Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nebelhorn Love

Nebelhorn Nebelhorn Nebelhorn! I usually don't get anywhere near this excited for the Nebelhorn Trophy (despite its awesome name--that was the real reason I had to write it four times in the first two sentences, obviously) because it generally showcases new talent that I don't yet care about or older talent that just isn't making it elsewhere. This year, however, there are some aspects to this competition that make it quite intriguing.

In terms of competitors, I am a little mystified that there are no Japanese ladies, as I am sure there is no shortage of girls who dream of becoming the next Mao Asada. Even Kanako Murakami could probably benefit from competing here and getting some early feedback as a senior. There is also only one Japanese male competing, which is also a little odd because there must be many boys out there who think Daisuke Takahashi is really, really cool. Heh.

So in terms of competitors actually competing, I am very excited to see how Felicia Zhang & Taylor Toth and Maia & Alex Shibutani do. They have both moved up to seniors for the first time this season, and sadly history has shown that junior success does not necessarily mean senior success. I have confidence that these two teams have the talent and commitment to pull the transition off, but I do need to see it happen! In addition to seeing where they stand in relation to other senior teams, I'm also eager to just watch their new programs--if I did a little research I could at least know what music they are using, but my Internet is being uncooperative and I think I kind of like being surprised.

Have I said this already? Kevin Van der Perren needs to retire as soon as possible. I should start making a list of skaters who need to retire. So far on this list are Kevin, Fumie Suguri, Rena Inoue & John Baldwin, and possibly Alissa Czisny and Miki Ando. I can understand why Alissa and Miki have decided to continue, but I honestly can't see them getting anywhere that she hasn't been already (or to get where they have already--such as the National and World titles, respectively). Oh, and Rachael Flatt. Please.

The dance field is pretty full (I am not really sure what the rules for entry are here), and includes Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte and Nathalie Pechelat & Fabian Bourzat. Hrm. How did I just only now realize that Anna's name means "angel hair pasta"? Anyway, those are two solid top-10 teams that really have no business competing at Nebelhorn, although perhaps they aren't scheduled to compete until the end of the Grand Prix circuit, in which case it would make sense that they would want some earlier feedback and competition. At any rate, it will be interesting to see how the Short Dance (ugh) is performed by some top teams.

Let the season begin! :)

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