Better late than never, here are some final thoughts on this year's world championships, mainly things that I didn't get to give due space to before:
Most impressive: Yuna Kim's short program. Absolute perfection and a lesson on how it's done in a way that racks up the points and entertains an audience. Also impressive was her record-breaking win overall. She has really lived up to her nickname Queen Yuna.
Least impressive: Ladies! There were some nice performances interspersed here and there but it was as though there was one competition for Kim and one for everyone else. I know she's pretty much better than everyone else, but they also did not skate up to their abilities, for the most part. Joannie Rochette was ok, but not up to par and just held onto a few landings. She did not compete with Kim for a second. The only one who ever really has a chance, Mao Asada, lost any life her free skate had when she fell on her second triple axel (and pretty much lost the whole competition on her botched triple lutz attempt in the short that counted as a double). I guess I'm just waiting for Kim to win against a clean Asada who's landed two triple axels. But I always want everyone to skate clean.
Biggest disappointment: Jeremy Abbott. Had this been his first senior worlds, I would have given him a pass. But it's starting to look like Abbott can't handle the pressure of being the National champion - perhaps he does better when he's more of an underdog? I would also have added McLaughlin and Brubaker but it was their first worlds and they've been troubled all season so I decided not to include them.
Biggest surprise: Miki Ando making the podium in the ladies competition. I thought she had an absolutely great competition, but I had really written her off as a medal contender lately due to her scores this year and consistently downgraded jumps. I thought she looked radiant at this competition and so happy.
Moments I never want to watch again: Candace Didier's free skate fall, Yuko Kavaguti's free skate fall on a throw, and Carolina Kostner's free skate meltdown. Oh, and that minute while we had to watch Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto wait to see Domnina and Shabalin's free skate total. Kind of felt like watching them announce the Oscar winner and everyone else has to smile and clap.
Biggest sigh of relief: Evan Lysacek's clean short program! Also, Rachael Flatt's free skate that put her in fifth overall. Not a bad start.
Biggest story that wasn't: Quad-a-mania. This one is not going to come to fruition until someone who lands a quad cleanly doesn't sputter out in the middle of his routine. For now, maybe everyone should stop counting revolutions and just try to land the jumps and make it through a free skate.
Ones to watch: Hello Denis Ten of Kazakhstan! Please do that at the Olympics! And Alena Leonova, the current junior world champion, might bring some glory to Russian female singles skaters in the future. Also, I was impressed by Samuel Contesti's audition for the role of the next Philippe Candeloro. Candeloro approved! And Denney and Barrett, please don't lose that innocence and joy, like so many skaters do after they meet with their first taste of success. Try not to let the pressure get to you!
Review of ME!:
Well, I was too chicken to make my ice dance prediction, which annoys me because I had second and third slots wrapped up! But then Delobel and Schoenfelder withdrew, and I knew in my heart that Belbin and Agosto would not win. I think the fact that I had them in second to a team that withdrew but refused to predict they would win even though the one team I thought would beat them had withdrawn says a lot about my faith in the judging of this sport. But, I digress.
3 out of 3 for podium predictions, but I got none of the spots right. Seeing how things turned out, I'm totally ok with that!
Women: Man, Mao, you couldn't just hold onto the bronze? 2 out of 3 for podium predictions and placements.
Pairs: My predicted winners, Pang and Tong, didn't even medal. I got 2 out of 3 podium predictions, and only one placement right.