Carolina had the butterflies on her shoulder, I had them in my stomach…

Carolina Kostner in Zagreb, at the 2013 Europeans

Carolina Kostner in Zagreb, at the 2013 Europeans

In other words, I’m a fan of Carolina – and I even threw her a lucky clover on the ice of Dom Sportova in Zagreb, at this year’s Europeans. I love her musicality, her long arms embracing the air. She truly is the definition of grace – and I was sure that Lori Nichol would, once again, create a gorgeous set of programs for the Italian. Of course, at this point, I only saw the short one – and Carolina’s version of the “Humoresque” (by Dvorak) is indeed a work of art. A playful Carolina in a garden full of flowers and red butterflies – and one of my favorite short programs of the Olympic season, alongside with Mao’s “Nocturne” and Valentina’s “Torna a Surriento”.

by Florentina Tone

It wasn’t Carolina’s best day, that’s for sure, but what a program, what a dress and what a talent! She could simply cross the ice, with her hands above her head, and I would still be amazed. She is absolutely magnificent, “La Regina Carolina”, and when she nails everything she seems almost untouchable, at least when it comes to the program components. But even when she falls, as she did in the short program at Cup of China, the Italian is still in a class of her own.

At this point, I need to come back to a beautiful description of Carolina, coming from a huge champion of figure skating, my all time favorite, the Russian Alexei Urmanov. Interviewed in Zagreb, at the 2013 Europeans, by Absolute Skating, Mr. Urmanov was categorical: Carolina is really very good and she definitely deserves those high second marks that she receives. In Mr. Urmanov’ words: “Let’s cheer for her because she is a worthy skater, on a highest level, such skater you should just watch and enjoy the skating… Pay attention on the creativeness of her steps sequence, it is very unusual… You know, I was lucky to work with Carolina once for some time and I can say that she is a skater with the highest level skills, and of course the score for the components which she gets is absolutely justified. I think she shows us the different, new, modern figure skating. And it wins over the judges, wins over the public”.

But the winners of the day, at Cup of China, were, in fact, the Russian girls: the lovely Adelina Sotnikova, first after the short program (what an ambitious, passionate skater; and “Carmen”, what a great choice for her), and the young, but very mature Anna Pogorilaya. Skating second in a panel of very talented ten ladies, Anna had a great short program in Beiijing, “The Kiss of Fire”; at her Senior Grand Prix debut, she is entering the free skating from a wonderful third position.