Golden Skate Awards

I had never been a fan of ice skating and I have to admit I still watch it only when some major event happens.
About a month ago I saw a sign on the street mentioning an ice skating event to be held in Milan, the Golden Skate Awards. I was unsure about the quality and who would have joined it, but I thought it would not happen frequently to have another chance in Milan. We went to buy two good tickets. 60 Euro each, not exactly cheap, and all the best (and even more expensive) seats were already taken.

So last week, 20 October 2007, was the day. We arrived just on time, given the high traffic next to the Datch Forum (A.K.A. Forum di Assago). Due to the traffic the show started about 30 minutes late, not a great start, in my opinion. Anyway the stadium was crowded, not sold out, but nearly.
The show started with an Italian couple, very young with a bright future, apparently. As expected, interesting name, but nothing outstanding (sorry guys).
To my great surprise the skaters that followed were of greater and greater importance and quality including the latest Gold Medalist Evgeni Plushenko, Brian Joubert, St├ęphane Lambiel (video 1, video 2), Aljona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowi, Arakawa Shizuka, Carolina Kostner (of course) and many more.

I will digress on the specific exhibitions as I would not be able to provide a meaningful technical description and obviously I’m not a professional judge and can’t really say if the performances were perfect or not, but from an average spectator’s point of view I think the show was GREAT! We had a lot of fun. The show lasted about two hours and each skater (or couple) had two performances. Among the other things they also had 2 performances of the Italian team of synchronized skating, was really good fun.

Carolina Kostner was definitely the artist everyone was waiting for. When she entered in the stadium the audience was very excited and clapped for quite a few seconds. In her first exhibition, unfortunately, she fell on two jumps. She had a third jump that she did OK.
When she came in for her second performance, the audience clapped a bit and then has been completely quite waiting for the first jump. When she made it and it was really good, the crowd started cheering and clapping very loudly. It really seemed she had won a gold medal!
It has been amazing how I could feel the tension until the jump and then everyone was relieved and cheerful.

The day after I looked for some links and reviews and with a bit of disappointment I could not find any. It is really a pity that such an event that brought to Italy so many HUGE names did not have any news reports. The event was even sponsored by “La Gazzetta dello Sport”, the major Italian sports newspaper.

Here are the few links I found:
art on ice

Building next block on fire!

While I was having lunch today I noticed some firemen stopping out of the cafeteria. Some of the other guests said there might be a fire in the building in the higher floors.

I went out as soon as I was done with food and noticed some smoke.

Later my friend Julien sent me this picture (and some more) that show the fire had grown A LOT!

At this time I don’t know if anyone got hurt. It turned out that it was the office of some of the other people in the cafeteria.

See exactly where it happened on this map.

UPDATE: more picture here.