Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006


First of all, for those wondering how I solved my two skating shows/one TV dilemma – thank goodness for remote controls and long stretches of half-pipe between Long Programs.

Re: Skating With Celebrities. Bye-bye, Bruce and Tai, we'll miss you… Though good to see that my brother’s and my predictions are holding strong.

Now, on to the Main Event, the Pairs Long:

Hinzemann/Parchem: I’m feeling very Peggy Fleming. A “pleasant” performance.

Inoue/Baldwin: John, stop manhandling poor Rena in Kiss-and-Cry. We get it. You’re straight. No need to go all Michael Weiss on us.

Savchenko/Szolkowy: Is it just me, or is there something about that girl that makes it seem like she’s cracking gum, even when she isn’t?

Petrova/Tikhonov: Sandra Bezic, what happened? Did Maria and Alexei run over you puppy or something? Why the hate? Kyoka Ina and John Zimmerman had a front-loaded program back in 2002 as well, yet then, you huffed and puffed that they should have been placed ahead of the Russians.

Pang/Tong: Those throws… wowzers. You are definitely one of the Chinese I (Heart).

Shen/Zhao: Xue Shen, if Hungbo can land those jumps with a busted tendon, what say you put in a little more effort, as well?

Zhang/Zhang: You know how the TV networks love to manufacture “genuine emotion” and “heart-stopping moments” to coerce people to keep watching? Well, the looks on Zhang and Zhang’s faces after her fall, not to mention the sincere concern shown by their teammates and competitors, that, my friends at the networks, that is what true “drama of human competition looks like.” You can’t stage it, you can’t plan it and you can’t force it. You can just marvel at it when it happens.

Totmianina/Marinin: So, Maxim, all it takes to get an outpouring of feeling from you is knowing you’ve won Olympic Gold? Who knew? I like it. Hope to see more in the future.

And finally, just for chuckles, here's an interview I did with our newly crowned Olympic champs, back in 2000, when they'd only completed their first international season…

The 1999 Russian Bronze Medalists in Pairs, Tatiana Totimianina and Maxim Marinin knew they would make a good team the very first time they skated together. Remembers Marinin, "Three years ago, (coach) Natalia Pavlova saw Tatiana at a singles competition, and invited her to skate pairs with me. Tatiana is a very strong Singles skater, and so am I. At our first practice, we landed side by side Double Axels, Triple Toe-loops, Triple Salchows and even Triple Loops!"

Lifts, however, came harder. Marinin says, "I think neither Tanya nor I were too well prepared on the physical level."

Agrees Totimianina, "It was hard in the beginning, but everything is hard in the beginning."

Not nearly as hard, was placing 3rd at the Russian Nationals, ahead of 1996 World Champions Marina Eltsova & Andrei Bushkin. Says Marinin, "Marina and Andrei hadn't trained together during the summer, while we worked very hard."

The Bronze medal earned them the chance to compete, for the first time, at the European Championship, where they skated, in Totimianina's words, "A great Short Program, especially considering I was up all night worrying about it."

Then, the team competed at the 1999 Worlds, an event Marinin describes as, "Like a big holiday. When I first stepped onto the ice, and saw the huge arena, it took my breath away. I wasn't nervous. Quite the opposite. I loved seeing all the people."

The 1998-1999 season was also their first on the Grand Prix circuit. Says Marinin, "We can't boast about our international travels, yet, though. We've just started."

Both loved visiting France, where Totimianina gushes, "We walked all over Paris, saw the famous sights."

Afterwards, it was back to the apartment they share in St. Petersburg. But, they explain they're not romantically involved. They even have a chaperon: Totimianina's mother also lives with them.

When not skating, Marinin says, "We like to read, and watch television."

Totimianina puts it more succinctly. "When not on the ice, we rest."


  • At February 14, 2006 5:15 PM, Anonymous said…

    John Baldwin Jr.'s fondling of Rena has bugged me for a long, long time! I'd like to see her push him off of her just once. Plus, he goes too far is giving her credit. He deflects everything off of him onto her. It isn't real. They're a pair. They both get the praise and they both get the criticism.

  • At February 15, 2006 4:19 PM, Anonymous said…

    Hi Love ice skating but don't get much of it in Oz (Australia). However found your comments about John Baldwin interesting. It bugged me and I've only seen them once.


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