The Bofrost Cup on Ice Exhibition Gala 2004

Part I

Text © Mireille Geurts

Photos © Joy

The gala was the concluding event of the Bofrost Cup on Ice, which was held in Gelsenkirchen (Germany) last weekend. Unfortunately this very nice competition didn't get many visitors and for some strange reason the number of people attending the gala was even lower than for the competitions the day before. Maybe the soccer game next door had something to do with it…

Daniel Weiss presented the gala this year again. Cameras were set up to tape the show so we were told me make a lot of noise as we had to beat the sixty thousand people at the soccer match at the Arena next door. Unfortunately no information on when and where the show will be aired was given, something we really would have liked to know… The ARD gala was promoted the more, Mr. Weiss himself being one of the organizers and ok, it HAS a great line-up!

He talked a bit about Worlds 2004 in Dortmund and presented the first couple, Germany's own dance team Christina and William Beier (6th spot). The skated to "Dreams on Ice", the World's theme song. Talk about a trip down Memory Lane! Their skate was very nice, flowing, and romantic, which combined with the memories from Worlds made this an amazing program and a great kick off to the exhibition.

Next up was another German couple, pair skaters Nicole Noennig and Matthias Bleyer. Sadly they announced the end of their career. This Bofrost Cup on ice had been their last competition, which makes one less pair for Germany. Although their performance was great and very fittingly skated to "Bye baby", this kind of news didn't make it a happy one to see. We'll miss you Nicole and Matthias!

Next on the ice; Stanick Jeanette. He didn't skate so well in the competition and seemed a bit bummed by it, so I must admit I didn't expect very much, but boy was I wrong! He came on the ice wearing a hat and a cane. And he can do some funny moves with those things! And if that wasn't enough, he later juggled three little balls in the air and when he dropped them he used the cane to play golf with them. Golf? But wasn't this a skating gala? Yes, indeed and he skated too, with and without the props, and proved he can skate very well and still has his triples even though they don't always come out in competition. This program was sensational and fun, and a part standing ovation for Stan!

In 4th place; Pamela O'Connor and Jonathon O'Dougherty from Great Britain, or the "O's" as some fans affectionately call them. They performed to a song called "Angel" and we got some time to breathe again since this was a slow song. The "O's" have a nice skating style, although not very 'edgy' yet, but they did include some great flowing lifts.

Pairs skaters Eva Maria Fitze and Rico Rex had seemed a bit "off" during the competition and even more so in practice, but tonight they were back and performed a very tough looking "Mission Impossible" to techno music and it really fit their style. I expected their own lift and some other cool elements and I wasn't disappointed!

Samuel Contesti skating to rock 'n roll and is quite a charmer on the ice. He really flirted with the audience and loved it when he got a reaction and of course he did! His program was a joy to watch, he was fast and fun and I wouldn't mind seeing some more of this young Frenchman in the future.

Julio Iglesias singing "Crazy" stayed in my head the entire evening because Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe from Canada skated to it. It's romantic and so is their dance and they fit so very well together. They performed many lifts and I noticed that they tend to stay in them just a tad longer than other teams. Very beautiful and dramatic!

Surprisingly winning the bronze medal was German pair Rebecca Handke and Daniel Wende. They are still a young couple, but their skating has matured a lot in the last year. They skated to tango music, it was passionate and so were they. There was a problem with one lift when he was ready to lift her but didn't. Her smile made up for that though.

Team Berlin 1, the German synchronized team appeared on the ice to finish up this first part of the gala. They skated their short program "Annatevka". Many skating fans don't watch much synchro so it was nice to see such a performance in this gala.

This first part was a little shorter than the second because two skaters, bronze medalist Annie Bellamare, who was announced as having injured herself in the long program, and 4th placed German Kristin Wieczoreck didn't perform.

Go to Part II

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