One thing I'll say for B&A, and especially Tanith, is how classy and well-spoken she has always been and especially about her fellow competitors. She really shows wonderful sportsmanship.
ITA. I watched the whole competition not really caring who won, and that is exactly how I would have placed the top 5. V&M WERE clearly better in both the OD and FD than D&W - as much as I love the latter team they just weren't on par with V&M here.Politics had nothing to do with it. D&W were just purely better than B&A. But at the Olympics V&M were better than D&W. I truly believe the skating spoke for itself this season. With regard to the North American scene, the judges did the right thing and had the right skaters in the right places.
I don't agree. I thought Domnina's line just outclassed B&A. Speed, unison, and difficulty were all even. It was their best skate of the season and very deserving of a bronze IMO.With regard to V/M & D/W, yes. With regard to D/S & B/A, I think no. D/S were sloppy and their programs were awful. I think B/A should have been 3rd.
It's hard for me to say as I wasn't in Vancouver, but seeing both teams live head to head in exhibition performances of their FD at both the Nationals and Worlds send-offs, B/A looked far better than D/S. Between the two events D/S definitely improved, but the gap was pretty significant. Before Nationals, they were out skated (less power/speed/ice coverage, looked labored, etc) by one of the US junior teams that qualified for the JGPF, so when I say they improved a lot, there was a ton of room to do so and still not match the level B/A were at.
But what's done is sadly done. I just want to give Tanith and Ben a hug...they have been such good sports through this all. I cannot imagine how devastating this is for them underneath it all, to be out done by two teams that were the little junior teams at their rink for many years in detroit, and to be taken off the podium by their injured and controversy-ridden rink mates who unjustly took the world title from them last year as well. I am so proud of Tanith and Ben's attitudes through this... I think I am more upset than they are!!
I was at the FD live and I can say that B&A were definitely better than D&S. D&S were slow, he had very shallow edges and there was a lot of empty choreography in their program.
V&M skate for Canada, not for the U.S. B&A and D&W skate for the U.S. and that's the issue, who would be the lead couple for the U.S.. Which U.S. couple would have the best chance to defeat the Canadians in what would be a two-country competition for the Olympic gold medal in ice dancing. Remember, V&M and their American counterpart would either have gold or silver. That was the foregone conclusion before the Olympic competition. None of the other couples were contending for the top two spots. I believe the U.S. federation consulted with Speilband regarding which of his two "American" couples could best compete for the gold medal against his Canadian couple. A decision was made that D&W stood the best chance to compete against V&M for the gold medal. This decision was made early on. B&A felt support for them, from the Speilband camp and the U.S. fed., slipping away and that's what precipitated the move to Linichuck. If B&A had stayed with Speilband, would it not have damaged their chances, as you suggest? That's a good question. Theoretically, B&A would then have had an opportunity to win at nationals and the Olympic gold medal. If that's your argument. If B&A had stayed with Speilband, they would have had a chance for Olympic gold? That's an interesting notion.
This is my argument: B&A were the lead couple but were setback, in favor of the second couple. You don't stab your lead couple in the back, prior to an Olympics, before the end of the Olympic cycle. B&A had the credentials--the medals. D&W had nothing. If the second couple is showing improvement and may have risen to or even surpass the lead couple by degrees, still you stay with the lead couple through the Olympics. They have the stature in the eyes of the world community. Where would it have taken them? You promote them, not tear them down--like what was done in this country.
Three top couples being coached by the same man. V&M and D&W could afford to be friends. They weren't competing against each other in practice on a daily basis, the Canadians had their spot on Canada's team. D&W weren't as friendly with B&A. They were competing for the top spot on the U.S. team. Would B&A have had a better chance if they had stayed with Speilband. That's a question that never can be answered. At any rate, I've wasted enough time writing on figure skating discussion boards. I have better things to do--for myself.
They way I see it, both V&M and D&W just have a lot more raw talent than B&A. B&A improved when they went to Linichuk and she did manage to bring something good things out of them. But I also don't think the vehicles she gave B&A were the best ones for them either.
When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.
Shame they aren't going to worlds because their golden waltz is the best this season!!
I may not be a huge fan of Belbin's skating. at. all. But. I respect her decision to move to Linichuk 2 years before the Games (which they wanted the gold oh so badly). Which brings the question did they ever express disappointment with placing 4th??? Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet.
Interesting to read all the posts here regarding Igor Shpilband's lovefest with the USA fed and vice versa...
I saw a commercial on tv yesterday (I think it was for a wrist watch, but I'm not sure.) Anyway, Tanith & Ben were skating against a dark background and Ben was wearing black, so he really didn't stand out. At the end of the commercial, it was annouced that so-and-so was the "proud sponsor of Tanith Belbin." Not Belbin and Agosto, but Tanith Belbin.
I thought that was a bit strange...
Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...
well here is a solo interview with Ben (and he doesn't even get asked about Tanith at all...) Hilarious, and Ben handles it well! he's probably the most underrated person in the world, such a great guy!