The competition will start in 15 minutes. Forget hockey. This is where the drama will unfold.
Sportsnet is broadcasting the ladies skate, uninterrupted.
It’s on! Rochette, whose mother died of a heart attack on Sunday, is the talk tonight. She’ll take the ice late, 26th; there are 30 skaters vying for gold. Canadian Cynthania Phaneuf will also compete, she skates 15th.
The hype is that South Korean Yu-Na Kim will win gold. She’s coached by Brian Orser. Another favourite is Miki Ando of Japan. Between Rochette, Kim and Ando there is a real rivalry. Update: Also favoured is Mao Asada of Japan.
Rod Black just said the arena is “growing on” him.
Spain starts off, Lafuente. Black sequins costume, tango-y music. Type-casting?
No falls. No smiles either. Commentators say she’s unpolished.
Spain’s score: 49.74—which puts her in first! For now! A personal best.
Slovakia’s Reitmayerova is on. She’s wearing, um, a black sparkly costume…let this not be a theme.
Gorgeous spins, and the music is lovely—like you’d hear in a sappy movie.
We’re hearing spinning is what makes a great skater.
Slovakia is crying before she gets the marks. 41.something. That is sad.
Austria’s Ziegler is on. She’s 15! And wearing a black…flashy…costume…with her hair in a bun…just like the skaters before her…
She is flexible! Oh, she’s stumbles on her double axel.
And she out of sync with the music.
She is tiny. And unhappy. Score: 43.84. Wow, that’s higher than the Slovakian. Commentators don’t think that’s right.
Oh! We have colour: a little hem of purple on the BLACK SEQUINS costume of Jurkiewicz of Poland.
Commentators saying that skaters have to be insanely flexible these days. No kidding. And coordinated. And good on skates.
At the risk of losing readers, the Canada-Germany game score is 1-0. (Commentators say so.) No idea who is winning. Who cares? The ladies are skating!
Jurkiewicz’s score: 36.10. Ouch.
By the way, she’s wearing a black and purple sequins costume. Her music is a sultry fiddle. Yes, sultry fiddle.
She rotates in the opposite direction of most skaters—clockwise. Commentators said she was strong, good.
Aussie’s Lee scores 52.16. For first! Another personal best too. She is smothered with kisses from her coach. Big smiles.
While waiting for the next flight of skaters to take the ice, I’ve reread my comment from 10 minutes ago. Was I being presumptuous? Someone is watching skating, and reading this blog, right? (Family members do count.)
Or at least reading this blog, if not watching skating?
No matter. The live blog must go on. China’s Liu is about to take the ice. The other skaters in this flight are warming up too. Lots of colorful costumes.
One skater, unsure who (she was wearing black sequins), just blew her nose right into the camera. Unintentionally, no doubt. But really funny.
Liu of China is on. She’s wearing a vibrant turquois costume. We hear she’s light on her feet. Seems so.
Commentators saying we’ll seem some skaters wearing beige gloves. I have no idea why. Oh, it’s too protect their hands when they have to hang onto their blades while spinning, etc.
Liu’s score: 51.74, for second. Personal best.
Commentators saying that Turkey’s Karademir, who’s on now, looks just like Jennifer Robinson, who is broadcasting with them. I can’t tell if there’s a resemblance, but this reminds me of my favourite episode of King of Queens (that’s not the funny part) when Carrie is told by coworkers she looks just like the new girl that was hired. Only the new girl isn’t pretty. Hilarity ensues!
Karademir is wearing a beautiful red costume with gold flash. She skated nicely to an exotic tune.
Rod Black is talking about “good people” giving her parents tickets to watch tonight…?
Karademir’s score: 50.74, in third.
Commentators saying the crowd would watch 60 skaters if they could. Really? I think 30 is enough.
Russia’s Makarova lands a stunning triple-triple combination jump. She is wearing an equally stunning purple and pink costume.
She didn’t end with her music. Should lose points for that.
Makarova’s parents are Olympians. Crazy. Victor Petrenko is sitting with her. Score: 59.22. Takes first!
Korean Kwak is on, wearing a pretty one-strap costume in purple, white and black, which fade together like a water-colour. She is being compared to a competitor, a “mini Yu-Na”.
Replay: Her head was on the small of her back in one spin. Imagine that. Wow.
Kwak’s score is 53.16 for second place! The Korean cameramen have been staked out since 4 a.m. Korea loves skating.
“Solid double axel” for Brit McCorkell, and landed her triple lutz double toe. Costume isn’t so impressive: black sequins. Missed a double flip.
Her music was dramatic, a lot of sounds like a clock (Big Ben?) dong-ing repeatedly.
She looks disappointed, head in hand, eyes cast downward, head shaking. Score: 40.64. Woah. That’s why.
Canadian Phaneuf is in this flight of five skaters. They’re warming up now.
American Nagasu is up. She’s wearing a black and gold number. Smiles. First notes sound like music box.
Commentators say no one does the lay back better than Nagasu. Beautiful. It always reminds me of a water lily.
Nagasu finished with a stunning spin. Outstretched arms as music ended. Soft smile. Camera close up reveals nose is bleeding. An indication of her speed and the altitude of her jumps?
She just thanked someone making sure she didn’t forget her iPod. Her score: 63.76 for first! She shed blood for that, people.
Now this is a unique take on a black sequins number. Belgium’s Pieman is wearing a unitard—like the men do, only hers has a white sparkly band across the chest. Maybe some men do that too, actually. Her music is jazzy. Big smile for a solid skate.
She made a heart in the air, and yelled “I love you, Canada.” She’s not even representing this country. Score: 46.10. The judges didn’t love her.
Slovenian Postic just blew her nose and threw the tissue recklessly outside the rink before starting her program.
She’s wearing white and turquoise. OH! First fall of the night on a jump. Collective groan from the crowd.
Meek smile, double hand wave. Avoiding looking into the camera. Nearly speechless while awaiting score. 43.80. That’s what happens when you fall.
Gimazetdinova of Uzbekistan (do I get a medal for spelling that right?) is on. Wearing black and white flashy number. Commentators saying she’s better than ever. But how good?
Forward inside edge on her camel spin is apparently very difficult.
Canadian Phaneuf is next! Gorgeous ethereal costume.
Gimazetdinova held her hands up like in a prayer. Score: 49.02. An unanswered prayer.
Crowd is pumped for Phaneuf. She is landing her jumps, face is expressive. Her costume is glitterly soft blues, grays, greens, like she stepped out of the ocean.
OH NO. She slipped. Her mouth agape, she rebalanced. As stunned as anyone else. And more disappointed, surely.
Lovely spin to end. “It was going along so well,” says Black. WAS. She smiles to the crowd, but shakes her head.
Gets off the ice with her eyebrows raised, probably signally “What the hell just happened?” to her coach in their secret code.
She’s blowing kisses to the camera. Head in hand again, and seems to be laughing about it. Score: 57.13, for third. For now.
We’re halfway through the 30 skaters. Next is Georgian Gedevanishvili. Wearing black sequins. Jazzy tune…”You give me fevah!” Solid triple lutz.
She’s spunky! Lots of energy, and smiles.
She finished with a huge grin, threw her arm down (which she had across her forehead, like she had a fever) and hollered, “YES!”
She says “Hi everyone” and made a heart in the air. That’s a popular move. She is spunky. Score: 61.92, for second. Just before that was announced it sounded like she said, “I’m happy.”
Meier of Switzerland, who we hear is a “wonderful spinner”, is on. She’s wearing bright yellow and pink and skating to the samba. She’s nimble for a 25 year old.
With 40 seconds left in her program she stepped out of her double axel. Boo.
Meier is stoic while waiting for the score: 56.70. She cocks her head to the side, shrugs.
Estonian Glebova is on. Wearing a bright green checkered number. Like a picnic blanket. I don’t mean that to be pithy.
She slipped on a jump. But landed a double axel.
Glebova is also stoic while awaiting her score. 50.80. Purses her lips.
Finn Korpi falls out of her first jump, a triple lutz. But looks fab doing it in a bright green and sparkly costume.
Pardon me. Commentators not fans of the costume. One said, “Outside of the glowing costume, she does have a wonderful presence on the ice.” Touché.
Korpi’s father was an Olympian. She looks like a doll. Double wave, forced wide smile, deep breaths. Coach just said something and showed two fingers, and they laughed. Score: 52.96. Definitely not second place.
German Hecken on. Wearing fuschia and black costume. Smooth triple triple.
She singled what should have been a triple jump. Music changed, sounds like pots banging and clanging, make it stop.
Skates off ice, shaking head, hands on hips.
Hecken looks like she will cry any second. Score: 49.04.
It’s down to the last 10 skaters, among them the best and most captivating.
In an interview earlier today but airing now, Brian Orser said his best advice is to “Trust your training.” And anticipates that “It should be a good show.” Indeed.
Bar graph showing how skaters compare. No idea how, exactly. But Yu-Na is “off the charts” and Rochette is second best.
Lepisto from Finland is on. Wearing purple glitz. Took her time getting settled on the ice to start, say commentators.
She doubled her second triple jump. Lots of expression, and speed.
“Sophisticated” performance say commentators.
Smiling Lepisto earns 61.36, for third. Swigs water in response.
The heat is on. Japan’s Asada takes the stage in a red burlesque-inspired number. AMAZING combination jump.
Big smile! while gliding.
She’s the second woman ever to land a triple axel at the Olympics! Crowd goes wild as she finishes. Standing O! She jumps for joy on her toes picks! Update: Midori Ito did it for Japan in 1992.
Asada: 73.78 for FIRST! Wow, it is game on. She seems stunned. Joyfully stunned.
The pressure is on for South Korean Yu-Na. She is taking the ice, in a gorgeous black costume with colorful sequins. Imagine the intensity of this moment for her. She needs the triple axel.
She nails her triple triple!
Lots of facial expressions. The music is James Bond. Amazing spins.
She’s finished. Amazing. Blacks says, “Holy smokes!”
She smiles, waves, and as she lifts her arms up to salute the crowd the fans erupt in cheers. She picks up a purple toy animal from the ice. Orser hugs her. She says, “Yay!”
Black says she melted the ice.
Score for Yu-Na, who is calm and composed. 78.50—a WORLD RECORD, for first place. Orser looks like his head is going to pop off, his face is so red.
Pressure much? Japan’s Suzuki touches the ice with her hand on her first jump. She is wearing black and red, skating to a tango or flamenco.
Suzuki is smiling, double waving, seems happy while waiting for her score. Holding orange Gerber daisies. 61.02, for sixth spot. She nods and smiles.
Russian Leonova, wearing red and gold. Folk music, crowd clapping to the beat. Lovely spins. Smiling, commentators say she always “turns it on” and “brings the house down.” Let’s see. Fun, anyway.
Finishes with an enthusiastic fist pump at her hip.
Watching Rochette tie her skates, prep to hit the ice next. Wearing a stunning black costume with red sequins in the shape of a rose.
Leonova is smiling wide. Score: 62.14. So so.
Rochette is next, right after a quick warm up. She’s taking the ice. The crowd is going crazy. She is speeding around the rink, gliding, swinging her arms. Bells are ringing.
Six-time Canadian champion, Rochette, warming up with a solid jump combination.
She is alone on the ice now. “She will skate for the first time without her mom watching,” says Black.
The crowd is cheering like crazy. She swigs water. The coach is talking o her. She is nodding, breathing deeply. We see she is holding back tears.
The crowd quiets, except for a few hollers of her name. The music starts, a tango-type. She nails her first jump. And her second. She spins quickly. And her third.
Her face is full of emotion, her eyebrows are furrowed.
Gorgeous spins. She is finished. She cries. She is crying. She bends over and glides. Puts her hand to her mouth. Her hand to her chest. The crowd is cheering and bouquets of flowers shower the ice. “One of the bravest young ladies,” says Black.
She rushes into her coach’s arms, Perron, who is a second mother to her. You can hear her muffled sobs.
She is crying, and touches her heart. Score: 71.36, ranked third, and a season’s best. She is in a spot to take a medal. She stands up, nods, cries, blows kisses to the crowd.
Hungarian Sebestyen in bright red or hot pink costume. Fumbled.
We see Rochette with her coach, sitting and sobbing. As Perron says whatever to her, Rochette nods.
Sebestyen is soft-spoken, double wave, seems emotional too, rubbing her thighs. Score: 57.46.
American Flatt in hot pink. Head toss, and the music starts, “Sing, sing, sing.”
Solid triple flip triple toe wows the crowd. Lots of smiles. Double axel. This program is too fun to watch. Pumps both fists as she finishes.
Flatt, who goes to Stanford, is a serious contender, say commentators, gutsy. She is smiling wide. Score: 64.64, for fourth. She says “WOW!”
Italian Kostner is up, in a pink, red and black costume.
Hand down on a jump. Commentators say she goes too close to the boards, carries too much speed.
Kostner is putting her skate guards on in the kiss and cry area. That’s different. A good way to get out of those forced smiles and double waves. Score: 63.02, for sixth.
WHEW! Last skater of the night. Japan’s Ando, wearing a flowy red and black costume, with a sparkly cross down her chest. Lots of pink eye makeup. She is all business.
Lands combination jump. And next jump. Very fast. She “attacks” her programs, say commentators.
Ando, finished, smiles for the first time since taking the ice.
She is expressionless while awaiting her score. Big, deep sighs say it all. Ando’s score: 64.76. For fourth.
Rochette is still in third. Thursday, all that may change. For tonight, she stole the show.