Hello people of the internet! Don’t worry, I haven’t completely forgotten about this blog. Summer and school and a number of other things got in the way. But don’t worry, I’m back! A new season is about to begin and I couldn’t be more excited.
The Junior Grand Prix , Challenger Series and number of other random events have already happened this season. I knew these were all happening, but it wasn’t until the Skate Canada Autumn Classic this week that I realized just how excited I was. The skating season crept up on me and now I just want more. At the Autumn Classic we got our first glimpse of Yuzu and I promise to write my thoughts on that later this week. New programs! Weee!! So much to say!!
In just a couple weeks I’ll be making the short trip to Lethbridge for Skate Canada. I got chills watching Yuzu on my computer screen this week, I can’t imagine what it’ll be like to see him live again. It’s been far too long – over two years! I can’t wait to experience “Hanyu Mania” firsthand.
To catch everyone up on where we left off last season and to prepare you all for the new season, here’s what I’m most excited for the 2015/2016 skating season.
1. The return of Patrick Chan
As a Canadian this is definitely the story that’s garnered the most buzz during the off season. Patrick Chan is back. Patrick Chan thinks he can still compete for the top. He skated a few weeks back at the Japan Open and while his skating was sublime, the technical content was lacking. I just don’t see how he can do it anymore. Has he really gotten technically better during his year off. I guess I’ll have to wait and see. That showdown between Yuzu, Nam and Patrick is going to be epic in a couple weeks.
2. Yuzu! Yuzu! Yuzu!
Last season the Olympic Champion was hampered by injury and as a result his season was a series of highs and lows. While he persevered and ended up with some titles and another World medal, I can’t wait to see what he has to offer now that he’s healthy and actually spending time in Toronto again. Will be break some new world records this season? I definitely think he has the programs and jump layout to do so!
While Patrick’s return has been my biggest focus this season, there are a number of other skaters making comebacks. Olympic champions Adelina Sotnikova and Volosozhar and Trankov are back. As is Mao Asada. All three could make some big splashes on the world stage. Kaetlyn Osmond has also returned from a season of injuries and looks to regain her Canadian title. I’ll be rooting for the hometown girl! All four of these have skated in events already this season – check out the video links above – everyone is looking good! It’s going to be an interesting season as we watch how they fit in with the new crop of skaters.
4. Pairs skating is pushing the technical boundaries
For years Pairs skating had hit a bit of a plateau. Everyone was doing the same elements and no one was taking risks. This has since changed. Duhamel & Radford upped their technical content over the years and have added ANOTHER quad throw to their FS this season. That’s two quad throws and side-by-side 3Lz. Amazing. The other teams are now having to play catch up. The Russian teams are both trying more difficult throws and side-by-sides this season, though no quads or 3Lzs. The Chinese all seem to be pulling off effortless quad twists (are any doing quad throws yet??). And back on Canadian soil, Iliushechkina and Moscovitch have a quad throw planned for their FS. What an exciting year this is bound to be!
5. Watch out for the newcomers
There are a handful of newcomers this season who just can’t wait to make their mark on the world stage. Here’s 4 I think you need to keep an eye on:
Shoma Uno – he won Junior Worlds last season and simply dominated at the Japan Open a few weeks back. He’s only 17 and already I think Yuzu needs to watch his back.
Elizabet Tursynbaeva – she was 4th at Junior Worlds last year, coached by Brian Orser and making her Senior Grand Prix debut this year at Skate America. This week she also won gold at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic.
Boyang Jin – At an event in China a few weeks back he landed 2 quads in his SP – and one of those was a 4Lz-3T!! He placed second at Junior Worlds behind Shoma last season and will be making his Senior Grand Prix debut in a few weeks. He has the jumps for sure, just needs some work on the basics still.
Evgenia Medvedeva – she won Junior Worlds last year and recently won Ondrej Nepela Trophy. She’s the next in a long line of young Russian princesses. Let’s see how she fares on the senior stage this year.