Category: fs

marksmcmorris: Adelina Sotnikova becomes Olymp…


Adelina Sotnikova becomes Olympic champion in ladies’ singles, giving Russia its first gold in the event

Yuzuru Hanyu’s successful 4S+3T attempts 

Yuzuru Hanyu’s successful 4S+3T attempts 

Favorite Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir Step Sequ…

Favorite Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir Step Sequences (Part 1/?): Moulin Rouge Circular Step Sequence in the Individual Event at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics

empresswenjing: Colors of the 2017–18 Season: …


Colors of the 2017–18 Season: Gold [5/?]

Alina Zagitova, 2017–18 Grand Prix Final Champion || Nathan Chen, 2018 World Champion || Kaori Sakamoto, 2018 Four Continents Champion

Aliona Savchenko / Bruno Massot, 2018 Olympic Champions || Alina Zagitova, 2018 Olympic Champion || Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir, 2018 Olympic Champions

Alina Zagitova, 2018 European Champion || Yuzuru Hanyu, 2018 Olympic Champion || Kaetlyn Osmond, 2018 World Champion



Remembering Denis Ten

My earliest memory of Denis dated back to the 2009 World Championships. I remember being impressed by his Biellmann spin and his triple Axel. 

It was 2009, so my knowledge concerning figure skating jumps extended about as far as being able to tell whether a jump was an Axel or a not-Axel, so of course I had no idea what made Denis’ Axel impressive. I just found it strange and interesting to look at. I liked it. 

(Years later, I would be able to talk to you about his powerful takeoff, his slight delay in rotation, the unusually straight axis and the astonishing ice coverage which came as a result.) 

My next fond memory of Denis was from the 2011 Asian Winter Games. I had developed a soft spot for his Primavera Porteño short program since I first saw it, and on his home ice that year, it was delivered to near perfection. That was the first competitive program on which Denis worked with Stéphane Lambiel and you could get a glimpse of the Lambiel trademark on his meticulously choreographed spins.

The 2013 World Championships were another Denis landmark, this time not just for me, but for the entire skating world. His choice of programs for the 2012-2013 season was bold and creative: a singular story presented in two acts, which started in his short program and concluded in his free skate. It was the kind of experiment I had always wanted to see more in the figure skating world, and it was another fruit of the Denis-Stéphane collaboration (with a helping hand from Lori Nichol). 

The stretch leading up to the World Championships that year was anything but easy for Denis. His results all season long were disappointing (we would later learn that it was the impact of a series of injuries) and not a few people started to consider the possibility that his career had already peaked with his 7th-place finish at last season’s Worlds. How fitting it was that his vision for The Artist was fully realized only on the final, most important stage of the season. 

I will stay away from the scoring and the politics on this one occasion (there is a time and a place for such talk, but now is neither). Suffice it to say that this performance put down a permanent marker for Kazakhstan on the skating world map and we will not forget it.

His Bronze Medal at Sochi was, again, achieved at the tail end of a season full of mishaps. His free skate The Lady and the Hooligan at the Olympics, however, belied all of his struggles. It was invigorating in its quirkiness, flamboyant but not pretentious – it was exactly the Denis brand of skating that caught my attention all the way back in 2009.

My absolute most favorite performance from Denis came about a year after Sochi. You might have seen it and if you have, I think you would agree with me. It was his Silk Road long program from the 2015 Four Continents Championships.

This performance earned Denis a personal best, set one of the highest scores at the time, and wasn’t it ever so well-deserved. It was everything you could ask for in a skating program: lofty jumps, intricate spins, stirring footwork, bound together by the skater’s personal connection and dedication to the music in an interpretation that took you from flowing delicacy to joyous festivity, branded with Denis’ unique charisma and his ability to get the audience involved every step of the way.

For reasons too trite to comment on (his continuing battle with injuries, my shifting interests), 2015 Four Continents was also the last time I followed Denis’ skating closely enough. 

In that which, in hindsight, turned out to be a cruel irony, just over a week ago, I stumbled across one of his recent show performances of SOS d’un terrien en détresse (which was slated to be re-used as his free skate for the coming season). 

This program and its simple, affecting beauty reminded me that this is a skater I should have been, and should be, paying more attention to. It spooked me about the possibility of him considering a premature retirement, thinking of what a pity it would be if I never got to see Denis’ triple Axel in its full glory again (and the quad toe, oh yes the quad toe too). So I set out scouring for news about him. I was thoroughly, nastily, shocked because I had no idea, prior to that, of the extent of the injury he had to deal with before PyeongChang, but I was relieved, at least, that he had planned to continue competing, and I made a mental note to watch Denis more often, more carefully, next season. 

As I said, it was cruel. 

I cannot begin to think about the horror of the mindless violence that was inflicted on him, I dare not imagine the heartbreaking pain his family and his friends are going through. I have no words for the regret I feel about having disconnected myself from Denis for three full years, about having been indifferent to his perseverance in this thorny, slippery sport, and most importantly, about having neglected to appreciate his skating, his vision, his art.  

And I got to think about how many other skaters out there who have been subjected to my disconnection, indifference, neglect – people who have devoted a substantial part of their lives to this uphill battle of a sport and have been met with nothing more than a passing interest or worse, an outright dismissal from fans – people like myself, who supposedly share the skaters’ love for the ice, but can be frighteningly apathetic to anyone who happens to fall outside of the periphery of their “favorites” circle. I am not saying this situation is unique to figure skating. However, for skating, it is somehow worse, simply because of how underappreciated this sport already is and what a modest number of athletes we currently have competing at the elite level.

I guess this is the point I am expected to say how Denis’ career and its untimely end will inspire me to change my behavior, to become a better, more universally supportive fan of the sport, but even as I am typing these words, they start to ring hopelessly hollow. 

But I can try, Denis, I promise I will. 

Figure Skating Jumps (Part 1/6): The Lutz The …

Figure Skating Jumps (Part 1/6): The Lutz 

The Lutz jump, named after its originator Alois Lutz, is a toe jump that takes off from a back outside edge and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. The Lutz is a counter-rotated jump, meaning that the takeoff edge travels in a rotational direction opposite to which the skater rotates in the air and lands. [¹]

masha-russia: Seventeen years ago, ice rinks i…


Seventeen years ago, ice rinks in Kazakhstan were only opened in the winter, because they were all outdoors. And let me tell you, it gets pretty cold in Kazakhstan in the winter. That’s one reason why we have lots and lots of real snow. Eventually, the first shopping mall in Kazakhstan was built, and included an indoor skating rink. For the first time, we didn’t have to wear snowsuits to practice ice skating. In those first years, I didn’t even have competition ice skates. I had a pair of old side skates with no support at all for jumps. To make them better, my Dad cut plastic water bottles in half, and attached them to each side so I could actually do jumps. Then, at age 8, I attended my first international competition in Omsk, Russia. It took us 3 days to get there by train. I was still wearing my plastic water bottle skates, I trained in a shopping mall, and I had little to no professional coaching. Yet, there I was competing in the qualifying round. I remember being amazed to even be there. But I also remember being ashamed of my skates, commpared to the Russian kids’ skates. And guess what? I won the competition, and the rest as they say is history. This is a long way to explain why Almaty 2022 is important to me and for Kazakhstan. Today is not seventeen years ago, but we still need better resources to develop our young athletes. So, why am I telling you all of this? Why is my story important? It is important because it is a real example of what our country can achieve in winter sports and what the whole region is capable of if we have the right resources and opportunities. That is the reason I agreed to participate in this campaign. I am not here for myself. I’m already living my Olympic dream. I am here for thousands of young Kazakh athletes dreaming their own Olympic dreams. And I am also here for that little kid out there, alone, skating around somewhere on a frozen lake, with skates supported by plastic water bottles.

RIP Denis Ten 13 June 1993 – 19 July 2018  x

bbcblackjack: “I skate for people who suppor…


I skate for people who support me. I look at the fans and skaters in Kazakhstan and I want to bring inspiration to them.”

olympicsdaily: yuzuru, shoma and javier embrac…


yuzuru, shoma and javier embrace after the competition

Scott Moir talking about doing synchronized ax…

Scott Moir talking about doing synchronized axels with Yuzuru Hanyu on CTV Saskatoon News: “That was one thing that happened in Japan because Yuzuru asked us and we can’t really say no at his *show. He said ‘I’d really like to do axels with you’ and I don’t think we’ve done that since the Ilderton Skating Club carnival in 2001, so it was kind of a funny experience to do single axels besides a man who quite often does triples.”

*Note: Fantasy on Ice isn’t actually Yuzuru’s ice show, but Brian Orser and now Scott have called it that. 🤣