Chan, Buttle front runners in tough men's field
Thursday, January 17, 2008 | 09:43 PM ET
There is a buzz around the rink! The buzz, if you get close enough to listen, sounds like the words Patrick Chan. He has everybody talking and wondering and in his practice today he gave us all even more to think about.
He has filled out and does not look 17 and does not move like a 17-year-old when landing beautiful jumps and fighting for the ones that are not so perfect. Lori Nichol has given him such serious music and choreography, which he handles very well. I just wonder if another year under his belt would give him the emotion and facial expressions available to really put the program over the top. Or … Lori is pushing him along because the Olympics are really quite close and she knows he can handle it.
There is more air under his blades during his jumps which he has started delaying before he rotates making his jumps look special. The triple axel is looking good and he landed it during his run through … exciting. He has been working hard at the Granite Club in Toronto with both his coaches Ellen Burka and Don Laws.
I had a chat with Jeffrey Buttle and found him relaxed and together. He said his back is feeling good and to prove it he opened up his long run through with one of the very best triple-axel, triple-toe, double-loop combos I have ever seen. His long program lost speed and got a bit sloppy, but the general feeling was a positive one. I am hoping he has a great week here.
Judging by their practices and their skating these two skaters have my nod for the world team. I think Christopher Mabee is looking fantastic and in great shape landing smooth jumps all practice, but I have a feeling that his long program might be what lets Patrick sneak by him. It also does not hurt that Patrick has been putting up bigger numbers than Christopher this year in international events. Actually, making a prediction of any kind in this event is taking a leap of faith. This group of men is closely matched and could provide us with a fantastic event this week.
After these three guys I still put a few more into the mix.
Shawn Sawyer looks strong and by that I mean he looks like he’s been pumping iron. He is bigger and within his programs are golden moments when he does moves, edges and spins that are as good as anything any skater on the planet can do ... but - too bad there is a but at the end of that sentence - Shawn needs to land his jumps cleanly. He has been losing points by touching his free foot down on his landings or under rotating his jumps. With a consistent triple axel and perfect landings his point total would fly.
Vaughn Chipeur has a chance to build on his performance and momentum he gained at Skate Canada. In his practice group today he was the best by far skating with speed. He was flying … and I mean FLYING through the air, not only on his jumps but arabians, hitch kicks and flying spins. What an athlete! I think the podium is out of reach, but he has made himself a player for sure.
Before I go to do yet another interview, I need to mention Fedor Andreev. He is back after a few years away from competition. He’s happy and showing a new improved attitude. In practice today he was sloppy though, like his loose shirt and pants, but I am told that yesterday he was amazing so hang on for the ride as he may try to work his way back into the mix.
Like I said, this event has the chance to be a good one, so come on guys - don't let us down. Entertain us.
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About the Author
Kurt Browning joins the Championship Figure Skating on CBC broadcast team as an analyst, bringing more than 30 years of experience to his new role.
A four-time Canadian champion and four-time world champion, Browning has been honoured for his achievements both domestically and abroad. In 1990, Browning was the recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy as the top athlete in Canada. He was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, Canada's Walk of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Browning has starred in five television specials and won five Gemini Awards for the 1995 production, You Must Remember This, and continues to perform professionally around the world.
Browning, a former analyst with ABC and ESPN, resides in Toronto with his wife National Ballet Principal Dancer, Sonia Rodriguez and their two sons.
- It's good to be back in the land of Canadian skating
- Tuesday, January 22, 2008
- Chan, Buttle front runners in tough men's field
- Thursday, January 17, 2008
- Nationals always full of surprises
- Tuesday, January 15, 2008
- The lowdown on Skate Canada (Part II)
- Tuesday, November 6, 2007
- The lowdown on Skate Canada
- Tuesday, November 6, 2007
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