By far the most exciting day I've had here yet!
It all started with the Public Pairs Medal Ceremoney. They presented the pairs medalists outside of the Staples Center. Peter Carruthers lead the ceremony. During the ceremoney I chatted with Ingo Steuer, Savchenko and Szolkowy's coach. I reminded him it had been 12 years since he won and he rolled his eyes, laughed, and then leaned down and showed me a gray hair on his head. I also learned the mystery about the Kawaguchi to Kavaguti name change. Apparently, there is no translation for Kawaguchi in Russian! So when she gained Russian citizenship, the certificate changed the name from Kawaguchi to Kavaguti. She, however, still prefers Kawaguchi.
The OD was exciting. Domnina and Shabalin lead after, what I thought, was a boring and slow dance. Belbin and Agosto won the free Original Dance and closed the gap between them and Domnina and Shabalin. They look as if they were never injured this season and right on form. Virtue and Moir are currently third but lost a lot of ground after placing 6th in the OD. The are less than a point ahead of Davis and White who also were on form. Khoklova and Novitski are 5th and Pechalat and Bourzat are 6th.
The men's event came to a conclusion and in a stunning climax American Evan Lysacek clenched the Gold Medal after a perfect performance that brought everyone in the Staples Center out of their seats. Evan Lysacek becomes the first U.S. man in 13 years to win the World Title. The last American to win was Todd Eldredge in 1996. The first of the medalist to skate was Canadian Patrick Chan. He was cruising along until he singled the second jump on his triple axel combination. Even still, he put down a solid performance and earned a standing ovation. Lysacek skated near the end of the group. He made the decision to not attempt a quad and to instead focus on skating a clean program and the strategy worked. He landed 8 triples and all his spins and footwork were graded level 3 and 4, the most difficult. After his performance he stood on the ice for about a minute just soaking in all the accolades in complete disbelief. The final skater on the evening was France's Brian Joubert who lead after the short program. After a solid opening that included a quad, he struggled on a triple axel landing and fell on a double axel at the end of his program. At the conclusion of his program he skated around the ice clearly upset with his effort. When the scores went up, he was only able to get the Bronze, giving Lysacek the Gold and Chan the Silver.
Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic, Samuel Contesti of Italy, and Takahiko Kozuka of Japan rounded out the top six. Americans Brandon Mroz and Jeremy Abbott struggled to finish 9th and 11th respectively. With Lysacek's win and Mroz's placement, the U.S. earned three Olympic Berths in Vancouver as did Japan.
The ladies short program is early tomorrow and the Free Dance is tomorrow night!