Stars on Ice
Kurt List

World Figure Skating Championships 1998 Review

Minneapolis, MN - review by Mandy

I'm back from worlds and let me tell you it was a BLAST! If you EVER have the chance to go to a major figure skating competition I say GO! It was the most fun! I'll take you through the awesome events day by day so you can just skip around what you want to read about.


I got to the cities and it was awesome. I've been to Minneapolis a zillion times since I live in southern MN so I knew where everything was. None of the events were starting till Tues so my mom and I just bopped around Minneapolis cause there was plenty to do. First of all they had this little ice "Plaza" set up right across the street from the Target Center. It was in a tent and you could go and skate yourself(which i don't do!) or watch local skaters perform and BEST OF ALL-they had appearances by celebrity skaters. On Monday it was to be Kurt Browning and Katia Gordeeva! Katia was there first to cut the ribbon for the official opening of the ice palace and then she could only take pictures with people for about a half and hour! So I scurried over and got my picture taken with her! She is so small but extemely beautiful. I was a little nervous and was standing kind of away from her so she said, "Come here!" and she put her arm around me while my mom took the picture! Coolness!

Then at 2pm Kurt showed up. He skated "Antares" and even did a little impromptu pairs skating with this little girl--it was SOOOO cute! Then he did autographs and pictures. I had him autograph my Stars on Ice book. I can't remember what he said to me because I was in extreme shock. He was so handsome. OH. I just can't wait to get that picture back. Then Katia was signing autographs at the Target store in Minnetonka so I went and had her autograph my copy of her new book, "For Daria" which is very cute. and that was my monday.


Okay I'll try to condense a little more. Tuesday was the compulsory dance in the morning and pairs short program at night. There were so many Canadians there for Bourne and Kraatz it was super awesome. They were so peppy and got everyone really excited for something as dull as compulosory dance! Then after compulsory dance Michelle Kwan was signing autographs at the Plaza so I went and got her autograph/picutre. Oh let me tell you she is just absolutely gorgeous.

She is also very kind. I had her sign my program from worlds since I couldn't find anything else at the time! That night was pairs short program and Meno and Sand were just INCREDIBLE! I think it was the best I'd ever seen them perform before. I was so proud of them. THen of course there was that weird thing with Artur Dmitriev getting food poisioning. I mean, come on Artur--sushi in Minnesota? THat wasn't sushi it was probably pickled northern...anyhow...Elena and Anton(i don't want to try to spell their last names) were beautiful as well and did extremely well dispite their fall. Also the Canadians that did Gone with the Wind--I can't remember their short program or their names, but I really liked them. and that was Tuesday!


This was Mens short program during the day and Pairs long at night. Okay. Mens. Hmmm. The highlight of that competition was definately Michael Weiss. He was on fire. He landed everything and performed with such enthusiasm I was sure he'd land up in second place, but third was where he ended. I wasn't sure about Todd's attitude. He seemed going into it that he just didn't really care. I don't know but his fall on his combination jump was not good. He was lucky to end up in fourth place. The two Russians were excellent in their short programs. Everyone loved Evgeny Plushenko and his beilmann spins. Everyone also got a kick out of that big french guy! I can't remember his name but he was hilarious! He is so tall! He is 6'4! It must be incredibly difficult for him to jump! Anyhow he was very comical and a big hit with everyone! I didn't get to go to the Pairs long program but I assume everyone watched it on TV and was super proud of Meno and Sand. I'm looking forward to seeing them as Pros.


This was Original Dance in the afternoon and Mens long at night. OD was fun because of the jive music and the lyrics. Joseph and Butler looked a lot more comfortable here than in compulsories but ended up 25 and they only took the top 24 for the free dance! Ah well. I'd have to say that the best adaptation of the jive was by Krylova and Ovsyanikov and Anissina and Peizarat. They both had a good feel for it. Bourne and Kraatz couldn't quite get that rock and roll feeling down. But the Canadians (and me) cheered them on to third place. Punsulan and Swallow were beautiful as always. I think couples should get points for how they look together!:) cause they just look so wonderful together..and so do Meno and Sand but anyways. I really enjoyed the OD. Sometimes when the dance couples go out to warm up they skate around and build up so much speed I think, "wow-they should try a jump!" but then of course all they do is just switch direction or something non impressive. Oh well. I really did enjoy dance. I didn't get to go to Mens long either, but I saw it on TV and I was happy that Todd put some UMPH! into his program. It was memorable. Alexi Yagudin looked like he was going to vomit at any moment! That's what you get for ordering sushi in Minnesota, I guess!

one more thing! in warm ups both eldredge and yagudin were landing quads like crazy! so if you have any doubts about todd and the quad just be rest assured that he can do it and do it very well. he even did a combination quad/double.


This was Ladies short during the day and Free Dance at night. When my friend and I were getting some lunch out of nowhere comes this little Polish girl who lands a clean program and we missed it! I saw here on the TV monitors as I was ordering pizza. And then the french girl must've been right after that cause we missed that too! The Russian girls had some unfortunte falls, but I kept pulling for Irina Slutskya cause I just think she's so darn cute! Then Michelle skated and she was breathtaking. Up until her double axel which she had just the slightest of turn out on the landing but nothing you could really deduct for.

Free Dance was really fun. The Canadians were just pumped and Bourne and Kraatz were to skate dead last. Now I like Krylova and Ovsyanikov, but I just don't understand their free dance to Carmen. It is just weird and I didn't like it at all. I loved Anisina and Peizarat's Romeo and Juliet though, and Punsulan and Swallow just should have been in fourth because their free dance is just beautiful. Bourne and Kraatz kicked ass in their free dance they were so energenic and original with all their footwork and hydroblading they gave me chills, but of course you know how it really ended up. Shae-Lynn looked really happy though. A funny thing was one of the signs the Canadians had. It said: Got a problem-who ya gonna call? BLOCK BUSTERS! I thought that was very cute because most likely the standings in ice dance were just set Friday night for the next four years. Should Bourne and Kraatz decide to stay amatuer that is. Oh well that's just the politics of dance!


There were no events during the day just Ladies Free Skate at night. First to skate in the last group was Michelle again and boy did she give us a scare! She put two hands down and almost fell on her double axel. It is my opinion that she didn't have enough speed going into it. you can replay your tapes and let me know what you think. Then she double her salcow but oh well she still won! Maria Butirskya had a totally clean program up until the end where she caught an edge going backwards and fell hard on her back! it looked painful but then she just spun out of another jump but at least that popped her back up to third place. and my irnina slutskya was just so darn cute and even though she fell once i think her program was super technical and that's why she got second place! It was a great night to see michelle win her second gold.