Monday, September 21, 2015

U.S. International Figure Skating Classic-Saturday Events

Saturday was a beautiful day in Salt Lake City, so I played tourist in the morning and afternoon and visited Red Butte Garden and This Is the Place Heritage Park. Both were very scenic and interesting, and I recommend them if you're in the area!

After sightseeing I headed over to the rink for the final two groups of the ladies' free skate. It was the typical early season competition with lots of mistakes, but two performances stood out for me. Elizabeth Tursynbaeva, the young phenom from Kazakhstan, put on a jumping clinic, but I won't get too excited about her until she goes through puberty. Satoko Miyahara also pulled off some beautiful jumps, and she had much more performance style than Elizabeth. Her knees are so soft, and she seems to move effortlessly across the ice.

The free dance followed the ladies' free skate, and it was a shame that most of the crowd cleared out after the ladies. The final group of dancers put on a good show for an early season event. Madison Hubbell/Zach Donohue's Adagio from Tron program is a definite improvement over last year's free dance. This program showcases their power much better. I would lose the winged-costume, though.

I wasn't a fan of Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen's music, but I really love their skating and the passionate connection between them. Don't know if they're a couple off the ice, but they convince me they're a couple when they skate together. My favorite Canadian team of Elisabeth Paradis/Francois-Xavier Ouellette rounded out the podium with a gorgeous, lyrical program to "Bridge Over Troubled Water." I hope they can keep moving up the ranks in Canadian ice dance (quickly, please) because I enjoy their style so much. They exude happiness when they skate.

The new team of Danielle Thomas/Daniel Eaton continued to impress me with their togetherness for being a team for such a short time. There's obviously a skill-level difference between them (understandable since Danielle just tested up to senior), but I think they're off to a good start. They looked more in sync than some other new teams I've seen.

For all my photos from Saturday click HERE.

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