Skate America 2018 is over—the medals have been handed out and Grand Prix Final frontrunners have staked their claim. In skating, it is often about the medals and the final placements, which means that beautiful moments within a program can often go unacknowledged. Here are four of my favorite elements from this weekend’s competition, one from each discipline:
- The final lift in Karina Manta and Joseph Johnson’s free dance:
An innovative and impressive position that fit the character of their Eurythmics free dance, plus a gorgeous and difficult spiral entry. This team from the U.S. finished 10th in their Grand Prix debut here at Skate America, but there is plenty worth celebrating outside the placement, including this excellent lift.
- Alaine Chartrand of Canada had a tough short program at this event, and rallied in the free skate, fighting for every jump and element. I loved the sideways sit spin position in her final combination spin:
I’ve honestly never seen it before—anybody else? It managed to be a difficult and different position, without being aesthetically unappealing, which I feel like can sometimes happen in pursuit of a level four spin. This was a cool moment in her program for me.
- Pairs 5th place finishers Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nolan Seegert of Germany won me over with their short program, especially this catch-foot spiral entry and exit in their death spiral:
I liked how she held her foot throughout the death spiral—and made it look so easy! Great flexibility and strength.
- Another 5th place finisher, Matteo Rizzo of Italy in the men’s event, grabbed my attention with the edge quality, smoothness, and speed of his step sequence in the short program:
The tempo of the music completely changed in the middle of the element, and his movement followed suit.
Would love for people to chime in with comments of their own favorite elements from the competition, especially from those skaters outside the podium!