The rain came today and foiled my plans of going to see some of the Olympic Venues...but it is the Pacific Northwest. So I've decided rain or shine I'm making the rounds tomorrow.
Great bit of skating today. The Ice Dance couples took to the ice for their original dance and there were some hum dingers! Not among the OD's that sizzled were Navarro and Bommentre. Their struggles continue as Kimberly had some problems in her footwork and the found themselves again trailing the top pack of dancers. Despite a solid program, Canada's Crone and Poirier slipped from 3rd to 4th after Samuelson and Bates of the U.S. showed some fancy footwork and moved ahead of them. Canada's Virtue and Moir continue to lead the competition, however Americans Davis and White are not letting them run away with it; they are staying close on their heels. Tessa and Scott are going to have to work for this title.
The Pairs Final took place. While the American teams skated better than they had in the short programs, they still found themselves in 5th, 6th, and 7th. Inoue and Baldwin were 7th. Again John was unable to complete a triple toe (please work on this) and later in the program Rena fell on throw triple loop. The bright spot for the U.S. team was Denney and Barrett who threw down another clean free skate! They are starting to make a habit of this. The were just behind Keauna and Rockne who skated similarly to their performance at Nationals in Cleveland. Duhamel and Buntin weren't able to back up their clean short with a clean free and finished 4th. I had pegged Zhang and Zhang of China to win this competition but they huffed and puffed their way to third. This team usually is sharp this time of the season but they didn't look sharp at all here. The top two teams, however, were on top of their game. Canadians Dube and Davison gave the Canadian crowd a treat with a solid free skate. Their 'Carmen' program brought the crowd too it's feet. China's Pang and Tong rebutted with an outstanding program of their own to take the title. Pang and Tong are on quite a roll this season and at this point have to be considered the favorites in L.A.
The day ended with the men. Nobunari Oda (who incidentally won my Quick Vote Poll) struggled and found himself in 6th. That will actually put him in the penultimate group of skaters in the free skate. Brandon Mroz continued to be Mr. Cool Calm and Collected; he put down a clean skate and is currently in 5th. Jeremy Abbott is in 4th, after a gorgeous opening to his program he fell on his triple lutz and then stumbled in his foot work. Even still, he had very strong component scores. Japan's Takahiko Kozuka is in 3rd after a solid short. Just a little over a point separates 3rd - 6th so it will be interesting. Evan Lysacek seems to have found his mojo. He was his old self again, ripping through his short program with more speed and vigor than I've seen from him in a while. He posted a solid number and is in second place. The night, however, belonged to Patrick Chan who posted an even bigger (88.90 wow!) number to take the lead. He delivered every element with speed and precision, it was really amazing to watch. The crowd went nuts for him and they (well, we...I was up too!) were out of their seats instantly.
What ever Patrick Chan and Yu-Na Kim were drinking before their shorts...it worked!
Ladies and Dance Free tomorrow!