Ice Network

Hungarian Goulash: Gazsi's tricks and trendy Spain

German dancer gets creative in kiss and cry; James, Ciprès cause scare
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Performing to music from the show 'Glee,' the always original Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi of Germany notched a seventh-place finish after being awarded 59.79 points. -Getty Images

Practice safely in Christmas

The practice rink of the event seems to be a popular place at the 2014 European Figure Skating Championships, as it is usually quite crowded all day long. It is still decorated with Christmas ornaments, fake Christmas trees portrayed on the walls and snow flakes going down the ceiling. The boards are covered with three-foot wide blue mattresses.

"Oh yes, my husband works for a company which makes those safety impact equipments," explained Barbara Fusar-Poli, the 2001 world gold medalist in ice dance with Maurizio Margaglio. "His company is working for Sochi as well. Such equipment was meant originally for short track, but it is good also for skating, right?"

When you see the rotational lifts performed at high speed by the ice dancers along the boards, you really feel that she is right!

Hungarian dance

Hungarians love dance! The arena was half full for the short dance, however exhausting the four-and-a-half hour long short dance was (who called that event "short dance" anyway?)

It is not so surprising, after all, considering the strong links Hungary had with Austria at the end of the 19th century and start of the 20th. Hungary was the other country of waltz and polka!

Who said that sport was a matter of taking risks?

Brian Joubert has always promoted the sports side of skating. As he emphasized in the interview he kindly gave to icenetwork Wednesday, he hated those times when the world gold medalist would not land a quad anymore.

"Sport is about taking risks," he said.

Then Joubert needs to be acknowledged as quite a sportsman. Can you imagine what it takes to change both your short and free programs in the middle of your last Olympic season? In recent years, he had even said that changing one program per season would be more than enough for him. Daredevil or experimented sportsman? Those French…

Hi Mom!

Skaters often try to send messages to their relatives from the kiss and cry. Cameras catch them as they shout, but microphones are usually shut down, and the "I love you" part of their messages can only be guessed.

German dancer Alexander Gazsi has found a simple way.

After the short dance, he turned a written message toward the camera: "Alles gute, Mama!" or "All is well, Mom!" Now the whole world knows!

All is quite well, indeed

Gazsi is right to feel well, actually. He and his partner, Nelli Zhiganshina, were the most applauded of all the 29 dancing teams present in Budapest. Their story went quite well. The old professor he was portraying in his short dance was noticed by that upper-class rich young lady whom Zhiganshina was playing. According to their story, at least as they told it, "They should then spend their first night together."

The story does not tell how Zhiganshina's Mom felt, though. Also, Zhiganshina's brother, Russian dancer Ruslan Zhiganshin, currently sits in fourth place before the free dance with his partner, Victoria Sinitsina. Zhiganshina and Gazsi are sitting in seventh place. Ice dance has become a family affair!

Want a lift?

What happens when you see a young lady falling down super fast in front of your window and you live on the second floor of your building? Well, you certainly want to call the police. This is exactly what came through some spectators' minds this morning in the stands of the practice rink, way above the ice sheet.

Except there was nothing to worry about.

Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès were simply practicing their triple twist off the ice, right in the corner of the rink and in front of the stands. Ciprès had just launched his partner a bit high and she went back safely to his hands and to the ground.

"You should watch your position better!" their coach, Jean-François Ballester, nonetheless corrected afterward. "You should lay your back a bit more!"

That may be a real problem, but fortunately, it did not require calling the police.

Trendy Spain!

Javier Fernández's repeated success in recent years has created a strong movement in his home country, and Spain is becoming trendy in figure skating and ice dancing. Sara Hurtado and Adria Diaz, the ice dance team, has created a magnificent and original free dance to Picasso's masterpieces with their coaches, 2006 and '07 world silver medalists Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.

Unsurprisingly (or is it surprising?), the ISU is following that trend. The International Ice Dance Committee has chosen Spanish music for the short dance next season. Pattern Dance will be Paso Doble. Not sure Paso Doble was so trendy in Picasso's mood, though!