Thursday, February 05, 2009

Day 1 at Four Continents Cup

I love being here in Vancouver. It's among my favorite places and it always feels like a home away from home. The people here are 'my people!'

But, my flight was late getting into town. Then, I decided to get a rental so I could travel up to Whistler later this week and ended up getting stuck in traffic. Needless to say I missed the Compulsory Dance and the first half of the pairs short.

I can report that there are no real shocks yet in Ice Dance with Virtue and Moir leading the way ahead of Davis and White. Currently Crone and Poirier have a point lead over Samuleson and Bates. Original Dance is tomorrow (wait it's!).

I did get to see the top pairs and both Pang and Tong as well as Dube and Davison were impressive. They're 1-2 right now after strong skates. Zhang and Zhang as well as Duhamel and Buntin are close behind with solid performances of their own. Personally, I though Duhamel and Buntin should have had the winning short...but who am I, right? Trouble for the Americans...Inoue and Baldwin find themselves in 5th a few points back from the teams ahead of them and McLaughlin and Brubaker are way down in 7th, just ahead of Denney and Barrett. Team USA will be playing catch up in the free skate.

The ladies short program lasted for what seems an eternity. So many ladies competing that really aren't as technically proficient as most of the elite skaters in the world. It wasn't until the final two groups that we saw consistent triple jumps. Bit of a shocking result in that event though. Czisny and Flatt are in 7th and 8th respectively. Czisny struggled with the jumps, and Flatt skated okay, just didn't any points. The next shock is Mao Asada in 6th after a glitched short program. It reminded me of Grand Prix Paris when she had similar problems. Caroline Zhang is actually ahead of Mao after a clean program (albeit a little slow). The top four skated very well. Fumie Suguri put down a solid program and is in the mix in 4th. Cynthia Phaneuf too had an amazing short and surprised herself by placing 3rd. Joannie Rochette kept her momentum from Canadian Nationals by putting down a clean program and putting herself in second. However, the night belonged to Yu-Na Kim. She was amazing and the crowd was out of their seats before she was even done skating. The Korean superfans are back and they lead the applause that filled Pacific Coliseum.

More skating tomorrow...stay tuned!

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