Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2017 Nationals Recap

Any discussion of the 2017 Nationals should begin and with Nathan Chen, so to the left he is in all his glory. These were my favorite moments of the championships in no particular order.

1. Parsons/Parsons win Jr. Dance-I watched them win novice dance the first season I really paid attention to the lower levels. I also interviewed them for KidsPost many moons ago so that was a fun memory. They were overshadowed by their training partners in recent years, but I hope they win the Jr. World title and I will be so excited to see those two teams go head to head at the senior level for years to come.

2. Cain/LeDuc win the Pairs Short-I loved how they approached their debut. I remember tweeting that I was attacking my wine like Ashley attacked that triple loop. I loved the attitude and the aggression. They have a look of a team that is ready to make waves. Please stay together!

3. Mirai Nagasu's Short-That look of joy on her face when she nailed the short was priceless. She rotated the triple-triple and 2nd seemed like such a great place for her after her history of meltdowns. If only the short were its own competition...

4. The Shibutanis Short Dance-I was puzzled when the ISU announced Hip-Hop as one of the rhythms this year, but its been such a party all season. I love how dance teams are pushing the boundaries by hiring off-ice choreographers and Hok got these guys to move in a way I've never seen.

5. Nathan Chen-He is consistent and throws it down under pressure in a way we haven't seen with US men since Evan Lysacek. The jumping ability is insane, but he's not one of those jumps-only skaters. He certainly isn't Jason Brown, but he hears the music and shows emotion through his choreography. Let's keep him in a bubble until worlds and then again until the Olympics.

6. Madison Chock's Facial Expressions-I'm almost positive this is in my recap every year. That girl was born for the theatre. She has an expressive face like Patti Lupone...she projects to the mezzanine. I love how she is styled with all the bells and whistles whether it's a crop top, a winged eye, or a double pony. Brava for performance quality!

7. Ashley Wagner's Tweets-She has such a unique voice on twitter and she doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks. I love when she tweets about the fashions of the mens event and tells us who competed against her brother. I also invited myself to her happy hour and she tweeted me back, so I guess that means she obliged despite my being in a different time zone. Today's athletes have such a unique opportunity to interact with fans on twitter and she always brings the A game.

8. The always blunt Frank Carroll-We all expected Gracie and Frank to split, but how it happened threw us for a loop. Frank very respectfully told the media that he and Gracie would no longer be working together. When spending so much time and energy together, it is important to see the results and they simply weren't there. The only problem is that Gracie didn't know she'd been cut loose. Still, the two have been so civil in the media. The white gloves haven't been taken off yet, but we know some juicy gossip is sure to come out soon. I started a rumor that Gracie is going to train with Kori Ade and I hope it happens. She is a nurturing coach and Rohene could bring out Gracie's wild side.

9. The Skating Lesson's interview with Christine & Phil-My first skating memories are circa 1994 so all the Tonya stories brought warmth to my heart, not in a sadistic way but in a nostalgic way. In all seriousness, it was so cool to see them in the same place sharing their knowledge and analysis. I often think of how far skating has fallen since the Kwan years, but when they put it in perspective, we are lucky with the coverage and crowds we get compared to most Olympic sports. And if you can't chuckle about Tonya's "broken" skate laces, of which Phil possesses a piece, then you're taking yourself too seriously.

10. Bitching about NBC and Tara Lipinski-This shout out goes to my twitter family. We love to hate NBC's coverage, even though we are actually grateful to get any primetime coverage these days. However, we do have a right to hate the fluff and repetitive short programs that they show instead of live free skates. This brings me to our favoring Nagano OGM winner. When former athletes become commentators, we want their perspective and we want to hear about their experiences. There is a fine line between sharing your stories and making the event about yourself. Tara crosses it every time. It's one think to scrutinize a skater's jump technique or scoff at their hair, costume, and overall packaging, but telling a skater that "the sport has passed him by" is another thing entirely. This comment about Alexander Johnson was both false and rude. Twitter promptly went after Tara, with yours truly wielding the pitchfork. Clearly Tara doesn't see that despite lacking a quad, Alexander Johnson has more artistry in his hair than she had in her entire career from Little Women to Anastasia.

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