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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Poll #6: How do you like this blog?

Yeah, this time I thought I'd be "thick-skinned" and ask readers how they like my blog. Again, there were only 12 responses, of which
  3 (25%) claimed it was the best they have seen
  9 (75%) thought it is a cool site
  1 (8%) said it is just ok.

So, what do I see readers getting out of this?
  • Personal experiences - I recount my own skating experience, as well as what works for me and what doesn't. Of course it won't be the same for every skater, but hopefully some of this will help someone!
  • Skating tips - pointers on elements, breakdown of competition requirements, etc.
  • News & information - competition information, interesting news that catches my attention, even relevant videos.
  • Local skating scene - Singapore doesn't have that large a skating scene, but whatever does happen, happens!
Hopefully these will also catch your attention and bring all of you readers back! :-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The backspin seems to be one of the (many?) elements that stumps many skaters. Well, for me it did take a long time to get the hang of it too!

Many years ago, a coach told me that the L shoulder should be in front -> for CCW rotation!! She did also say to look over the L shoulder. At that time, it just seemed too counter-intuitive to be true!

Later, I looked at some pictures of elite skaters, and yes, that is exactly what they do in the air - for multi-rev jumps... Then when I saw the photo of my backspin in Oberstdorf last year (left), well, it wasn't so obvious, but the L shoulder is slightly in front.

Yet another "tip" I heard from someone else was to point the belly button slightly to the right - again counter-intuitive, but the backspin is more than trying to pull the L side around. So, perhaps rather than thinking about the L shoulder, try using the R shoulder to nudge someone standing to the right, and keep rotating about the right side!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Team Singapore Sports Idol Contest

The Singapore Sports Council has set up a Team Singapore Top 20 Sports Idol Contest. In the Preliminary Round (22 Oct - 16 Nov 2007), the public may vote for their favorite athletes, and the 50 athletes with the most votes will advance to the Final Round.

Visit the Team Singapore Sports Idol Contest website to see the athletes nominated, and to cast your vote!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Singapore bids for first Youth Olympic Games 2010

Blazing the trail, Singapore has come up with a tagline that not only sets the mood for the first Youth Olympics but also its first bid for a major international Games.

Yesterday, Channel News Asia reported Singapore's Youth Olympic Games Committee launches logo, website. The official Singapore Youth Olympic Games 2010 Bid Website allows us to voice our support, and also points readers to the Singapore 2010 Bid Video on YouTube!

Besides Singapore, other bid cities include
  • Algiers, Algeria
  • Athens, Greece
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Debrecen, Hungary
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Poznan, Poland
  • Turin, Italy

The shortlisted cities will be announced by 12 Nov 2007, and the bid evaluation will be in December. In February, the IOC members will be voting on the winner!

Read more:
  - Bid Profile and Fact Sheet - 2010 Youth Summer Olympic Bids (from
  - Singapore's Bid for 2010 Youth Olympic Games Kicks into Higher Gear (from
  - Khoo Swee Chiow on Singapore’s bid for YOG2010: "Go for it!" (from
  - Youth Olympics - Three factors in Singapore's favour (from Straits Times)
  - Race for the Youth Olympics (from Straits Times Video News)

[Update 9 Dec: The website has been re-designed, and the quite unfortunately, the some of the links above no longer work... You have to go to the Official Website to find the relevant pages!]

2008 ISU Adult International Competition

The 2008 ISU Adult International Competition will be held in Oberstdorf, Germany, from May 29 to June 1 2008. The announcement is now available, and can be downloaded from the ISU page.

There will be a new event, artistic free skating, that anyone can enter in addition to the other events. This allows vocal music and costume (without props) and will be judged only on the basis of presentation components.

I had gathered some info in an earlier blog this year while planning for the trip:
ISU Adult Competition - some useful information

Some other previous posts on Oberstdorf and the ISU Adult Competition:
  - Oberstdorf (2007)
  - Back in Singapore, and more videos (2007, competition videos)
  - Pictures from Oberstdorf (2006)
  - Pics from event at Oberstdorf (2006)
  - A morning in Munich (2006) - Photos [not-so-related, this was from our visit to Munich before setting off for Oberstdorf]

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I signed up with Nuffnang two months ago, and this week they finally gave me my first ad. It is a Nike ad, and I had originally thought it would just link to a Nike site which advertises its products, bla... bla... bla...

Interestingly enough, it actually links to the Nike+ page (check out the ad yourself), where one can log in and track one's running progress! The user can set goals like running a distance in a given number of weeks, running to burn calories or running faster. The user can also challenge friends to distance races, most miles, fastest runs, or even put in a team goal.

The site also sets up forums, clubs, global statistics, and information on gear (of course Nike gear) and music (looks like they have teamed up with iPod). The concept sounds pretty cool, though I haven't figured out how it all works to accurately record the actual distance/speed of the runs.

So, just imagine a site like this for figure skaters...

Setting Goals
  - land 10 axels in one session
  - skate a clean program in practise

  - most number of consecutive loop jumps
  - spinning for the longest time
  - most number of revs in a sit spin

And of course with forums, clubs, tools/gear and global statistics to help you with all aspects of your skating...

Right brained or Left brained?

I admit I am quite hung up on this clockwise or counter-clockwise dancer... AND I'm glad to say I am not the only one - this has generated much discussion and analysis on the Skating Forums. It must be a trait of adult figure skaters to take every move apart in trying to understand it!

One skater posted two sequences of freeze-frames and drew in the positions of face, arms and legs to show how the dancer would look going clockwise and counter-clockwise! This all makes perfect sense, but I still cannot make her go counter-clockwise when I look at the animation!!

Another skater made a mirror image of the animation and put them side-by-side! When I first saw this, the original (left) was going clockwise, and the mirror (right) was going counter-clockwise. However, after reading other posts and coming back to it, both animation seemed to be going clockwise again... ARGH!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Clockwise or counter-clockwise?

The Right Brain vs Left Brain, an article in the Daily Telegraph, carries a picture of a dancer who is spinning (click on the picture below to see it spinning). The question is, do you see the dancer going clockwise or counter-clockwise?

Apparently, those whose right side of the brain dominates will see it going clockwise, and those whose left side of the brain dominates will see it going counter-clockwise. There are also some who can focus and change the direction! The article reports that "most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise".

However, I most certainly see it going clockwise, and try as I might, I cannot make it go counter-clockwise!! A quick search on the internet indicated that many people saw the dancer going clockwise... then, I went to Daily Kos, and found that almost 70% of the votes were for "right brained". So much for "most of us" seeing the dancer turning anti-clockwise.

Still, it was rather surprising since I never thought of myself as "right brained"! Oh well, maybe I am after all! So, I poked around the huge WWW and found some info on brain functions:
    Left or Right - Which sSide are you on?
    Left and Right Sides of the Brain: Which is your dominant side? - by Trudell Smith
    Left vs. Right: Brain Function Tied To Hormone in the Womb - a New York Times article published over 20 years ago!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tropical Blades Ice Skating Club

It might seem kind of strange that after almost 2 years of blogging about figure skating in Singapore, I had made no mention of my club...

Tropical Blades Ice Skating Club was start 6 years ago by a group of adult skaters who wanted to see the sport develop both recreationally and competitively. We see skating as a sport for both adults and children, and have put up various performances and skating events to cater for all. We even organised a figure skating seminar in 2003.

Every year, we try to organise a members' party so that we can all get together to skate. This year's Members' Night Party will be on 20 Oct, 7pm at Fuji Ice Palace. The club is always happy to welcome new members, so if anyone new wants to join us, check out our membership page!
PS: No skating experience is required to join!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

ABC Ice Moves

The television network, ABC, put up a series Ice Moves which brings the viewer through some of the elements of figure skating. I came across it on YouTube, and thought it would interest some of you readers!

Sports Education Programme - Learn to Ice Skate

The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) set up a Sports Education Programme (SEP) together with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to introduce various sports to school students and encourage more active participation in sports.

Ice Skating is featured in this year's SEP, and Fuji Ice Palace has a Learn to Ice Skate program in place. Recently there have been several school groups taking up this program.

This is one positive step towards cultivating awareness and growing the sport. Hopefully we will begin to see more interest and greater talent in this area!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sale & Pelletier have a son!

Reported on the Skate Canada website, "Jamie Sale and David Pelletier welcome baby Jesse".

I had mentioned them in my earlier post "Skaters' Babies". Its awesome that they will be actually doing shows by December. I'm wondering myself if I'd even be getting back to the ice in the 3 months after having a baby!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Poll #5: Do you have a blog?

I read somewhere that most of the blog readers are bloggers themselves. I thought I'd find out for myself...

Of the 12 readers (!? that's it?) who responded,
  7 (58%) said yes, they have a blog, and
  5 (41%) said no, they do not have a blog.

Recently, I put in an interview at Blog Interviewer, and it is up now, you can read the interview and vote for my blog by clicking the button below.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Kallang Ice World to open in October

Soon enough, Singapore skaters will have a second rink to skate in! Kallang Ice World plans to open in mid-Oct, in the brand new Leisure Park Kallang. The date has been set but as far as I know it has not yet been announced yet, so I suppose I won't tell right now.
Update 16 Nov: Kallang Ice World is now open to general public!!
Relevant posts:
    Kallang Ice World Opens!!
    First Skate at Kallang Ice World

The ice surface at Kallang Ice World is slightly larger than the current Fuji Ice Palace. Really, it is not much of a sifference at all (975.5 sqm, compared to Fuji's 960 sqm), but hopefully the ice will be good! :-)

In terms of pricing, though, I realise that it is pointless to hope that Kallang Ice World would charge any less that Fuji Ice Palace does. After all, it is larger, it is newer, and it does promise more exciting amenities. We will see for ourselves soon!

Some info about the new rink:
The new entertainment hub’s ice-skating rink will offer the biggest ice-skating surface in Singapore. Spanning 10,500 square feet, it is constructed to match competition standards and will also incorporate some spectator seating in its design to cater to a wide range of ice-skating performances, events and competitions.

It is easily accessible via East Coast Parkway and the new Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway. Those who travel by public transport will be well served by a comprehensive network of buses and the MRT. The newly completed Stadium Boulevard MRT station, scheduled to open by 2010, is right in front of Leisure Park Kallang. In the meantime, the mall will operate interim shuttle buses to Leisure Park Kallang regularly during the operational hours of the mall.

    -- Quotes from CBRE press release