What a week of fantastic skating at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Since I’m pretty sure everybody knows the results by now, I’m going to do some posts on my top moments from the competition. Let’s start with the Top 5 “Wow” Moments—those performances or elements that were, quite literally, jaw-dropping.
1. Adam Rippon’s quad lutz in the long program
It’s the first element of his program in the video below and it absolutely soars:
For a skater that often struggled with consistency and living up to his potential, the rest of his program also qualifies as a wow moment. He blew everyone away with superb technical skills, beautiful spins, and fantastic skating skills en route to the silver medal.
2. Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim’s quad twist in their long program
This year’s newly crowned champions opened with a stunning quad twist. The height and technique are fantastic:
3. Madison Chock and Evan Bates’ opening lift in their free dance
They make it look so easy, but the strength and balance required from both of them in this lift is insane. NBC commentator Tara Lipinski said it took Chock and Bates weeks of practice on the floor before they even dared to try this on the ice. The work paid off as they earned their first U.S. title.
4. Max Aaron’s quad salchow-triple toe in his Gladiator free skate
Aaron, the eventual 4th place finisher, has the best quads in the U.S., without question. This explosive combination is reminiscent of the Yagudin-Plushenko-Goebel years, where the men were tossing off these quad-triple combos with ease:
5. Joshua Farris’ opening triple axel in his short program
Not only is this axel huge and done with great technique, but he looks so calm and relaxed going in to it, it might as well be a waltz jump. It’s also worth noting that the entry out of footwork and a one-foot change of edge ups the level of difficulty, yet he still pulls it off masterfully:
He added two more of these excellent axels in a long program that earned him the bronze medal.
As I was writing this post, I realized that all these wow moments also happened to be the opening elements in their respective programs. Looks like these skaters and their choreographers really know how to start a program out strong.
What were your favorite wow moments from Nationals?