Grand Prix Series - Rostelecom Cup 2017 - Medalists

Dienstag, 24. Oktober 2017

   Welcome to my medalists post for the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia. Previously I wrote about the men's short program (and planned on talking about their free skate) and today I will be talking about the finals for the men, ladies and ice dance. I don't follow anyone in pairs (who was present) so unfortunately nothing about them, I'm sorry. 
   Reminder - I'm not a pro when it comes to figure skating, so this isn't a technical analysis of the programs or anything by any means, therefore I might (accidentally) get something wrong. If I do, please do correct me. This is more of me just gushing or talking about my thoughts and opinions. I hope you'll still enjoy it.
Anyway, without further ado, let's get right into it.


   Nathan Chen - USA - Gold - Where do I begin with Nathan? If you read my previous post you know that, even though I enjoy seeing Nathan in competitions and going up against my favorites, especially Yuzuru, you know I am not really a fan of his short program. I'm also, what surprise, not a fan of his free skate either. His costume (is this the final one?) is almost the same one as during his short program, the only difference being that the shirt is a dark blue instead of black. That's it. Maybe it iss supposed to be less special so that his skating can shine, maybe not, I don't know, but as much as I usually like simple and elegant costumes, I expected something...more? Last season he had an amazing costume for his free skate that fit it perfectly, so I guess I hoped he'd have something as interesting this year, too. Aside from his costume, his choreography wasn't really my thing either. Sure it is technically on a high difficulty level, it has a lot of jumps and spins, but that by itself doesn't make a  good choreography. To me, as someone who, among other reasons, watches figure skating because of its aesthetic beauty, it was just very lacking. Lots of arm flapping and going in circles while preparing for the next jump and not much else. Maybe as the season will continue I will warm up to his programs, but so far it's not my jam. (Side note - can we please also remember that, even though Nathan perfectly skated his free skate, his points were lower than Yuzuru's, even though Yuzuru missed out on a couple points?) The next time we will be Nathan will be November 24-26 at Skate America in Lake Placid, NY, USA.
   Fun Fact - Nathan is the first American male skater to win gold at the Rostelecom Cup (or back then the Cup of Russia) since the time Johnny Weir won it back in 2007.
   Check out his short program (100.54 points) and free skate (193.25 points, total of 2903.79).
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   Yuzuru Hanyu - Japan - Silver - His fans were crying, I was sad, everyone was sad, because Yuzuru didn't get gold, despite landing his quad Lutz in this competition. But, he struggled with some of the jumps, and had to turn a quad into a double (I think, though correct me if I'm wrong), which was such a shame but I have absolute faith that Yuzuru will rock the season regardless. This program is absolutely phenomenal and just perfect for him. His costume, the music, the artistry, it's wonderful to watch, filled with passion and showing just how much work went into all of it. Yuzuru is an amazing skater and he showed that once again at the Rostelecom Cup, despite a few struggles and wobbles here and there. Do I wish he would've won? Hell yeah. But being a very close second place is also totally fine for the first serious competition of the season. There is still so much more to come, especially the Olympics, so Yuzuru has a lot of time left to perfect both programs, easy. The next time we will see him will be November 10-12 at the NHK Trophy in Osaka, Japan
   Check out his short program (94.85 points) and free skate (195.92 points, total of 290.77).
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   Mikhail Kolyada - Russia - Bronze - As much as I want to like his free skate to this rather oddly put together Elvis medley, I just don't. I mean the costume isn't as awful as the one previous season, but it still doesn't really convince me, neither does the music. The skating is good, although it is pretty evident that Mikhail is very much still struggling with it quite a lot. At this point, after watching him more or less crash through this program, I kind of do wish he would just switch back to a different one, maybe the one from previous season, to give him a better chance at medaling at a competition where he would have to stand up against the big six. He is a very good skater so seeing him struggle is just a really sad thing, but I'm still hoping that he'll continue working on both of his programs and that, when we see him again November 3-5 at the Cup of China in Beijing, China, he'll be stronger and more confident. (Side note - why is it so hard to find pretty/good looking pictures of Mikhail from his programs?)
   Check out his short program (85.79 points) and free skate (185.27 points, total of 271.06).
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   Evgenia Medvedeva - Russia - Gold - Is anyone really surprised that Evgenia won? I don't think so because, let's face it, she is perfect in every way possible. If I understood Russian commentator Tatiana Tarasova correctly (my Russian is a bit shaky so excuse me if I got something wrong), she said that in all her years as coach, and just in the figure skating world, she has never seen such a remarkable athlete as Evgenia. She is graceful, her artistry is captivating, her choreographies perfectly showcase her abilities (I mean did you see all those Rippon jumps?). The one surprise that I'm sure stayed in all of our minds after watching her Free Skate was the fact that Evgenia fell after landing her double axel toward the end of her program. A collective gasp went through the arena. But I love how Evgenia wasn't bitter about it, she rather laughed at it all and that was amazing. The next time we will get to see her will be at NHK Trophy.
   Check out her short program (80.75 points) and free skate (150.46 points, total of 231.21).
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   Carolina Kostner - Italy - Silver - Carolina is definitely an established and experienced skater and I really like watching her a lot, she's also the only Italian skater I follow. Both of her costumes are great, her programs intricate and artistic, and it's just a delight to watch her. The point difference between her and Evgenia is quite something though, but I can understand it. Maybe I would've actually given her a few more points for both programs, but I'm not in the know-how enough to really be the judge of any of it. I certainly can't wait to see her again at the NHK Trophy, and certainly hope to see her in the Grand Prix Final. She definitely would deserve it.
   Check out her short program (74.62 points) and free skate (141.36 points, total of 215.98).
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   Wakabe Higuchi - Japan - Bronze - I live for both of Wakabe's costumes as well as programs, especially her Skyfall Free Skate with her dark blue dress. It's amazingly choreographed and the music fits seamlessly to it. Both of it is rounded off by Wakabe's artistic expression and with how much passion and emotions she performs. I think she definitely deserved her spot on the podium and I can only hope that she, too, will make it to the GPF, and that her performances will just keep on getting better and better. Also, hi, please send her to the Olympics, that'd be awesome. The next time we will see Wakabe will be at the Cup of China.
  Check out her short program (69.90 points) and free skate (137.57 points, total of 207.17).
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Ice Dance

   Maia and Alex Shibutani - USA - Gold - Usually Ice Dance isn't really on my radar, since I'm not that into any of the pairs, or at least so I thought until the Free Dance and the Shibutani siblings took the ice. I loved their red and black costumes, their choreography, music choice, and their artistic expression. Watching them was just fun and I enjoyed it a lot, which really surprised me. I can't say that it necessarily made me more curious about ice dance, but I will definitely keep an eye out on how these two are doing across the season, that much I know. The next time we will see the Shibutani siblings will be at Skate America.
   Check out their short (77.30 points) and free dance (119.94 points, total of 197.24 points).
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   And these were all my thoughts on the medalists from the Rostelecom Cup 2017. Next up is Skate Canada, November 27-28 2017. Thank you so much for reading!

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