I Fell in Love
I have already seen Cheng Peng and Yang Jin (CHN) several times and I adore their interpretation of Ophelia by the Lumineers, since it is cute, charming and highly skilful. And you can really see how much they enjoy it. The Free Skate is in no way inferior to the Short. La vie en rose together with their perfect skate make you smile and want to re-watch it again and again and again ...
Another couple I fell in love with (although they did not win a medal—it is not always just about the medals, is it?), is Aleksandra Boikova and Dimitrii Kozlowskii from Russia. Their Free Skate to Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker was a dream. I felt like being in a fairy-tale with an ever-smiling ballerina and Prince Charming as the main characters. And I was not the only one thinking that: with a personal best in Short, Free and overall the judges apparently were on my side here. The future will be bright for these young, extraordinary talents—I cannot wait to travel in their charming fairy-tale land again.
European Champions: After years and years of climbing the mountain, they finally reached the peak in January and got the title. Everybody loves Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès: they are the perfect couple, not just by looks (how can people look so good?), but also in harmony. Skating to Alanis Morissettes’s Uninvited they started strong in their short with a fabulous triple Twist. Him jumping the Toeloop only double and her fall in the triple Throw Flip threw them back in the Short Programme score, which an amazing Free Skate could sadly not save anymore. However, Vanessa and Morgan can be proud of what they achieved this winter and next year will be even better. Btw—did you know that none other than Guillaume Cizeron (SP) and Charlie White (FS) are the choreographers of their programmes? :O
Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert aka the Bronze Medalists! Trained by none other than the famous Nina Mozer, you could expect something extraordinary—and this is just what you got! Their interpretation of Toi et Moi by Igor Kantoi was exactly like the piece itself: melancholic, dramatic, pure perfection. With a personal best in their Free Skate AND overall they have truly deserved to be on the podium!
It was actually high time for me to fall in love with Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (RUS), because they have been around for a while with amazing scores and successes (and vavavavoom coaches Nina Mozer and Maxim Trankov—I still dream about his and Tatiana Volosozhar’s Black Swan Free Skate—and have you seen their daughter? Such a cutie pie!!). Anyhoo: Evgenia and Vladimir somehow never won my heart. I always found them a tiny bit stiffer than the rest. This changed, let me tell you! I have the feeling they really loosened up and their Short Programme left me mesmerized. It was not only a personal best, but also a World Record! Their Free Skate to The Winter by Balmorhea captured my heart and fascinated me: they interpreted the music like never before, their throws were out of this world, the last lift was stunning! I am so much looking forward to October to see their next programme!
The big win, however, did not go to my new friends, but to Wenjing Sui and Cong Han from China. I was a little surprised when I saw the results in the morning before my swimming class, since the gap after the short to Evgenia and Vladimir was huge and their personal best was much lower than what they needed. Well, it comes in quite handy when you then skate to a World Record in your Free Programme, because that helps a lot to come first after all. Their first move in the Free Skate to Rain in Your Black Eyes by Ezio Bosso already gave me goose bumps—it was unique, creative. It was art. The whole choreography of both Short and Free was astonishing, or to say it in the words of their coach when they left the ice after the Free: WOW!
This Pairs’ competition was truly stunning, with a lot of surprises. But that is quite normal for worlds, right? However, getting three new world records is something unique and the audience in Saitama appreciated the masterpieces they saw on the ice. And if you ever want to know what pure happiness looks like: watch the award ceremony and look at Wenjing Sui and Evgenia Tarasova—these smiles will make you smile too!