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The Toepick Thread, Year Three

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  • babypook
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    #439146
    ISU Judging System – Calculation Program 28 December 2011  

    In all fairness to the sport we have to inform you that after the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final of Quebec City a calculation error in the ISU Judging System calculation program has been detected. The calculation program used up to and including the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final had erroneously calculated the Dance result with the previous Grade of Execution (GOE) for the Combination Lift, which was upgraded with ISU Communication 1677 in July 2011.

    The difference of 0.5 points emanating from this calculation error was enough, to result in a switch in the Free Dance ranking of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2011.  As a matter of fact, Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir (CAN) should have been ranked in first place and Meryl Davis / Charlie White (USA) should have been ranked second in this segment when taking into account the corresponding correction. It is important to point out however that the final ranking (Short Dance and Free Dance combined) has not changed.

    The calculation program has been updated immediately after detection of the error and random checks throughout other international results between July 1st, 2011 and today have shown no discrepancies in the final rankings.

    We deeply regret and apologize for the inconveniences caused by this error in the calculation program.

    Uh-huh.

    Here’s a piece on Plushchenko’s return.

    The Voice of Russia

    Plushchenko to compete at European championship

     

    The International Skating Union has granted a special request by the Russian Figure Skating Federation to allow the nine times Russian national champion and Olympic champion Yevgeni Plushchenko to compete in next year’s European figure skating championship.

    He had failed to qualify, but a European championship without Plushchenko would be lackluster and dull.

    (RIAN)

    Double uh-huh.

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    babypook
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    #439148

    The Canadian and American Nationals are beginning this week! Go, everyone!

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    babypook
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    #439149

    RIP Sarah Burke.

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    babypook
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    #439150

    WEIR TO RETURN TO COMPETITIVE SKATING, EYEING 2014 OLYMPICS
    The Associated Press
    Jan 19 2012

    NEW YORK — Johnny Weir is ready to give up the fashion shows and the red carpet for another shot at the Olympics.

    The popular figure skater said Thursday he was returning to competition with hopes of taking the ice at the 2014 Games in Sochi. Even if it means living what he describes as a “monk”-like life of an elite athlete in training.

    “I wanted to do this while I still have the time,” the three-time U.S. champion said at a news conference in Manhattan. “I didn’t want to be 50 years old and look back and say, ‘Oh, those last two years before Sochi and I kind of let them go doing other things.”‘

    Not that he didn’t enjoy doing other things in the two years since last competing at the Vancouver Olympics, where he finished sixth. Makeup modeling, dress designing, reality TV starring.

    Weir also came out in an autobiography, “Welcome to My World,” and last month married Victor Voronov.

    “That’s very fulfilling and lovely,” the 27-year-old Weir said of his break from training. “It gave me the opportunity to fall in love and get married and build a beautiful life for myself. But going back into competition, it will be so stressful to give up a lot of the extracurriculars and only skate.”

    And he is committed to sacrificing those other activities for three hours in the rink each day with coach Galina Zmievskaya along with another 60-90 minutes of training off the ice.

    He’s already turned down an invitation to Madonna’s movie premiere next week. Weir will skate at a benefit in Japan in March for victims of last year’s earthquake, but otherwise you’ll mostly find him practising in Hackensack, N.J.

    “I won’t be able to spend Saturday night drinking in a corner booth with my friends,” he said. “I’ll be sleeping.”

    He plans to work hard on his quad, the all-important element in men’s skating these days. Not only are all the top men doing quads, but world champion Patrick Chan has two in his free skate.

    Weir has tried them in competition, but struggled to land them cleanly.

    “So I can actually be a real threat and not show up as just kind of a face of figure skating,” Weir said of perfecting the four-revolution jump. “I want to show up and be competitive and actually have people take this seriously. This isn’t a publicity stunt.”

    Wearing a kelly green blazer, his hair in a pompadour with a light brown streak, Weir said he hoped to perform to a musical medley of the opera “Carmen” and Lady Gaga.

    He’s especially popular in Russia, and the chance to compete in the Olympics there played into his decision.

    “It would be a perfect ending,” Weir said. “And I will retire after Sochi.”

    One of skating’s most popular figures, Weir had never ruled out coming back for Sochi and had been quietly training since the fall. He finished fifth at his first Olympics, the 2006 Games in Turin, and was the bronze medallist at the 2008 world championships.

    Weir, who will likely return to competition at a small event in Hackensack at the end of the summer, could have to go through qualifying to earn a spot at next year’s U.S. championships. He said he needed to lose about eight pounds; choreographer Nina Petrenko recalled that her mother, Zmievskaya, described Weir as being in “awful shape.”

    For now.

    “He’s very, very disciplined,” said off-ice trainer Fatima Bruhns. “Once he sets a goal, he follows through.”

    With Voronov looking on, Weir said his new husband was supportive of the return to competition — and even pushed him toward it.

    “I’m very fulfilled,” Weir said. “I’m very happy, and I feel like I have a partner in crime going into all this craziness that’s about to spring on me with the figure skating again.”

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    babypook
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    #439151

    VIRTUE AND MOIR RECLAIM CANADIAN ICE DANCE TITLE
    The Canadian Press 1/22/2012

    Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are back on top.

    The pair reclaimed their Canadian ice dance title on Saturday, winning with a score of 180.02 points.

    Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., missed most of last season — including the Canadian championships — while Virtue recovered from surgery on her legs.

    “That was definitely one of our goals this week, to get our title back,” Moir said. “It was a little bit of a gruelling week for us, there’s a lot of new stuff in our programs, the pressure of competition was pretty intense actually for us this week. But we came out today and skated really well, and we’re extremely happy with the growth of that program.”

    Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., scored 174.53 to win silver, while Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., won bronze with 163.54.

    Virtue and Moir skated to music from the music “Funny Face,” Virtue as Audrey Hepburn in a dress, and Moir as Fred Astaire, his hair combed into a neat sidepart.
     
    “We watched a lot of Audrey and Fred, especially at the beginning of the season, just getting into character,” Virtue said. “We worked with a lot of specialists, ballet coaches, ballroom people,  just trying to get all the nuances and details of the program, and I think those will continue to evolve as the season progresses.”

    With Virtue back at full health after last season’s surgery, the two are gunning to reclaim the world title they lost last season to Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They know that with lofty expectations comes more pressure.

    “Given the last few seasons we’ve had, we’re back in the position where we have a lot more expectations and we’re putting a lot more pressure on ourselves,” Virtue said. “It’s not just getting through the program or hoping we can make it to the end. We expect a lot of ourselves and at this point in the season, we want almost perfection. We have to welcome that pressure, because we’re so happy to be in that place”

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    babypook
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    #439152

    DUHAMEL AND RADFORD CAPTURE CANADIAN PAIRS TITLE
    The Canadian Press 1/21/2012

    Megan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., claimed their first Canadian pairs title on Saturday.

    Duhamel and Radford, who’ve been partners for less than two seasons, scored 190.11 for gold. Duhamel jumped up and down the moment the music stopped, and was overcome with emotion when the score was posted.

    “Oh my god, I can’t imagine feeling happier than I am right now. I’m going to have no voice tomorrow,” she said. “Eric moved away from home when he was 13 years old and I moved away when I was 14 for the sole purpose of winning a national title and it took 12 years. It took a long time, but we never lost hope.”

    The Canadian champs skated a nearly flawless performance to music from Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.”

    “When I first started skating, it was this moment I was dreaming of, and it’s all happening right now,” Radford said. “It’s what every athlete dreams of, these moments like this, it’s an incredible feeling.”

    Jessica Dube of St-Cyrille-de-Wendover, Que., and Sebastien Wolfe of Terrebonne, Que., were second with a score of 171.60, while Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., won bronze and scored 168.84 points.

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    babypook
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    #439153

    Amelie Lacoste earns 1st Canadian figure skating title

    Canada might night determine women’s entrant for worlds until after Four Continents event
    The Canadian Press
    Posted: Jan 21, 2012 7:26 PM ET
    Last Updated: Jan 21, 2012 7:44 PM

    A new women’s champion was crowned. Amelie Lacoste of Delson, Que., captured her first Canadian title scoring 159.51 points.

    Lacoste, skating to “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” scored 159.51 points to win the women’s title. Cynthia Phaneuf of Contrecoeur, Que., moved up from a disappointing fourth-place finish in the short program to finish second with 157.94, while 16-year-old Kaetlyn Osmond of Sherwood Park, Alta., was third with 155.47.

    “It feels good, it was my goal to win nationals, it’s not beating the national champion, it’s just to win nationals, to achieve what I wanted since I was a little girl,” Lacoste said. “It’s like a step closer to my real dream, to be on the Olympic team in 2014. I’m working to that new goal.”

    Canada can enter just one skater in women’s singles at the world championships in March in Nice, France, and Skate Canada CEO William Thompson said there’s a chance they’ll wait until after the Four Continents Championships to determine whether they’ll send Lacoste or Phaneuf to France.

    Phaneuf was fifth at the 2010 world championships her international results have dropped off, and in November she left her longtime coach Annie Barabe and moved to Toronto to train with Brian Orser.

    “I just hope maybe they’re going to wait for another skate to choose who’s going to go to worlds, because I think I deserve my place there and I’m going to work very hard to be going there and to be skating very well there,” Phaneuf said.

    “I’ve been out there, I’ve been fifth in the worlds, in the top-10, and I think I can do it again. I believe in myself and in what I can do.”

    Phaneuf was fifth at the 2010 world championships.

    © The Canadian Press, 2012

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    babypook
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    #439154

    CHAN TOPS 300-POINT BARRIER IN WINNING FIFTH CANADIAN TITLE
    The Canadian Press 1/22/2012

    MONCTON, N.B. — Patrick Chan smiled and stuck up three fingers when his score was posted — a small gesture for a mammoth accomplishment.

    The 21-year-old from Toronto demolished his previous world scoring mark Sunday and broke the 300-point barrier to claim his fifth Canadian senior men’s figure skating title.

    “I made the 300 club,” Chan said with a laugh after finishing with 302.14 overall points. “I’m the only one though. I’m a loner.”

    Chan produced one of the finest skates of his career, scoring 200.81 points for a free program that included two huge quadruple jumps and had the crowd at the Moncton Coliseum on its feet a full 30 seconds before his four-and-a-half minute program came to an end.

    His score won’t count as a world record as the Canadian championships are a domestic event. His 280.98 points at world championships last April in Moscow will remain the official world mark.

    And Chan knows there will be critics who will question the high marks received on home turf.

    “There are for sure people that are going to say that, but you can’t really do anything about it,” Chan said. “I’m not going to let people ruin my fun. And it’s not just for me, it’s fun for the audience and the other skaters.”

    Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., finished well back in second with 239.44 points, while Vancouver’s Jeremy Ten was third with 207.50.

    Dressed in black slacks and red shirt, Chan skated a mesmerizing performance to “Concierto de Aranjuez,” and had Canadian skating officials scratching their heads afterward trying to calculate how high his score could possibly go.

    “When he finished the program, a few of us looked at each other and were kind of wondering, ‘OK, what did he score last year?”‘ said Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada’s high performance director. “With Patrick, when he gets out and skates, you get caught up in it, you’re watching it and then when it finishes you think back and go, ‘Oh my god, how much stuff did he do in there?’

    “He just keeps raising his personal bar higher which keeps raises the bar for the rest of the skaters that much higher.”

    Chan is believed to be the first to have broken the 300-point barrier, and Slipchuk said the soaring marks were fully deserved.

    “To me the scores, even domestically, are becoming very warranted,” Slipchuk said.

    Chan went undefeated in the 2011 season, but wasn’t thrilled with the first few months of this campaign. He won all three Grand Prix events in the fall and winter including the Grand Prix Final, but none of his programs were as strong as he would have liked.

    Sunday, he vigorously pumped one fist when his program ended, saying he’d felt an overwhelming sense of relief.

    “It was a big relief, just both relief for myself knowing that finally all that hard work, sticking to it, not getting too frustrated screwing up the Grand Prix season, screwing up some elements in the early part of the season, just keeping it together,” Chan said. “Turned out there was light at the end of the tunnel. And I was also so happy to share it with the people in Moncton.”

    Chan credits a four-day trip to Las Vegas to celebrate his 21st birthday — it falls on New Years Eve — with the turnaround in his skating.

    “It was just relaxing, having the right people around, having time for myself, just kind of sparks something in you,” said Chan.

    “And gambling,” he added laughing. “It’s just so exciting to gamble, you can be a totally different person, you can be whoever you want to be. Vegas was a big big part in it, it marked the end of a rough season and the beginning of a new one.

    “I’m going to be a gambling addict in 10 years. You’re going to be writing about me.”

    Chan, who will be the favourite to win gold at the world championships in March in Nice, France, opened his long program with a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination, and then reeled off another huge quad toe loop and a triple Axel before breezing through the remainder of his program.

    “The pace of the program was great, made sure I breathed the entire time, didn’t rush,” he said. “I actually didn’t feel tired at the end of the program, I was so excited, felt like I could have done another long.”

    He knew after posting a 101.33 points in Saturday’s short program — his first time breaking 100 points — that 300 might be within reach.

    “I thought, ‘OK, 300 is possible,’ but I kind of put it behind me and made sure I stayed focused on the two quads and triple Axel, that whole opening section is key for me,” said Chan, who carried a bag of stuffed animals and a big Canadian flag — gifts from fans — when he met with the media.

    “Once I hit the triple Axel, I felt I was on a good pace and just made sure I kept it together, and didn’t get too extravagant, and get a big head over it too soon.”

    Chan and the 21-year-old Reynolds — who landed two quads of his own in the free program — will represent Canada’s men’s singles team at the world championships, the team for which was determined at the Canadian championships.

    Olympic gold medallists Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., along with Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., and Kharis Ralph of Toronto and Asher Hill of Pickering, Ont., are the three ice dance teams.

    Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., and Jessica Dube of St-Cyrille de Wendover, Que., and Sebastian Wolfe of Terrebonne, Que., are the two pairs teams.

    Canada can send only one women’s singles skater and because no one has had a particularly strong season in that event, Skate Canada will wait to name the representative for world championships after the ISU Four Continents championships. The three women competing at Four Continents in Colorado Springs, Colo., are the three medallists at the Canadian championships — Amelie Lacoste of Delson, Que., Cynthia Phaneuf of Contrecoeur, Que., Alexandra Najarro of Richmond Hill, Ont.

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    trans_lux73
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    #439155

    Pook, I understand that many Virtue/Moir fans are not happy with their National’s score, particularly their level 3’s for three elements for Funny Face. Has someone like PJ offered an explanation?

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    babypook
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    #439156

    No sign of PJ yet, but Tracy Wilson has been vocal about Funny Face, the intracies and difficulty being under-appreciated, The looks on V/M’s faces even after their win spoke volumes.

    We;ll see how they fare at 4 C’s with International ‘judges’

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    trans_lux73
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    #439157

    I would think both PJ and Tracy have easy access to the callers, unless Speedy has put a muzzle on every single official.  I do think Scott and Tessa would get feedback.

    Oh, and get this:  I have never seen the movie Funny Face…..just parts of it.  Must rent a copy. 

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    babypook
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    #439158

    They have received feedback. That’s why their program had changed and why they’re still growing into it, and at the 11th hour. Imo they should stand by their artistic vision, because there is no doubt in the global eye that they arent the best artistic team on the planet.
    Their element skating is as good or better than any other team, and time will look back on them as one of the greatest dancers in the ‘sport’.

    Now Plushenko, on the other hand…..

    Cant wait to see the sr US Nationals!!!

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    trans_lux73
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    #439159

    Senior US Nationals begin Thursday p.m., so I’ll try to get you a link.  I just saw Paul and Piper’s program, what fun, what a debut and what a high score!  I think SC sees them as the future for sure.

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    babypook
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    #439160

    Another American/Canadian hybrid team. Piper turns out to be a fabulous skater! I guess she’d have to be to skate with Paul. Such fun they are!
    And Dube/Wolfe is turning out to be simply glorious.

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    trans_lux73
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    #439161

    Another American/Canadian hybrid team. Piper turns out to be a fabulous skater! I guess she’d have to be to skate with Paul. Such fun they are!
    And Dube/Wolfe is turning out to be simply glorious.

    Well, you guys gave us Tanith, we’re just returning the favor! : )  I have a good link to Europeans…..send me an e mail if interested.  US Seniors start Thursday night, links not available yet. 

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