Mon, Jan. 30th, 2012, 01:12 pm || 2012 US Nationals Ice Dance Finals

add to memories

Nationals were held in San Jose this year, and so for the first time, I splurged and bought tickets to an actual figure skating competition. The last time I was tempted was when Worlds was in LA in 2009, but I couldn't afford it. Now I am newly determined to watch an international figure skating competition live!

I haven't been impressed with US women's or pairs skating since I started watching back in 2004—still love Michelle Kwan and admire Sasha Cohen, but they were definitely on their way out. I've had fun cheering US men's in the past few years via watching Evan Lysacek go from senior debut to Olympic champ, but right now, most of the excitement in US figure skating has been in dance.

OMG. I would have KILLED to be able to see Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir competing with Meryl Davis and Charlie White, but I will take Davis/White, the Shibutanis, and Madison Chock over anything else in Nationals.

Anyway. It's odd watching figure skating live when you've been watching it on television for so long, and even weirder watching it in a crowd when you're so used to being one of the very few people obsessed with it. I don't think that many people in my dwircle watch regularly (*waves at [personal profile] littlebutfierce*), particularly post-ISU-score-change figure skating. But oh man. It was an entire rink full of mainly older women and pre-teen girls, many of whom had US Figure Skating jackets or lanyard, many many of whom were making detailed annotations on paper. I think they were recording people's scores and such.

Also, as I remarked to CB, this was the first time I've ever attended a live sports event in which I've actually even vaguely cared for the sport or the outcome. (Usually: "Who are we cheering for? Did we just score a point? What is going on?") And I am super glad CB now joins me in my enthusiasm for the Shibutanis, who are really cute and talented and adorable and did I mention cute? We call them Team Baby.

It's also nice seeing skaters that I usually don't see televised on the Grand Prix circuit, and will be keeping an eye out on Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Guiletti-Schmitt.

And of course, Davis and White were pretty awesome. I like their free skate program this year much more than I did last year, and I am also biased because I think Meryl Davis' outfit is very pretty.

Random things:

  • If I ever do this again, I am getting seats on the judge's side. I did not realize just how much skaters face the judges during their programs.

  • Watching all three groups was particularly interesting, because the difference in skill level is so obvious.

  • OMG the top-level skaters are so fast.

  • And I know this is such a cliche, but seriously, Davis and White and the Shibutanis make it look so easy. For the first two groups, you get much more of a sense that it's a competition, but by the time the final group takes the ice, I was just sitting back and enjoying the performances.

  • Please do not ever make me choose between seeing Virtue and Moir competing with Davis and White live versus Takahashi Daisuke live versus Kim Yuna live.

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