Saturday, January 16, 2010

2010 US Nationals: Pairs

It's official, and I'm still so excited: AMANDA EVORA & MARK LADWIG ARE GOING TO THE OLYMPICS.

For the casual (or not-so-casual) figure skating viewer, this may not seem that important and even be a little confusing. After all, teams such as Rena Inoue & John Baldwin are much more experienced internationally, and all too often judges find a way of playing with the numbers just so to make the "right" things happen. I myself was crazy with nervousness that Amanda & Mark would come in 3rd, and was so (ecstatically) surprised when their scores held up for 2nd. And then I worried that USFSA would pull a fast one and send another team as the second US representatives, but the right thing happened without any funny business, and now, as I repeat again: Amanda & Mark are going to the Olympics!

You see, Amanda and Mark are seriously two of the nicest and hardworking people you will ever meet. That sounds cliche, because everybody says this about somebody, but if you are ever fortunate enough to meet them then you will understand that in this case, this cliche is the truth. Every year for the past several years, they have donated their time and talent to An Evening with Champions, and they are just amazing. Not only do they bring the house down with their emotional and spirited programs, but they are so sweet to the Jimmy Fund kids, and even help with cleanup after the receptions and after-parties. Yes, cleanup. As guests they move tables, rearrange chairs, and replace napkin holders. They juggle personal lives with part-time jobs and their training, and now it's all come together in the form of a ticket to VANCOUVER! I cannot say this enough times.

I was a little disappointed and sad for Keauna McLaughlin & Rockne Brubaker, but I am sure that 2014 can easily be their time as well. They've been on a non-stop ride to the top, and things had to slow down somewhere. And, not to be overly mean or critical, since my own abilities are most mediocre, I feel like no one ever taught Keauna basic skating skills. Their lifts and twists are spectacular, and the height of their throws are breathtaking, but the side-by-side jumps are always such a danger zone as are the actual landings of the throws. But speaking of non-stop rides... Caydee Denney & Jeremy Barrett (congratulations!) sort of seem to be on that trajectory as well. Here the timing has been perfect, but here's to hoping that their ride doesn't include a precipitous fall.

Everything else of the pairs competition now seems to be a blur. Sorry that this ended up being a shameless plug for both Amanda & Mark and An Evening with Champions. Oops. ;)

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