Gardena discovers new faces

Polina Edmunds

By Olga Fluegge

Gardena Spring Trophy, one of the last competitions of the season 2012-2013, was featured this week by more than 90 skaters in Novice, Juniors and Seniors from 19 countries. The event is held every spring in Val Gardena in Italy.

These competitions are interesting because many of young skaters made their international debut there and will compete next season at Junior Grand Prix.

This year, the American and Japanese skaters dominated at Gardena. The 14-years old Polina Edmunds, this season´s U.S. national Junior Champion, won the Junior ladies event with 158.45 points and showing two new programs.

Her short program is to a selection of latin music, free skating is to the music by E. Grieg. Polina landed 5 triples in a free skate, including two triple-triple combitations. Her steps and spins got positive GOE. She has a very elegant style of skating. Jordan Moeller (USA) skated to victory in Junior men´s event with a total score of 195,67 points, impressing with strong level 4 on spins and level 3 on steps.

Polina Edmunds at Gardena Spring Trophy

Vincent Zhou (USA), the winner in Novice Boys, is only 12 years old but he knows how to present a program. He skated in a free skate to the music from the film Casablanca, playing the main character. Vincent gave an amazing routine that includes 7 triple jumps with a total score of 153,55 points.

This is a very nice example of how good the young skaters can interpret difficult music, receving a warm welcome from the crowd. The silver medalist Tahikiro Yamakuma (JPN) skated a solid routine with several triples, got an edge call on Lutz and fall on a triple toe. His skating style reminds Yuzuru Hanyu.

Karen Chen (USA), the clear winner of Novice girls event, performed to “Memoirs of a Geisha”. She has really good basics, nice skating style and good ice coverage. All her non jumping elements, excepting step sequence in the short program, got level three. Winning both segments of a competition Karen Chen received an overall score of 131,24 points. The silver and bronze in Novice girls won Yuhara Yokoi and Erico Yamakuma (JPN).

2013 Gardena Spring Trophy novice girls podium

The highlight of this Cardena Spring Trophy, in my opinion, was a new free skating program of Adam Rippon (USA), a silver medalist in Senior men’s event with 219.16 points overall, to “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn” by C. Debussy, choreographed by T. Dickson. The choice of music, made by his coach Rafael Aratyunyan, is great.

An exquisite choreography of Dickson empasizes strong sides of Adam´s skating: fluidity, beautiful lines, excellent posture and the way he is feeling the music. Adam was injured preparing to Four Continents Championships in February and could not compete during two months. His performance at Gardena Spring Trophy made a great end of a difficult season.

Videos of 2013 Gardena Spring Trophy are available at this YouTube channel >>>

All pictures courtesy of the author

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