Another day of quotage from the World Figure Skating Championships on Universal Sports. By the way, none of this is being covered on NBC Sports if you notice. Talk about low viewership here.
Anyway, here’s your notes and quotes from Friday.
Universal Sports PRESENTS COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE 2010 World Figure Skating ChampionshipsNEWS, NOTES AND QUOTES FOR MARCH 26, 2010:Weir likes Japan’s Asada pushing ‘technical boundaries’, predicts she’ll win;Olympian Belbin says ice dancing changed for the better, here to staySaturday Alert: Ladies’ Free Program Live at 10 A.M. ETWESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., March 26, 2010: Universal Sports’ coverage of the World Figure Skating Championships from Turin, Italy, delivers with figure skating insight, spirited humor and behind-the-scenes intelligence. Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski and legendary U.S. ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto joined live studio host Peter Carruthers in “The Loft” to break down Friday’s Ladies’ short program, in which American Mirai Nagasu sits on top of the standings, while Olympic gold medalist Kim Yu-Na of South Korea faces a comeback from a surprising seventh-place result.Weir, Belbin and Agosto joined a team consisting of play-by-play announcer Andrea Joyce, plus analysts Carruthers, Paul Wylie and Tara Lipinski. Former NBC Olympic researcher Lee Ann Gschwind was on hand with interviews and in-rink updates.NEWS UPDATESLADIES: Mirai Nagasu is currently in first place after the short program, with 2010 Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na 10 points behind the lead and in seventh place, and more than 18 points off her world record score, set at the Vancouver Olympics. Japanese skater Mao Asada is just behind Nagasu, with Finnish skater Laura Lepisto in third. American Rachael Flatt is in sixth place heading into Saturday’s free program. No American woman has been on the podium in the last three Worlds.ICE DANCING: Canadian couple Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir followed up their gold medal performance with a World Championship title. American duo Merle Davis and Charlie White won the Free Dance program over Virtue and Moir, but finished second overall to win their first medal at a World Championships. The bronze medal was awarded to French dancers Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat.TODAY (MARCH 26) ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS: LADIES’ SHORT PROGRAM (11 A.M. – 1 P.M. ET)QUOTES FROM OUR COVERAGE:On today’s competitions:Weir: “At the Ladies’ Senior World Championships, a double-loop is not acceptable.”Lipinski: “My biggest problem with the footwork sequence is that everyone is trying to get so many steps in and so many changes of directions, they look really slow, and the skaters almost come to a stop. If you watch Mao (Asada), Miki (Ando) or Yu-Na (Kim), they really flow across the ice. They’ve really mastered it.”Lipinski: “Every season is different for a figure skater. Either you’re the newcomer or the pro, and you have to handle both with poise.”On Japanese skater Mao Asada, currently in second place:Lipinski: “She has beautiful lines and great positions and great technique. But she’s missing a bit of her personality and a connection to her music and the audience. Where as with Kim Yu-Na, you feel every movement that she makes when she’s on the ice. Yu-Na is unbeatable at this point and Mao is just trying to catch up.”Mao Asada, to Universal Sports’ Lee Ann Gschwind: “Yes, my triple Axel was downgraded. I was sad, but tomorrow I will be stronger.”QUOTES FROM THE STUDIO SHOW (HOSTED BY PETER CARRUTHERS)*With special guests Johnny Weir, three-time U.S. Men’s Figure Skating Champion and 2008 World Bronze Medalist; and Tara Lipinski, 1998 Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalist; Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, the most decorated U.S. ice dancing team of all time.Weir: (on Russian skater Ksenia Makarova): “She’s like a queen on ice. There’s a very regal quality to her, a purpose to every movement. Today, I don’t understand how she’s behind (Italian skater) Carolina (Kostner) and (Finnish skater) Laura (Lepisto). For me, reputation shouldn’t be as important as it is in figure skating. Her skating was superior to both of their skating.”Weir (on the judges’ downgrade of Mao’s triple Axel jump): “There’s something with her ankles, I think they are double-jointed. Even if her body isn’t all the way around, she can smudge it a little bit. Her technique — the swing she gets heading into the jump — helps her get so high into the air and it’s a great take-off. I think she gets downgraded when it’s actually a clean jump.”On Mirai Nagasu:Weir: “I want her to have that ‘look at me’ expression that she had at the Olympics. There’s a lot of buzz going on around her. It’s important that she skates clean to keep herself legitimate. Not winning Nationals lit a fire, but a lot of people in that building thought she should have won.”Lipinski: “She’s a tough competitor. The focus she has right before she skates is amazing. She can be laughing and smiling, and then once the music starts, she’s ready to compete. It’s nice to watch her on the ice, she’s enjoying herself and she’s attacking on the ice.”Weir: “She had the sparkle in her eyes today. Her technique has improved. Her skills rival Kim Yu-Na and Mao Asada, and she’s a skater that has grown-up in this new system. She knows how to work every point.”Mirai Nagasu, to Universal Sports’ Lee Ann Gschwind : “It was important to try the triple-triple, at the Olympics I wasn’t able to do it and I think that took me out of medal contention. After the Olympics, I’ve been really tired and not in the mood to train, so I’m glad I stuck to it and did the best I could here.”On Kim Yu-Na’s disappointing performance in the short program:Joyce: “It’s been an intense year of expectations and pressure since last year’s World Championship and her performance stunned the crowd in Torino. The podium is up for grabs right now.”Weir: “It was simple things. This was a shock, but when you train so much for the Olympics, and the Olympics are your main focus, to come to the World Championships and give that same kind of performance, it’s a difficult thing to do. But don’t count her out of the free program.”Kim Yu-Na, to Universal Sports’ Lee Ann Gschwind: “I felt my left foot shaking, maybe that’s why (I made mistakes). After the Olympics I wasn’t able to train, I felt really tired and I wasn’t ready.”On Rachael Flatt:Lipinski: “She’s a technician. She’s a tough competitor and she’s consistent. Those jumps come so easy to her. The triple combinations are like doubles for her, but she needs to show her personality, have a little bit more fun.”Weir: “I wish she expressed herself on the ice. Shoulders back, chest up. They keep talking about how smart she is, but I want them to talk about the artistry and the stylist she is.”Weir: “Figure skating is a political sport. Mirai was already in first place representing the same country, and the skater that skates afterward will be judged harsher. Rachael came across – I’m not trying to be funny – but ‘flat’.”TODAY (MARCH 26) ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS: FREE DANCE (4 P.M. – 6 P.M. ET)QUOTES FROM OUR COVERAGE:Belbin (on Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates): “The look of being a junior team to a senior team always comes down to maturity and the connection between yourself and your partner and your comfort level on the ice. In the beginning, they looked very cautious, thinking a bit too much and a slight baubles on the transitional steps, the program developed as they went on. They just need more chances (on the senior world level) to get experience and improve.”Emily Samuelson (with partner Evan Bates), to Universal Sports’ Lee Ann Gschwind (on what they will take away from the Worlds): “The Olympic experience was amazing, it’s good to have that under our belt as we prepare for 2014. We’ll take everything we learned this season and apply it to next year.”QUOTES FROM THE STUDIO SHOW (HOSTED BY PETER CARRUTHERS)Belbin (on where ice dancing is today): “The style and the strength of the top two teams will change the face of ice dancing. It’s a different sport entirely. Never again will ice dancing be questioned as to whether it has a place in the Olympics. That has been thrown out the window, never to return. This is an incredible sport and people will be watching for years to come.”SATURDAY’S COVERAGE: LADIES’ FREE PROGRAM (MARCH 27, LIVE AT 10 A.M.)On the forecast for the Ladies’ free program:Weir: “I say Mao Asada. I think the two triple Axels and her (level of) experience will help her at the World Championships. I want her to skate without abandon. There’s no other woman pushing the technical boundaries like Mao.”Weir: Kim Yu-Na beat the ladies by a giant margin (in Vancouver). It is possible for her to make up this deficit by skating clean. Mirai has a lot of pressure; she has to be as perfect as possible. If she gets nervous, the first thing that happens is you revert back to your comfort zone, and that might include mistakes.”Lipinski: “Mirai had a great Olympics performance and a great Nationals performance. If she can sustain that energy and … show the world, ‘I’m here to stay, I’m going to be with the top ladies in the world and I’m going to compete for that podium.’ But now there’s a lot of pressure being in first place.”World Championships Coverage on Universal Sports TV (All times are EDT):Saturday, March 27 – Ladies’ Free Program (live at 10 a.m., re-airs at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.)Visit UniversalSports.com/tvschedule for additional times and re-airs.
I’ll have one more day of quotage and that will be posted tomorrow.