Many in the skating world expected Jean Senft to detail judging scandals in her newly released book “Triumph on Ice.”
It is difficult to think of Senft without remembering the aftermath of the judging of the ice dance event at the 1998 Olympics. But this new book is not a tell-all memoir.
Senft, one of Canada’s most experienced judges, details the scoring system introduced in 2003. Although it is no longer new, casual fans still have trouble understanding the numbers. In the third chapter, Senft explains how skaters earn points in all disciplines. She breaks down the program components mark and outlines what the judges look for within each category. I picked up a few new pointers.
For some reason, the presentation seems imbalanced. Senft’s technical explanations only comprise the first 38 pages of the book. When I turned from page 39 to 40, the transition was jarring. I was no longer reading a book about judging in 2010. Suddenly it was a coffee-table book, with stunning full-page photographs of competitors from the 2010 Olympics and World Championships.
I flipped ahead to see if it would transition back into written chapters, but aside from a short conclusion at the end, the rest of the 132 pages were just photographs.
This is not a bad thing, though. Gérard Châtaigneau’s photographs are perfectly showcased in this hardcover volume. Senft’s judging tips do carry through the photographic chapters in the form of captions, so the ideas she presented in the first few sections are not completely lost.
While the book is a beautiful keepsake, the packaging seems a little strange, as if the publisher combined two separate books into one.
Still, I think it is well worth the price for the technical explanations and the full-page photographs, espec-ially for fans who want to chronicle a memorable 2010 season. The book was released in Canada in September 2010. It is scheduled for release in the U.S. on March 1, 2011.
Originally published in April 2011