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I’ve gotta admit I can’t tell a quad from a triple unless Skate America, NBC Sports, or every freakin’ skate blogger/tweeter on the planet points it out to me (just search #SA2013), but I can tell you a little bit about what the Constructivist family’s Detroit road trip has been like so far.
Like how we avoided another traffic jam on the 75 and got to the men’s practice session just about on time by freelancing it through some pretty scary neighborhoods on the way to the Joe Louis Arena (score 1 for Team Constructivist). Or how we again enjoyed the Detroit People Mover and had another great dinner, but this one gave The Full Metal Archivist stomach trouble (score 1 for Detroit). Or how cool it was to watch Adam Rippon and Jason Brown rock their short programs, then get smoked by Tatsuki Machida (whose name has been pronounced seemingly every way but right by the rink announcers), but how disappointing it was when our fave Daisuke Takahashi couldn’t bring his jumping to the level of his artistry on the ice right after Machida’s brilliant performance (score another for Detroit). Or how much the girls enjoyed dancing around after the practice skates, riding the People Mover, and getting make-up done and pictures taken at the fake Puffs kiss and cry area between the men’s skate and the dance competition (score 1 more for the Constructivist family).
Instead, though, let me focus on how amazing Meryl Davis and Charlie White are. So many couples skated so awesomely. The Reeds got a season best and still ended up in 6th, while the Shibutanis did the same and looked to be in great position at 61.26 and 1st of 6 teams. Until the Italians beat them by 8 points, that is. Facing the same kind of pressure that Takahashi did, Davis and White made it look effortless, elegant, charming, sophisticated, romantic, and athletic. Like Takahashi, they have a level of artistry and body control and musical interpretation that is truly their own. Unlike Takahashi, their biggest rivals (Moir/Virtue) weren’t competing against them. But sometimes it’s as tough being the favorite–especially in front of a home crowd–as it is being the most popular skater in the world who’s fighting for a spot in his 3rd Olympics against 5 other world-class Japanese skaters.
I’ll close with some video and some notes, first on Machida:
I was repeatedly impressed by how much air this guy gets. I wonder if he can dunk…
Loved his reaction at the end! Maybe he can take a page from Adam Scott’s book and get a big win today!
Man, he practices hard. He was the only one going full-bore in the morning practice session. Hey, he’s young, he can handle it. (Me, I’m officially in my mid-40s and walking like someone in his mid-80s. I’m beginning to think my back won’t be better by the time we leave Detroit.)
I hope onechan and imoto learn from these siblings how to appreciate each other and work together! Have I mentioned that imoto’s discovered moodiness and loves to needle onechan into overreacting and getting in trouble? Seriously, I don’t usually like brother-sister pairs on ice, but these two picked some great music and skated their hearts out!
In closing, Jason Brown has it all: flexibility, jumping ability, artistry, personality. Don’t be surprised if he wins this thing.