Saturday, July 29, 2006

Say Hello To the Future

The future of women's figure skating has officially arrived! This upcoming season we will see an array of youthful talent. They've been testing the waters for a year a two, but this upcoming season belongs to them! Say hello to the future...

She burst onto the scene last year and took the world by surprise. Mao Asada leveled her competition in the Grand Prix Series, brushed Irina Slutskaya off at the Grand Prix Final, almost won Japanese Nationals by hitting not one...but two Triple Axel's in her free skate, and finished off a great season with a Junior World Silver Medal (loosing to arguably the hottest skater on the rise...we'll talk about her a bit later!). The Japanese had a fit about all this...not because they were displeased with her...but because she was only 15 and too young to go to the Olympics! she has that little spark that we all find so infectious. She's a jumping machine and her artistry ain't bad either! Look for this young lady to be a force to be reckoned with this upcoming season!

If we are talking youthful talent, we cannot disclude of course the reigning World Champion, Kimmie Meissner. Last year at U.S. Nationals she made a star by hitting that Triple Axel, qualifying for the World Championships, only to be too young. This past season, she buckled down, worked on her artistry, and made sure she was above the bubble when she earned a certifiable spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. She solitified her status as star on the rise with a Top Six in Torino and wouldn't you know she went ahead and won the World Title! This is the future face of U.S. Skating and what a face it is!

(South) Korea has never had a name and a face that they could put on the Figure Skating map. Those days are over...Kim Yu-Na is one of the hottest (if not the hottest!) skater on the scene. She has quietly been lurking in the world of Junior Skaters, perfecting her skills. She has level 4 spins, fantastically solid jumps, a beautiful artistic flow across the ice, not to mention she beat Mao Asada at the Junior World Championships. Remember back when Lu Chen had to carry the figure skating banner for her entire nation of China. China put all of their figure skating hopes in her. Korea has done the same with Kim Yu-Na. She holds the future of Figure Skating in Korea in her very hands.

Thinks are certainly looking good when you are Scott Hamilton's favorite new skater on the block...and isn't just fun saying her name...Elene Gedevanishvili. This Georgian upstart made a splash by coming in 5th in her first European Championships, and then she backed that up with finishing in the the top six after the short program at the Olympic Games. Rough around the edges still, but a lot of spunk! She has the makings of great talent, not to mention killer Triple/Triple combinations. Look for this shining star to shine bright!

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