joi, octombrie 24, 2013

Welcome to

The time has come: my figure skating website is ready to take its first steps on the ice.

I’ve been writing about figure skating… well, since forever. As a child, I used to watch competitions broadcasted, in black and white, by the Romanian television, writing down, as quickly as possible, every detail provided by the commentator: „the skater wears a pink sparkly dress, with a white feather on the right hand…”; details regarding the costumes, the coaches, the wives’ coaches… you name it. I used to write down just about everything; and I even invented a personal scoring system to be used by my parents and me after watching every performance.

So, yes, I do have a history when it comes to figure skating. A history which includes emotional moments (like the one in 1994, when the Russian Alexei Urmanov won the Olympic gold in Lillehammer – and four years after that, watching the same skater, I decided I wanted to be a sports journalist) or even funny ones (like in 1998, in Nagano, when I skipped school – and even jumped over a fence – in order to watch, at a shop in town, with a TV on Eurosport, the last Olympic performance of my dearest Oksana Grishuk and Evgeni Platov).

Looking back, I see the colored shirt of Viktor Petrenko and the green umbrella of Midori Ito in Albertville, I see two butterflies on the skating rink – Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko, the wonderful „Winter” program of Alexei Yagudin, the constant (and beautiful) confrontation between him and Evgeni Plushenko, the elegant Maria Butyrskaya, skating on Sarah Brightman, „Scene d’amour” (a performance that stayed with me for years…), the Bond girl – Yuna Kim, the exquisite Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, floating on Mahler’s Symphony no. 5, the stunning short program of the Japanese Daisuke Takahashi, at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver… One thing is sure: we’re tied to each other, me and figure skating.

Nowadays, I’m still a fan – but also a professional journalist. And with the tools of journalism – good writing, curiosity and empathy – will bring closer to you the inner world of figure skating: the joy, the beauty, the struggle. With an eye on the skaters and the other one on the coaches and choreographers, this new website will offer you an insight into the sport, without neglecting the emotions of the fan. It will be a warm and understanding dive into the skating world – a colorful mixture of News, Interviews and Features; for those of you who have already seen it, it will be like the new (and wonderful) dress of the French Nathalie Péchalat for the Olympic season…

As a fan and a journalist who travels a lot, in order to breathe the authentic atmosphere of the competitions, you’ll also see the figure skating world Through my lens. You’ll follow me into the history of the sport (Inside Figure Skating’ History), you’ll remember true works of art (M from Memorable), you’ll compare and analyse (Music Reloaded), you’ll be amazed and proud by the talents discovered (New Entry). You’ll encounter my dilemmas and share my enthusiasm. Together, we’ll pull the curtains and enter Inside Skating.

Florentina Tone
Editor of


Addenda: The big-red S in the logo stands for Skating, of course. But it might also stand for Spectacle, Scene, Show, Surprise, Sensitivity, Struggle, Success… You might consider thinking at the S in Inside Skating as the figure drawn on the ice, in the last section of his new free program on Beatles Medley, by the Japanese skater Daisuke Takahashi. Drawing an S on the ice and a heart in the air, the Japanese was advised by his choreographer, Lori Nichol, to express appreciation for the people who made the history of figure skating, for the people who loved him and for the people who saw his skating… And this might be the best S-definition ever.

Facebook: Inside Skating

marți, octombrie 08, 2013

Wonderful memories: Men's Final at the 2012 Worlds

 Well, one year and a half has passed since March 2012, but I still remember this day as if it was yesterday: a happy, emotional day in Nice, which began with me and Ali buying flowers from Cours Saleya for what was supposed to be an amazing performance coming from Mr. Takahashi. And it was, indeed, an amazing Free Program, though, at the end of the day, it wasn't gold for the Japanese. One thing is sure, though: in my eyes (and in the eyes of many), Daisuke's performance was truly golden. And our wonderful bouquet flew over the board, touched the ice and ended up, hopefully, in Daisuke's sack of flowers; with a small and joyful, thankful note inside.

This is me, happy.

And here is the story of that day - of course, if you understand and read Romanian; for the rest of you, Google translate is always an option - that, until the official launching of my figure skating website, entirely in English. So, here it is: The Story (Povestea).

Below, the Photo-Story of the day -  the Men's Final took place on the 31th of March. Yes, last year. Sorry for this huge delay. On the other hand, please allow me to remind you of a wonderful, golden day in Nice.

 Mr. Kozuka. Takahiko Kozuka. Preparing.

A very elegant Tomas Verner.

Again, Mr. Kozuka. And a pair of feet. Give a penny for an answer: whose feet are those? :)

The Russian gentlemen: Sergei Voronov and Artur Gachinski.

Again, Mr. Voronov. He was last year's arlecchino.

A very serious group of coaches. I know you know them. I know them too.

The curly Mr. Rippon.

A very young Yuzuru Hanyu. A joy to watch and a wonderful surprise.

"The cat from Kazakhstan", as Mr. Carroll described him: Denis Ten.

Again, Adam Rippon.

A focussed Mr. Takahashi, skating very close to the boards.

Patrick Chan.

The camera just couldn't stay away from Mr. Takahashi.

Once again, Patrick Chan.

The Spanish Javier Fernandez.

Brian Joubert and Michal Brezina.

And, yes, the golden boy. A very preoccupied one.

Patrick, during his Free Program.

At the end of the day, the Canadian won the gold...

But I'll remember him as the real winner of the Worlds in 2012.
Hats off, Mr. Takahashi.

He was happy or what? Mr. Hanyu won the bronze.

The podium.

...and a lot of pictures, to capture the joy.
I just couldn't stop pressing the button; so, here's a detailed retrospective of the moment:

Once again, the real winner of the day.

Two very happy boys and a flag.

A thankful crowd.

Mr. Takahashi and his fans.


One more picture of the Japanese winners of the day.

Yuzuru, preparing for an interview after the final.

Backstage pictures: joyful hugs.

Daisuke Takahashi and Takeshi Honda. Two of my favorite skaters ever.

A year and a half after the Final - and I'm still happy. Thank you for that, Mr. Takahashi.

And here's the rest of the stories of those World Figure Skating Championships in Nice, in 2012: