Jason Brown & Patrick Chan: “Artists” on Ice

Jason Brown (USA)

Did you watch Jason Brown’s (USA) SP last night?   The 19 y.o. boy-next-door performed VERY well, impressing BOTH the crowd & judges at Sochi. 

Here is the 2014 U.S. Nationals vid that is now almost at 4 million views: 

A younger (16 y.o.) Jason talks about his daily routine to local TV station:

Patrick Chan (CAN)

23 y.o. gold-medal hopeful Patrick Chan (& fellow countrymen) discuss Canadian Men’s luck at Olympics:

One-on-one interview w/ Patrick (by then 2-time World Champion) on Canadian TV:

2013 World Championships SP:

2013 World Championships LP:

I totally fell IN LOVE w/ his skating here!  A younger (19 y.o.) Patrick, mature way beyond his years (artistically), performs his SP at 2010 Vancouver Olympics:

One of Patrick’s influences is (no doubt) the great Ukranian skater Viktor Petrenko, one of my faves.  The sense of romance/storytelling he creates ice is reminiscent of fellow Canadian Kurt Browning.  Here is his LP at 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where he made a mark, but was out of medal contention (due to a few errors and fall on triple axel jump): 

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2010 Vancouver Olympics: Ice Dancing

The best of ice dancing tells the  story of two people falling in love.  -Dick Button

 

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (CAN) – Gold Medal

This couple just WOW-ed the audience (and judges) with their steamy, fast-paced, and technically superb flamenco!  Tessa used her long red skirt very skillfully as a prop; Scott’s expression was TERRIFIC throughout the dance.

At the end of the OD, V&M took the lead.  This is one of the MOST well-choreographed ODs I’ve ever seen!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vDLpfGN80g

In the Free Dance (FD), V&M skated after their training partners/good friends Meryl Davis & Charlie White (USA).  I LOVED D&W’s FD, and wondered what V&M would do.  (Did you know BOTH couples have been skating with their respective partners for 13 years!?)

V&M went “old school” w/ a very sweet/elegant FD with one piece of romantic music.  Their costumes were very simple, yet beautiful.   The audience fell in love with them as well!

A fan blog:

http://virtuemoir.blogspot.com/

YouTube channel with many V&M videos:

http://www.youtube.com/user/gillym123

 

Meryl Davis & Charlie White (USA) – Silver Medal

In the OD, Davis & White wore lovely Indian-inspired outfits.  They danced to music from Bollywood movies, including the international hit Devdas.  In a interview on the NBC web site, Charlie mentioned that they both took a classical Indian dance course to prep for their dance.  Meryl was proud that many in India were watching (and commenting positively) about this program on YouTube.  Very cool!

 

In the FD, D&W skated first in the final group.  They set the bar VERY high!  Their dance was fast, difficult, and passionate.  Charlie is a VERY strong skater; Meryl moves like a ballerina.  (IMHO they performed better than at Nationals.)

Meryl and Charlie looked exhausted at the end of the FD b/c they did their BEST!  That’s how the Olympics should be…

YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/merylandcharlie

Watching these young North Americans, I was reminded of ground-breaking couples from the past: Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat (my favorite team- from France), Isabelle & Paul Duchesnay (brother-sister team from France), and Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean (the famed duo from Great Britain).  These teams paved the way for this confident new generation with their creative lifts, innovate choreography, and dedication to improve their sport (with OR without a medal).

I wish Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto got the bronze medal this time; in 2006, they won the silver.  That judgment would have been fair, but it was NOT meant to be.  B&A have contributed a LOT to ice dance over the last decade; it was FUN to watch them grow up and improve.  They were the first U.S  team taken seriously at the international level.

My 1st Olympics

1988 Calgary Olympics

These were the first Olympics I ever watched!  I have a few vague memories of that time (since I was just 9).  I went to YouTube recently to look back at some programs. 

Brian Orser’s Short Program (SP)

A VERY well choreographed/fast/fun program revealing Orser’s personality, as well as skill.  He was ahead of Boitano after the SP w/ this program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8lQGAxH4VY&feature=related

Brian Boitano’s SP

Who knew a SP could ALSO be this artistic!? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me0RvshG1pY

Boitano’s Long Program (LP)

This was the gold medal-winning performance choreographed by Sandra Bezic (now a NBC commentator).  As you will see, it was ALMOST flawless.  Boitano was the total package, and then some IMHO.  He created the ‘Tano lutz: a triple lutz with the left hand poised above the head.  Besides his jumps (he’s the first American to land the triple axel) and spins, Boitano had a GORGEOUS spread eagle (another one of his signature moves) and TRULY felt the music.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEYNskBniw0&feature=related

Orser’s LP

It was “too close,” as Orser says after he gets silver.  He was the first man to do 2 triple axels at a major competition (1987 Worlds).  Before the Brians in ’88, it wasn’t common to see 2 triple axels in one program.  They BOTH set new standards for excellence, technically and artistically.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ4BLCff93M&feature=related

Viktor Petrenko’s LP

An 18 y.o. Ukranian (skating for the then USSR) burst onto the world stage w/ his elegant/mature program.  Look at the height on his jumps, his beautiful lay-back spin, and posture!  GREAT things were up ahead for Petrenko… 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKj0E4U4zrY&feature=related

An interview looking back at the “Battle of the Brians”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=383RoLN-j9E&feature=related