The format of the jumping competitions, offered to the public “to warm up” within the framework of the Channel One Team Cup, became a repetition of a well-forgotten old one.

30 years ago, the Masters Miko international team tournament was held in Paris for the first time.

Those competitions were held in the world-famous complex "Bercy", and the program, in addition to sports and artistic distribution, included a jumping tournament, and this event gathered all the strongest athletes at that time from the two-time Olympic champion Katarina Witt and the five-time European champion Suria Bonaly to the winner and medalist of the Games in Albertville Victor Petrenko and Paul Wiley.

Moreover, the rating won by the leaders of the season based on the results of all major performances was the main criterion for sending invitations.

The team tournament was not always, its format was constantly undergoing changes, but the main thing did not change: despite the fact that the event was regulated by the International Skating Union (ISU), it was primarily a show with all the accompanying specifics: stage presentation and lighting, theatrical effects, costumes and appropriate music.

Held by Masters Miko in April when the skating season was ending.

Accordingly, for the audience, that show was a kind of final chord without any serious sports background.

The tournament lasted 12 years, after which spectator and sponsor interests somehow imperceptibly faded away.

“People have always been interested in looking at who jumps better, who rotates better, all this is very spectacular, because the show was popular in France for many years, especially since the French had their own stars in single skating - Bonali and Philippe Candeloro.

Well, how interesting it will look in Russia, we will see already today, ”said on Friday the famous sports producer Ari Zakakryan, who in those years took part in Masters Miko as an invited guest.  

Could Megasport have embodied something similar to what once drew crowds at Bercy?

Probably not.

Due to the restrictions associated with the coronavirus, the hall of the country's main skating rink was not even one third full, and everything that happened on the ice, where the "boys 'team" competed with the "girls' team", only resembled a friendly and orderly drawn-out training meeting with highly predictable outcome.

The action was not perceived as a self-sufficient show, despite the presence on the ice as team captains Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva, and at the judging tables - the first Russian Olympic champion in women's individual skating Adelina Sotnikova, the patriarchs of the ice workshop Tatyana Tarasova, Elena Tchaikovskaya and Tamara Moskvina, as well as the winner of two Olympic gold medals in pair skating Maxim Trankov. 

On the other hand, it was Channel One that saved Russian figure skating as a sport this season, and for this it was worth to thank the organizers of the event and turn a blind eye to any organizational shortcomings.

Not to mention the fact that playing with lighting and stage effects in a jumping tournament would have been simply unreasonable: the battle of the participants for a prize of one million rubles, which involved quadruple jumps and cascades with them, already seemed too risky in terms of possible falls.

Especially taking into account the fact that at the end of February, within the framework of the Russian Cup final, skaters need to be fully armed at all costs in order to continue the selection for the March World Championship.

The result of the jumping tournament surprised not so much by the alignment of forces (the fact that Russian figure skaters are head and shoulders above the stronger sex is no secret for a long time), but by the distance the girls' team consisting of Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Alexandra Trusova, Anna Shcherbakova and Kamila Valieva broke away from the male quartet represented by Mikhail Kolyada, Dmitry Aliev, Makar Ignatov and Andrey Mozalev - more than 50 points.

The main creators of such an inglorious defeat were the most experienced Mikhail Kolyada and Dmitry Aliev, who thwarted the third round, in which the participants were ordered to perform a cascade of five jumps.

An alarming bell could sound that Kolyada returned to his old problem - replacing difficult jumps with "butterflies", but in fact it is hardly worth attaching importance to this: Alexei Mishin's ward, unlike all his rivals, managed to achieve this season the main thing - he won the right to speak at the end of March at the world championship in Stockholm.

On Friday, I wanted to speculate about something else: what other forms of performances can be invented and implemented, since figure skating has so firmly occupied the niche of entertainment shows on television? 

“At one time, my partner Hakob Manukyan and I performed quite successfully in an acrobatic duet, and even took part in the famous tour of Tom Collins.

- recalled Zakaryan.

- It seems to me that the idea of ​​such performances can be quite promising, since it opens up many technical and artistic opportunities for skaters.

The audience always welcomes competitions of this kind with enthusiasm - I myself was convinced of this when I held the extreme skating championship in America.

Women's duets and ice trios can be fun too.

They are very popular in Stars on Ice, and in general, this format is often used in all kinds of shows. " 

Another type of program, according to Zakaryan, could be a spinning tournament.

Moreover, it should have been carried out not within the framework of the existing rules that require the skater to continuously change edges and positions, but according to the good old classics: for the duration and speed of revolutions. 

“This is the most interesting thing about spins,” the specialist explained.

- I often go to the skating rinks and sometimes I ask this or that skater: "Show me a camel with a change of leg."

The paradox is that now in figure skating, almost no one can do this.

In the best case, he performs one revolution in a camel spin in a combined rotation - and that's where it ends.

But spinning in camel is not only difficult, but also bewitchingly beautiful. "

The specialist is sure that it is very important to preserve such elements.

Especially against the background of a large number of not the most aesthetic poses in the same spins, which are demonstrated in competitions only in order to get a higher level of difficulty.

“The only thing that I would very much like to avoid is that there is no substitution of concepts.

And the show was not mixed with sports and real competitions like the World Championships or the Olympic Games, ”concluded Zakaryan.

The last phrase of the ex-skater defined the best way to treat the Cup of the First Channel.

It is clear that against the background of the general competitive “no fish” everyone wants to see the shape of the main contenders for a trip to Stockholm, but do not forget that any show is just a game.