World Figure Skating Championships 1998 Review
Minneapolis, MN - review by Mandy
I'm back from worlds and let me tell you it was a BLAST! If you EVER have
the chance to go to a major figure skating competition I say GO! It was the
most fun! I'll take you through the awesome events day by day so you can
just skip around what you want to read about.
I got to the cities and it was awesome. I've been to Minneapolis a zillion
times since I live in southern MN so I knew where everything was. None of
the events were starting till Tues so my mom and I just bopped around
Minneapolis cause there was plenty to do. First of all they had this little
ice "Plaza" set up right across the street from the Target Center. It was
in a tent and you could go and skate yourself(which i don't do!) or watch
local skaters perform and BEST OF ALL-they had appearances by celebrity
skaters. On Monday it was to be Kurt Browning and Katia Gordeeva! Katia
was there first to cut the ribbon for the official opening of the ice palace
and then she could only take pictures with people for about a half and hour!
So I scurried over and got my picture taken with her! She is so small but
extemely beautiful. I was a little nervous and was standing kind of away
from her so she said, "Come here!" and she put her arm around me while my
mom took the picture! Coolness!
Then at 2pm Kurt showed up. He skated "Antares" and even did a little
impromptu pairs skating with this little girl--it was SOOOO cute! Then he
did autographs and pictures. I had him autograph my Stars on Ice book. I
can't remember what he said to me because I was in extreme shock. He was so
handsome. OH. I just can't wait to get that picture back. Then Katia was
signing autographs at the Target store in Minnetonka so I went and had her
autograph my copy of her new book, "For Daria" which is very cute. and that
was my monday.
Okay I'll try to condense a little more. Tuesday was the compulsory dance
in the morning and pairs short program at night. There were so many
Canadians there for Bourne and Kraatz it was super awesome. They were so
peppy and got everyone really excited for something as dull as compulosory
dance! Then after compulsory dance Michelle Kwan was signing autographs at
the Plaza so I went and got her autograph/picutre. Oh let me tell you she
is just absolutely gorgeous.
She is also very kind. I had her sign my program from worlds since I
couldn't find anything else at the time! That night was pairs short program
and Meno and Sand were just INCREDIBLE! I think it was the best I'd ever
seen them perform before. I was so proud of them. THen of course there was
that weird thing with Artur Dmitriev getting food poisioning. I mean, come
on Artur--sushi in Minnesota? THat wasn't sushi it was probably pickled
northern...anyhow...Elena and Anton(i don't want to try to spell their last
names) were beautiful as well and did extremely well dispite their fall.
Also the Canadians that did Gone with the Wind--I can't remember their short
program or their names, but I really liked them. and that was Tuesday!
This was Mens short program during the day and Pairs long at night. Okay.
Mens. Hmmm. The highlight of that competition was definately Michael
Weiss. He was on fire. He landed everything and performed with such
enthusiasm I was sure he'd land up in second place, but third was where he
ended. I wasn't sure about Todd's attitude. He seemed going into it that
he just didn't really care. I don't know but his fall on his combination
jump was not good. He was lucky to end up in fourth place. The two
Russians were excellent in their short programs. Everyone loved Evgeny
Plushenko and his beilmann spins. Everyone also got a kick out of that big
french guy! I can't remember his name but he was hilarious! He is so tall!
He is 6'4! It must be incredibly difficult for him to jump! Anyhow he was
very comical and a big hit with everyone!
I didn't get to go to the Pairs long program but I assume everyone watched
it on TV and was super proud of Meno and Sand. I'm looking forward to seeing
them as Pros.
This was Original Dance in the afternoon and Mens long at night. OD was fun
because of the jive music and the lyrics. Joseph and Butler looked a lot
more comfortable here than in compulsories but ended up 25 and they only
took the top 24 for the free dance! Ah well. I'd have to say that the best
adaptation of the jive was by Krylova and Ovsyanikov and Anissina and
Peizarat. They both had a good feel for it. Bourne and Kraatz couldn't
quite get that rock and roll feeling down. But the Canadians (and me)
cheered them on to third place. Punsulan and Swallow were beautiful as
always. I think couples should get points for how they look together!:)
cause they just look so wonderful together..and so do Meno and Sand but
anyways. I really enjoyed the OD. Sometimes when the dance couples go out
to warm up they skate around and build up so much speed I think, "wow-they
should try a jump!" but then of course all they do is just switch direction
or something non impressive. Oh well. I really did enjoy dance.
I didn't get to go to Mens long either, but I saw it on TV and I was happy
that Todd put some UMPH! into his program. It was memorable. Alexi Yagudin
looked like he was going to vomit at any moment! That's what you get for
ordering sushi in Minnesota, I guess!
one more thing! in warm ups both eldredge and yagudin were landing quads
like crazy! so if you have any doubts about todd and the quad just be rest
assured that he can do it and do it very well. he even did a combination
This was Ladies short during the day and Free Dance at night. When my
friend and I were getting some lunch out of nowhere comes this little Polish
girl who lands a clean program and we missed it! I saw here on the TV
monitors as I was ordering pizza. And then the french girl must've been
right after that cause we missed that too! The Russian girls had some
unfortunte falls, but I kept pulling for Irina Slutskya cause I just think
she's so darn cute! Then Michelle skated and she was breathtaking. Up
until her double axel which she had just the slightest of turn out on the
landing but nothing you could really deduct for.
Free Dance was really fun. The Canadians were just pumped and Bourne and
Kraatz were to skate dead last. Now I like Krylova and Ovsyanikov, but I
just don't understand their free dance to Carmen. It is just weird and I
didn't like it at all. I loved Anisina and Peizarat's Romeo and Juliet
though, and Punsulan and Swallow just should have been in fourth because
their free dance is just beautiful. Bourne and Kraatz kicked ass in their
free dance they were so energenic and original with all their footwork and
hydroblading they gave me chills, but of course you know how it really ended
up. Shae-Lynn looked really happy though. A funny thing was one of the
signs the Canadians had. It said: Got a problem-who ya gonna call? BLOCK
BUSTERS! I thought that was very cute because most likely the standings in
ice dance were just set Friday night for the next four years. Should Bourne
and Kraatz decide to stay amatuer that is. Oh well that's just the politics
There were no events during the day just Ladies Free Skate at night. First
to skate in the last group was Michelle again and boy did she give us a
scare! She put two hands down and almost fell on her double axel. It is my
opinion that she didn't have enough speed going into it. you can replay
your tapes and let me know what you think. Then she double her salcow but
oh well she still won! Maria Butirskya had a totally clean program up until
the end where she caught an edge going backwards and fell hard on her back!
it looked painful but then she just spun out of another jump but at least
that popped her back up to third place. and my irnina slutskya was just so
darn cute and even though she fell once i think her program was super
technical and that's why she got second place! It was a great night to see
michelle win her second gold.