The Inside Edge: Springs best-dressed list

Zhang, Mura sizzle on ice; Czisny looks great from stands

Alissa Czisny, posing here with Jeremy Ten, looked stylish every time Sarah and Drew saw her.
Alissa Czisny, posing here with Jeremy Ten, looked stylish every time Sarah and Drew saw her. (Sarah S. Brannen)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(02/12/2012) - Among the many skaters in the audience for the ladies free skate last night was Alissa Czisny, sitting with Adam Rippon, Jeremy Ten and Kevin Reynolds. She looked radiant, and she was smiling and cheering with pride as her U.S. colleagues won the gold and bronze medals.

We were so impressed with the venerable coaches of Mao Asada and Ashley Wagner, Nobuo Sato and John Nicks. As each of their students was in the latter part of the program, we could hear the coaches shouting encouragement at the top of their lungs.

"[Nicks] yelled, 'Skate! You can do this!' during my footwork," Wagner told us today, "Because I have a falling leaf at the end, and sometimes I don't do it."

We're told that according to Asada, Mr. Sato shouted "Speed!" to her, which could be heard throughout the entire arena.


We were completely blown away by pairs gold medalists Wenjing Sui and Cong Han. They got some minuses on their throw quad Salchow but plus 1.86 on their quad twist. Amazing!

Halfway through Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig's program, the lights suddenly dimmed to 50 percent. They carried on, unfazed. Kudos to them.

We saw Rockne Brubaker after the free skate and congratulated him on his bronze medal (with his partner Mary Beth Marley). Brubaker used to train here, but of course he's been training in California for a while. We asked if the altitude bothered him now.

"A bit," he said. "It's more that competition takes so much more out of you, but if you're trained, you can get through it."

Looking forward to the world championships, Brubaker added, "We know we have some more points we can rack up, but we like the direction we're headed."


According to the forecast a week ago, the weather this weekend was supposed to be warm and sunny. Ross Miner, an enthusiastic golfer, made plans to take Rippon out on the driving range on Saturday morning and give him a little lesson, as Rippon has never played golf before.

Saturday dawned 13 degrees Fahrenheit and snowing, and that was all she wrote for the plan.

"I decided I'd rather stay in bed," Miner said.

We don't blame them for bailing out, but we were planning to go and photograph the event for you, so we were disappointed that Mother Nature didn't cooperate.


Two of the skaters watching last night were U.S. junior pairs silver medalists Britney Simpson and Matt Blackmer. Simpson has been named the Colorado 2012 Sportswoman of the Year for performance in figure skating. Last year, she was given the award for "most promising." She will receive the award at a banquet on March 11.


A few awards for fashion on and off the ice at this event:

Best look on ice: The Little Black Dress. We've already talked about Wagner's magnificent Black Swan dress, designed by Jan Longmire, and we still love it. We were also impressed by Caroline Zhang's lovely short program dress, with a leaf-patterned top and sheer skirt, and Amelie Lacoste's elegant short program dress. Photographs do not do it justice, but in the arena it was stunning.

Moving on from black, Asada's pale, lavender free skate dress was a very sophisticated look, with beautiful draping and gatherings of fabric that are as lovely as she is.

Best men's costume: We still love Rippon and Daisuke Takahashi's costumes, but we were particularly taken with Takahito Mura's free skate costume, with a burgundy top shading to black and wrapped with thin bands in rich violet. What a great color combination, and it looked fantastic on him.

Best comedy program and costumes: Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers' Beetlejuice short program. We had enjoyed it during the Grand Prix, but in person it's full of even more funny details than we realized. The over-the-top costumes are perfect, and her facial expressions are priceless!

Best-dressed coaches: Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte, who wore tailored and sophisticated suits and bold patterns as they coached Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford and Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran.

Best backstage looks: The women of the Japanese media, who tended to wear black and gray and looked fierce. They favored layers of interesting tops over skinny pants with boots. Even as they fended off jet lag and long hours, they all looked fabulous.

Best-dressed skater in the audience: Czisny, who looked flawless every time we saw her.

Olympic champion count: Two -- Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, obviously. We were really looking forward to seeing them compete, and they did not disappoint. Congratulations to all the medalists! It was a great competition.

Bye for now,

Sarah and Drew
Follow us on Twitter for more photos from the competition @SarahandDrew