Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Roo and Sher Welcome the Worlds

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A couple of years ago, while I was watching a figure skating competition on TV, a notification came on the air that the International Skating Union's World Figure Skating Championships would be held in L.A.  Oooohhhhh.... I wondered if I'd be able to go, but at the time, they were only selling full packages that included all of the events, as well as lodging and all that.  So I waited.  Then CA hit a financial crisis, and I thought I wouldn't be able to attend anything.  But good things do come to those who wait, and sent an e-mail showing that tickets were available at half price.  OMG!  I bought a pair of tickets, and texted Rudy to see if he would be available to get to L.A. on March 24.  No response.  I texted again.  Finally, a couple of days after my first text message, Rudy called and apparently he still hadn't figured out what was so important about March 24.  I said to him, "I have tickets to Worlds."  Silence.

Then, in true Rudyness, all I could hear was him saying a lot of words in excitement, and I pictured him either jumping up and down or running around the house.  I was like, "Rudy, I really have to go right now.  Can you make it?"  Well, of course he could make it.  Silly Sherry.

Anyway, fast forward to two weeks later, and Rudy, in all of his excitement, thought that the event was on the 17th, so that day, he started to get ready, before checking online and seeing that he was, indeed, a week early.  He called to confirm such.  I said yes, he's wacky, and the event was next week.  Thank goodness he checked before driving all the way out to Monrovia prematurely!

Yesterday, I was able to get off of work early, texted him to make sure he knew that it was that day.  He met up with me, and we were on our way.  It's a good thing he was early, because the official website said that the time had been changed to half an hour earlier than originally scheduled.  

We got to the Staples Center, and Rudy jumped up and down a little bit before realizing that he was doing so and stopped.  He's so funny.  I just love making him happy like that.  We found a nice guy to take a picture for us.  Which I immediately deleted by mistake and realized it as we walked away.  So we had to ask the guy again, who originally said, "Sure, anytime!" anyway, so he had to live up to his promise.  Lucky he was still nice about it.  So here's the second picture we took, which the guy actually saved FOR me to make sure that my craziness wouldn't disturb him again.  Here we are, happy-go-lucky.

We picked up our tickets, and got in line with a bunch of other people.  The staff guy said that we needed to be in the other line, which turned out to be the VIP/Premium line.  NICE!  It was much shorter, and brought us up to the level that had access to the suites.  Our seats were below those.  We checked out our seats, and decided to get our merchandise and snacks.  After being largely ignored at the kiosk on our level, a very nice lady allowed us to walk with her to a different kiosk that had more variety, and where the employees actually paid attention to people that were trying to give their money away.  We had a bit of an obstacle course getting there because they had a stupid barrier up (which was taken away before we returned), but we found it.  I ended up getting the last blue fleece zip-up sweater in my size, which was the display model.  Rudy got a shirt.  We both got very nice programs.  We then realized that the little things we wanted were not at this very nice kiosk, so we went back to the ignorer and got a magnet for Rudy and a pin for me.  After getting some wine (Rudy proposed that we needed wine to calm down all of our excitement), we went back to our section.  The usher advised us that we had been sitting in the wrong seats, so she moved our jackets, but we were welcome to sit up closer until the ticketholders showed up.  She said that the section was going to be pretty empty, so it shouldn't be a problem.  So we found better seats and were never asked to move.  Cool!  We giggled a lot as we ate our dinner and drank our wine.  We're at WORLDS!!!

We had missed most of the opening ceremony because we were walking around, but the guy singing the National Anthem wasn't that good anyway.  The guy at the kiosk (not the ignorer guy) said that the singer usually performs at Kings games, and he was tired of his voice.  I told him that Rudy and I were professional singers, and that Rudy had such the better voice than the dude in there.   He told us to audition.  Well, we just might!  We did get to see a group of skaters do one number, and the head of the ISU declared the competition open.

Our event was for Pairs Short Program.  We saw a LOT of pairs.  The guys behind us talked like they knew about the activity, so we eavesdropped a little bit.  Rudy wished that he could speak Tagalog just so that we could bring some International-ity to our area.  I told him that our goal was to find a pair that would best suit our style, if he and I had been a pair of ice skaters in competition.  Our very nice programs had pages to write down scores, so I was able to write some notes.  They won't be very technical and probably won't be accurate, but here goes!

Top 20 pairs advance to the Free Skate

Ivanova/Balevski  -- Bulgaria
They wore blue and pink, and this was their first time at senior Worlds competition.  Hey!  I was wearing blue and pink, and this was MY first worlds, too!  
Score: 34.58 -- 23rd place

James/Bonheur -- France
Ooh, I like them.  They're dynamic, and they used Hans Zimmer's music.  They're energetic, and they had nice unison.  I see them being in the top 10 in a couple of years, if not next year.
Score: 44.10 -- 17th place

Denney/Barrett -- USA
Their music seemed to be the Zales commercial music, so I told Rudy that the guy was going to give her a ring or a necklace or something at the end.  He didn't.
Score: 52.74 -- 10th place

Ozorova/Enbert -- Russia
I felt bad for them because they fell on their butts.  The audience "aww"ed.  Rudy said that when he would watch on TV, he wondered why people on TV reacted like that.  He did it here, though, so he won't wonder anymore.
Score: 34.06 -- 24th place

Morand/Dorsaz -- Switzerland
They skated to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."  Rudy liked their uniforms because they had "just enough bling."  Not too much, not too little.
Score: 48.50 -- 12th place

Della Monica/Kocon -- Italy
They skated to "Bolero."  The woman fell.  Awww.  Too bad, because they had speed and nice spirals.
Score: 41.18 -- 18th place

Aganina/Zobnin -- Uzbekhstan
Oh, that woman fell HARD.  Rudy said that the guy looked like Ashton Kutcher.  Ashton Kutcher in inexplicable suspenders.
Score: 33.00 -- 25th place

Sokolova/Sokolov -- Israel
These two were NOT brother and sister, as Rudy had initially thought.  (He missed the "a" at the end of one of the names).  They wore very PINK outfits.  Nice, big throw.  Her hair touched the ice on the death spiral.  I love that.  Rudy has decided that there needs to be a competition just for what I like in ice skating, and can actually judge.  One is the hair touching the ice in a death spiral, but this does not count if the dude has let go of her, and she has fallen down.  Second Sherry rule:  Not Ugly Costumes.

We had an intermission at this point.  I had noticed the flags on one of the light boards.  I drew my favorite flag (besides USA's) in order to look it up later.  Then I found it in our program.  It's Hong Kong's flag.  See?  Pretty.

Sunyoto-Yang/Sulindro-Yang -- Taipei (why did they call it "Chinese Taipei"?)
They skated to "Scheherezade," one of my favorite pieces.  The woman fell, and they had trouble with their unison.
Score: 37.04 -- 22nd place

Crenshaw/Tsagris -- Greece
They skated to "Paint in Black, " "Appasionata" and "Colossus."  Nice exit out of their lift.
Score: 39.70 -- 20th place

Hausch/Wende -- Germany
Nice speed, but her hair didn't touch the ice.  Rudy likened them to a Hydrox.  Not quite Oreo, but really close.  You know, wanna-be great ice skaters.
Score: 46.58 -- 15th place

Sulej/Chruscinski -- Poland
They skated to "Scent of a Woman," so there was a little bit of tango and attitude.  Too much pink for me, though.
Score:  40.88 -- 19th place

Around this point, we spotted Scott Hamilton in the press section.  Yay!  I wish we could hear what he was saying.  It's weird that Rudy and I have to give each other our own commentary, without people who actually do it for a living.

Kemp/Kline -- Great Britain
That dude is tall!  Nice one-handed lift and exit.
Score:  47.74 -- 13th place

Brodeur/Mattatall -- Canada
The woman fell and touched the ice during the spin: oops.  It was going so well up to that point!
Score:  50.44 -- 11th place

Duhamel/Buntin -- Canada
Nice big throw at the end of their program.  Her hair touched the ice!  Great all-around.  They knew it, too, and their excitement reminded me of Rudy and me.  He had actually decided that this was our pair before they even started skating, but didn't want to jinx them by telling me until afterward.  This is the Rudy and Sherry pair.  We hope they do well.
Score:  61.28 -- 8th place

Sergejeva/Glebov -- Estonia
Their music was "Polish Movie Soundtrack."  Rudy asked if that was like "Scary Movie."  We giggled as we wondered what a spoof of all Polish movies would entail.  You just can't lose your partner if your costume is THAT pink!  So are all Polish movies in pink?
Score: 46.14 -- 16th place

McLaughlin/Brubaker -- USA
The guys in back of us yelled out "KEAUNA ROCKS!!!"  That's their two first names, kinda.  They skated to "Malaguena."  The day that somebody actually uses a drumcorps arrangement in their program, I'll be way excited.  This was not that day, but I was excited anyway.  They opened with a cool spin.  Nice lift.  I think it was a Star Lift, but that might be wrong.
Score: 53.62 -- 9th place

Zhang/Wang -- China
Rudy thinks that their musical selection was just weird.  They skated to Abba's "The Way Old Friends Do."  I'm not familiar with that song.
Score:  46.68 -- 14th place

Rudy got really excited about this next bracket (3 pairs).

Zhang/Zhang -- China
Everything was beautiful and WOW.  She just didn't touch her hair on the ice, that's all that was wrong for me.  They received a standing ovation, the first one of the night.
Score: 67.42 -- 3rd place

Mukhortova/Trankov  -- Russia
Beautiful position by the woman during the lift, and their spins were very close to each other.  Great arm position on her landing after the throw.  Very nice.
Score: 66.88 -- 4th place

Pang/Tong -- China
Big throws!  They need to not travel on their spins, though, because they slowly spun farther away from each other on their side-by-side spins.  The guys in back of us marveled at the "Dead Lift," where the guy just basically picked her up and threw her and she spun in the air with a great landing.
Score: 65.18 -- 5th place

Dube/Davison -- Canada
I liked their costumes: she wore cream with a burgundy belt, and he wore a burgundy top with black pants.  Rudy said that they were gutsy because their side-by-side work was right in front of the judges.
Score: 61.80 -- 7th place

Kavaguti/Smirnov -- Russia
Their music was Camille Saint Saens' "The Swan."  She wore white, with a swan on the front, and he wore black, also with a swan on the front.  No, not like Bjork's swan dress.  GORGEOUS everything: spiral, music, lifts, expressions...our favorite tonight, and yes, a Standing O.
Score: 68.94 -- 2nd place

Volosozhar/Morozov -- Ukraine
Nice speed, even during the lift, during which he rotated as he lifted her and they glided on the ice.  
Score:  64.10 -- 6th place

Savchenko/Szolkowy -- Germany
Their music was "Lost in Space," and it was rockin'!  So were they.  I thought that their spins started to go a little off, but they recovered nicely.  I also felt that their pair spin was slow.  I don't think the judges agreed with me, though.  
Score:  72.30 -- 1st place

We couldn't believe that it was already 11:30 when we left.  It went by quickly, but we wondered how late people would need to stay for the Free Skate, because that would be more minutes on each program.  

Today I watched part of the television coverage from last night's event.  The 1st place winners had the highest starting score, and when they showed the throw, I understood.  She was flying!  And every landing was spot on.  They need to work on those spins, though.

It was a great night, and I wish I had the time and money to watch all of the competitions! Ooh, gotta go.  The Oxygen channel is starting the Pairs Free Skate broadcast!

Thanks, Roo, for coming with me.  Since you are the one that I most enjoy watching ice skating with over the phone, I was glad that you could witness this event with me in person.  

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