ICE WARS - 2000

 
 

Wilkes-Barre, PA - November 9, 2000

 For the spectator, the most difficult challenge of the Ice Wars competition may have been finding one's way to the First Union Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA, on a windy, rainy night. The locals were undaunted, and the 8,000-10,000 seat venue was sold out with very few no shows. Seats in the first two tiers were basically filled, and the skinny 3-4 row third tier held many spectators. The crowd was enthusiastic, staying to the very end, and the year old structure had a pleasant warmth about it for an ice event.
The ice, lighting, and general organization of the competition seemed just fine, with TV cameras (CBS) in evidence all over the place. The only negative--the hour long wait to get out of the parking lot.

Following is a complete review of the show by Rainbow Ice's Lorrie Kim, first published in Figure Skating World:

                    Judges: Kerry Leitch, referee. Lyndon Johnston, Barbara Roles Williams, Ron Ludington,
                    Alison Smith, Charlie Tickner, Bernard Ford, Debi Thomas.

                    Technical programs --

                    Nicole Bobek: Madonna's "Music," wearing silvery crop top over silvery pants with
                    bracelets. 3flip! 3loop way off fall, camel cannonball change shotgun, 3toe fall,
                    ponytail-flipping, hydroblade, 2axel, flying camel illusion scratch. This program had lots of
                    standing in place and club dancing. I found it moderately effective. 9.6-9.7=48.3.

                    Katarina Witt: The song was something about a female victim in a relationship that
                    seemed to be about obsessive, violent love. 2axel with great flow out, flowing steps that
                    were better-paced than Bobek's (which seemed to galumph in comparison), flying camel
                    illusion, big 2flip, camel into bent leg camel change sit, butterfly sit, 1axel, steps. The
                    costume was black pants with black crop top under sheer black; the pants had sparkles
                    down one leg which looked like she'd fallen and gotten snow on herself. Once again, I felt
                    that Witt's program had the best layout and ice coverage of the women.
                    9.6-9.8=48.3

                    Kristi Yamaguchi: I'm guessing this music is "Desert Rose." Her costume looked like Jef
                    Billings with spaghetti straps across the back, but it was one-shouldered and the straps
                    did not flap. 3lutz (possibly cheated?), circular steps including split falling leaf, flying
                    camel, 2axel, dance steps in slow section which didn't necessarily go with the music but
                    were well done, pointless arm movements, 2loop, outside camel sit change sit and then a
                    layback (very good), a sort of spin alternating feet as though she were dancing in a club,
                    straightline steps showing good balance, tilted 3toe. Technically, this program had a lot
                    of two-foot skating and arm wavings, but it was a good show program with lots of
                    variation of pace and choreography.
                    9.7-9.9=49.0

                    Surya Bonaly: circular two-foot steps into sudden 2axel, strange long entry with wobbly
                    edge into 3loop, bent leg back outside spiral, butterfly sit, long telegraphed 2lutz, walley
                    1/2 loop slipped into 1salchow, 3salchow, 3toe-2toe lovely, delayed 2axel, butterfly,
                    sort-of steps, backflip, butterfly catchfoot. The music was Cirque du Soleil-ish, minor key
                    over a circus beat. I noticed that Bonaly has one of women's skating's most beautifully
                    rotated 3toe loops.
                    9.8-9.9=49.3

                    Brian Boitano: I don't know his music, but it was a jazzy female vocal. His costume was
                    shiny pleather pants the color of dried blood, shirt in similar color. Spread eagle into 'tano
                    lutz, lots of dancing and crosscuts, leisurely 2axel-2toe done well to the music, too much
                    speed into 3toe struggle 2toe, camel with a lovely firm yet gentle toepick ending,
                    gorgeous Russian split with hang time, flying camel variation with a bentleg and a
                    sideways stretch of his body, 3salchow with trademark two-footed takeoff, sitspin with
                    many hops that looked a bit like half-loops while still spinning.
                    9.8's all the way=49.0

                    Kurt Browning: I guess this is the Dave Matthews song -- acoustic guitar male vocals. By
                    far the best men's program, well-balanced with good footwork, variation and coverage.
                    Straightline back steps that kicked butt, 2axel, 3loop eked out on a deep knee,
                    3salchow, 3axel turnout, bentleg camel sit scratch, forward outside spiral, varied
                    footwork with good variation of pace, 3toe-labored 3toe pulled in hard for last rotation,
                    outside spread eagle, Russian split 2axel, Ina Bauer right into death drop sit with a slight
                    slip on landing, 1axel to finish with a sudden two-foot hockey stop-like landing -- quite
                    striking. I must say this looked like a fine pro program. It didn't like an ISU program with
                    all the hard stuff taken out. It looked like Browning could explore interpretive moves, like
                    the ending jump, that would have been irrelevant to ISU competition.
                    9.9s=49.5

                    Rudy Galindo: "Big Spender" in plain black t-shirt and pants, silver belt, gloves. A real
                    showman's timing to the music, the best of the night. 3axel fall, rollover splits, 3flip
                    sequence into 3toe-2toe, good dancing to the character of the music, cartwheel,
                    3salchow-2toe, death drop, camel layback change sitspin shotgun. Fun! Too bad about
                    the 3axel fall -- it was completely rotated.
                    9.7-9.8=48.8

                    Philippe Candeloro: skated to something with the refrain "it was a very good year," the
                    lugubrious lyrics to which were clearly audible in the 5th stall of the ladies' room. That's
                    about all I can tell you, except that he took off only his jacket and not his shirt.
                    9.7-9.9=49.3

                    Artistic Programs--

                    Bobek: the music was a too-much-going-on piece that seemed to be the Moonlight
                    Sonata, except with lyrics to Ave Maria layered on top of it, in French. Fortunately, the
                    program was so mesmerizingly done that I soon forgot to be confused. Bobek's exquisite
                    costume was a sparkly white dress with cap sleeves, pastel blue boning, pink underlining,
                    a dip in the front hem of the skirt and a slightly longer length in back. Back lunge into
                    2axel -- wow. 3toe with very slight hitch on landing, layback very nice, 3salchow with
                    wild landing, back backbend on two feet across the ice, spiral with a smooth exit, flying
                    camel bent free leg with Harding turnout, back outside spiral with hand touching the ice.
                    Very pretty program. Good performance.
                    9.7-9.9=98.2

                    Bonaly: "March With Me" was very effective, even triumphant music for her. Great
                    choice. Frothy aqua encrusted dress. 3loop slightly swervy landing, 2axel, split into
                    3toe-2toe very prettily rotated, camel change camel sit camel sideways sit catchfoot sit
                    catchfoot with leg held up in front -- phew! Backflip, back spiral into 3salchow,
                    deathdrop sit catchfoot with leg held up to side, butterfly scratch.
                    9.7-9.9=98.2

                    Galindo: I loved this program. It gave me chills. It brought tears to my eyes at points. To
                    an instrumental piano version of "Colors of the Wind," he wore a one-sleeved black velvet
                    catsuit entwined with vines and blossoms that whirled out when he jumped and spun.
                    The music started out simply with wind noises that built up to a 3axel landed pitched
                    forward but clean. All edge moves sort of reminiscent of John Curry, pirouettes, 3loop fell
                    out, flying camel sit catchfoot with leg out to side, split falling leaf forward outside spiral
                    3salchow, Charlotte, forward outside spiral running threes that developed slowly and
                    deliberately, 3toe-2toe, camel outside camel bentleg sitspin upright with left hand holding
                    right skate, butterfly sideways pancake, ending pose moving forward balanced on one
                    foot with limbs bent. I wonder if his triple axel problems have to do with his using old
                    boots and blades. Partial standing ovation. I think this one's a keeper. It had a range of
                    technical content, and Galindo conveyed a mood of skating on a pond in solitude.
                    9.8-9.9=98.8

                    Candeloro: opening pose framing crotch with hands. Medley beginning with "Burning Down
                    the House." Fall on 3something (my view was blocked -- lutz? flip?), nice 3toe, flying
                    camel, 2axel, 2toe, audience attack-striptease combination, waxel, camel into sort of
                    sitspin, audience attack not in combination therefore no deduction, stepping in place,
                    3toe tentative landing, humping the ice, crouch leaps, waving at audience, backflip,
                    something that was supposed to be an axel sitspin.
                    9.7-9.8=97.8

                    Yamaguchi: What a stunning dress for her. In clear Barbie pink, it had a halter neckline
                    that gave her a shapely figure, skirt with slit over left thigh that was slightly longer in
                    back, sparkles at the back and neck. It was a female vocal cover of "(Can't Get No)
                    Satisfaction." Unfortunately, it had the Bezic choreography I don't like on Yamaguchi,
                    with mannered-looking dancing meant to look club-like. 3flip, falling leaf? or loop? with
                    arabesque-like free leg position, flying camel, 2axel, death drop sit, back spiral, 3toe
                    badly tilted fall, big death drop. I wonder if something is wrong with her left foot; both
                    3toe attempts tonight had uncharacteristic errors of axis.
                    9.8s=98.0

                    Witt: Another beautiful dress, possibly Jef Billings since it had those distractingly floppy
                    back straps. Red sequined fabric with plunging V-neck and empire waist, swingy little
                    skirt with side vents. To "Fever," she did a forward lunge, gorgeous sailing 2axel, 2flip,
                    such well-paced straightline steps, butterfly sit, camel sit change upright with right hand
                    holding left blade in front of her, self-caress, outside spread eagle.
                    9.7-9.9=97.6

                    Boitano: Sparkly blue vest with blue pants that had six silver studs down the outside of
                    his lower legs, white t-shirt. I guess this program must be "Blue." Upright spin, 2-ft entry
                    into another upright spin, spread eagle into 'tano lutz bad fall, straightline Besti squat on
                    flats to move perfectly to the right down the long axis of the rink, 3toe-2toe, running
                    threes toe Arabian sitspin upright sit, slow-motion two-foot edges, more Besti squat on
                    flats, 3salchow, deathdrop sit.
                    9.8-9.9=98.0

                    Browning: grey shirt over darker grey pants. "Bring Him Home." It was an honor to see
                    this special program in person. I thought it was a masterpiece of choreography. Back
                    edges, outside spread eagle into spread eagle on flats into 3salchow, simple long back
                    edge into 2axel, forward spiral on flats, 3toe 3turn 2toe, bent leg camel briefly on outside
                    edge, three 2axels on a circle the last one with a gentle landing right arm outstretched,
                    camel spin bailout with regained balance into sit crossfoot, beautifully timed running 3s,
                    forward spiral in a full circle on a deep edge, perfectly timed choreography for the
                    closing. After he took his bows, he slightly angrily did a camel to prove that he could.
                    9.9s=99.00

                    For what it's worth, Team World won.

 Rudy skated very well, beginning with the warm up when his jumps were so light and easy that there were audible oooh's and ah's around us every time he did one. Unfortunately, he fell on the triple axel in the technical program, but "Big Spender" was otherwise as entertaining and classy as at The Grand Slam. His new artistic program to a gorgeous piano version of "Colors of the Wind" was a beautiful, complete creation from the music to the choreography and costume. Rudy hit the dramatically placed triple axel in this one. It comes at the end of introductory wind sounds before the music actually begins. He skated a striking program other than falling out of his triple loop. This program earned the second highest scores of the evening.

 It was Kurt Browning's night, and he skated his new technical and artistic programs exceptionally well for the highest scores of the evening. With the artistic programs counting two thirds of the total scores, Rudy's fine one gave him second highest scores overall to Kurt. This is irrelevant because Team USA lost to Team World.

 Brian Boitano and Kristi Yamaguchi were both a little below their usual standards with uncharacteristic falls and errors. Nicole had a rough technical program, but a very strong artistic one. Katarina Witt skated two very attractive and well-done numbers. Surya was the mainstay of the women, as usual, it seems. Philippe didn't skate well and his second program wasn't much unless you love his usual audience interaction.

 Following are the sections of Lorrie Kim's Ice Wars review about Rudy's programs as they appeared in Figure Skating World.

 "Rudy Galindo: "Big Spender" in plain black t-shirt and pants, silver belt, gloves. A real showman's timing to the music, the best of the night. 3axel fall, rollover splits, 3flip sequence into 3toe-2toe, good dancing to the character of the music, cartwheel, 3salchow-2toe, death drop, camel layback change sitspin shotgun. Fun! Too bad about the 3axel fall -- it was completely rotated.
9.7-9.8=48.8

 "Galindo: I loved this program. It gave me chills. It brought tears to my eyes at points. To an instrumental piano version of "Colors of the Wind," he wore a one-sleeved black velvet catsuit entwined with vines and blossoms that whirled out when he jumped and spun. The music started out simply with wind noises that built up to a 3axel landed pitched forward but clean. All edge moves sort of reminiscent of John Curry, pirouettes, 3loop fell out, flying camel sit catchfoot with leg out to side, split falling leaf forward outside spiral 3salchow, Charlotte, forward outside spiral running threes that developed slowly and deliberately, 3toe-2toe, camel outside camel bentleg sitspin upright with left hand holding right skate, butterfly sideways pancake, ending pose moving forward balanced on one foot with limbs bent. I wonder if his triple axel problems have to do with his using old boots and blades. Partial standing ovation. I think this one's a keeper. It had a range of technical content, and Galindo conveyed a mood of skating on a pond in solitude.
9.8-9.9=98.8

 "Among men, I had the most respect for Browning's programs and they impressed me, but Galindo's "Big Spender" delighted me and his "Colors of the Wind" went right to my heart.

 " All of the men had glitches, but had brought programs that were effective whether skated solidly or not."

From Blades on Ice, the February 2001 issue (Vol. 11, no. 3), Dorothy and Patricia Knoell's review article:

The authors mentioned that the U.S. Team of Rudy, Brian Boitano, Nicole Bobek, and Kristi Yamaguchi had excellent practices for two days prior to the event perfectly hitting several difficult jumps with amazing consistency, "But their performances during the actual competition included six falls."  The opposite was true of the World Team, the members of which consistently had problems with their practice jumps! They said of Rudy's Technical Program (Fosse 1),

"Galindo was the final U.S. Team member in the technical competition, performing to Big Spender. The 1996 U.S. national champion was hitting triple Axels consistently in practice, but fell on that jump to open his competition program. 'The ice was just terrible.' he said. 'In practice, I'd been great. I think I hit every one. But the ice was really frosty out there, I couldn't see where I was taking off.' Galindo rebounded with a two-footed triple flip into a triple toe/double toe and later added a triple Salchow/double toe and the one spin in the program, a good combination. His scores ranged from 9.7 to 9.8 and he totaled 48.8."
The Knoells said later of Rudy's artistic program:
 
"The Galindo-Candeloro matchup was a study in contrasts. Galindo presented a new program to Colors of the Wind (Danny Wright), a slow, instrumental piece, while Candeloro countered with an upbeat Tom Jones medley. Galindo managed to hit the triple Axel he'd fallen on in the first program, then stepped out of a triple loop and hit a triple Salchow and triple toe double toe. But he interpreted the music well, with flowing spins, spirals and a Charlotte.

"'I've been putting more time into skating lately," Galindo said. 'I moved to Reno last year, and there's nothing to do there but gamble or practice, so I chose to go to the rink. And I just have a different outlook on life. Being HIV positive, I want to tell the world that you don't have to give up, that you can continue your dream.'

"...Galindo got a series of 9.8's and 9.9's, while Candeloro got one tenth less on each mark..."


 

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Last updated March 4, 2001