By Maggie Doyle
The compulsory dance selected for the 2006 World Championships, the Ravensburger Waltz features twizzles and sweeping turns, showing off the skills of the ladies for each team with the man presenting her. It is similar in character to the Viennese Waltz and skated in three quarter time as are all waltzes. It was first skated for the 1973 German national championships and was created by Angelika & Erich Buck & Betty Callaway. It includes two sequences with 198 beats per minute and takes 58 seconds to execute. Nearly all the men favor black tuxedos and the ladies primarily opt for various shades of chiffon for their waltz attire.
The Bulgarian team of Albena Denkova & Maxim Staviski scored 38.46 and hold a razor thin lead of just .15 over the Canadians after these compulsories concluded. Their busy costumes reminded more of wood sprites than elegant waltz costumes but the judges deemed them the best tonight and put them in 1st place at this competitive stage. I preferred the Canadian's performance as an elegant waltz but the Bulgarians had speed. They train with Natalia Linichuk & Gennadi Karpanossov in Newark, Delaware. This duo teamed up in 1996 and has previously medaled at the 2003 (3rd) and 2002 (2nd) World Championships. "Since January in every competition we are doing the waltz and with every start we became more confident with this compulsory dance, so I think this (result) is very nice," she said. Denkova complained that the ice was choppy but they tried not to show this to the audience. Staviski said, "It just feels great. Nobody knows what will be tomorrow… we will not wait; we will fight."
Canadians Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon seems on track here to acquire the medal that eluded them in Torino where she fell to the ice during their original dance, forcing their Olympic withdrawal. They skated here in front of an appreciative Canadian crowd and the Canadian flags were out in abundance after they competed. They are off to a good start with a strong performance that captured the flavor of the waltz as the second team to compete, garnering marks of 38.31just a little below their personal best of 40.51. They train in Lyon, France with noted coach, Muriel Zazoui & Steffany Hanien and have yet to medal at a world championship.
She wore very pale blue chiffon and showed good leg extensions and twizzles during their performance. They both skated with good speed and flow. "It felt amazing. We feel so blessed and lucky to be here," she said. Dubreuil describes her hip as good. "When the music starts and I skate it is good. I don't feel it. The polka has a lot of external rotation with the hip and I was praying for the Waltz (to be drawn). Our skating is at its top level," she added.
Lauzon mentioned the smaller ice surface compared to European ice meant they had to gauge their performance rather than go full out. "It was as good a performance as we could have given," he said.
Skating 13th in the skating order, USA's Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto seem in good position to add to their silver medals from the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2005 World Championships, taking the first step towards that today. They first teamed up in 1998 and train with Igor Shpilband & Marina Zueva in Canton, MI. This performance flowed well and they made it look easy rather than obviously pushing through the waltz. They scored 37.59 but below their personal best of 44.08 for 3rd place. "We really felt good today. We thought we did a really great job, the best we've ever done this dance. It was ten times better than at the Olympics," said Belbin. Her partner Agosto added, "The crowd today was amazing. I was amazed at the number of people here and they were very enthusiastic. It was wonderful."
Looking toward the next competitive phase, Belbin said, "“We like the pressure. We like the spotlight. It’s a lot of fun. I think we’re going to be able to make the most of these championships, and we feel great going into the original dance. It’s our favorite dance." Fourth to skate were the team of Isabelle Delobel & Olivier Schoenfelder of France who also train with Zazoui. His wife has the same first name as his partner and he married Isobel Pecheur in May 2005. This team has finished just off the podium last season at these world championships and first teamed up in 1990. They are the 1996 World Junior champions. Her dress was candy heart pink. They skated a pleasant performance but it was not as strong as top Canadian or American team and they finished below them in the standings. Their combined score of 37.30 did not reach their personal best score of 40.51 but they finished in 4th place at this competitive stage.
Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas of Lithuania continue competing and hope for the medal that eluded them at the 2006 Winter Olympics, where they finished 7th. They last competed prior to this season at 2002 Worlds where they just missed a bronze medal in a controversial decision. They train with E. Maslennikova, Igor Shpilband and R. Sinitsyn and first competed internationally in 1992. They scored 36.52 points and currently sit in 5th place. "Now that everything is finished now I can say the Waltz is my worst dance from all compulsories. We are happy the difference in points between us and first place isn't so high and we have a chance to fight," said Drobiazko. Vanagas added, "The Canadian audience is always great and understands figure skating." They are considering retirement.
Galit Chait & Sergei Sakhnovski of Israel opened this competitive round with Chalit wearing white. This team trains with Alexander Zhulin & Evgeny Platov and last medalled at the world championships in 2002. Unfortunately their waltz was not their best and they earned a combined score of 34.77, well short of their personal best of 40.98. She remains a redhead but he had new blond streaks in his hair today. Their leg match and extensions were not up to the level of the other top teams and they finished in 6th place. "We skated well. Unfortunately (our) marks were not satisfactory, but we are quite happy (with) what we did," said Chait.
Americans Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukhov are currently 10th and making up some of the ground lost during the 2006 Olympics where they finished 14th. They were 11th at the 2005 World Championships and 12th for the 2004 World Championships. This partnership began for the 2000-2001 season and they married in February 2001. It helps that three teams that were ahead of them in Torino are not here in Calgary. Here their score was 32.37, finishing just behind the Italian team of Frederica Faiella & Massimo Scali but ahead of the Russians, Jana Khokhlova & Sergei Novitski. "We are very happy with how we skated and it was comparable to the Olympics," she said.
Making their first appearance at the world championships when Olympians Jamie Silverstein & Ryan O'Meara pulled out of the World Championships for personal reasons are Morgan Matthews & Maxim Zavozin, skating as the third to the last team. This young team is the 2005 World Junior Champions and only began skating senior level events this season. They formed their partnership in 2001 and are coached by his mother, Elena Garanina, who competed for Russia with Igor Zavozin. They gave a respectable performance to finish in 16th place with a score of 29.09. "We only found out a week ago that we were coming to this competition, but we were prepared," said Zavozin. "There is no expectation for us, so we can have fun for this nice experience of our first world championships," he added.
What were Canadians Megan Lowe and Aaron Lowe thinking when they chose her compulsory dance dress? It was a dowdy long goldenrod gown that another reporter described as dingy mustard. It did nothing for her. The hometown crowd liked them and they currently sit in 8th place.
The original dance continues this event on Thursday afternoon at the Saddledome.
The Bulgarians Albena Denkova & Maxim Staviski stayed in the lead after the Original Dance with 99.40 combined points. They received 60.94 for this segment, which featured Salsa, then Rhumba and a repeat of Salsa rhythms. This team was the only team to receive level 4 for their footwork element. They skated this program well with speed and power. It appeared they had a slight bobble with his control of their final lift but the judges did not apparently mind, as they were not dinged in the scoring. "This is a very difficult lift with a very difficult entry but I did it well," said Staviski.
"We were not nervous going into the spin (the one missed at the
Olympics) because it is one of our easiest elements, and it was just a
stupid mistake. The crowd was amazing today. We have a lot of
Bulgarian flags in the audience and that is very nice," said Denkova.
"We were not nervous going into the spin (the one missed at the Olympics) because it is one of our easiest elements, and it was just a stupid mistake. The crowd was amazing today. We have a lot of Bulgarian flags in the audience and that is very nice," said Denkova.
The French Canadian team of Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon
began their Original Dance by skating tentatively but that was
understandable consider their horrific fall on her hip at the Olympics.
They dropped to third place in the Original Dance, behind the French team
who are their training mates by a scant .21 of a point. They earned
59.81 for that segment. Overall this team remained in second place
just 1.28 behind the leaders and holding off the French team by just .8 of
The French Canadian team of Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon began their Original Dance by skating tentatively but that was understandable consider their horrific fall on her hip at the Olympics. They dropped to third place in the Original Dance, behind the French team who are their training mates by a scant .21 of a point. They earned 59.81 for that segment. Overall this team remained in second place just 1.28 behind the leaders and holding off the French team by just .8 of a point.
They gave a clean performance except for a slight bobble by Lauzon
during their footwork and did a revised version of their final lift.
" The entry is a bit different but it kind of looks similar. We
chose that one because once I know she has the grip I can spin full out.
For us we consider it almost like our signature lift, we kept it
throughout our career," said Lauzon.
They gave a clean performance except for a slight bobble by Lauzon during their footwork and did a revised version of their final lift. " The entry is a bit different but it kind of looks similar. We chose that one because once I know she has the grip I can spin full out. For us we consider it almost like our signature lift, we kept it throughout our career," said Lauzon.
Dubreuil said of their performance and the last lift, "I could
feel the crowd hold their breath on the last lift and I said forget it.
I'm not missing this. Everything went quite well." Their dance
featured for the Salsa: Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacque Brel and for their
Rhumba: Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacque Brel.
Dubreuil said of their performance and the last lift, "I could feel the crowd hold their breath on the last lift and I said forget it. I'm not missing this. Everything went quite well." Their dance featured for the Salsa: Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacque Brel and for their Rhumba: Ne Me Quitte Pas by Jacque Brel.
She further explained on the lift, "On the last lift, now I have my legs crossed. It is not only one leg. I can squeeze his hand and if the hands let go, I still have the legs to hold on. The other lift was only one leg and he couldn't do anything to help and I couldn't save myself if something goes wrong. The first one was made with only one hand and it is called the butterfly."
Of skating before the cheering, flag-waving Canadian audience Lauzon said, "You can use the crowd to stress you or support you. You can use it as fuel and that is what we do."
His partner added, "It gives me chills when everybody stands up at the end. It is a great feeling and I will keep it in my head forever."
This team will skate last for the Free Dance. "I think it will be great to skate last, to close the competition and just enjoy being in Calgary on home ice," she said.
Currently in third position, France's Isabelle Delobel & Olivier Schoenfelder moved up as the judges appreciated their difficult handholds and creative moves. Their dance featured the Mambo with the music Para Pongo by Perez Prado opening and closing their program. In the middle for their Rhumba they skated to the music, "Havana". "We skated better in Calgary but in Torino the audience was great for us. We are happy with what we did today, but we still have one program to skate," she said.
Her partner added, "Today it was better than at the Olympics. We had the best marks this season. We felt really good and now we are waiting for the next program."
They were very pleased with their placement. "Schoenfelder said,
"It was our best original dance in terms of marks. To have
surpassed the Canadians on home ice on the original dance mark when we
know they are really good performers and I think they skated really well.
I would consider we have a chance at the podium. This is very good
They were very pleased with their placement. "Schoenfelder said, "It was our best original dance in terms of marks. To have surpassed the Canadians on home ice on the original dance mark when we know they are really good performers and I think they skated really well. I would consider we have a chance at the podium. This is very good news."
Americans Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto opted for Salsa, Rhumba and
then Cha Cha rhythms. This dance placed second at the Olympic games
but this event did not have the major mistakes and falls by the other
major competitors. Many were surprised to see this team take a step
backwards with a fourth place finish at this competitive stage.
Americans Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto opted for Salsa, Rhumba and then Cha Cha rhythms. This dance placed second at the Olympic games but this event did not have the major mistakes and falls by the other major competitors. Many were surprised to see this team take a step backwards with a fourth place finish at this competitive stage.
Belbin & Agosto gave an energetic performance with just the
slightest mistake by Belbin with unison at one point on their twizzle step
sequence. They skate much closer together than the French team
but not as close together as the Canadian team. Here they are
just .8 of a single point out of third place, .88 out of second place and
2.16 out of the champion position so it all rests on the Free Dance.
Belbin & Agosto gave an energetic performance with just the slightest mistake by Belbin with unison at one point on their twizzle step sequence. They skate much closer together than the French team but not as close together as the Canadian team. Here they are just .8 of a single point out of third place, .88 out of second place and 2.16 out of the champion position so it all rests on the Free Dance.
Agosto said: "It's always a surprise when the marks come up. We've always tried to keep the mindset that the only thing we can control is our skating, and we thought we did a really good job today. The rest is out of our hands." Belbin felt they exceeded their Olympic performance.
Their coach Igor Shpilband was not happy with his team's drop to fourth place in the Original Dance and overall at this point. He questioned the judging, stating, ""I'm disappointed," Shpilband said. " In my opinion, they were the best today ... the best they skated all year." Their marks were one full point loyal than received at the Olympic Games.
This team is not giving up. "We're going to approach tomorrow the same way we did today and hopefully have just as good a skate," Belbin said.
The Lithuanian team of Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas skated to the Samba, the Rhumba and finally the Cha Cha. Vanagas is the oldest competitor in this competition at age 35. They are a pleasant team to watch and they did not disappoint here. They have 96.12 combined points and were fifth in both portions of the competition so far. They are just 1.12 points behind the American team so the standings are close.
Povilas said of their performance, "It was still not 10% of what we wanted. None of our competitions have been what we really could because there are too many elements."
She added, "Our Free Dance is our strongest part."
Galit Chait & Sergei Sakhnovski of Israel finished in sixth place at this competitive stage. They dropped to 7th in the Original Dance with a total segment score of 54.59. Their combined total of 89.36 places them substantially behind the Lithuanian team by 6.76 points and behind the leaders by over 10 points. "Our job was to skate, the marks are not up to us. We are happy with how we skated. Tomorrow we try to make it an even better program, stronger."
Their music for their Cha Cha was by Manhattan Transfer, their Rhumba was by Mambo Kings, and their Samba music was by the Crazy Brazilians.
Chait said of her white ostrich feather dress, "I saw it at my designer's. She had a CD from a professional world championship in ballroom dancing, and one of the dancers had a dress like this on and I loved it!" This style was a surprising choice for the Original Dance's Latin Rhythms where they chose Cha Cha, followed by Rhumba and then Samba. Their joint shoot the duck move as part of their footwork was an attention-getter and well executed.
America's second team of Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukhov gained a place by finishing 9th in the Original Dance and 9th overall with 84.61 combined points. They are only .83 behind the Canadian team of Megan Wing & Aaron Lowe but they also have the hometown factor to overcome to move up another spot. The Americans skated to music from the Mambo Kings for their Cha Cha they opted for "Que Color" and for their Rhumba "Beautiful Maria" with their third rhythm choice the Mambo.
"Gregory said," This is the last performance of this dance and we've skated it good all year. I was really nervous before we went out but once I was out there it was like I had a guardian angel that was just floating me through it. It felt so easy and smooth."
Her partner added, "It was the first time for us to skate in the strongest group. It's a really nice feeling. I liked it."
The skating order was convenient for the Canadian audience with Wing & Lowe skating right before Dubreuil & Lauzon. They could just leave all their flags and banners out and use them again immediately. The Canadians are 8th.
The young American team of Morgan Matthews & Maxim Zavozin dropped to two spots to 18th in the Original Dance, but only dropped to 17th place overall with 74.68 points.
Hopefully they can make back some ground with their Free Dance. "I think we've become more consistent and relaxed with our programs," said Zavozin. She added, "When we found out we were going, it was all worth it (the training). We are not worried about the scores; we are just trying to skate well."
It is up to the two American teams to get enough points for 3 teams or 2 for next year's worlds. America currently has 13 points if neither team advances or drops for Friday's Free Dances.
She said further of her world experience, "I'm just very thrilled at the work we've done the past four weeks and Patrice has been really, really strong and helped me through this," she said. "I have so many people I need to share this with. We didn't do it by ourselves. I was in a thousand little pieces four weeks ago."
She reminded the press of the difficulties they faced to reach this moment. Dubreuil said, "As everybody knows, four weeks ago I was in a wheel chair in Italy. To be here today and to skate as strong as we did with very little practice on the ice, because we started skating only two weeks ago. The two weeks we skated were quite painful. We made it through because we're a strong couple. The way we skated tonight was memorable, for me, because these four weeks were hard. It makes this medal and this skate even more special for us."
Bulgarians Albena Denkova & Maxim Staviski skated their "Adagio" by Tomasini Albinoni (arrangement by Alex Goldstein) with good strength and speed and received third place in the Free Dance but first overall to become world champions for the first time and the first for Bulgaria. They skated this program more dynamically at the 2006 Olympics but there their program was 5th in the standings. Their previous personal best for the Free Dance with 108.03 points took place at the 2003 Trophee Lalique competition.
"I don't believe it yet. We have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Finally when it's here and we are the World Champions, I don't know what to say. We're very, very happy and we worked for this very hard. We skated very well at the Olympics. This (the placement) was the decision of the judges. We're very pleased that they looked differently at us and our program here in Calgary and we got the gold medals," said Denkova.
This is their seventh trip to the world championships. They previously medaled in 2003 (bronze) and 2004 (silver) but were 5th last year and at the Olympics. She was ill for the 2005 World championships. "This is very important for our country and for the development of figure skating in Bulgaria. I think everybody is celebrating now in Bulgaria", Denkova said.
Their combined points total was 199.14 and they received $67,500 US prize money as the champions. Their Free Dance, garnishing 99.74 points, was only third in the Free Skate standings. The difference is placement was a mere .45 of a point in their favor. The difference came in their Program Component marks in their Free Dance plus their lead from the previous competition phases. "I think our victory will boost the alcohol sales in Bulgaria. We didn't dream about becoming it (becoming world champions), we worked hard for it," said Staviski.
Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon of Canada who train in Lyon, France since 2002. Their previous personal best for a Free Dance was 107.88 points at 2003 Trophee Lalique and their best total score was 203.69 from the 2004 Skate Canada competition
Their previous best ranking at the world championships was 7th (2005) and this is their seventh world championship. They have been competing as a team since 1995 and this silver medal earned them $40,000 US. They will make a decision this summer as to whether they will compete next season. They always take it one year at a time according to Lauzon.
This program music played too loudly in the arena tonight but perhaps it was compensation for the loud Canadian crowd. The program utilizes three John Barry selections, "The Journey Back in Time", "A Day Together" and "Theme from Somewhere in Time" from the movie soundtrack.
This is the dance they were unable to skate at the Olympic Games but now showcased it here in Calgary. Canadian David Wilson choreographed this Free Dance for them.
"A lot of love and support and our skating and our passion and our love all came together all at once, and we really enjoyed those four minutes," Dubreuil said.
The key difference in the top two team's marks was the judges favored the Canadians on the technical marks but the Bulgarian had some higher program component scores. The Bulgarians had 8.11 for skating skills over the Canadians 7.89 and also were slightly favored for linking footwork/movement 7.96 over 7.75. Performance went slightly to the Canadians (8.04) over the Bulgarians (8.00). The Bulgarians had a .04 lead in timing and surprisingly a .03 lead in choreography. The Canadians technical score was 53.07 and the Bulgarians earned 51.56.
Americans Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto performed to the music selections of "Bulenas", "Jaleo" by Luis Winsberg, and Esteban's "Duende", earning 99.50 for their Flamenco Free Dance. "We made leaps and bounds this season in our skating," said Belbin, "We are proud of ourselves to be able to go this far."
He had a slight bobble just prior to their final rotational lift. Agosto said of his mistake, "You mean that little flourish that I decided to add spontaneously? I guess you could say the spirit of flamenco got the best of me. We really feel that we performed our elements the best that we could have. It was really wonderful for us to give three really strong performances. We feel that our compulsory was the strongest we've performed the compulsory dance and the original dance was really strong as well, and tonight was a great way to end the season."
They train in Canton, Michigan with Igor Shpilband & Marina Zueva. Her mother designs her lovely costumes. "I'm not disappointed that there's movement in ice dancing," Belbin said. "Sometimes it works in your favor, sometimes it doesn't, but I'm not disappointed that there's movement. I think that everybody was complaining when the placements didn't move. Now they're moving, so don't complain. This is an exciting time. This is a great sport to be a part of. We're honored to be a part of this ice dancing momentum."
A newly minted U.S. citizen since end of December 2005, Belbin was still embraced by her former Country here in Calgary and the crowd was very supportive. This is their fifth trip to the world championships, Belbin and Agosto finished with 196.74 total points and won $27,000 US. "This is the first time we have moved up with a Free Dance (at Worlds) so we are really proud of ourselves to come out and do it when it really counted and do the best we can do. Our elements were strong," said Belbin.
Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas of Lithuania skated their "Phantom of the Opera" Free Dance with passion and grace. It was one of those numbers when you wished you could set aside the element checklist and just watch them. They were mesmerizing.
"If we had not done this, we would have really felt like we missed something in our career. Finishing worlds skating clean, its great. The audience was great, (with) standing ovations.
This performance earned them second in the Free Dance but they placed fourth, just missing a medal again. This time it was just by .87 of a point that they missed a bronze medal. "We are happy to end the season with a great performance, not like at the Olympics," said Drobiazko.
The Lithuanians tied the Americans to the hundredth (52.58) on technical marks in the Free Dance but bested them by a mere.15 in the program component scores. The difference for the Lithuanians was their scores from the other two segments.
Their personal best score was 100.89 at the 2005 European Championships. This talented team still does not have a world medal but they definitely entertained the crowd today. They scored 99.75 for the Free Dance and got 195.87 overall.They trained this season in the United States, in Lithuania and in Germany.
They worked E. Maslennikova, Igor Shpilband and R. Sinitsyn as their coaching team this year. "Next year we are going back to the show life. We definitely will not compete," said Vanagas. This result earned them a check for $19,500 US.
France's Isabelle Delobel & Olivier Schoenfelder dropped from second place with their Free Dance which portrayed a carnival in Venice to fifth place in this dance and overall
They did not have a major error, just small mistakes that added up in their point scores.
They had strong innovative lifts in this program. "Delobel said, "We skated a very nice performance. The program was excellent."
They use gloves as masks as part of this program. "To do this program without masks is impossible. One time during practice the idea came to me to use our hands as masks. It's a real challenge, because to skate with gloves is not easy," said Delobel.
Their personal best of 110.39 points is from the 2005 World Championships. This team trains in Lyon, France. This time they earned 98.12 points for their Free Dance and 195.44 overall, and earned $15,000 US in prize money.
Galit Chait & Sergei Sakhnovski of Israel skated to Maurice Ravel's "Bolero", a gutsy choice, considering it's previous history with Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean. Their program was choreographed by Tatiana Druchinina. They train in Montclair, New Jersey with Alexander Zhulin & Evgeny Platov. "It was not a good skate in my opinion. It's been a long time that we haven't been skating for the judges," said Sakhnovski. He is looking forward to vacation time. Chait said, "To skate our best, that's all you can ever expect. I don't think I ever meet my expectations." They remained 6th overall with a 6th place finish in the Free Dance.
Americans Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukov made their third trip to the world championships, previously finishing 12th and then 11th. They were 14th at the Olympic Games. Here they moved up to 9th place overall and 10th place in the Free Dance.
"It is very exciting (placing in the top 10) because we have been trying to get there the past two years," said Petukhov.
This team found each other over the Internet in 2000. Petukov received his US citizenship in February 2005. They married in February 2001 and train with Nikolai Morozov, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Walter Eizzo. "We have three wonderful coaches we're working with. This combination for us seems to really click and we just want to keep working harder and harder on everything. We want to improve 100 percent again next year," said Gregory.
They skated their Free Dance to "Romeo & Juliet" by Sergei Prokofiev and "Vanessa Mae's "Art of War". Their previous best finish in the Free Dance was the 2003 Skate America performance. Their previous best-combined score was at the 2005 Four Continents completion. "From the first time we heard that music we knew that it was it," she said.
Petukov said of their season, "Every competition is a challenging competition. You can't say that one is easier than the other. It's like every time all over again. You get yourself together, and you push it hard."
Together with the American medalists, they assured three teams can compete at the 2007 World Championships when their ninth place finish plus Belbin & Agosto's 3rd place is combined for 12 points since 13 points were needed.
Morgan Matthews & Maxim Zavozin, the third team for the United States placed in 16th with their Tango de Roxane (from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack). Their personal best for the Free Dance program was at the 2005 World Junior Championships. There is no pressure on this team but this trip gives them invaluable exposure for down the road.
"We are just trying to improve our programs, just trying to prove to ourselves that we can skate clean and just show a lot of energy to the crowd and the judges," said Zavozin.
Despite only knowing for a week they were competing here, they did a credible performance, earning 78.29 points for their Free Dance and 152.97 overall.
"We were training, just hoping and praying we would go. We were so excited to get that call. We were jumping up and down. It is so exciting to be on the ice with all these great competitors. We learned a lot from skating here," Matthews said.
Zavorzin said of competing as a U.S. citizen, "It is an amazing feeling to finally be able to represent the country I compete for in every way."
Canada's second team of Megan Wing & Aaron Lowe skated to Prolouge (Tango Apasiodado by Astor Piazzolla, Desde e Almy by Osvaldo Pugliese, Astor Piazolla's "Milongo for Three" and "Bialongo".
They were 10th at last year's world championships and this is their fourth world championship. They were handicapped today by Lowe's bad bout of food poisoning which started the night before. He was still feeling ill for their performance.
"We are happy with how it went under the circumstances. It wasn't our best but we were happy we were able to finish," said Wing. She practiced alone prior to the competition/
She made a mistake on their twizzles. "It was me. I did one too many rotations because I was watching him too much," said Wing. She added, "It was great skating in Canada. The crowd was wild."
Nora Hoffmann of Hungary injured her back and arm during warm-ups for the Free Dance when a Japanese couple collided with her Friday. She and her partner Attila Elek were first to skate and the referee would not grant a delay until later in the group. She needed five stitches in her elbow. "We really wanted to skate our Free Dance and she was so brave to do it, "said Elek.
At the time of the accident the Hungarian couple were doing backwards twizzles while Nozomi Watanabe & Akiyuki were in the midst of a lift as they approached them. Watanabe's skate hit Hoffman in the back and elbow. "There was no time on the warm-up to apologize but we will certainly do that now," said Watanabe.
The Hungarians were allowed just two minutes from when their name was called to skate. They considered withdrawing but did compete.
They appeared just seconds before the two minutes were due to be up, with the crowd cheering. She said, "The crowd was very nice and they pushed me through the Free Dance."
The accident did keep them from doing their best. "I forgot some of the steps, I was in so much pain," Hoffmann said. Yes, it affected our performance," Elek added. They lost a placement, finishing 18th in the Free Dance and overall. The Japanese team finished just ahead of them.
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