World Championships 2017 review: men

World Championships 2017

Continuing my World Championships’ reviews, time to discuss men.

During men’s competition I cried twice. Seems that I become either sentimental, or hysterical.

I sobbed on Misha Ge‘s free program. I cried because of unfairness that young and talented skater has to finish sport career. Finish so early and finish not because he wanted to. I want to wish Misha a lot of luck, whatever decision he will take.

But the throne is never vacant. New potential star appeared in figure skating, future show-men and crowd puller. Moris Kvitelashvili really made a statement. Probably, impressionable Japanese spectators are already organizing his fan club.

Speaking about fan clubs. Jorik, please return me part of my membership fee. You can return it with Belgian chocolate) Jorik didn’t please…..

Who didn’t please me even more is Michal Brezina. I apologize in advance to all future generations of Czech guys, I will not love you. No matter how good you would be. I don’t want to fall into the same trap one more time, third time to be precise.

Well done, Alexei Bychenko! You won two spots! So next season we can see you and Daniel Samokhin at the Olympics!

Commenting Kovtun‘s performance Tarasova was ruthless. This time she really went too far. Yes, it wasn’t Maxim’s best performance, but it wasn’t that bad. He’s lucky to have such a coach as Goncharenko who protects her skaters no matter what. I hope that Max appreciates this and will thank Inna Germanovna well, including with a sports results.

I’m sure Mikhail Kolyada is a wonderful person. He does not want to offend either his coach or his choreographer. But, Misha, you have only one career and you can’t be good for everyone. Your choreographer, as honest and decent woman, should let you do your programs with someone else. She can help you in everyday work, polishing the programs, but not in choreographing them. It also would be great to escape from your current designer….

Jason Brown coped with his task and American men saved three spots for Olympics! Spots are safe, the audience got a great pleasure watching his skating, I think it’s a great ending of the season for Jason! You know, I’d gladly make the rule that Brown performs in the middle of the last warm-up every time – to forget about nerves and battle and just enjoy figure skating! The programs are wonderful, the suits are laconic and elegant, Jason, I’m almost ready to make a declaration of love. But I can’t, sorry. No, it’s not because of lack of the quad. Just my heart is taken and in men’s single skating I’m a one-man woman. So maybe after 2018)

Looking at the age of those who made a breakthrough this season, I’m starting to feel old. But there are some advantages,  I can reminisce. It is interesting to re-read sometimes what you thought about some skaters when they were very young.

That’s what I wrote in my blog in Russian back in 2014:

“Bronze medalist Nathan Chen caused a slight bittersweet feeling, he reminded me of Patrick Chan. I even called him “mini-Patrick”. Cool skating skills, transitions and the same mess with triple axel.”

For sure it was I who wrote it, moreover being sober :) So, Nathan, no offence if I criticize you. Someday I’ll look at your skating with different eyes.

The judges’ love for Javier Fernandez knows no bounds. They gave him tremendous GOE for every single element!) Looking at his PCS mark it becomes obvious that Javi is almost an ideal. Looking at the marks I tried to send away the memory that stood before my eyes – Javi the god of skating skills and transitions (according to protocols) walked (not skated) his step sequence just in front of me at Cup of Russia. I tried to find a logical explanation …. But I failed. Kind people helped – it’s all about the eyes. Not judges’, but Javier’s. Beauty is a weapon of mass destruction ;)

Boyang Jin was so cute in his Spiderman program. The shoulders move is everything!) Please do not send him to Lori anymore. Let’s send him to Zueva instead of Chen (I doubt Raf will let Nathan to go to Canton). Jin also wins the quad lutz battle – his were higher and looked easy done.

Shoma burned his purple plush, Shoma wore a beautiful shirt, Shoma gets a bonus from me) Shoma had a great season! He is the only one in whose eyes I saw determination, readiness to fight and desire to win at every single competition. And he was so close to the gold…. I like Uno’s skating, so at this Worlds something terrible happened for me  – I paid attention to his jumps … .. It would have been better if I had continued to look only at the beauty of his skating and performance….

Well, finally it happened! Yuzuru won gold at Worlds again. Because with two-time World champion Fernandez I felt a bit sorry for Olympic Champion Hanyu. Yuzuru won confidently, Yuzuru won beautifully. Is it needed to say something?)

And to close, I just want to wish all the figure skating fans to reach such stage when scores, places, medals are no longer important. When it’s enough just to see the happy eyes and smile of your favorite skater in the k&c. I was lucky enough to see this at Worlds 2017. Hope you too.

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30 Comments on World Championships 2017 review: men

  1. Carina // 07/04/2017 at 05:27 // Reply

    I’m actually quite happy with Yuzuru winning the title back because I think he deserves it. I wouldn’t say that he had the best programs this year, but nevertheless I still enjoy his style. Maybe it’s just personal preferences. Same with the ‘granny’ costumes, like many Japanese fans I actually like them LOL.

    Nathan, oh Nathan, I applaud him for his jumping ability and his willingness to push the boundaries. But when I read on his wiki page that he trained in ballet and gymnastics since a young age I just … couldn’t believe it??? Like how is that reflected in his skating?? Everytime I watch him skate, I just wait for the next jump and I never remember any choreography inbetween.

    Congratulations to Boyang, I feel like he’s really enjoying a good time out there. The programs (especially the spiderman one) are a bit over-the-top for me, but he does it well so good for him! I actually think that he was underscored for the PCS.

    • “I’m actually quite happy with Yuzuru winning the title back because I think he deserves it.”
      Totally agree, it was a convincing victory.

      “Everytime I watch him skate, I just wait for the next jump and I never remember any choreography inbetween. ”
      Have you seen his sakating in juniors?

      As for Boyang, I think spider-man may be his things. Lambiel – ladybugs, Yuzuru – Poohs, Boyang – spider-men

      • skating fan // 08/04/2017 at 12:04 // Reply

        I agree about Boyang, he seems to enjoy himself skating to spiderman. :) I like his simple costume to it too.

        • Mad for Skating // 10/04/2017 at 14:57 // Reply

          Boyang’s Spiderman is cute – his costume reminds me of the Evan Lysacek era (aka when I first started watching men’s skating with my mom, as a 7-year-old).

  2. skating fan // 07/04/2017 at 00:33 // Reply

    I still hope that Michal will show somtething so good again because he is definitely capable of it.

    • skating fan // 07/04/2017 at 00:36 // Reply

      Sorry, I’ve posted this comment in the wrong place, I meant to write it under the comment about Japanese drums being the best Michal’s program.

  3. Mad for Skating // 06/04/2017 at 18:54 // Reply

    It’s sad that Misha is retiring, but I’m sure he has a bright future ahead as a choreographer.

    Moris Kvitelashvili caught my attention, though another performance to “I put a spell on you” made me roll my eyes. I don’t know how many people have decided to use that song but I am almost getting sick of it. It’s become the new Carmen.

    Alexei Bychenko scraped out two spots. Now let’s hope Samohin can get his popped jumps and inconsistency in order.

    I actually thought Kovtun skated well considering his habit of popping. I’m not a big fan of the programs – reminds me too much of Medvedeva with the hitchhiking SP and the political-themed FP – but he wasn’t a disaster. I admire Goncharenko for getting a decent result out of him and coping with his temperament (I’ve heard that can’t be easy). Of all the Russian coaches, she is one of the few I would trust.

    Mikhail Kolyada could be a wonderful skater. He has good skating skills, good jumps, but poor packaging – I call it “Medvedeva syndrome.” I just want to see him in a tasteful costume skating a serious program.

    Jason Brown stole my heart away years ago, but this performance made me so happy. He’s a beautiful skater and I don’t care that he has no quad. And he already has a woman to love him right here, so you can stay with Patrick :)

    Nathan is a man of quads, and he does them well. And I understand his boot problems. But when the quads don’t work, the program doesn’t work. And stupidly his problem is a triple axel, when he can do quads in his sleep.

    Javier is a charming, handsome guy with lots of charisma, but his footwork isn’t up to the level the judges would like to say. Apparently the categories are “Skating Skills, Transitions, Performance/Execution, Choreography/Composition, Interpretation, and Charm”. In all honesty I think Shoma should’ve won the SP.

    Boyang is adorable, with big easy jumps. The programs are a little quirky, particularly the free, but I think soon he’ll grow into a young man who can really make an impact. Heck, he has two World bronze medals already – this kid is going places!

    Shoma is a fighter, and I love that about him. Lack of plush was very appreciated too. My mom said, “Shoma looks so cute in velvet pants!” and I had to smile because I knew what you were going to say haha. Despite being a little guy, he really has charisma. To be perfectly honest I think he should have had the gold, based on the short program. Maybe I’m just going a little “loco” about him but for some reason I really like this guy.

    The first time I saw Yuzuru (this was 2014), my complaint was “This guy has hideous costumes.” My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever. If I could ignore the rubbish he was wearing, I might’ve enjoyed his performances more. And while I respect his jumping ability, his programs didn’t speak to me this year. The free program was skated beautifully, but I found myself missing “Seimei”. To me, “Hope and Legacy” doesn’t show off his talent. He needs bigger music that builds with his jumps, in my opinion. However, I can’t argue that his jumps were flawless, so congratulations to him.

    I wish I could reach that stage where scores, places, and medals are no longer important, but such miracles do not happen :)

    • skating fan // 06/04/2017 at 19:01 // Reply

      “I wish I could reach that stage where scores, places, and medals are no longer important, but such miracles do not happen :)”- I think that by reaching that stage I wouldn`t be interested in figure skating anymore.

      • Mad for Skating // 06/04/2017 at 19:02 // Reply

        That’s what being a fan is all about. Hey, do you have Twitter? It’s been fun chatting these past few days. I’m @madforskating.

        • skating fan // 06/04/2017 at 23:25 // Reply

          Unfortunetaly, I don’t have Twitter. But I’m up to a chat about figure skating here. :)

          Alexei did well and I hope to see him and Daniel at OG. I hope that Daniel will be more consisted next season because he is a talented guy with good programs (“still loving you” or “sherlock holmes”). I am happy that Alexei managed to scrape out two spots because I like them both :)

          It’s easy to forget Jason that he has no quad, but I hope he has at least one in order to be more competitive. Besides, he is a posistive person with good artistry and very flexible. I was impressed by the flexibility he showed doing spins. But I think, a quad can help him to get more points.

          Javier is very charming. His footwork in SP was not the best. But, regardless of his choice of music I have always an impression that he really feels his music and I was sad seeing his mistakes at FP. However, for me his best program is “guys and dolls” to the music by Frank Sinatra.

          As for Shoma, I prefer his FP, passionate music suits him.

          • Mad for Skating // 07/04/2017 at 01:03 // Reply

            Yeah, Daniel has some really nice programs. When he’s clean, he is on fire. I like both Israeli guys, so I’m happy too.

            Jason’s skating transports me to a different time and place, where I do not have to worry about real life, where I am not even afraid for anything after that first quad. His flexibility amazes me. There’s a special place in my heart for him. And…well, he’s kinda cute :)

            Javier is so charismatic that you can almost ignore the skating skills. He’s like a great actor out there, but maybe not the greatest with his edges. Just a difference in skaters.

            I adore Shoma’s FP. He gives it so much power!

    • “It’s become the new Carmen.”
      And La la land is going to be our next season’s Carmen and Phantom of the Opera.

      I wouldn’t compare Mikhail and Evgenia. They have very different approaches to figure skating and their career. Evgenia and Eteri are very pragmatic. If one day they for example decide that Averbukh’s programs are no longer give max result, they will change choreographer, without thinking whether it will hurt someone’s feelings. Misha and his coach/choreographer have more a family type relationships. So he doesn’t want to hurt their feeling. But obviously his choreographer is not of the level that Misha deserves.

      “To me, “Hope and Legacy” doesn’t show off his talent.”
      I’m going to say something terrible) I already see Yuzuru’s fans organizing a picket under my windows) I think neither of his free programs shows off his talent. I guess Romeo and Juliet that he skated in his first senior season is still my favorite.

      • Mad for Skating // 07/04/2017 at 01:13 // Reply

        Between La La Land and I put a spell on you, I’m going to go crazy.

        I understand about Mikhail not wanting to hurt any feelings. It’s just too bad that they haven’t figured something more refined for him.

        I’ve never been a huge Yuzuru fan myself, so I’m not offended. I respect his skating abilities, but he doesn’t make me fall in love with him. I don’t have the desire to watch his performances again and again. He’s a great jumper, he has nice transitions, and his spins are good. But to me, he doesn’t give such a masculine image on the ice (not like Patrick Chan, for example). I like men who are dressed like men and skate like men. If he could ditch all the grandma’s blouse costumes and wear some simple tasteful shirts and pants, I think I might like him better. Just a personal preference.

        • ‘If he could ditch all the grandma’s blouse costumes and wear some simple tasteful shirts and pants, I think I might like him better.’
          I doubt even laconic costume would make this FP more interesting or exciting to watch (jumps are exciting and so impressive, but the program itself not). Actually, I don’t really like the top of Patrick’s new costume for the FP. I liked the grey sweater more. It was more…..intimate I guess.

          • skating fan // 08/04/2017 at 12:19 // Reply

            I hope La La Land would not be our next Carmen or Phanton in the opera. It would be great to see one or two programs to it but not a dozen. However, I don’t want to leave this music to ice dance, because I don’t follow this discipline.

            Yeah, you are right about Evgenia and Eteri’s pragmatism. I just hope that they would come to the conclusion that other programs may yield better results :P

            I am not a big fan of Yuzuru, however his victory was well deserved, he seems to skate so effortless and is very graceful, but unfortunately his FP is not exciting for me to watch.

            • “I hope La La Land would not be our next Carmen or Phanton in the opera. It would be great to see one or two programs to it but not a dozen. ”
              We already have three……

            • Mad for Skating // 10/04/2017 at 15:05 // Reply

              Maybe La La Land will just be a trend for one year and then we will get a new trend next year.

              It’s probably wishful thinking on Evgenia getting a new choreographer, but I still have hope.

          • Mad for Skating // 10/04/2017 at 15:01 // Reply

            Well, let’s hope Yuzuru doesn’t take this program to the Olympics. It really doesn’t showcase his skating.

            As far as Patrick’s costumes, I was referring to the black suspenders outfit from the SP. Simple, tasteful, and handsome…of course it helps when the guy is good-looking :)

  4. skating fan // 06/04/2017 at 18:29 // Reply

    I agree with you about Michal Brezina, every time when I see that he skates badly I think: why Michal, you can do it much better! I just remember his programs to “Japanese kodo drums” or “Game of thrones”. He can skate much better than in Helsinki.

    I agree also about Mikhail Kolyada, his costumes are terrible and he should burn them. But I like watching him on the ice, he has certain lighteness and freshness, which are enjoyable to watch.

    Shoma’s FP is great, he is so fierce and passionate skating to it. He captures amazingly the mood of this piece of music.

    I disagree about Nathan Chen, I like watching him, he is not afraid to take risks and his jumping ability is impressive.

    I admire Jason Brown’s artistry and flexibility. He seems to be such a positive person. I like his simple outfits too.

    I want to add that I like Kevin Reynolds’ programs. His programs suit him and I really like his spins.

    • Mad for Skating // 06/04/2017 at 18:57 // Reply

      Brezina is cool, he’s got it in him, but it never quite happens for him. I really cross my fingers for him.

      Kolyada has a lot of brightness, I agree. I just hope they can put it into something tasteful for the Olympics.

      Shoma’s FP is amazing <3

      Nathan is fine, but for me it's like watching a circus – you want to see the big tricks! It's not so much "skating with your blades" as it is "let's see how many jumps we can do today." It's almost like a stunt show.

      I could go on for hours about Jason…don't get me started.

      I agree, Kevin Reynolds skated very well here. Will be interesting to see if he can stay on the team for the Olympics.

      • skating fan // 06/04/2017 at 23:38 // Reply

        Maybe you are a little bit right about Nathan and a stunt show but I think that his ability to jump is incredible and I wonder how much energy is needed to jump like that. Besides, I think that his spins are well centred and I like his step sequences.

    • I think Japanese drums is best Mikhal’s program. Or maybe it’s only because he was so young and promising then and it seemed that’s only the beginning of a bright career(

      I didn’t say that I don’t like Nathan. He’s challenging himself, challenging the limits of possible. I can’t but respect and admire that.

      • Mad for Skating // 07/04/2017 at 01:16 // Reply

        Yes, I agree. He’s a talented guy with a lot of energy, and his spins and steps aren’t bad at all. I don’t have a problem with him at all. It’s exciting to watch when all the jumps are going well. And maybe the skating skills will come with time. He’s only 17 years old.

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