PSOI 2006: Outside it's raining, but inside it's wet
Have you been to the Absolute Skating messageboard lately? No? Are you interested in the annual Proximus Stars on Ice shows held in Antwerp?
Perhaps it would be a good idea to venture there then and take a look. We have already posted a small recap of our first skater sightings there.
We, meaning Titia and Mireille, arrived in Belgium yesterday, Wednesday afternoon.
Today, Thursday we have spent the entire afternoon watching the skaters practice and we are now back in the hotel room and pretty beat for some strange reason.
Still trying to get this report to you, in whatever way possible, as we are experiencing some technical difficulties with the LAN network of our laptop in this hotel, but we won't bore you with the details. If you read this report and you can see photos, we succeeded.
Back to skating. Almost all of the cast members of this year's shows have arrived, except Irina Slutskaya and Tatiana Navka. Strangely enough Roman (Kostomarov) is already here. But he didn't miss her as he participated in the practices as if she was there, using a "pion" (orange traffic cone used in the streets) as his partner. Pictures you ask? Sorry, technical diffulties, only these involve our brainsÂ…
This was not all that was missing. Maxim (Marinin) did his bring his partner, but lost his suitcase. Iincluding his skates, of course. The employees of the ice rink did arrange a pair of skates for him, but of course half an hour later, his suitcase arrived. For the first hours of the training, he could not participate, so he was hanging around in the cafeteria, waiting and looking a little lost. As soon as he received the emergency pair of skates, it was clear he was not lost at all, just focussing on what was happening on the ice, as he already almost completely knew the entire choreography.
Kevin (van der Perren) arrived late. Can we say as usual?? Not that it matters, he is also pretty quick, so within 15 minutes he grasped the steps needed. Funny bit was seeing young Ruben (Blommaert) teach these to him.
After everybody was there and having practiced the finale several times, it was time for everyone to take a break and have lunch. Sitting at the table right beside us, Titia could have tilted her head for approximately 15 cm's and fall asleep on Povilas's neck. No, she did not actually do thisÂ…
After lunchbreak for them and us, they got back on the ice and so did we. Fed up with taking bad pics through the window, we went down to the ice to take some there. Good timing, as they were concluding the last bits of the finale. And as long as Kevin does not keep talking to us, we do not bother a single soul. We stayed a bit longer. It was cold though, but that might not surprise you. What might surprise you is that it was rainingÂ… Big drops of water fell down from the roof, so we had to watch where we were standing.
A film crew was present, they were on the ice almost the entire afternoon, filming a special for Belgian tv. Kevin seemed to get along with the (female) host very much, as did Josef (Sabovchik). They also had to skate specifically towards the camera, with the entire group, ending in a 'pose' saying "Stars on Ice". After the two 'directors' present (camera crew and Brian Orser) had finally agreed on how to do that - you can imagine it was a bit hard to do things simaltenously, causing a lot of laughs. Only 3 retakes though, pretty ok.
Everything went pretty well actually, the pace seemed a lot faster than last year. Good for everybody, as these are very long days of waiting and learning.
When this was done, Roman, Ruben, Tatiana (Tomianina) & Maxim (Marinin) could leave. The others had to stay for the second group program, obviously 'themed' Proximus. Romain (Gazave) is supposed to play the piano in the first part and the others will skate around it. Of course they did not have a piano at hand, so had to improvise a little. Our only hope is that they won't treat the piano the same way as they did this thingÂ…
After that, everybody but Kevin and Isabelle (Pieman) left. Those two practiced their solo programs.
Some more tidbits we remember:
Povilas (Vanagas) is always very funny, on and off the ice. Today he was circling around Margerita (Dobriazko) a lot, and we can all tell those two still like each other very muchÂ…
Josef got scorned for walking around in the cafeteria on his skates. But the lady giving him a telling off was speaking Flemish, so we wonder if he even realised she was talking to him.
Romain went to the Sportpaleis after the ice practice, so he could also practice on the real piano.
Using the speed skating 'lane' on the rink pretty fast, Roman thinks he is a speedskater. Thinks being the appropriate word, as he did skate in the wrong direction.
Kevin told us a small scoop; the rest of the season he will be using his old Long Program again. The new one did not fall well with the judges at Skate America, so he decided to remodel last year's. Yay, more Pirates! Oh and for you who read the mb, his hair was still not longer todayÂ…