Monday, December 12, 2011

GPF Saturday Events

I apologize for not blogging on Saturday or Sunday. Breaks between the events were too short to do anything constructive. This post will cover all the Saturday events and I'll follow later with a post on Sunday's happenings.

Saturday started with another dance practice. Each team obviously practiced their free dance since they competed the short dance on Friday. Meryl Davis brought out the light blue dress she'd worn at a Skate America practice, this time with a coordinating mask hair decoration with blue feathers. I can't recall anything else noteworthy from that practice.

After a lunch break, we returned to the arena for the Senior Ladies free skate. Akiko Suzuki was the highlight of the competition for me. She has beautiful flow across the ice with lovely musicality.

The Senior Men final was next, and the guys delivered their best stuff, for the most part. They threw down quads like they were easy triples. Yuzuru Hanyu, Daisuke Takahashi, and Jeremy Abbott gave my favorite performances of the night. I've always hated "Blues For Klook," but Dai could make me love it. He is like liquid moving over the ice. Hanyu is going to be a force to be reckoned with as we head toward Sochi. The kid has it all. Jeremy's free skate included some jump mishaps, but it was still breathtaking. I was so bummed he didn't finish at least fourth because I wanted to see his "Hometown Glory" exhibition.

The Junior Men free skate followed, and the top three were phenomenal. Josh Farris had a few jump issues, but he has incredible power and expression in his skating. His new Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 program highlights all his strengths. Han Yan of China has incredible jumping ability, and he he also has style between the jumps, something the Chinese men have often lacked. The gold medalist, Jason Brown, didn't have as high of a technical base value as Farris and Yan, but he performed every element perfectly and with a wonderful lyrical quality. He always looks so joyous when he skates, and he brings the crowd into his programs. The U.S. has two bright young stars in Jason and Josh!

The Senior Pairs free skate was the final competition of the long day. The quality of the skating was high across the board, but the top two teams took it to another level. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy's free skate continues to amaze me with its intricacy and technical difficulty. They are so seasoned, and they used that experience to defeat Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, who are astounding for a relatively new team. They have great chemistry together. A few shaky moments prevented them from taking gold, and the audience booed the results, but considering Volosozhar/Trankov's mistakes, I thought Savchenko/Szolkowy clearly won. I am in love with both teams!

Here are the photos from all Saturday events:

2011 Grand Prix Final Saturday Events

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