Friday, April 16, 2010

3rd Annual Loop Axel Awards

Alright, part two of the Loop Axel Awards...time to have a little fun.

The categories are:

*Best Throw/Jump
*Hottest Skater
*The Twitterholic (NEW)
*Best Coach
*Most Improved Skater
*Best New Face
*Most Controversial (NEW)
*Best Outfit
*Memorable Moment of the Season (NEW)
*Blog of the Year (NEW)
*Reader's Choice: Skater of the Year

*Best Throw/Jump...the nominees are:
+Daisuke Takahashi - Quad Flip - 2010 World Figure Skating Championships (Free)
+Mao Asada - Triple Axel - 2010 Olympic Winter Games (Short)
+Evgeny Plushenko - Quad Toe/Triple Toe - 2009 Rostelecom Cup (Short)
+Inoue and Baldwin - Throw Triple Axel - 2010 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships (Free)
+Jeremy Abbott - Quad Toe - 2010 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships (Free)

And the winner is...Mao Asada - Triple Axel - 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In the pressure cooker that was that ladies Olympic short, it was a huge accomplishment to not only make history by landing the jump at the Olympics, but to hold up to the intense pressure that was being put on her. It was really fantastic and we all gasped when she hit it!

*Hottest Skater...the nominees are:
+Daisuke Takahashi
+Joannie Rochette
+Aliona Savchenko
+Charlie White
+Tanith Belbin

And the winner is...Tanith Belbin. Tough competition in this category but I think this time around Tanith wins out. At one point this season she was on the cover of Men's Health scantily clad and everyone was like..."woah!"

*The Twitterholic...the nominees are:
+Jeffrey Buttle (@J_Butt)
+Jeremy Abbott (@jeremyabbottpcf)
+Ana Cecilia Cantu (@cantufeelicks)
+Michael Weiss (@MichaelWeiss2)
+Charlie White (@CharlieAWhite)

And the winner is...Ana Cecilia Cantu. The National Champ of Mexico has some of the best tweets ever! She says what she wants and is always great for a laugh (and a great sit spin if you ever get the pleasure to see her in competition). If you aren't following her on should!

*Best Coach...the nominees are:
+Frank Carroll
+Brian Orser
+Yao Bin
+Igor Shpilband
+Jim Peterson

And the winner is...Brian Orser. This choice of all the awards for me was the hardest to choose because each of those coaches basically were completely amazing but I gave the award to Brian Orser because he had to guide Kim Yu-Na through far more than practice sessions. He had to basically manage a nations super-star and not only help her compete well, but stand up and handle the enormous pressure S. Korea was putting on her shoulders. Oh...and he's done an amazing job with Adam Rippon and Christina Gao too!

*Most Improved Skater...the nominees are:
+Michal Brezina
+Adam Rippon
+Akiko Suzuki
+Zaretski and Zaretski
+Faiella and Scali

And the winner is...Akiko Suzuki. Not that she didn't have her rough patches this season but to go from a long shot to make the Japanese Olympic Team last season to a Grand Prix Gold Medalist, Grand Prix Final Bronze Medalist, Japanese National Silver Medalist, and Four Continents Silver Medalist is quite impressive. Also, in almost every competition she managed to skate her butt off in the free skate. Also, she took a tired piece of music (West Side Story) and breathed new life into it.

*Best New Face...the nominees are:
+Kevin Reynolds
+Florent Amodio
+Ksenya Makarova
+Michal Brezina
+Adam Rippon

And the winner is...Michal Brezina. All season long I've called the young Czech a breath of fresh air. Easy straight forward skating and natural jumps. He gradually over the course of this season established himself as the top Czech skater over veteran Tomas Verner and his season culminated with a near flawless free skate at World's that I felt should have earned him a place on the podium. He may have come up short in Torino but he's the clear winner here!

*Most Controversial...and the nominees are:
+Evgeny Plushenko
+Sasha Cohen
+Johnny Weir
+Kim Yu-Na
+Domnina and Shabalin

And the winner is...Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin. They had the entire Australian Olympic Committee after them over that Aboriginal Original Dance. The social ramification and ripples that one dance sent through the figure skating community in the run-up to the Olympics was more controversial than anything coming out of Plushenko's mouth, fur on Johnny's shoulder, Sasha's inability to show up at a competition, or an earring on Kim Yu-Na's ear.

*Best Outfit...and the nominees are:
+Davis and White - Original Dance
+Samuel Contesti - Free Skate
+Savchenko and Szolkowy - Free Skate
+Johnny Weir - Short Program
+Evan Lysacek - Short Program

And the winner is...Evan Lysacek - Short Program. I just loved that all black with the feathers around his neck and hands. I thought it was striking and powerful and perfect for his stature and the music. Also, his long limbs just accentuated the outfit and the performance.

*Memorable Moment of the Season...and the nominees are:
+Amanda Evora's flood of tears after earning an Olympic Berth.
+Joannie Rochette hugging her father after her Olympic Short Program.
+Evgeny Plushenko's #1 finger upon completing his free skate at Rostelecom Cup.
+John Baldwin's expression and interaction with the judges upon Rena Inoue's successful completion of the throw triple axel.
+Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's final pose in their Olympic Free Dance.
+Sasha Cohen's entire U.S. Nationals short program.

And the winner is...John Baldwin's expression and interaction with the judges upon Rena Inoue's successful completion of the throw triple axel. I mean it was priceless! He popped his finger straight up and gave the judges this look like "What! C'mon!" He showed her off beautifully and it was awesome! All of that on top of the fact she had just landed a throw triple axel.

*Blog of the Year...and the nominees are:
+Aunt Joyce's Ice Cream Stand
+Required Elements
+jumping clapping man
+Blips of Todd...
+Ice Charades

And the winner is...It's so hard to judge your peers so I give everyone the award!'re note letting me cop out like that? Okay, okay...The winner is...Blips of Todd...It's so funny to see the other side of the skaters you watch compete. What you might think is their personality based upon what they do on the ice is nothing like who they really are and Todd Gilles' Vlog gives us little 'blips of Todd' that let us into his very character in a very fun and charming way. I can say however, without reserve, that all the blogs listed here and even many that aren't are amazing.

*Reader's Choice: Skater of the Year...and the nominees are:
+Shen and Zhao
+Daisuke Takahashi
+Virtue and Moir
+Kim Yu-Na
+Davis and White

And the winner is...Kim Yu-Na. The people have spoken and Kim Yu-Na is Queen indeed! I don't think there is any arguing with this choice or any of the five skaters/teams chosen to vie for this award. Kim Yu-Na has been tremendous this season, her Olympic Free in particular was stunning. She's a national hero and treasure for South Korea and how fortunate they are to have her!.


Xan said...

I won't argue with any of them! Double yes to Michael Brezina! LOVE that guy.

Anonymous said...

LOL~~ I agree on that some Yuna fans are toooooo sensitive to every little thing. They need to chill. I think they have an inferiority complex or something because if you're really confident about yourselves, then you wouldn't be so defensive against criticisms.

Aaron said...

I didn't even say anything I'm confused?

Anonymous two, while I appreciate your coming to my rescue, can't really have the f-bomb being dropped, trying to keep it clean...but thanks. :-)

A third call for a cease fire...any takers?

jumping clapping man said...

good lord...blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda...i support the cease fire aaron!

put down your weapons peeps, and start sharing constructive and interesting insights.

back to the subject at hand...i enjoyed your annual awards. i was especially glad jeremy took the best FS and really appreciated the nod to sawyer. i too remember that moment seeming like the beginning of a great season for him, and i loved the program. too bad it was not to be.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Yuna's fans are the ones with an inferiority complex here. I just saw a Joannie video on Youtube and all of its related contents were malicious Yuna attacking videos uploaded by Mao fans - fixed score, yuna is hated, plastic surgery, etc etc - I've seen them in Michelle's and Sasha's videos; most skaters are tagged in them as well. They're seriously diseased, these people. It's a level of organized mass hate I've never seen before. I think Yuna's fans may be oversensitive because they need to put up with mentalists like that spreading lies all over the web, defaming someone to an inhuman extent, even demanding for an olympic gold medal to be taken away, manipulating the anonymity of the web to do things they would not dare take responsibility for in real life. I'm not being an apologist, and counter-bashing is definitely not the answer, but it makes sense why Yuna fans are quick to get defensive because all this blind hatred from Mao fans is flooding Youtube. It's really not something to gloss over - they seriously show up everywhere. Other skaters have seen them when they search themselves. I have read that the Youtube attacks have anguished Yuna's family, but I'm not sure how the international laws work on Youtube as far as libel litigation goes or how her agency is responding to them. Bless her and her family.

That being said, from what I've read Aaron is far from being anything other than appreciative of Yuna's skating - I mean do you even read this blog? "Skater of the Year" not good enough??! So let's keep it classy.

Sorry my comment is mostly OT. As for best jumps - I wish you had nominated the Rippon Lutz! It's such a thing of beauty :D

Anonymous said...

Criticizing a skater on her skating is one thing; we as skating fans all do out of expectations they carry about skaters. But spreading countless lies about her personal life? This is happening on an everyday base by a relentless group of people who call themselves "Mao fans", in the sole hope of tainting her reputation and the first impression borne by potential fans around the world. People who care about Yuna are just getting fed up with this. This has to stop.

Aaron said...

Oy vey!

Mai said...

Aaron, maybe you should consider asking people name themselves on this site. If you're going to call someone out of somebody you should be able to stand behind it with your actual name.

Otherwise, I've enjoyed your award posts. I also went an look up Ana Celicia Cantu's program to see the spins and they're pretty cool.

And I love Akiko Suzuki. So cool how she came on to the scene this year.

Ice Charades said...

Yeah for Brian!! That's always my vote - thanks for the awards too, Aaron, they're fun to read.

Sorry about the back and forth between Japan and South Korea.