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2022 Skate America Women's Short Program

by Liz Leamy


Sakamoto Squeaks by in Women's Short Program, Leads by 0.42 Points

(22 October 2022)  Kaori Sakamoto, the 2022 Japanese Olympic bronze medalist and 2022 World champion, was in first-rate form as she edged out a win in the women’s short program at Skate America.

Competing amongst a formidable field of 12 contenders, Sakamoto racked up a 71.72  in her electric take on Janet Jackson’s ‘Rock With You.’

In this program, Sakamoto reeled off a triple lutz-double toe loop, triple flip and double Axel with tremendous height, power and quickness at stunningly high speeds, proving exactly why she is an Olympic medalist and World champion.

Skating last, Sakamoto flew around the ice with great command, poise and confidence.

For Sakamoto, who was constantly working out backstage at the venue, running, stretching and doing jump rope whenever she wasn’t on the ice, it’s all about being her best.

“Overall, I’m not really satisfied with myself in terms of performance,” said Sakamoto. “In terms of this short program, I’m able to show a different aspect nobody’s achieved before.”

Working as hard as ever, Sakamoto said she wants to emulate the skating style and spirit of Jason Brown, the 2015 U.S. champion and Olympian, whose longtime choreographer, Rohene Ward, actually designed her program.

““He skates so carefree and free. He’s relaxed and soaring and every frame is a picture,” said Sakamoto.

Isabeau Levito, the 2022 U.S. bronze medalist and 2022 World junior champion, secured second with a score of 71.30 for her gorgeous rendition of ‘Una Noche Mas’ by Yasmin Levy, just 0.42 points behind Sakamoto.

Wearing a striking black dress with red accents, evito seemed to be on a mission to make an indelible mark in her first-ever ISU Championship-level event, knocking out a triple Lutz-triple toe loop, triple flip and double Axel with assurance, strength and power.

She also earned big marks for her series of stunning spins and intricate footwork sequences that were defined by balletic positions and wonderful extension.

For Levito, the experience of competing in this event was a good one.

“I felt pretty happy with my performance and I am very content right now,” said Levito. “It was really fun with the home crowd.”

Levito said she also felt very free out on the ice.

“I really did feel pretty free on the ice and am very satisfied because I really let go and really performed,” said Levito.

Meanwhile, Levito gave big props to all the other competitors, including Sakamoto, someone she said she admires greatly.

“Kaori is so strong, powerful and free on the ice,” said Levito.

Amber Glenn, the 2021 U.S. silver medalist, clinched third with a 68.42.

Skating to ‘Hit the Road Jack’ by 2WEI, Glenn, whose been training in Colorado Springs since last spring, executed a solid triple flip-triple toe loop, triple loop and double Axel with grace, ease and command.

“I felt pretty good out there,” said Glenn, whose home base is in Plano, Texas. “Skating in front of a crowd in front of your own country is a great experience.”

Glenn also commented on the support and response of the crowd to her program.

“The reason I do what I do is for moments like that,” said Glenn. “That right there is the reason I’m skating this season.”