“This morning he asked us not to film his practice session,” a Asahi TV said. Japan’s Shoma
Uno was so disappointed by his outing Friday night, where he missed two of his jumps.
“There is so much expectation,” his agent commented. So you won’t see Shoma’s practice on
television. It was rather good, however: he landed a quad – double toe, then a triple Axel, fell
on a triple Axel. After a few seconds lacing back his boots, he came back to nail a superb
triple Axel – Euler – triple flip, right before the end of his run-through. It’s not easy to be a
champion, even when you’re one of the very best. A full report to read in the next issue of
Alena Kostornaia, the young skater from Russia, delighted the audience right away. Her first
practice session, Thursday, had not been successful and she came out with tears in her eyes. “I
told her that she would be all right,” Daniil Gleykhengauz, who choreographed her programs
and is coaching her alongside Sergueil Dudakov and Eteri Tutberidze in Moscow, said.
She indeed was all right during her practice session Friday morning, as she nailed all her
elements, including her trademark triple Axel, with precision and determination, in full
mastery of her sport and art through her exquisite program. A few hours later she would
emerge first of her first Senior Grand-Prix short program.
“Moa!” David Carmichael, one of the most regular and loyal photographers of worldwide
skating, yelled as he wanted the skaters to look at him for a shot at the end of a press
conference. The whole pressroom erupted in laughter. “You’re making fun of my French?”
He asked, as of course he meant “Moi”, or “Me!” Anyway he got what he needed: everyone
in attendance, from journalists to skaters, turned their eyes toward him. Some know well to be
The skaters of the Internationaux de France warm up on the second ice sheet of the Polesud
rink, close to the main rink. Ashley Cain and Timothy Leduc had fun Friday morning, as they
played soccer together, pushing the ball to pass one another. Even then you could tell they
form a real team, as each one knew where the ball was going to hit even without watching it.
Sport is for your whole life!
Nathan Chen, as you read Thursday, has become a math master at Yale University. He pulled
the quintuple jump equation during the press conference after the short program. “Some
experts say quints are unfeasible. But when you see how fast a quad rotates, you feel there
may be some room for additional rotation there. Also, you can see that some skaters can spin
extremely fast. So why not? But frankly, if I see one I’ll think I can do it, but if I don’t I
won’t!” he said laughing.
“Are you married?” Alina Zagitova kindly asked Mariah Bell at the end of the press
conference, after seeing the ring she was wearing on her right hand. “No, not yet”, Mariah
answered with a broad smile. “I hope soon, though! But if I were married, I would wear the
ring on my left hand.” “Ah? Zagitova wondered. In Russia you wear it on the right hand…”
« We had to change everything »: Italy’s Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri managed to
transform both their programs in just two weeks. « I cut one of the tendons in my right hand
five weeks ago during a practice session, » Fabbri explained. We never thought we would be
able to make it until about five days ago. Doctors prevented me from bending my wrist during
8 weeks, so we have to everything with my left hand. » Their Rhythm Dance was brilliant,
and anyone hardly noticed the cast Fabbri was wearing, so natural their dance seemed. They
ended in 3rd place – Bravo campionissimi!