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Monday, December 20, 2010

Announcement - Singapore National Figure Skating Championships 2011

The 10th Singapore National Figure Skating Championships 2011 will be held 12-13 Feb 2011 at Kallang Ice World. The entry deadline is 12 Jan 2011.

Download Announcement and Entry Form

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Michelle Kwan performs in Singapore ~ 18 Dec 2010

Video of Michelle Kwan's first performance in Singapore on 18 Dec 2010 at Marina Bay Sands skating rink.


And, this is on synthetic ice, it really doesn't look like she's doing much, but can't blame her since it seems quite difficult to move on the surface, and skaters had been instructed that they "couldn't use the toe picks" (which I later found out meant no toe jumps)

Credits: Thanks to a friend of mine for the video... you know who you are ;-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The skating rink at Marina Bay Sands


A preview of the skating rink at Marina Bay Sands. This is definitely synthetic ice, and Michelle Kwan will perform here this weekend!

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is big! Quite nice, in fact. We walked there from Suntec, which was quite a hike, but it wasn't too bad a walk to the Promenade MRT entrance when I was going back.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Michelle Kwan to visit Singapore

Michelle Kwan will be in Singapore... soon!
Apart from the opening of Marina Bay Sands rink on 18 & 19 December, she will also be making an appearance and giving a talk at the National Library on 12 Jan 2011 and visiting the Singapore American School on 13 Jan.

at Marina Bay Sands Opening 18 & 19 Dec 2010
~ Michelle Kwan to skate at Marina Bay Sands

at Kallang Ice World
~ SISA Figure Skating Workshop 10 Jan 2011 5 - 7pm
~ SKATE TO DREAM: Winter Special Olympics Carnival 14 Jan 2011 4:30 - 7pm
(jointly put together by the Singapore Ice Skating Association, the US Embassy and Kallang Ice World)

at National Library 12 Jan 2011
~ Up & close with Olympic medalist figure skater Michelle Kwan 7 - 7:30pm
~ A Singapore Figure skating Champion?: Sharing by Michelle Kwan 7:30 - 8:30pm (Registration required)

at Singapore American School 13 Jan 2011
~ Michelle Kwan to Visit SAS 3:30 - 4:30pm (link goes to SAS current highlights page)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Grand Prix Final 2010 ~ Miki Ando

Miki Ando skated a stunning free program at the Grand Prix Final 2010 in Beijing


It is unfortunate that she made major errors in her short program which put her off the podium.

Grand Prix Final 2010 ~ Kanako Murakami Free Skate

With a beautiful free program, Kanako Murakami takes third place in the Grand Prix Final 2010 in Beijing. The popped flip cost her dearly...

Grand Prix Final 2010 ~ Carolina Kostner Free Skate

Carolina Kostner's free program at the Grand Prix Final in Beijing.


She came in second overall.

Grand Prix Final 2010 ~ Alissa Czisny Free Skate

Alissa Czisny's free program at the Grand Prix Final 2010 in Beijing. She skates beautifully and has wonderfully fast spins. She managed to secure first place!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

JGP 2010 Ladies ~ Adelina Sotnikova

After the short program of Junior Grand Prix 2010, Adelina Sotnikova is in first place, with fellow Russian skaters Elizaveta Tuktamisheva and Polina Shelepen in second and third.

Here's a video of Adelina Sotnikova's short program from the Cup of Austria 2010 earlier this year:

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

ISU Grand Prix finals in Beijing this week

The finals for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2010/2011 begin in Beijing tomorrow, 9 December 2010. In the Ladies event, Miki Ando leads with two wins (Cup of China & Cup of Russia) and a season's best of 174.47 points. Also in competition are Alissa Czisny, Carolina Kostner, Kanako Murakami, Akiko Suzuki and Rachael Flatt.

Miki Ando's free program this season:

Friday, December 03, 2010

Michelle Kwan to skate at Marina Bay Sands

The Marina Bay Sands skating rink will be opening on 18 Dec, and Michelle Kwan will be skating two performances, on 18 & 19 Dec at 2pm.

Quoted from the Marina Bay Sands press release
Michelle Kwan to Open Marina Bay Sands Skating Rink: One of the most anticipated events in The Shoppes will be the opening of the skating rink at 2pm on December 18th and at 2pm on December 19th. One of the greatest figure skaters of all time, Michelle Kwan will be the celebrity guest performer, marking it officially open. Michelle dominated the sport like no other skater in history, winning an unprecedented 43 championships, including five World Championships and two Olympic medals.


News report on AsiaOne: "Michelle Kwan to open Marina Bay Sands skating rink"

For local skating fans, this is an exciting event! It would be interesting to see how MK performs on synthetic ice...

The skating rink is located at the Canal area, near the Helix bridge. Premier Advantage members may be eligible to redeem 2 invites for the performance OR a photo-taking with Michelle Kwan if you spend $300 and above! Promotion sign-up for Premier Advantage is from 5 to 19 Dec at the Casino Entrance on Level B2 of Retail Area. Opening hours are 10am to 10:30pm daily.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Footballer turns figure-skater

Turkish football player Ilhan Mansiz has found a new passion ~ figure skating! At age 34, he dreams to compete for Turkey at the 2014 Winter Olympics with his now girlfriend Olga Bestandigova.


In 2008, at age 32, German-born Mansiz took to the ice for the first time in his life -- as part of a Turkish television show in which celebrities are paired up with professional ice-skaters for a competition lasting several weeks.
Partnered with Olga Bestandigova, a Slovak figure skater who competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics, Mansiz won the show.
Mansiz said Bestandigova -- now his girlfriend -- dreamt of taking part in another Olympic Games but did not have a partner.
Mansiz has said in several interviews that his dream is to qualify and compete for Turkey at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. It was unclear on how his Slovak partner would qualify for the Turkish Olympic team.
The pair are currently training in the southern German town of Oberstdorf, near where Mansiz was born.
 ~ as reported by Reuters

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interview with George Spiteri on Manleywoman SkateCast

The Manleywoman SkateCast's latest podcast is an interview with George Spiteri. With this podcast is a contest where SP Teri is donating a pair of Zero Gravity stock boots.

Listen to the podcast and find out more!

Friday, October 01, 2010

1st Interschool Ice Skating Championships 2010

The 1st InterSchool Ice Skating Championship will be held on 21 Nov 2010. Organised by Kallang Ice World, the lower levels of competition is based on the ISI system, but there are also special events sanctioned by the Singapore Ice Skating Association.



For more information, contact Kallang Ice World
Tel: 6348 1123 or 6348 1347
Email: kallangiceworld@jackinv.com.sg

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Axel ~ off ice

A video put up by a fellow figure skater to explain the Axel to her friend:


It inspired me to video my warm-up the next day...

12th Volvo Open Cup ~ 19 - 12 Nov 2011

The 12th Volvo Open Cup will be held in Riga, Latvia from 14 - 16 May 2010.
This competition includes an adult free skating events for Ladies & Men at the Bronze, Silver & Gold levels.

Download Announcement and Forms

Monday, September 20, 2010

All That Skate LA ~ October 2-3, 2010

All That Skate, an on-ice spectacular show started in Korea by 2010 Olympic Champion Kim Yuna will be in LA this October.

"All That Skate LA" will be at the Staples Center (Los Angeles) on
  • Saturday 2, Oct 2010 at 7:00 pm
  • Sunday 3, Oct 2010 at 3:00 pm



The all-star cast includes
  • Yuna Kim (Korea) Reigning Olympic Champion and World Champion
  • Michelle Kwan (USA) Five-time World Champion, Nine-Time US Champion and Two-Time Olympic Medalist
  • Shen Xue & Zhao Hongbo (China) 2010 Olympic Pair Champions
  • Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada) 2010 Olympic Dance Champions
  • St├ęphane Lambiel (Switzerland) Two-Time World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist
  • Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy (Germany) Two-time World Champions and Olympic Bronze Medalists
  • Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (USA) Olympic Silver Medalists and Four-Time World Medalists
  • Patrck Chan (Canada) Three-time Canada Champion and World Silver Medalist
  • Johnny Weir (USA) Three-Time U.S. Champion and World Bronze Medalist
  • Ashley Wagner (USA) Two-Time U. S. Bronze Medalist and NHK Trophy Bronze Med



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Speed skating gets a kick-start in Singapore

Not directly to do with figure skating, but related...
Speed Skating: 12 Singapore athletes selected for training camp in China

The Singapore Ice Skating Association has kick-started a speed skating team for Singapore. An introductory camp was conducted in the past 3 days, which attracted over 100 aspiring athletes and coaches. In the first day, 30 were selected to continue the camp, and tonight, 12 athletes and 2 coaches were selected to attend a training camp in China next week.

Of the athletes, the six ladies selected are all figure skaters! Congratulations to you all! :-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Announcement - 2011 ISU International Adult Competition

The 2011 ISU International Adult Figure Skating Competition will be held from June 8 - 11, in Oberstdorf, Germany.

This time, there are several significant changes. Below are some which the organising committee has called to attention:

  • The dance events will be Pattern Dance, Short Dance and Free Dance
  • A Bronze Free Dance has been added
  • In the Freestyle events, there is now an option between a choreo-step sequence and a choreo-spiral sequence. Only a base value for the element will be awarded (no levels) by the technical panel. The judges will award GOE.
  • In the Freestyle events, a half-loop in combination with any other listed jump will result in a jump combination.
  • Important changes have been made in the Adult Pairs event. Please read carefully.
  • Important changes have been made in the Synchronized Skating event. We hope to encourage more teams to participate.
  • Participants are not obliged to enter in the same category as they have in previous years. We are aware of problems with aging and with injuries. But please be honest about your skill level. We want this to be a fair and wonderful competition. Do not sign up for a lower category in which you really do not belong.
  • An entry in an artistic category may be different from the entry in a category of any other discipline. For example, a skater may enter the Gold Freestyle event, and the Silver Artistic event; or the Gold Dance event and the Silver Artistic event.


Download Announcement
Download Entry Forms

ISU Adult Figure Skating Competiion 2010

My program at Oberstdorf this year:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Skater to watch: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva

13-year-old Russian skater Elizaveta Tuktamysheva has a triple axel in her program for this season....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yuka Sato: First Youth Olympic Champion

Yuka Sato ~ not the figure skater, but an 18-year old triathlete ~ made history by winning the first Gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games.



Taken from:
http://www.singapore2010.sg/public/whyohgee/en/en_people_section/en_athletes/en_yukasato.html

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Michelle Kwan performs in Korea

Michelle Kwan skates at the 2010 All That Skate Summer, a show hosted by Kim Yu-Na.




Monday, April 19, 2010

Backspins

It was quiet this morning at the rink... Indeed, so quiet I was the first one on the ice. Managed to spend some time doing some figure 8s before the next lady came on!

I went on to do backspins - nice and centered... *grin*


Then I tried backspins with change of edge - and the spin travelled... *sigh*

Friday, March 26, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Events up on YouTube

Missed the Olympics last month? Fret not, it is now up on YouTube ~ the official Vancouver Olympic Games 2010 Channel

Re-live Vancouver 2010 from alpine skiing to curling, hockey to figure skating, plenty of videos here to all to watch!

The coolest one is the figure skating gala complete event - all 2 hours of it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

New mall in Jurong East needs a name!

The former Jurong Entertainment Centre is getting its long-awaited revamp. Skaters will finally see the Olympic size rink materialise. Meanwhile, the mall needs a name, and the public is invited to take part in the "name the mall" contest.


Visit www.namethemall.com.sg for more details.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Skate, baby, skate!



Some have asked me, at what age can you start to skate. I suppose there is no fixed rule...

When I first put my little one on the ice at 14 months, she squealed with delight
  BUT she could hardly stand straight up on the skates
When I next took here there, she screamed and kicked when I put on her skates
  They were now too small for her
Now she is 2 years and 2 weeks old, she wants to run on the ice
  Though she still clings on tightly to my fingers

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Singapore 2010 ~ Youth Olympic Games

With the 2010 Winter Olympics drawing to a close, Singapore is making the last leg of preparations to host the next major games - the inaugural Youth Olympics.

The games will start on 14th August 2010, and in mid-July, the Youth Olympic Flame will start its journey from Greece and travel through one city in each of five continents, before arriving in Singapore. The five cities are
  • Berlin, Germany, representing Europe
  • Dakar, Senegal, representing Africa
  • Mexico City, Mexico, representing the Americas
  • Auckland, New Zealand, representing Oceania
  • Seoul, Republic of Korea, representing Asia
The second countdown clock was set up just outside ION Orchard last month, and five more clocks are being put up in the heartlands. They will be at
  • NorthWest district - inside Causeway Point Shopping Centre
  • SouthEast district - in front of Parkway Parade
  • Central Singapore - in front of Blk 712 Ang Mo Kio Central
  • SouthWest district - in front of Jurong Point
  • NorthEast district - at Seng Kang Community Club

Olympic merchandise is also up for sale across the island. The Official Olympic Store is at Takashimaya Square, Basement 2, and there is a store at the SYOGOC HQ, Youth Olympic Games Learning Centre. The merchandise can also be ordered from some post offices: Ang Mo Kio Central, Change Alley, HarbourFront Centre, Jurong Point, Killiney Road, Singapore Post Centre, Tanglin, Tampines Central, Toa Payoh Central, Woodlands Central. Finally, there is also the official online store.

Information and latest news about the games at http://www.singapore2010.sg.

Previous posts about the YOG:
Million Deeds Challenge - Singapore 2010 YOG
Youth Olympic Games: Singapore 2010
Singapore in shortlist for 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore bids for first Youth Olympic Games 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Olympics 2010 Closing

As the Winter Olympic Games closed in Vancouver and the flag passes to Russia for the 2014 Games to be held in Sochi, top Russian leaders were conspicuously absent.

President Dmitry Medvedev had called for resignation of sports officials responsible for the mediocre performance in Vancouver, and declaring a change was needed to achieve better results at Sochi.


In figure skating, this is the first time since 1970, when the Soviet Union joined the Figure Skating event at the Olympics, that Russia (or the Union) did not win a gold.

Gold favorite Evgeni Plushenko was upset by American Evan Lycasek, dance team Oksana Dominia and Maxim Shabalin managed a Bronze, Russian pair Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov finished a disappointing fourth, and the Russian ladies were nowhere near the podium.

Russia won 3 Golds and a total of 15 medals overall, putting it in 6th place of the Medal standings of the 2010 Olympics.

Some video clips of the closing ceremonies on Mahalo
http://www.mahalo.com/2010-olympics-closing-ceremony

Saturday, February 27, 2010

POSB Everyday Champions for Sports Award 2010

In supporting sports and a healthy lifestyle in the community, POSB and the Singapore Sports Council will recognise and celebrate everyday Singaporeans and organisations that go the extra mile to promote sports passionately.

The POSB Everyday Champions for Sports Award 2010 is a special award for these unsung heroes. It could be your coach, your family member or even your neighbour. If you know of anyone who has a passion for sports, and translates that passion into inspiring YOU or others to play sports and grow through sports - why not nominate the individual or organisation for the POSB Everyday Champions Award '09?

Nomination is open from 28 February to 28 March 2010.

Visit www.SingaporeSports.sg/POSBChampions from 28 Feb onwards to nominate your champion!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympics 2010: Ladies' Short ~ dazzling and emotional

The ladies short program was far from uneventful. Kim Yuna set a record score, with a huge lead over Mao Asada. Joannie Rochette skated to 3rd place entering free program, just two days after her mother's death, and breaking down with emotion at the end.

Video of Kim Yuna Short Program during the Olympics official practise, on 22 Feb 2010:


Slideshow on NBColympics.com
Kim Yuna (not all photos are from the Olympics SP - in fact, only the last few are!)
Joannie Rochette

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Singapore's National Championships will be held in Malaysia! ~ for real?? yes!

The announcement is out. Singapore will be holding its National Championships in Malaysia!

So... get this - Singaporeans are now funding a competition that will benefit businesses in another country. We are funding a competition that will bring in tourist dollars to another country. Aren't we proud Singaporeans?

It is not even that we do not have facilities in Singapore... and you would imagine that if there is only one skating rink in the country, SISA would strive to maintain a good working relationship with it! Really, Singaporeans shouldn't be made to go overseas to compete in a National competition.

Imagine if one day Singapore holds its National Day Parade in Kuala Lumpur...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Condolences to Joannie Rochette

Just two days before the Ladies' Short Program, Joannie Rochette faces a devastating loss - the loss of her mother. Still, she will compete at the Olympic Games as planned. In this difficult time, it takes sheer courage and determination to do this. Condolences to Joannie, and all the best for the Games.

News on Vancouver2010 website.

Singapore's new goal: 2014 Winter Olympics

Singapore is aiming for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

On Feb 11, just after 4 in the afternoon, I received a call from a reporter. Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), had brought up once again Singapore's "stretched goal" of sending athletes to the Winter Olympics.

What do I think are our chances?

Clearly optimistic, I quickly launched into how we already have figure skating underway, with SISA in the ISU, and so why not? After all, we have skaters who are showing a great deal of promise:
  • Brittany Lau will be representing Singapore at the 2010 World Junior Figure Skating Championships at The Hague in early March
  • Leong Kai Jing is the only skater who has passed the SISA Senior test, and I'm sure she's keen to be representing Singapore soon!

What is needed for this to happen?

The first thing that comes to mind is an Olympic size rink. Certainly facilities play a crucial part in training, and it has, admittedly, been rather difficult to train in a small rink and then expect to do well in a full-size rink.

However, just having a facility may not be sufficient. If skaters have to contend with public, it is not only difficult to work on programs, it can also become dangerous to the skaters (as well as the public). Skaters need to have ice time specifically for training purposes.

The next question that really threw me was:
So, if SSC or SNOC puts in facilities and funding, Singapore will be able to send someone to the Olympics in 2014?

Well, not really... skaters can't just train and then go to the Olympics. Skaters need exposure. Skaters need motivation. And of course, we first need to have skaters! In an article in the Sunday Times, SISA president said something about needing funding "to set up programs overseas". Don't we first need programs locally? No wonder Singaporeans are fuming on the online forums...

Our local skater base is slowly shrinking. Due in part to the lack of facilities, and due in part to the lack of support - not exactly financial support, but moral support for skaters in general.

Yes, that is it - the sport needs support. Support from the facility management, from the Association and from the Sports Council. It is not enough to pump in money. A good, solid base needs to be built from which to identify and grow our next talents.

Kazakhstan can field a respectable athlete for Men's figure skating (Denis Ten finished 11th at the Olympics). I don't see why Singapore cannot.

[PS: why am I still so optimistic?]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympics 2010: Plushenko's Interview after Men's event

Interview with Plushenko after the Olympics Men's Figure Skating Podium


Plushenko said, "I stepped on the Gold medal position because I forgot that I came second. To be fair, I thought that I stepped on to my position."

When asked why he took down his medal shortly after the ceremony, he later said, "You all understand that it is not my position."

His arrogance is just mind-boggling!

For those who don't understand - Men's figure skating is becoming dominated by quad jumps. Plushenko put in a quad-toe/triple-toe in his program, and, it seems, expected that to put him on the Gold position automatically. 

BUT one jump does not a program make!

Fortunately, the current system is not that stupid. Some of Lysacek's other elements (spins, step sequences) were of higher difficulty. All the elements get a base score, based on the difficulty. Those that were performed well were rewarded with more points, those that weren't were marked down. Same goes for Plushenko.

Lysacek played smart. Plushenko played arrogance. I am glad smart won.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Olympics Men's Figure Skating Results



Evan Lysacek upset Evgeni Plushenko to take the Olympic Gold medal - a first for US men's figure skating since Brian Boitano in 1988.

His win has sparked much outrage from the Russians, and also many fans around the world, with fans proclaiming that this signified the "death of quads". Indeed, Lysacek had chosen to omit the quad jump in his program, whereas the other skaters in the top 4 all attempted it. Such outcome only speaks of the new judging system's focus on the technical execution of elements, rather than the difficulty.

Read the report on USA Today

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Announcement: Mountain Cup 2010

At last, the announcement for Mountain Cup 2010 is available. This will be held 27-30 May 2010, in Villard-de-Lans, France.


Events include
  • free skating
  • pairs
  • ice dance (couples) - compulsory, original and free dance
  • solo dance - compulsory and interpretive dance
  • compulsory figures
  • interpretive skating - solo & pairs
  • improvisation
  • synchronised skating

The age limit starts from 18 years and up, and free skating levels start from pre-Bronze.


Download Announcement

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Fever ~ or the lack thereof in Singapore!

My DH says I have Olympic fever ~ Winter Olympics, that is. Why am I the only one interested in watching anything in the Winter Olympics? After all, many Singaporeans don't seem to know that it is on! After reading plenty of news on the Figure Skating Pairs results - on many other news sites - I begin to wonder what is on the local Straits Times website. So, I take a visit, and the Top Stories headlines read like:
#1 Property launches heat up
#2 Barclays profits surge
#3 Teleban commander caught
#4 Anwar's Sodomy Trial - M'sia chides Aussie MPs
#5 Toyota woes - Competitive sales incentives

Certainly, I understand that the world continues turning even when the Olympics are on... Fine, so I scroll down to Sports. Disappointingly, here's what I see:
#1 Sharapova eases past Perry
#2 Balanced performance needed (about AC Milan coach's strategy)
#3 Vieira eager for Stoke test (Premier League news)
#4 "Roony one of world's best" (Man U?)
#5 Arrest warrent out for Lanis

Even after I clicked on the "more" link, I see nothing, nothing at all about any Winter Olympics news! Here's a snapshot of the page:


No wonder nobody can understand why I have to watch a wonderful couple win their first Gold, and the first Gold for their country!

Olympics 2010 Pairs Skating

The Pairs skating has concluded, with final results:

Gold: SHEN Xue / ZHAO Hongbo
Silver: PANG Qing / TONG Jian
Bronze: Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY

The two Chinese teams have a great start to their new year!

Their coach Yao Bin was on the first team that represented China in a World Championship (Dortmund 1980). He skated pairs with Luan Bo.

A report six years ago (after Shen/Zhao took silver and Pang/Tong took bronze at the 2004 Worlds) had this to say about Yao:
When he showed up in Dortmund in 1980, Yao had been with his partner for only four months. He had never been outside China. What he saw was a complete revelation. He knew about pairs techniques only from television. He was not prepared for the kind of techniques and hand holds and elements that he saw in Dortmund 24 years ago — or all of the things he saw outside the rink.  
With Shen & Zhao skating first in the short program, I had missed their record-breaking performance by the time I got to watching the live show. Try as I might, I am still unable to watch Shen/Zhao's record-breaking short program ~ just one program, so difficult to find! Any suggestions would be most welcome...

Monday, February 15, 2010

"The music of Olympic figure skating isn't what it could be"

Article in the Washington Post by Anne Midgette on 14 Feb 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/11/AR2010021105474.html

Some excerpts:
Music for skating has never been noted for its quality. Fans are accustomed to kitschy arrangements, abrupt cuts and sub-par sound systems.
It's "also a new generation of choreographers," [Weisiger] says, who "don't have the same appreciation for classical music."
Even for those who do want to improve the musical level of the sport, there are limits to what you can do in less than five minutes, especially when you're working with a skater, a choreographer and a coach who may all have their own ideas of what they want. 
Even the musically knowledgeable do things to their musical selections that would outrage any purist. Alexander Goldstein, a Russian-born composer who has been arranging music for athletes since he worked with the Soviet figure skating and rhythmic gymnastics teams in the 1970s, points out that on his computer he can "make the music faster, make the music slower, without any degradation of the sound quality." But that's the least of his manipulation.


This all reminds me of my sister, who, when studying for her degree in Music, was appalled by the lack of musical integrity in my music-cutting skills. Wonder if I can now co-opt her into arranging music for skaters...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympics 2010: Shen/Zhao last practise

Report from China's CCTV on Shen Xue & Zhao Hongbo last practise before their short program.



While most Chinese were having family reunions and preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Shen & Zhao were having their practise session before the Pairs short program. They are the first to skate in the short program, and so were also allocated to the first group on practise ice at 6:30am in Vancouver (10:30pm in China) on Feb 13, 2010.

To be at the venue at 5:30am for warmup, they had to get up at 4:30am. Several fans also bought tickets to watch the practise session.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

1st Icescape Challenge

Kallang Ice World is holding its first competition on 21st March 2010. Here's a chance for all skaters in Singapore to enter a local competition!

How to watch the Winter Olympics in Singapore

Figure skating fans in Singapore have been asking how they can watch the Olympics. Specifically, figure skating events.

Of course you can try find the events posted online, but certainly it would be more fun to watch them live...?

So it turns out that ESPN is showing the Winter Olympics - a quick look at their schedule shows that they did allocate some time to figure skating, LIVE. I did a quick match-up with the competition schedules. Here's what we can expect to see (all in Singapore Time):
16 Feb (Tue) 11:00 - 13:00 Live Figure Skating ~ Pairs Free
17 Feb (Wed) 08:15 - 13:00 Live Figure Skating ~ Mens Short
19 Feb (Thu) 09:00 - 13:00 Live Figure Skating ~ Mens Free
22 Feb (Mon) 11:15 - 13:00 Figure Skating (*not live*)
23 Feb (Tue) 08:45 - 13:30 Live Figure Skating ~ Ice Dance Free Dance
24 Feb (Wed) 08:30 - 13:00 Live Figure Skating ~ Ladies Short
26 Feb (Fri) 10:00 - 13:00 Live Figure Skating ~ Ladies Free

Well, I suppose the next step would be to get ESPN ~ or continue the search for online streaming...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jump analysis video - Yuna Kim & Brian Orser

NY Times "Inside the Action" features world champion Yuna Kim of South Korea and her coach, Brian Orser, where they explain her approach to a triple lutz-triple toe loop.

Watch it at NY Times website

Some pointers that all skaters should take away (even if they are not doing triples):

Yuna Kim says, "In all my jumps, not just the triple lutz triple toe, speed is the most important part. The faster I go, the higher I jump."
"On the take off of the triple Lutz, I focus on keeping the right shoulder behind the left."

In the air, Brian Orser says, "she keeps her shoulders level, hips level, feet nice and tight together."

"On the landing, I try to maintain my speed and keep my body upright.", says Yuna Kim

Brian Orser notes that "she can actually build a bit more momentum on the landing of the lutz into the takeoff of the toe loop."

Yuna Kim says, "on the triple toe I keep my L shoulder forward and R shoulder back until the moment I takeoff."

"I have to keep my upper and lower body rotating together, or else rotation will be wobbly." 


"it is almost instinctual, like my body is programmed to do it" ~ Yuna Kim 

Just a little fun-fact: Yuna Kim covers a distance of about 25ft from takeoff to landing!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mao Asada and FOOD

As the Vancouver is busy preparing for the XXI Olympic Winter Games which start on 12 February 2010, figure skater Mao Asada is making her way into menus...

Japadog, a Japanese style hot dog stand, has launched a hot dog named after figure skater Mao Asada. The Mao dog has gold and red-coloured maple leaves made out of yuba (a type of dried tofu skin), and is created by Noriki Tamura, whose husband runs the family stand. She hopes it will bring Asada good luck and a gold medal for Japan.
Slide shows of the hot dog stand on NBC Olympics page


Another sushi store in the city has a "Mao roll", which includes salmon, raw shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, crabmeat and asparagus, served in two rolls combined into the shape of a heart.

"I Believe" - Vancouver 2010 Theme Song



The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games begin on February 12th on CTV. Visit CTVOLYMPICS.ca for more information and purchase "I Believe" by Nikki Yanofsky on iTunes or at stores today!

Video name: Journey to Vancouver
Music: "I Believe" by Nikki Yanofsky and associated recording studios/artists
Written by: Stephan Moccio and Alan Frew
Video created/arranged by: vancouverite1989

45,000-kms...12,000 torchbearers. This video captures the images of the torch relay up to its last few days right at the BC-Alberta border. With Glowing Hearts!

Lyrics:


There comes a moment, when my heart must standalone
On this lonely path Ive chosen,
like a house thats not a home
sometimes when I feel Ive had enough
and I feel like giving up
you willed me to be all I can be
now nothing can stop me
I believe in the power that comes
From a world brought together as one
I believe together we'll find
I believe in the power of you and I


This is the moment we have dreamed of all our lives
Well be the change we wish from others
Well stand tall for what its right
And in my hearts therell be no doubt
The arms of the world will come reaching out
And embrace me to be all I can be
Now nothing can stop me
I believe inthe power that comes
From a world brought together as one
I believe together well fly
I believe in the power of you and I


I believe the time is right now
Stand tall and make the world proud
I believe together well fly
I believe in the power..
I believe in the power that comes
From a world brought together as one
(Of you and I)
I believe together we'll fly
I believe in the power of you and I
(power)
I believe the time is right now
(Oh you and I)
Stand tall and make the world proud
I believe together well fly (Together well fly)
I believe in the power of you and I
(I believe in the power of you and I)

Believe (Olympic Inspired Version)



As Premier National Partner of the 2010 Winter Games and a long-time supporter of the arts, Bell is bringing together Canada's top talent in the fields of both sport and culture to produce 'Believe (Olympic Inspired Version)', a one-of-a-kind music video and audio track that will raise funds for Canada's winter athletes and chronicle their extraordinary journey on the road to 2010.
~ from website http://www.bell.ca/believe 

The video features figure skater Joannie Rochette, as well as freestyle skier Steve Omischl and speed skater Clara Hughes.

Believe Lyrics:

One minute's fading
One minute's passed
But I've got this moment
To make it all last
And I'm standing before you
Taking my chance on everything
I never thought that I could be
Cause you can do almost anything

Chorus:
If you just Believe
You can move mountains with dreams
The higher you climb
The better it gets
Cause you will see things
You'll never forget
If you just Believe

It's like I'm falling
Through my own fears
They used to haunt me
But now they're not here
There's no looking back
My future is clear no giving up
And I'm holding on when it gets rough
Cause you can get through most anything

Chorus

No one says it's easy
And no one says you have to be perfect
But as long as you try
You're always gonna find it was worth it

Chorus
 

Friday, February 05, 2010

Synthetic Ice Rink in Singapore

Heard the news this evening about the "first" synthetic ice rink in Singapore. Hey, this can't be the first!? Wasn't there one in Downtown East that opened over a year ago? Or am I missing something - maybe this is a different "synthetic" ice? Ah, perhaps made by different manufacturers? That's quite a distinction to be made!

Online news article: "Singapore’s first synthetic ice rink opens"

Monday, February 01, 2010

Singapore's Sarah Paw gets perfect 10 at 4CC!?

Singaporean Sarah Paw competed at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship last week. Apparently one of the judges gave her a perfect 10 score for Interpretation (one of the Program Components score) from one of the judges!!


[The picture was taken from ISU document fc10_Ladies_SP_Scores.pdf as of Jan 31 2010, 4:00pm Singapore time.]

Sarah finished 32nd in the short program, and did not qualify for the finals. The score must have been a genuine mistake, or this judge must be quite a sarcastic one!

Results of the Four Continents are available at http://www.isuresults.com/results/fc2010/index.htm.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Would you call this rude?

I had an encounter today which left me wondering if this is the kind of society we are living in...


I brought my baby to skate this morning. Disappointingly, she spent less time on the ice than I did putting on her skates! When I took her off the ice, we plopped ourselves down on the bench nearest the door. It wasn't crowded, but I wasn't about to carry her farther, nor up the stands.

Next to us was a bag, which I was careful not to sit on. A few minutes later, a man (yes, a mature, grown-up man) came by and, without even looking at us muttered - loud enough so it was obvious it was meant for us to hear - "there's so much space, you must come and sit here and step on my son's shoes".

"Oops, so sorry, I didn't notice there were shoes there."

He mumbled something under his breath, moved the shoes to the side, and went away.

That interaction (or rather, the lack thereof) left an unpleasant aftertaste! It was not the fact that he was upset  for my stepping on his son's shoes, but rather the contempt accorded by his behavior. Indeed, if he had addressed me directly - even with an angry "excuse me, you are stepping on my son's shoes" - it would have been better.

I want to call this "rude", but I don't think it is quite the right word. Anyone has a better description for it?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Russian Winter 2010

The Russian Winter 2010 is an all-Adult figure skating competition. It will be held 6 – 8 March 2010 in Riazan’ Russia (about 2 1/2 hrs Moscow by train).  

The following events are offered:
  •     Singles Event - Free Skating
  •     Pairs Event – Free Skating
  •     Interpretative Program -  Solo
  •     Interpretative Program -  Couples
  •     Improvisation
  •     Compulsory Figures
  •     Dances – SOLO – Compulsory Dances
  •     Dances – Couples – Compulsory Dances
  •     Dances – SOLO – Free Dance
  •     Dances – Couples – Free Dance



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