The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - Jan. 29

Cassar's missing necklace adds intrigue to men's short

Jonathan Cassar and the case of the missing necklace added some intrigue Friday night.
Jonathan Cassar and the case of the missing necklace added some intrigue Friday night. (Sarah S. Brannen)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(01/29/2011) - Sarah and Drew bring you the latest dish from Greensboro.

Last to skate
We ran into Drew Gonzales on his way to the athletes' lounge at the hotel as he was getting ready for the short program Friday night.

"I just want to compete!" he said.

Gonzales started laughing about the competition schedule.

"I feel like they forgot about the senior men's competition," he joked. "We are the last to start and only ones who have to compete on Sunday! We even have to miss the competitors party Saturday night! It's ok; I guess I am here for skating."

Ryan Bradley was beaming as he hurried backstage to talk to the media after his spectacular short program last night. "Aw, there are more than three people here!" he said with a laugh, as he saw the waiting crowd. "They brought me a chair because I'm old."

Bradley sat down to take off his skates and talked about his recovery from a broken bone in his foot. He said the best part of his time off the ice, when he did a lot of seminars, was "Getting to talk to the kids who are where I was 150 years ago. Just kidding. I'm not that old."

It wouldn't be skating without some drama, and the men's short program had its share early on, as Jonathan Cassar's necklace broke during his program and the crucifix pendant flew across the ice.

"I saw it fly off," he said later. "I always wear it -- it has never broken before!"

Cassar found the pendant as soon as he finished his program, but the chain was nowhere to be found, and a squadron of sweepers was hastily dispatched to search for it while Jeremy Abbott patiently circled, awaiting his turn. The officials asked Cassar to check and make sure the chain hadn't fallen inside his costume.

"They wanted me to take off my shirt in the kiss and cry!" he said.

Frank Carroll shielded Cassar with his warm-up jacket while he hunted and the crowd laughed, and Parker Pennington finally found the chain on the ice during his warm-up, when he skated over it.

Pairs skater
We saw Stephen Carriere on the concourse this morning; he withdrew from the men's competition a few weeks ago.

"I came to watch the pairs and the ladies," he said. "I need to take mental notes on the event. I moved back home to Boston, and I've been talking to Bobby Martin and Sheryl Franks. I've always been interested in pairs."

Wait, he's switching to pairs?

"Yes, I'd like to compete pairs," Carriere confirmed. "I've been working with a couple of girls, learning the basics. And I have to get back to the gym and start working out more!"

Blades of Champions
You may not realize that the new U.S. junior dance champion, Dean Copely, is one of the two guys who infamously donned Blades of Glory costumes and did a little routine during the zamboni break at the 2009 U.S. Championships. But he is.

We tracked Copely down on the concourse on Friday to make sure it was ok to spill the beans, and he said it absolutely was.

"I'm all about humor on the ice," he said. "I think it's great!"

Speaking of ice cuts, we have been amused to see that the people who fill holes in the ice during the breaks seem to be required to wear either helmets or, for some reason, cowboy hats.

Hall of Fame
As it always does, the Hall of Fame reception included good food and a roomful of famous skaters. This year, the entire 1961 world team was inducted, and members of the families of those killed accepted silver bowls on their behalf. In the crowd: Peggy Fleming, Paul Wylie, Judy Blumberg, JoJo Starbuck, Tiffany Chin, Elaine Zayak, Mark Mitchell, Ben Agosto, Jerod Swallow, Pasquale Camerlengo and David Liu.

"I didn't realize there would be such good food here!" said Liu. "I ate before I came, unfortunately."

Our Olympic champion count now stands at seven, including, for the first time, Evan Lysacek. We saw him after his press conference this morning, and he'll be skating in the exhibition tomorrow.

Sarah and Drew
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