Saturday, February 11, 2006

Olympic Blog, Part 1

So during the Olympic Games I will blog on the going on's of the ice! Today was the first full day of competition and already there has been drama!

Michelle Kwan has withdrawn...I am so sad but am certain that she has made the correct decision. Her body just isn't cooperating the way it should be since arriving in Torino. Emily Hughes now gets an Olympic shot. I wish Michelle all the best in her recovery, she will be missed more than any other athlete could be. Good luck Emily!

I've officially branded him a traitor! Dick Button is doing Olympic commentary for NBC...and what a delight it is! I'm happy that, for this competition, Dick has jumped ship and joined this crew. Dick Button follows these skaters intensely because of his extensive coverage with ABC/ESPN (the usual home of Figure Skating, with the exception of the Olympics) and it is nice to know that someone knowledgeable is there to call this event. I also like that Scott Hamilton is back, he's a great commentator too. Sandra Bezic...I don't like her! That's just an opinion though...

How many times can we discuss the Salt Lake City Pairs Scandal...I counted 13 times it was brought up during today's various Olympic broadcasts. Even more crazy...they have David and Jaime running around Torino following Pairs Teams. I love them to death but it is really becoming overkill!

Okay...the competition! Pairs short program took place and what a program it was! The top 8 are separated by just about 8 points. 8 points! 8 points, all the credit Rena Inoue and John Baldwin got for a gorgeous, perfect, textbook throw triple axel! The base value for that particular element is 7.5, and I can tell you it deserved a +3 to the grade of execution (see new judging system here)because it was brilliant. However, the international panel, whose marks we cannot match with the judge because it is still anonymous, only saw fit to give it a +1. Just the same they are within striking distance of a medal in 6th place with total points of 61.27. Leading after the short program is (no big surprise) Russian's Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin. They delivered a flawless performance and clearly were the class of the field. They currently have 68.64 points. Chinese upstarts, the Zhang's are in 2nd after a powerful performance and the #2 Russian team Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov are in 3rd. China continued to show dominance, Pang and Tong are in 4th and somehow (torn achilles or not) Shen and Zhao are in 5th! The free skate promises to be exciting as so many teams are in contention for a medal!

Full Results for the Pairs Short Program can be found here

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