February 9, 2001 |
In theory, the Four Continents figure skating championships, launched in 1999 as a sister event to the European championships, was a good idea. In practice, judging by the quality of the women's short programs Thursday at the Delta Center, it's not such a great idea that the top U.S. skaters chose to skip the event. On a night the judges doled out a 1.0 (out of 6.0) and countless scores in the 2 and 3 range, it was no surprise most of the favorites performed flawed programs.
February 15, 2002 |
If you thought judging of the pairs figure skating competition was unfathomable and unfair, wait until ice dancing. The most scorned of the four Olympic figure skating disciplines, ice dancing has one edge over the pairs competition: It has been embroiled in more judging scandals.
March 28, 2003 |
Timothy Goebel's second-place finish at the World Figure Skating Championships was sealed when he hurt his hip last fall. He overcame the injury but couldn't overcome the odd conventions of the sport, no matter that he performed a sparkling long program that brought the crowd of 10,059 at the MCI Center to its feet Thursday in a flag-waving frenzy.
January 9, 2004 |
Sasha Cohen stood still on the bright, white ice of Philips Arena on Thursday, letting her nerves escape in a long, deep exhale. "I was thinking, 'Just breathe and stay in the now. You can't let yourself get ahead,' " she said. " 'Just breathe and go with the music.' Then, I was on automatic." But never robotic. Delighted by her new collaboration with coach Robin Wagner, Cohen performed an engaging short program to "Malaguena" and led after the first phase of the women's competition at the U.S.
January 18, 2001 |
If Timothy Goebel continues to defy gravity and redefine what it takes to become a figure skating champion, pretty soon even casual sports fans will know who he is. And who he isn't. "I get a lot of people thinking I look like [actor] Ryan Phillippe," Goebel said. "Even if I go out shopping, clerks will stop and ask, 'Aren't you . . .?' " At the rate he's going, it will be easier to match his name and face with the proper occupation.
January 9, 2002 |
I decided to sashay on down to Staples Center on Tuesday because I wasn't sure we've had enough stories lately in the newspaper about figure skating. I had to go to the Biltmore to pick up a press pass, officials there offering me a snazzy figure skating vest, an obvious bribe that would have convinced me to write only good things about this silly sport, but Sports Editor Bill Dwyre has this policy that no one is allowed to accept snazzy figure skating vests.
February 11, 2001 |
Ice dancing has an image problem in the United States. Of the four Olympic figure skating disciplines, it's the least understood. There are no spectacular jumps, as in men's and women's singles. There are no dangerous throws and twisting overhead lifts, as in pairs. And nobody ever tried to club a rival ice dancer's knee. "It's a cultural problem," said John LeFevre, executive director of the U.S. Figure Skating Assn. and a former dance competitor and referee.
January 13, 2003 |
Rena Inoue thought she had consigned pair skating to her past. Competing for her native Japan, she had teamed with Tomoaki Koyama to finish 15th at the 1991 World Figure Skating Championships and 14th at the 1992 Olympics. Eager for something different, she switched to singles and finished 18th at the 1994 Olympics, inspiring the Japanese Skating Federation to send her to Lake Arrowhead in 1996 to further her training.