Men's Report Pairs Report
Friday, Oct. 24, 2008
|3:00 PM||Compulsory Dance|
|7:00 PM||Pairs Short Program
Menís Short Program
Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008
|2:00 PM||Original Dance
Pairs Free Skate
|7:00 PM||Ladies Short Program
Menís Free Skate
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008
|11:00 AM||Free Dance
Ladies Free Skate
|5:00 PM||Exhibition of Champions|
Skate America finished today with the Dance and Ladies finals. We estimate about 5000 on hand for the afternoon session and similar attendance for the Exhibition, which was held later in the evening. This years competition set a record for tickets sold. The exact number is lost from my memory but it was about 29,500, which would put my attendance estimates at about 10% too low. The local event organizers and the Washington State tourist board when above and beyond, delivering a well run and enjoyable event.
Skate America charges forward today with the completion of the Pairs and Men's events, the Original Dance, and the start of the Ladies event.
Official attendance is not yet available from Friday. We estimate perhaps 1000 for the Compulsory Dance Friday afternoon, and 4000 for the evening session.
The judging panels here are using the new ISU formulation consisting on nine judges, two of whom are randomly discarded, and the remaining seven calculated with the single trimmed mean. When this new process was announced by the ISU it was said by ISU officials that this was acceptable because the training of judges has greatly improved since the initial implementation of IJS.
The scores here do not support that point of view, nor does a comparison of marks from the 2005 through 2008 World Championships that were scored under IJS. The spread of the judges marks are still 30% or more, with ranges of 2 or more points seen in the Program Components scored by the judges. The reality is, the judges are doing no better today in consistency of evaluation than they were four years ago. The claim that the judges overall now have significantly greater skill in using IJS than they did four years ago is one made from whole cloth.
Attendance today exceeded Friday. There are still no official attendance figures. We put the afternoon session for the OD and Pairs final at starting at about 2000 with perhaps 3000 by the end of the pairs, and the evening session at 5000.
Today is the first day of competition for the 2008 Skate America, being held in Everett, Washington, a small town about 40 miles north of Seattle, located on Puget Sound. Though 17 months away, the jockeying for position going into the 2010 Olympic games have begun. We have several retooled skaters in their first outings after coaching or other strategic changes. We have current champions aiming to stay on the podium and former champions looking to reprise their former glory.
In the ladies event, a slimmed down Miko Ando has been working the quad hard for this season. Kimmie Meissner is said to be starting a new mindset this season, to not just execute her programs, but to perform them, and Mirai Nagasu makes her debut in a major international competition.
The main attraction among the men is the continuation of the Weir-Lysacek rivalry. Evan Lysacek will be showing his new programs which have been hype to herald a new performance style for him after spending the summer in Moscow with famed coach Tatiana Tarasova. Kevin van der Perrin and Chengjiang Li were scheduled to compete here but withdrew beforehand due to injuries. U.S. Junior National Champion Adam Rippon is making his debut in a major international competition. He has been working this year to get a triple Axel, so far with limited success.
In pairs, U.S. National Champions Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker get to go head to head with the current World Champions Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy, from Germany.
After a disappointing fourth place finish at the 2008 World Championships, Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto made a radical change in coaching moving to the Philadelphia area to work with Natalia Linichuk and Gennadi Karponosov. Over the summer the couple took on an intensive back-to-basics training regimen. This competition will give the first indication of the impact of these changes. They will be going up against the French couple of Isabelle Delobel & Olivier Schoenfelder, the reigning World Champions.
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