way, Kerrigan did end up as a Barbie doll after all.

Esmeralda Kerrigan

Monday, March 15, 2010

Olympic Bronze Medalist Joannie Rochette out of Worlds

Joannie Rochette has withdrawn
from the 2010 World Championships

“With everything that has happened over the past few weeks, I have missed a significant amount of training time,” Rochette said in a statement. “That means I’m not prepared either emotionally or physically to skate well at these championships and once again challenge for the podium.

“Whenever I compete I want to give my best to the fans, and to respect the competitive nature of the sport. I just would not be able to do that for either the fans or myself next week.”

Myriane Samson will replace Rochette on Canada's world team.

Click here for the full story

Photo AP

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flashback: Tiffany Chin Wins 1981 World Junior Title

Tiffany Chin - 1981 World Junior Champion

With the 2010 World Junior Championships officially concluding this weekend, let's look back on a former champion of the event, Tiffany Chin of the United States. At 4'8" and 70 pounds, 13-year old Chin won the World Junior title in 1981. Coached by Frank Carroll back then, she was also the reigning US silver medalist at the time. The two other women to stand on the podium at Junior Worlds with Tiffany were both from the Soviet Union: Marina Serova (silver) and Anna Antonova (bronze).

Tiffany went on to place 4th at the 1984 Olympics, win two world bronze medals (1985 and 1986) and take a US title in 1985. Incidentally, Tiffany began ice skating after her mom, Marjorie, bought a pair of ice skates at a garage sale for $1.00.

Flashback: Here's a clip of her long program from 1981 World Junior Championships.

If you're in a real retro mood, there's a hardcover children's book on Tiffany currently going for only 1.00 on eBay. The biography, Tiffany Chin: A Dream on Ice by Ray Buck was published in 1986 before Tiffany's unfortunate slide down the national and international ranks.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kanako Murakami - 2010 World Junior Champion

Kanako Murakami caps off a perfect season with World Junior title

Earlier today, Kanako Murakami won the ladies title at the 2010 World Junior Championships. Murakami has had a breakout season by winning every single junior competition she entered. Murakami took gold at both her junior grand prix events, the final, the Japanese Championships at the junior level and the Ice Challenge. It's not inconceivable that we may see the 15-year-old (she turns 16 in November) at the senior World Championships next year.

Kanako Murakami JPN - Gold
Agnes Zawadzki USA - Silver
Polina Agafonova RUS - Bronze
Polina Shelepen RUS - 4th
Anna Ovcharova RUS - 5th
Kate Charbonneau CAN - 6th
Kiri Baga USA - 7th
Christina Gao USA - 8th
Joshi Helgesson SWE - 9th
Julia Pfrengle GER - 10th

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alena Leonova's Last Day as Reigning World Junior Champion

Alena Leonova - 2009 World Junior Champion

Today marks the final day of Russia's Alena Leonova's reign as World Junior Champion. The 9th place finisher at the Vancouver Olympics surprised many when she won the title last year against Americans Caroline Zhang and Ashley Wagner. Tomorrow a new ladies champion will be crowned when the women skate their long programs at the 2010 World Junior Championships.

The current standings after the short program:


Anna Ovcharova






Kanako Murakami






Polina Agafonova






Kate Charbonneau






Kiri Baga






Joshi Helgesson






Polina Shelepen






Agnes Zawadzki






Christina Gao






Lena Marrocco





Photo AP

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yuna Kim and Dorothy Hamill's Incredible Popularity

The Queen and Dorothy -Endorsement Gold

Yuna Kim's presence in Korea is reminiscent of Dorothy Hamill's popularity in America in the late 1970s. Even 34 years after her Olympic win, Hamill still holds the distinction of being the most sought US figure skater for commercial endorsements. Like Dorothy, Yuna is an agent's dream, receiving and accepting offers to endorse a wide variety of commercial products. The US may never see another skater eclipse Hamill's popularity, nor will South Korea likely ever produce a star of Kim's magnitude.

Yuna Kim

Headlined her own tour
Starred in several television specials
Endorsed or Inspired:
Laundry Softener
Women's Hygiene Products
Procter & Gamble
and many more!

Dorothy Hamill

Inspired a famous hairdo
Inspired the Dorothy Hamill doll
Created the Hamill Camel
Headlined her own tour
Starred in several television specials
and many more!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ice Castles - 2010 Remake Now On DVD

Ice Castles 2010

Ice Castles 1978

In case you missed it, especially during all excitement of the Olympics, Sony Pictures released the remake of Ice Castles on DVD last month. Plans for a theatrical release were scrapped late last year. The remake finds real-life skater Taylor Firth stepping into Lynn-Holly Johnson's ice skates as Lexi, the Olympic-bound athlete who goes blind after a horrific accident. I ordered a copy today and will post a review in a feature post. Figure skaters Michelle Kwan and Molly Oberstar also appear in the film.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Can Mirai Nagasu play spoiler for the Vancouver medalists at the 2010 Worlds?

4th place in Vancouver - Can Mirai Nagasu medal in Torino?

I've added a poll to the blog. Assuming all three Vancouver medalists make good on their promise to compete in Torino, are there any skaters who could upset the podium? Could Mirai Nagasu medal at her first Worlds? Will judges' favorite Laura Lepisto win her first World medal? Can Miki Ando rebound from her disappointment in Vancouver? Who is most likely to play spoiler? Poll is to the right of this post.

Photo AP

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ten Years Ago This Month - Jenny Kirk Wins 2000 World Junior Championships

2000 World Junior Championships - Jenny Kirk
The 2010 World Junior Championships take place this week. Hard to believe that it's been ten years since Jenny Kirk won the World Junior title in Oberstdorf, Germany. Fellow American Deanna Stellato took silver and Sarah Meier from Switzerland won the bronze.

Photo AP

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Barbara Ann Scott - Canada's Only Ladies Olympic Champion

Barbara Ann Scott on the cover of Time Magazine

With so much attention on Joannie Rochette during the Vancouver Olympics, it seems like a perfect time to recognize Barbara Ann Scott, the only Canadian ladies Olympic Champion. Barbara won the gold medal at the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. She was also a two-time world champion and four-time Canadian champion. Barbara was also one of the flag bearers at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. A Canadian legend.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

2014 Sochi Figure Skating Poster

It's never too early to start counting down to Sochi. ;-) Here's the official poster. You can purchase it for $59.99 from some seller on eBay. I'm definitely feeling an Irina Slutskaya vibe from the poster.

Note: I am not the seller!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Yukari Nakano Retires

Farewell, Yukari

The beautiful Yukari Nakano has announced her withdrawal from worlds and her retirement from eligible figure skating. She will focus on a broadcasting career, joining Fuji Television Network Inc this spring. Akiko Suzuki will replace Nakano on the world team.

Flashback - Yukari skates to a 4th place finish at the 2008 World Championships. After this magnetic performance, who would have ever though she would never return to Worlds

Photo by Getty Images

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tenley Albright - America's First Ice Queen

Although US ladies Mirai Nagasu and Rachael Flatt should be very proud of their finishes in Vancouver, the 2010 Olympics marked the first time an American woman finished off the ladies podium in 46 years.
In 1956 Tenley Albright was the first US woman to strike Olympic gold in the ladies figure skating event. Here she is pictured 54 years ago when she won gold at the Cortina Olympics.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mao Makes History

Mao Asada ~ Into The History Books

Let's not forget that in between Yuna Kim's perfect programs and Joannie Rochette's emotional performances, Mao Asada made history in Vancouver. She became: the first woman to land a triple axel in the short program at the Olympics, the first woman to land two triple axels in a free skate and the first woman to land three triple axels in one competition.

Monday, March 1, 2010

All Vancouver Medalists To Compete At Worlds

1988 Olympic Podium - Liz Manley, Katarina Witt and Debi Thomas

2010 Olympic Podium - Mao Asada, Yuna Kim and Joannie Rochette

1988 was the last time the entire ladies Olympic podium competed at Worlds - until 2010. Vancouver medalists Yuna Kim, Mao Asada and Joannie Rochette have all verbally committed to the upcoming 2010 World Championships in Torino. Witt, Manley and Thomas all repeated their finishes from the 1988 Olympics when they competed at Worlds a month later. Will Kim, Asada and Rochette do the same?

Top Photo Getty Images
Bottom Photo Reuters