The 2009 World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles was a thrilling experience for me last week. It was my first trip to see this championship and it did not disappoint. This competition was the qualifying round for various athletes and countries looking to compete at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.
The United States had a team of 15 skaters lead by Chicago native Evan Lysacek - who went on to win the Men's Event with one of the most extraordinary long programs I have ever seen him skate. Featuring two solid triple axels (one in combination), Evan didn't need a quad to pull off his first World Title against the best male skaters in the world. Other highlights for the US team were the silver medal rebound of ice dancing team Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto and the fantastic 9th place performance of Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett that brought the crowd to their feet. The final night was headlined by the ladies battle of the Asia with Yu-Na Kim of Korea and last years champion Mao Asada of Japan. Asada skated first and was incredible - her only mistake was a fall on her second triple axel. Overall I put Asada in second but the judges placed her 4th - it wouldn't be a skating event without some controversy! Yu-Na Kim was fantastic and skated clean to win her first world title. The biggest shocker was Joannie Rochette of Canada winning the silver with a flawed performance including 2 step outs on triple jumps and a lack luster performance.
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