You know what they say about first impressions — they’re lasting. With the Grand Prix season just around the corner, every opportunity for skaters to take to the competition ice and provide a positive first impression is a good one.
Last week, several top skaters did just that at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany.
Early season skates are hardly indicative of what we may see later on, but they do provide glimpses of progress. And they leave impressions … that last.
Here are mine.
Nobunari Oda … he’s baaaack! He has such perfect programs for his style and character. Sure, there were some bobbles here and there. But I can’t be the only one distracted by his flawless, soft knees to the extent that the flaws become less visible, right? Love him.
Konstantine Menshov still has the jumps. So does Keegan Messing. But, big and powerful isn’t always going to work. Both guys need to take a big step up in the components department. (Plus, all I can think of with Messing’s “Matrix” program is “Brian Joubert 2.0!”)
On the flip side, both Stephen Carriere and Denis Ten have lovely programs, beautiful expression, and dynamic highs and lows. Now for some consistency in the jump department … (more…)