PART 2. THE 2014 – ISU EUROPEAN FIGURE SKATING GRAND PRIX BUDAPEST – HUNGARY

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Summary of the Free Skating days at the ISU European Figure Skating Championship – Budapest – 2014.

ICE DANCE  – FREE DANCE … After the short program  Anna Cappellini – Luca Lanotte  – ITA duo won the ice dance competition. The Italian duo Bronze medalist last year came up with their sophisticated productions. They received high scored from the judges. They were very close behind second Jelena Ilinyih – Nikita Kacalapov –  RUS  duo.  The British pair, Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland of Great Britain took the bronze medal after their short program. The Brits did it again … Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland proudly received their sparkling bronze medals at the end of the ice dancing in Budapest. Indeed, the audience was thrilled, ongoing claps and cheers  filled the air throughout  Penny and Nicholas superb performance.  For many they were the favorites, the highlight of the night all began cheering as soon as they started dancing when  hearing the Old Big Ben’s clock hitting the hour and recognizing Michael Jackson’s tune. The cream on the cake was when they both copied the famous steps of Jackson to the music of Smooth Criminal … You are not alone … Billy Jean. Well, what can I say … one of the best production of the day at the Syma’s ice rink! The choreography was absolutely out-of-space! Well Done Penny and Nicholas!

Hungary’s young talented ice dance duo finished in the 21st. place. Dóra Turóczi – Balázs Major were extremely happy receiving all the loud cheers which supported them a lot. Wish to say in brief a few words of Hungary’s only ice dancers competing Dóra Turóczi – Balázs Major.  (Rolling back in time … Dóra first pulled on her skates at the age of 6. and at the age of 10 turned to synchronized skating and shortly then after figure skating. Turóczi and Major have been ice dancers since 2006. This is their fourth season as seniors and are very happy to have had already qualified to the World Championships.) Their coach is non less famous in the figure dancing than France’s World and European champion, Olivier Schoenfelder.

LADIES – FREE SKATING  … Carolina Kostner was in the hearts of many in the audience after her “Ave Maria”  performance  in the short program, but that wasn’t a full stop for her. Dancing on ice to the music of  Ravel’s “Bolero” was absolutely fantastic.  Had a nasty fall, but she was quick in continuing her elegant performance. No question, she is a classy lady on ice. This time she didn’t win her 6th European Gold, anyway she kept her kind smiles all along the way … even though winning the Bronze medal. Prehaps, I am not on my own by saying Carolina has something in her style, as a reminder of one of the great lady skater of  the 20th century … Ms. Katherina Witt. Julia Lipnitskaia  aged 15 was the youngest competitor at the ice rink and also became the youngest winner of the event. Lipnitskaia’s performance was to the music of the “Schindler’s List” Just a thought to Lipnitskaia’s outfit. She wore a red dress, evoking to the little girl in the Spielberg’s film, whose red coat was one of the only details of color in the black-and-white movie. Julia, thought wearing a red dress would distract her technique, but discovered that emotions help her a lot in improving her performance. So no wonder not only skates but deep emotions are needed to be an extremely talented skater. Watching her on ice you can think of nothing else than she was born to be on ice. Her performance was like a feather floating above the ice. While she presented her show you could hear the sound of her blade slipping on the ice and the audience held their breath witnessing the ease and confidence as she almost flew on the ice. Julia’s breathtaking performance was greeted by standing ovation. Following the announcement of results, she was questioned how she will be celebrating her golden victory … with a glass of champagne? Julia immediately answered by saying, Quote:  „No, I never drink alcohol and athletics should never-ever drink any alcohol. I will probably be celebrating my victory with having a nice slice of a yummy cake.” Worthwhile to keep an eye on this young lady, the talented skater as she is the ISU European Figure Skate Champion of 2014. Adelina Sotnikova  age 17 stunning ice dance skated to the non less stunning music “Rondo Capriccioso”. Absolutely perfect chose of music and her dance was extra-ordinary. She is also very young, but never-the-less already was the World Junior champion the 2010 and 2011. In 2012 at the Youth Olympics won the silver medal. Here in Budapest at the ISU Europeans Grand Prix she won her first Silver medal. Her performance was like a feather floating on the ice. In Adelina’s free skate we all witness her ease and confidence as she almost flew meters high on top of the ice. Adelina’s breathtaking performance was often greeted by standing ovation. Two Russian Julia Lipnitskaia won Gold, Adelina Sotnikova won Silver and the Italian Carolina Kostner won Bronze medal. Throughout the performances of the ladies’ for a length of time the audiences did not stop their cheers even for a  minute.

MEN FREE SKATING …  The Spaniard, bombastic skater Javier Fernandez won the Gold medal. His victory could have had been already signed, sealed and delivered showing his art on ice within his performance. Javier’s performance was a hell of a good show. He was the best clown on ice to have been seen for long time ago. Five minutes ain’t so long, yet he formed so many in individuals in his free dance show. Following him by the two Russia’s, Sergei Voronov – Silver and Konstantin Menshow – Bronze. For Konstantin Menshov aged 30 this was his first European medal. Soared from 11th place at the short program and  captured the Bronze medal at the Men’s free Skating… have a Hungarian saying: „From the last can be the firsts!” Well, have to keep an eye on Konstantin, he is a real talent and on the road, meaning on the ice rink ice to  onwards follow. Kristóf Forgó, 20 years old athlete, skates from the age of four. In free skating he reached the required score at the beginning of the current seasons. His wish upon a star to come closer to be in the top 10 will have to wait a bit,  at this event he finished in the 30th place.  His coach Zoltán Tóth highlighted Forgó’s summer preparation by saying, Quote: “He participated at a two-week summer training camp in Russia with Alexei Mishin’s team, his choreography has been prepared by another Russian, Alexei Vasilevski.”  A stunning skating was presented by Alexei Bychenko – ISR who accomplished all the figures awaited by the jury and the audience highly appreciated his show with  rolling applauses.

 PAIRS FREE SKATING   The Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Tranykov performance lead them in defending their championship. They both had a couple of loops and falls, but together with their previously earned points at the short program lead them to their victory. The three medalist: Gold – Tatiana Voloszozsar – Maxim – RUS,  Silver Kszenija Sztolbova – Fedor Klimov – RUS,  Bronze – Vera Bazarova -Yuri Larionov RUS.  All the three  pairs were rewarded for their outstanding superb show with minutes-and-minutes of standing ovation by the audience.

Throughout the history in the European Figure Skating Grand Prix, there was  at 14 championships, when the first three medals were won by one nation. One time Germany had the first three stands many-many years ago. Eight-time the former Soviet Union and  five time the current State of Russia. Two years ago these three  pairs at the European Champs in Pairs were on the medal stands, but not in the same order, except for the gold medalist pair, which was won by the same pair as now. All the three Russian skaters are working together with the same coach, and all of them expressed their accomplishment to their coach. Cannot miss saying a word about Tatiana and Maxim performance within the beautiful choreography, bringing alive as actors in the role of Jesus and Maria Magdalena just like as the actors in the Rock Opera. As they said, they have traveled to study the actors play these roles at the Russian Theater. Been to Broadway to see the show. Watched the movie several times to make their production as the best they can. We were carried away for 4 minutes as they were forming their own Rock Opera.  As they mentioned, it wasn’t an easy task for them, but surely did their best as they could.

The ISU Europeans  Figure Skating  Victories  of 2014 in Budapest, ended with the Exhibition Gala. All the medalist  in the top three at each category were present and by all means was a present by them given to the audience … that’s for sure.   Some of the skaters come out in another costume having the same music and some also skated to a different music and outfit. At the Gala, the Hungarian ice dance duo was continuously cheered so loud that their music  was hardly heard by the homeland audience.   All participants were welcomed with cheers, drum beats, gadgets making noise  …  just as being at a footy match.  International flags were floating all around  and slowly the athletics waved  farewell to the audience and to Budapest.  In a month time will be again continuing their breathtaking performances, fighting hard for themselves to step up on the high podium at ice rink  at the World Olympics in Sochi.

Good Luck Europeans in Sochi  … Beat the Rest of the World!

Update and snaps by Aggie Reiter

 

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