LAKE PLACID, N.Y.
Gabby Daleman blew into the mixed zone after the women’s short program like a red tornado. “Ola!” she said.
And it went up from there.
Daleman is a bundle of positivity and high energy. Hard to believe, since she ‘s been suffering from a chest infection for the past week and a half. She’s about 85 per cent okay, but she awoke the morning of the women’s free at Skate America with a little fever.
But on Saturday, she swept it off like it was nothing. “You get the cards you’re dealt with,” she said. She didn’t think of it as an illness, but an opportunity for cardio training. In other words, training through it? And if you can do it when you’re sick, look what you can do when you’re not.
Daleman has often skated through injuries and illnesses. It almost doesn’t seem normal when she’s completely healthy. It hasn’t stopped her high energy in Lake Placid. “I’m a little tired,” is all she’ll say but she chalks it up to skate so late in the day. Past her bedtime.
She is the reigning world bronze medalist.
This is how she saw her day, skating to “Carmen,” which suits her like gloves on a winter Lake Placid day: “”I was very happy with how that program went,” she said. “The crowd in Lake Placid is amazing. I performed better than I did at Cup of China. (where she won the short program]. My jumps were actually pretty good. I was very happy with the way they went. And my spins and footwork. The whole package is just coming together. I’m very happy. It’s a stepping step [stone] to the Olympics. I’m definitely on the right track.”
Daleman loves this “Carmen” routine, choreographed by Lori Nichol. She loved it from the beginning. She loved it on Saturday when everyone started clapping to it. “That makes me feel so much more comfortable,” she said. “I’ve always loved the clapping music to get the crowd involved.
“The crowd is amazing. It’s so important for them to like the program.
“I do love playing this character. It’s so sassy. It’s so flirtatious. “
The crowds clapped even in China, which surprised Daleman. “Normally they are very quiet,” she said. They clapped at her first competition this season at Finlandia Trophy, too.
So many people love her short and long programs, and Daleman is glad, because they are her Olympic choices. Her free is to Gladiator, music that you think would suit a male. But it suits Daleman, too. She attacks. Always. Man the torpedoes!
At Cup of China, seven women were within 3.75 points of each other after the short program. Essentially tied. In winning th short, Daleman was ahead of Wakaba Higuchi, Elena Radionova, Alina Zagitovaa, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Marin Honda and Mai Mihara. Probably one of the toughest women’s event in the Grand Prix series. Daleman felt as if she had fallen into Japanese and Russian nationals combined.
In the end, Daleman ended up seventh overall.
This time, Daleman is third, having flipped off a triple Lutz, and is only 2.64 points behind leader Satoko Miyahara. Daleman is only 1.32 points behind second-placed Kaori Sakamoto, a youngester who jumps with great speed and surety.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y.