athletic

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport GrandSlam Series Latin Final in Shanghai, China

 

What sets the GrandSlam Latin Final in Shanghai, CHN, apart from the rest of the top-tier competitions on the DanceSport calendar are three factors. It is the most strictly invitational competition there is, with entry reserved to the 12 top couples in the GrandSlam Ranking, couples having danced in minimum four out of the five regular legs in the Series. It is also the shortest and most compact competition. Extending over only three rounds, it starts at 7:30 p.m. with the first and concludes not even three hour later with the last round and the awards presentation.

 

Finally, it is its place in the calendar: for virtually all the participating couples it is the last competition of the year. A fact which brings about a special atmosphere – more relaxed than elsewhere – even though the fight is about the highest prize money awarded in the Series.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport GrandSlam Series Standard Final in Shanghai, China

 

Last year’s GrandSlam Standard Final will forever be remembered as the last duel between the eternal opponents Simone Segatori – Annette Sudol, GER, and Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kukikova, RUS, where the former ended up on top. From there it was total dominance by the Russians in four GrandSlam legs of the 2017 Series as well as in the World Championship held here in China back in September. Even though they had made the announcement to change to the Professional Division, Simone and Annette have not yet danced any competitions there and, as the #2 in the GrandSlam Ranking, would be entitled to dance in this Standard “Showdown Shanghai.” But they have not entered. Something which allows another German couple to put in its first appearance in this GrandSlam Standard Final: Tomas Fainsil and Violetta Posmetnaya.

 

There are four more newcomers to the most exclusive competition in all of DanceSport: Russians Evgeny Nikitin – Anastasia Miliutina and the Chinese wild card couple Qiu Yuming – Wei Liying. They should do their country proud – here too – as they did in the World Standard, where they became the first ever semi-finalists from China. To consider the pre-event favourites and dominators Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kukikova as shoo-in winners today would be justifiable, if it were not for the mishaps that saw a great dancer (almost) tumble on two occasions last year.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Standard in Stuttgart, Germany

 

That the Standard seems to be the GrandSlam of choice for the majority of the Stuttgart public can easily be explained. On eight out of nine occasions since 2008, the winners were German couples. Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova of Russia have won everything there is to win and kept on top of their game ever since their last defeat in Shanghai, China in the GrandSlam Final last year. Over the past two years they have claimed two World and two European titles. They most recently celebrated their first victory in the GrandSlam Hong Kong, but they have never won in Stuttgart. The fight between the two couples will probably be as tight as ever, threatening to eclipse the great dancing put in by the third: Evaldas Sodeika and Ieva Zukauskaite of Lithuania. But let’s not worry about them: their confidence is growing with every time they take the floor.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Latin in Moscow, Russia

 

We’re back in Moscow for the last regular leg of the World DanceSport GrandSlam Series. Last year, the Latin and Standard competitions deciding over which couples would make it to the “Final Showdown in Shanghai” had to be moved south – to Barcelona, Spain – on the shortest of notice. One year later it is the ‘All Russian Federation of DanceSport and Acrobatic Rock ‘n’ Roll’, the new WDSF Member, which acts as the host and organizer for the first time. In a big way! Everything seems a little bigger and brighter when it comes to the setting and the atmosphere, and the dancers seem inspired too. Gabriele Goffredo and Anna Matus of Moldova, who have four wins to their credit so far this year, will dance in Moscow for the very first time. They know they have to go up against Armen Tsaturyan and Svetlana Gudyno of Russia, who have won here three consecutive times, if we include last year’s substitute GrandSlam in Spain. Who will take this leg of the competition?

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Standard in Helsinki

 

The World DanceSport GrandSlam Series is back, featuring the best competitive dancers in the world vying for the most prestigious titles and prize money in the world of dance. As the top dancers in the various dance styles meet up at different locations around the globe, cameras are trained on every step they take. Their performances are assessed by 12 experts using a judging system – two focusing on the technical aspects and two on the artistry – which makes the process of adjudication more transparent for the viewer at home.

 

 

2017 WORLD DANCESPORT GRANDSLAM SERIES
World DanceSport Grandslam Latin in Hong Kong

 

The 2017 GrandSlam Series Standard reaches its halfway point with the third regular leg held in Hong Kong on 9 July. The two earlier legs in Helsinki, FIN, and in Wuhan, CHN, produced an identic outcome in as far as the winners as well as the runners-up were concerned. In Finland, Dmitry Zharkov – Olga Kulikova, RUS, prevailed in a hotly contested final over Simone Segatori – Annette Sudol, GER, with a total score of 193.17 to 191.91. That’s a winning margin of very little over one point! One month later in China, the Russians claimed their second victory, but this time the margin separating the two couples was all of 0.05. It was produced either by freaky math or by the system’s insistence that a winner had to be declared – even if it all looked very much like a tie on the floor.

 

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Billie Jean King

 

This biographical profile first aired in 2013 to commemorate the 40th anniversaries of the famous Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match and the launch of the Women’s Tennis Association. King presents her own story, with perspective from Serena and Venus Williams, Hillary Clinton, Sir Elton John, Maria Sharapova, Gloria Steinem, Chris Evert and Bobby Riggs’ son Larry.

 

Arnold Knows Me:
The Tommy Kono Story

 

The late Tommy Kono inspired generations of body builders, including one of the world’s biggest movie stars. This film tells the inspirational story of the most decorated American in the history of weightlifting. A Sacramento, CA native, Tommy won two Olympic gold medals, an Olympic silver medal, and six World Championship titles between 1952 and 1960.

 

Olympic Quest: Teshya and Clarissa

Olympic Quest: Teshya Alo and Clarissa Chun

 

This special presentation celebrates two Olympic hopefuls from Hawaii: Teshya Alo and Clarissa Chun. They are competing in the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials on April 9-10 in Iowa City.

 

The film Winning Girl follows the four-year journey of Hawaii teenager Teshya Alo, whose sights are set on taking the gold at international judo and wrestling championships. Throughout, she also faces the challenges of growing up.

 

Then, Clarissa Chun talks to Leslie Wilcox about her experiences in what she calls a “fun but gruesome” sport. Long before winning an Olympic bronze medal in wrestling, Clarissa started competing in judo at age 7. By the time she took up wrestling at Roosevelt High School, Clarissa was unfazed about grappling with both boys and girls.

 

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