Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic has won the gold on October 22, 2011, at the Hilton Honors Skate America championship, held at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
The 21-year old reportedly brought his performance down a notch, skating only a triple-triple instead of the planned quadruple-triple jump because he didn’t want to chance having a perfect performance.
The result was Brezina taking the gold for the men’s short program and beating Belgium’s Kevin Van Der Perren, who won the silver andof Japan, who got the bronze.
And it wasn’t as if the young skater did not have the world on his shoulders by the time he got to show what he had as an athlete and performer – he was the ninth of ten skaters in the competition.
Previously, Brezina had come in fourth in the world championships held last year and when you’re out of medal contention – you’ve got nothing to lose. As they say, you can only go up!
Brezina’s score of 79.08 in fact gave him a lead of almost 10 points from defending champion Kozuka of Japan who faltered on his quad toe loop-triple toe loop combo early on in the competition, no doubt making the young Czech rethink his strategy. It paid off!
Ironically, Brezina used the music of Japanese Kodo Drums as an accompaniment to his program in order to set himself apart and as a nod to his two biggest rivals who are both Japanese.The Czech skater said that he had been practicing and perfecting his quad-triple combination up to that point but watching the best of the bunch falter on it, concurred with his coaches that he should do a triple-triple instead.