Friday, February 26, 2010

Kim Yu-Na wins Olympic women's title

Favourite Kim Yu-Na lived up to her star billing as she gave South Korea their first ever Olympic figure skating title with a stunning performance here on Thursday.

The reigning world champion wiped the tears from her eyes after her spellbinding free skate at the Pacific Coliseum which gave her gold by a massive 23-point margin on her nearest challenger Mao Asada of Japan.

Canada's Joannie Rochette claimed bronze as she bravely competed just four days after the death of her mother Therese from a heart attack in Vancouver.

"I can't believe this day has finally come for me," said Kim.

"I still can't believe the score that I received, I'm really surprised. It's almost as close as the men's score."

Wearing royal blue, the 19-year-old Kim, known to her fans as 'Queen Yu-Na,' sealed victory with her performance to Gershwin's "Concerto in F" which she opened with a triple-triple combination.

She nailed six triples and a total of 11 jumps in her four minute routine which had the 11,000-plus crowd on their feet.

"In the past, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do what I wanted, but I am really happy that I was able to show everything I did in training," said Kim.

"Watching previous figure skaters, I always wondered why they cried after their performance. Crying for the first time today, I still don't know why I did."

After already setting a world record in the short programme, she demolished her own free skate and overall record marks, achieving 150.06 points for the routine and an overall total of 228.56.

Asada, the 2008 world champion, had the difficult task of performing her routine to Rachmaninov's "Bells of Moscow" just after her rival.

But the fiesty Asada, 19, came out fighting, landing two back-to-back triple axels, the second combined with a double toeloop.

But halfway through her routine she ran into trouble, double footing a triple flip and singling the following attempted triple toeloop.

She scored 131.72 for an overall 205.50, and it was enough to take silver.

"I did everything I could," she said.

"To complete both triple-axels well at the Olympics was one good thing about my performance. But I am not happy with the rest of my performance. I do feel regretful."

Rochette, 24, skated to Camille St. Saens' "Samson and Delilah."

She two-footed two of her jumps but it was enough for the world silver medallist to stand on the podium.

She had the crowd on their feet for her gutsy performance which put Canada back on the women's podium for the first time since Elizabeth Manley took silver at the 1988 Calgary Games.

She scored 131.28 and an overall 202.64.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The youngest ever Olympic figure skating ice dancing champions


Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir danced their way into history on Monday when they became the first North American couple as well as the youngest ever Olympic figure skating ice dancing champions.

The pair from Ontario took gold ahead of Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States as world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia took bronze after the free dance final at the Pacific Coliseum.

The only previous ice dancing medal won by Canada was when Tracy Wilson and Robert McCall too bronze in Calgary 22 years ago.

Competing in their first Olympics, Virtue, 20, and Scott, 22, had the home crowd on their feet after their flawless free skate to Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5.

They finished 5.83 points ahead of their training partners White and Davis, who were also making their Games debut, and skated to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera.

"We've dreamed about this for so long," said Virtue, who had feared her career was over two years ago after surgery on her shins. "It's been quite a journey - a bit rocky.

"There were times when we didn't think we would get back on track and skating again, but this makes the victory even sweeter."

The couple had taken the lead after Sunday's original dance and seemed to make time stand still with their free skate, scoring 110.42 points to give them an overall 221.57.

Davis, 23, and White, 22, showed incredible speed on the ice but got a one-point deduction for exceeding the time limit on one of their lifts.

They scored 107.19 and 215.74 overall.

Moir said: "We have such a special connection with Meryl and Charlie.

"We knew they would be tough competitiors, that they were going to come here and lay it down. We wouldn't be here without them."

Davis said: "It's been a wonderful experience coming to the Olympic Games and to cap it off with a silver medal is so amazing."

"We have dreamt of it for so long and to have it come true is amazing."

Both couples share the same coaches - Russians Marina Zueva and Igor Shpilband - leading Shabalin to comment that the only way to recapture the title Russians have won all but three times since it was introduced in 1976 was "to bring all the Russian coaches back to Russia."

Domnina, 25, and Shabalin, 28, had led after Friday's opening compulsory dance but their controversial Aboriginal-themed original dance backfired and left them trailing going into the final night.

Skating to the theme of 'passion' they finished over eight points behind the winners.

Shabalin said he did not regret their choice of original dance.

"It was a great choice," he said. "We did everything we could. We didn't expect Russian figure skating to go down."

Russia are set to finish without an Olympic gold medal in figure skating for the first time in 50 years.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lysacek wins men's figure skating gold


Vancouver (AFP) - Reigning world champion Evan Lysacek gave the United States their first Olympic men's figure skating title in 22 years with a risk-free performance on Thursday.

Defending champion Yevgeny Plushenko of Russia had to settle for silver with Daisuke Takahashi giving Japan their first ever Olympic men's podium finish taking bronze after the free skate final.

Lysacek, 24, finished just 1.31 points ahead of three-time world champion Plushenko whose shaky landing on several jumps ended his gold-medal challenge.

"That's my best free programme this season," said Lysacek. "I've been waiting for a clean free skate all season."

"I tried not to get too excited after each jump. I wanted to pump my fist every time."

Lysacek becomes the first American to win the title since Brian Boitano at the 1988 Calgary Games, and breaks an 18-year Russian domination in the event.

Takahashi finished over ten points behind the winner after falling on his opening quadruple jump.

Plushenko, 27, had led the short programme but with less than 0.60 points separating him from Lysacek and Takahashi it was a virtual tie going into the free skate final.

Lysacek threw down the challenge with a flawless performance to Sheherazade.

The 24-year-old did not include a quadruple jump, perferring eight triples including an opening triple-triple combination and two axels.

He scored 167.37 for the free skate and 257.67 overall.

Skating last, Plushenko opened with a quadruple-triple toeloop combination but was shaky on some of his landings including his triple axel and lutz.

Always the showman, he blew kisses to the spectators during the Tango Amore specially composed for him by Hungarian violinist Edvin Marton who also composed his programme at the 2006 Turin Games.

He scored slightly less than Lysacek tecnically with 165.51 for the free skate and 256.36 overall.

The Russian however becomes just the second man in history to earn more than two Olympic medals, adding to his gold from Turin and silver in Salt Lake City.

Takahashi fought back after his fall to complete his routine to the soundtrack of Nino Rota's La Strada cleanly, scoring 247.23 overall.

The four-time Japanese champion was delighted at his bronze after returning following injury last season.

"I am really happy right now," he said. "When I knew that I had won a bronze medal, I was so emotional. I was in tears. I'm usually not like this."

"There were parts of my programme that weren't perfect, including the quad. There were some other errors, too. But to finish where I am in the Olympic Games feels so good.

"I was injured a year ago and couldn't skate. I never thought that I would recover well enough to be back here on the Olympic stage."

Olympic silver medallist Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland finished off the podium in fourth.

He had been in fifth after the short programme but struggled to hold the second of his quad jumps.

Japan's Nobunari Oda dropped to seventh from fourth after his laces came undone undone during his Charlie Chapin routine.

"I guess that's just my luck. What happens, happens," he said.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Nodar Kumaritashvili R.I.P

A crash during a training session has claimed the life of 21 year old luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in Whistler, British Columbia.

Kumaritashvili, an athlete from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, lost control of his sled near the finish line at Whistler Sliding Center, going over the wall of the track before colliding with an unpadded steel pole. The International Olympic Committee has been informed, but an official spoke to the Associated Press anonymously as formal familial notification has not yet been made.

It is unclear how fast Kumaritashvili’s sled was going at the time of the accident, but the track is considered the world’s fastest, and many lugers have exceeded speeds of 90mph during training. Rescue response to the athlete was immediate, with workers attempting resuscitation within seconds. Kumaritashvili was airlifted to a Whistler trauma center, and the remainder of the day’s exercises were canceled.

Prior to the deadly crash, athletes and other expressed concern’s about the track’s safety, particularly for athletes from nations that may have been ill-prepared for the “daunting” course:

“I think they are pushing it a little too much,” Australia’s Hannah Campbell-Pegg said Thursday night after she nearly lost control in training. “To what extent are we just little lemmings that they just throw down a track and we’re crash-test dummies? I mean, this is our lives.


Why Alexander McQueen Committed a Suicide? :(

"On behalf of Lee McQueen's family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee's family.
Lee's family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this." Source.
I wander why did he do so. He was a talented, successful fashion designer. But who know, maybe there are other important things which make us happy and which are more waluable than name, money and successes.

Spring - where are u?

Spring is needed!