Twizzle Talk

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2018 U.S. Nationals Debrief: The Good & The Bad

The good, the bad, the happy, the sad…that’s me singing some Al Green after a crazy 2018 Nationals. Despite all the drama, I’ll stick with skating forever.

Watching the 2018 U.S. Nationals was more of an emotional viewing experience than I bargained for. I needed some time to digest, hence, why this post is coming almost two weeks after the event. I was so excited for the senior events to get started, and then was emotionally exhausted by the time it all wrapped up on Sunday night. Here’s why:

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Flashback Friday: Mao Asada

Mao Asada has been the talk of the figure skating world since 2006, when she was too young to go to the Torino Olympics, despite being that year’s Grand Prix Final champion. She won an Olympic silver medal in Vancouver in 2010, is a three-time world champion, and finished 6th in Sochi in 2014 before taking last year off from competition. But she is making a comeback this year and has started out strong with victories at the Japan Open and Cup of China. Her season-long comeback reminds me of her epic comeback at the Sochi Olympics, where she climbed from 16th after a disastrous, mistake-ridden short program all the way up to 6th with an inspiring long program. If she can skate like this again, she’ll be a force to be reckoned with at Worlds in Boston in March. Take a look back at Mao’s 2014 Olympic long program on this Flashback Friday:

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Flashback Friday: Midori Ito

Midori Ito of Japan is the 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist, 1989 World Champion, and the first woman to land a triple axel at the Olympic Games.

She is also the reason that 4-year-old me would jump around my family’s living room, asking people to “watch me do a triple accident!”

In the early 90s, I loved watching skating on TV with my mom—Midori, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Nancy Kerrigan. I also apparently had some sort of hearing comprehension problem, mistaking Midori’s axels for “accidents.”

For this week’s Flashback Friday, let’s return to Midori’s 1992 Olympic free skate. I loved watching this as a young kid, but can appreciate it even more now. She missed her planned triple axel at the beginning of the program, but threw another one in during the last minute of the program and nailed it. What guts! Take a look:

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Flashback Friday: Totmianina & Marinin

I realized that there hasn’t been any love for pairs teams on this Flashback Friday series yet, so I’ll change that today. The 2006 Olympic Pairs Champions Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin were always favorites of mine, partly because of their beautiful skating and partly because of their resilience in coming back from the skating accident you’ll see described in the video. Check out their heroic comeback and Olympic-winning long program to Nino Rota’s “Romeo and Juliet” (a musical selection that is also on my list of favorites):

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Flashback Friday: Alexei Yagudin

A late Flashback Friday post for ya: Alexei Yagudin’s 2002 Olympics long program.

The music: Man in the Iron Mask (doesn’t he also kind of look like Leo?)

The jumps: soar

The choreography: impeccable (that circular footwork sequence!)

I loved it all at the time and still do. I also was fortunate to see him do an exhibition version of this performance in person—his commitment to his performances is unmatched. Take a look: