Tag Archives: chelsea

Day 2 from the Grand Prix Final, JGP Final

12 Dec

Official start orders and results
Facebook photo gallery

BARCELONA–Competition continued Friday with the junior free skates, men’s short program and short dance. Team USA is in medal contention in dance with Madison Chock and Evan Bates in second and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani in third.

Amidst cheers of “Ole” and “Guapo” (meaning handsome), the ice dancers took the ice to perform a native Spanish dance, the Paso Doble, as the pattern of their short dance. With each passing element – from lifts to twizzles to step sequences – the crowd responded positively, and loudly.

After their short dance, for which they earned 63.90 points, Maia said “The crowd is amazing here. It’s so great to be here at the first major international competition in Spain for skating. It’s a real honor for us. The crowd was fantastic. They really responded to everything we were doing and it felt like we were able to take them through our performance as we were going through it.”

Added Alex, “We would hope that the with a Paso Doble (and) Flamenco short dance that we would hear some ‘Ole’s’ and that was certainly the case tonight.”

Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished second behind Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje with 65.06 points. The reigning U.S. silver medalists suffered an non-element fall at the end of their program for a 1.00 point deduction.

“There are always the ups and downs. We’ve been having a lot of great performances and a lot of ups,” Bates said. “It’s only natural for there to be a little bump in the road somewhere. It happened tonight. It’s a big learning experience for us and a lot we can take from a skate like that in those circumstances. We’re going to rebound tomorrow and hopefully skate a great free program.”

Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson, Team USA’s lone junior competitors, finished sixth with 124.81 total points. The team rallied nicely from a tough short program the day before to total 85.81 points for their “Yellow River Concerto” performance. Their free skate mark was the fourth-highest of the day.

“We feel a lot better than yesterday,” Liu said after the performance. “Based on yesterday’s skate, I feel we did the best we could at this moment. It was a pretty good skate overall so I’m happy.”

The team realized the importance of supporting each other today and throughout the skate, especially in the wake of the challenge’s faced earlier in the event.

“Yesterday was kind of a fluke for us,” Johnson explained, “I had to put that in my mind, like, ‘I know we can do better.’ We kept supporting each other and helping each other where we needed it. She helps me a lot. In the middle of the program she’s like, ‘You’re doing great.’ We knew we could do this.”

The senior events will go final Saturday. Ashley Wagner is in sixth place going into the ladies free skate.

All events will be streamed live on http://www.icenetwork.com, while Universal Sports will air the pairs free skate and free dance from 4-7 p.m. ET.

Team USA’s Schedule (ET)

Saturday, Dec. 13

11:25 a.m. – Ladies free
Wagner (skating 1st) – 11:32 a.m.

1:25 p.m. – Free dance
Shibutani & Shibutani (skating 4th) – 2:01 p.m.
Chock & Bates (skating 5th) – 2:09 p.m.

What They’re Saying

Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson (6th place, 124.86 points)

Liu – We feel a lot better than yesterday. Based on yesterday’s skate, I feel we did the best we could at this moment. It was a pretty good skate overall so I’m happy.

(on favorite moment) Liu – At the end, when we are on time spot on with the music. That was the happiest moment.

(on how they rebounded from yesterday and the deduction in the short program lift) Johnson – Evidently I did four and a half turns [four turns is the maximum]. In the moment I had no idea. I have to train a little harder because I’m tired at the end. I have to stay focused throughout the program so things don’t happen like the lift.

Johnson – Yesterday was kind of a fluke for us. I had to put that in my mind, like, ‘I know we can do better.’ We kept supporting each other and helping each other where we needed it. She helps me a lot. In the middle of the program she’s like, ‘You’re doing great.’ We knew we could do this.

Liu – It’s very important, because our short wasn’t very good, to support each other through it. Even though we have no pressure, we are still very nervous.

(on first U.S. Championships together) Liu – We really haven’t thought of a specific goal. We have talked about goals, just not exactly set, set ones. For Greensboro, we are going to try to skate good programs. As long as we try our hardest and perform our programs, which is one thing that our coaches, Todd and Jenni, focus on a lot, if we execute like we need to do, we will be happy.

(on competing here with senior level athletes) Liu – It’s been over half a week and I’m still in my own little daydream. They’re amazing skaters and I’m hoping that one day I can be like them too. I know I’m full of potential to be at their level and compete against them but I have to work hard and get to their level too. I don’t really have a favorite (team) but I love all of them. They are all amazing. They have separate good qualities of their own partnership. They all have really strong points.

Todd Sand (coach) – I think they’re going to take a lot from this event. I think they will be very happy with the results in Greensboro if they skate well. I think what they need to do is learn how to handle these big events.

SHORT DANCE

Madison Chock and Evan Bates (2nd place, 65.06)

(on short dance) Bates – There are always the ups and downs. We’ve been having a lot of great performances and a lot of ups. It’s only natural for there to be a little bump in the road somewhere. It happened tonight. It’s a big learning experience for us and a lot we can take from a skate like that in those circumstances. We’re going to rebound tomorrow and hopefully skate a great free program.

Bates – It was a program we had to kind of work for. There’s a lot to be said for skating in that kind of situation, skating last a Grand Prix and being top seed. It’s a new situation for us and there may be a learning curve with that. I think tonight will serve us well in the future.

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (3rd place, 63.90 points)

(on short dance performance) Alex – We feel really good. It was definitely our best skate of the season. After the Grand Prix Series and our two Challenger Series events, we went home and worked really hard, made some adjustments to the program based on the feedback we received. As every program does throughout the season, it’s just getting strong and stronger. We’re really happy with our performance tonight.

(on the crowd support) Maia – The crowd is amazing here. It’s so great to be here at the first major international competition in Spain for skating. It’s a real honor for us. The crowd was fantastic. They really responded to everything we were doing and it felt like we were able to take them through our performance as we were going through it.

Alex – What’s going on the world of skating right now, perfect example would be Spain, I think the boundaries are getting wider and wider and we are accepting more and more people into our wonderful sport. I think you can tell from the energy, the prep and the set up for this competition has been one of the best we’ve ever experienced. They’ve definitely been getting the word out via social media and the crowd tonight was fantastic. We would hope that the with a Paso Doble (and) Flamenco short dance that we would hear some ‘Ole’s’ and that was certainly the case tonight.

(on changes made to the short dance) Maia – We changed our diagonal step sequence to a midline step. We are really happy with how it fits into the program. It’s really integrated now. We were able to add more choreography and more arm movements.

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