Cup of China facility
Oriental Sports Center

By Katherine Ruch

Sorry it has taken me so long to write my thoughts about the Cup of China. Honestly, the reason it has taken me so long is because it was a little painful to watch this event on a couple different levels. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of redeeming moments. I loved the shots of the crowd! The way the filming was done actually made me feel like I was sitting among the people of China, waving at the people sitting across the ice from me every time they were shown on the screen!

I loved the hug that Agnes Zawadzki gave one of the flower sweepers, I’m sure it made her day! I loved seeing the interaction between Kanako Murakami and her coach. They had some kind of an interesting good luck hand clap before she took the ice for her programs. Her programs might have been my favorite of the competition with her short being a 20’s jazz style program and her long being to the song “Papa can you hear me?” Also, with a lot of the coaches speaking foreign languages or being entirely mute while in the Kiss and Cry, it was quite refreshing to hear Tom Zakrajsek speaking English to his students concerning things they could have done differently and things they did well.

Alright, enough of the good. I ended up watching all the coverage on Ice Network once again. I know, I know that I said this time I would be sure to watch it on television. I had to teach a lesson during that time on Sunday and forgot to tape it! I did sit down and watch it for hours on end on my computer but had to take several breaks.

It was a rough competition for the Americans in terms of placement! Agnes Zawadski finished 7th in the Ladies event, Richard Dornbush finished 5th amongst the Men. Scimeca/Knierim placed 5th and Zhang/Bartholomay placed 6th in Pairs. All these programs had great moments and I really did cheer every time someone landed a jump and my heart sank every time they fell. Silly perhaps but I did already tell you that it felt like I was actually in the stands.

The highest placement was Chock/Bates with the 3rd place in the Ice Dance event and while their scores were only about 15 points behind the winners I would be interested to compare their scores to the teams that have won Skate America and Skate Canada.

I had to take a few breaks while watching all the coverage of this event because it became hard to keep all the programs straight! The skating in the Men’s and Ladies events in particular looked a lot like that of their competitors. I would be interested to research how many of the Chinese skaters in particular have the same coaches and/or choreographers. I guess I need to delve into some internet research on that topic…

Speaking of things that are similar, what about skaters actually using the same music? Throughout the course of the competition, I’m pretty sure I heard “The Four Seasons” used at least twice and music from “Les Miserables” used no less than three times during the course of just this competition! I think I heard music from Tchaikovsky a couple of times but at least it wasn’t the same music! It seems that with all of the songs in the world skaters, coaches and choreographers would be able to pick music that was a little more obscure.

I did watch the NHK trophy this past weekend so I will be writing about that soon so stay tuned! Be sure to watch the Trophee Eric Bompard on Sunday November 17th from 4:30-6 pm EST. 
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