I have become accustomed enough with the new judging system to know not to be quick on pulling out the drums and cymbals after the short program. Yet I am reading several headlines citing Kostner Leads Worlds, Meissner in Ninth, or Rochette in the running for a medal, I find this premature ovation give the athletes and the fans a false sens of security. Life seems pretty good when you are on top. However, the short program, is sometimes a question mark. Any way you slice it, the long program is more definite. Don't get me wrong, even when it is done for Meissner, Hughes, Lysacek, or Weir I find it a bit untimely. Now with this intense competition, it does not help at all. As a matter of fact, it adds to the already charged atmosphere. A succession of small errors can result in less than perfect performances
To every rule there is an exception. I had felt a bit cocky during Nationals, thinking, in the new judging system, what goes up usually comes down. It wasn't the case this time. With the US (2008) Championships, the code of point system I thought, would allow my favorite athlete to revamp and come back with a vengeance, she has done it so may times in the past. However it was not the case. This has help me see that any margin of a lead a skater captures in the short definitely can help to act as a bit of a security net for them in the free. Regardless of that event, I still stand by my views that this new system is more of a jumping contest, and it has caused figure skating to lose its heart and soul. Today's up and coming younger athletes are trained to be jumping beans, and figure skating isn't just jumps. It is art on ice; you have to “caress" the ice as coined by the famous Dick Button. Artistry is most of program.
There are so many ups and downs in figure skating, Meissner knows about all of them. On and off the ice. After two lackluster performances at the Grand Prix Finals and the US Nationals in which she finished 6th and seventh respectively, Kimmie has gone from rising star to skating flop. She switched coaches, leaving longtime coach Pam Gregory to join Richard Callahan. Suddenly, Meissner was a force again.
At the US Championships, Meissner was overtaken by nerves, fell three times on three of her jumps, and was seventh place after the free program. After the Grand Prix Finals and the US Nationals, she was given such a hard time by the media, tonight she came back strong.
Kimmie is a gracious winner and she embraces losing graciously as well. She turns every lost, every mistakes into a learning experience and that has gone a long way. She had finished last in the Grand Prix Final in December. It was not but six weeks ago, the 18-year-old Bel Air finished a disappointing seventh at the U. S. Nationals. Her task was not be easy Kimmie had to make-up a lot of ground at the World Figure Skating Championships tonight. And the hard work and determination pays off. I am quite sure Kimmie has gained a lot from this experience, good or bad. “Yeah you're hot"
The women's free skate is not the last event of the world championships the men's event will follow.