Saturday, March 24, 2007

2A doesn't mean that Arthur Fonzarelli is dating twins

I done said:

Now I admit I don't know what a 2A is....

And MK2006 replied:

2A, means a Double Axel jump.

And Bill Cosby chimed in:


What's a Double Axel jump?

Luckily for us, Noah took some frogs into the ark. The following text accompanies the pictures.

Frogs are known as great jumpers. This froggy is doing a double axel. The takeoff is from a left forward outside edge. The skater rotates counterclockwise, left leg crossed over the right, and lands on a right back outside edge.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?

The Axel is the easiest jump for the skating fan to recognize, because it is the only jump with a forward take-off. What's a forward take-off? Well, you may have noticed that skaters spend much of their time gliding backwards into jumps, and they land gliding backwards. But with the Axel, the skater must step nearly 180 degrees around to face a forward line of direction to launch themself into the jump. Because they still must land gliding backwards, Axel jumps are really 1.5 rotations for a "single," 2.5 for a double, and 3.5 for a triple. This extra half rotation is what makes the triple Axel so difficult and exciting to watch. All of the top male eligible/amateur skaters do triple Axels in both their short and long programs. Men and women eligible/ amateurs are required to do a double Axel in their short program (the men may make it a triple if they wish)....Only five women have ever completed a triple Axel in competition: the first was 1989 World Champion Midori Ito of Japan; the most recent was Kimmie Meissner at the 2005 U.S. Championships....

NOTE: ABC commentator Dick Button usually describes this jump as taking off from the "always dangerous" forward edge; he should know--he was the first skater to land a double Axel in competition.

Button achieved this feat back in 1948.

Button consistently developed new moves during his championship years. At the 1948 Olympics, when he was a Harvard freshman, he did a double axel for the first time just two days before his free skating performance, and he did it flawlessly in competition to win first place from eight of the nine judges.

Button held such a commanding lead at the 1952 Olympics that he could have ensured himself of another gold medal by skating a safe, simple free program. Instead, he chose to attempt a triple jump, which had never before been performed in competition. He executed it perfectly and was the unanimous choice of the judges.

As for me, I'm still working on the "skate without falling down" technique. And my family knows it. Last night, I was talking about my favorite Finnish figure skater (not Kiira Korpi) and mentioning how graceful her skating is. My wife replied that comapred to me, ANYONE would look graceful.


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