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  1. #61
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    apologies..I was completely unaware that Meagan had worked in pairs in any formal way before her partnership with Craig, but obviously, it must have been at nowhere near the same level. Until recently, we'd never get to see more than the top 8 or 10 ,nationally, on TV (and often no more than brief clips of the Jr. medalists)

    However , we all got to see Meagan as a singles skater , and in spite of her strengths..she was a textbook example of what was lacking in our program. Her shoulders were high and tense, her arms were stiff, her back was stiff , her leg extension low , with no turnout. I was completely impressed with what Gauthier managed to achieve with her in a couple of years , and even so, there's still room for improvement . Of course, her commitment and willingness to work are partly responsible for her improvement , too. It's clear that there's nothing lacking in the work ethic dept., so the fact that she had all these problems has to be the fault of her early training. With her drive to achieve, I'm sure if she'd been given the instruction, she would have striven to excel...If Barkell was her primary coach for all those years ( which I would doubt judging from his other skaters ) then I'll happily heap blame on him too.
    Last edited by Pratfall; 05-11-2010 at 08:10 AM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratfall View Post
    apologies..I was completely unaware that Meagan had worked in pairs in any formal way before her partnership with Craig, but obviously, it must have been at nowhere near the same level. Until recently, we'd never get to see more than the top 8 or 10 ,nationally, on TV (and often no more than brief clips of the Jr. medalists)
    In 2005, Meagan and Ryan's programs were both shown from Nationals. They were in 4th place heading into the free skate and made the final group, and they landed side-by-side triple Lutzes in the short. They had a meltdown of epic proportions in the free skate (and Meagan also had a five-fall free skate in singles, definitely an event she wanted to forget about quickly.) I know they were also shown on the Canadian broadcast of the World Juniors just a few months later because in the free skate, they landed a throw triple Lutz-- something not many teams were doing at that time, if at all. In the fall of 2005, they went to the Nebelhorn Trophy and actually beat Savchenko and Szolkowy in the free skate there.

  3. #63

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    Yup - I certainly remember Meagan skating pairs back then. Their short program was very exciting and their free was an exciting train wreck. It was fascinating and I was sorry that they didn't make it to the next season because I definitely remembered them and wanted to see what improvements the next year would bring. It appears Meagan always was a no-holds-barred kind of skater. Love that about her.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratfall View Post
    apologies..I was completely unaware that Meagan had worked in pairs in any formal way before her partnership with Craig, but obviously, it must have been at nowhere near the same level. Until recently, we'd never get to see more than the top 8 or 10 ,nationally, on TV (and often no more than brief clips of the Jr. medalists)

    However , we all got to see Meagan as a singles skater , and in spite of her strengths..she was a textbook example of what was lacking in our program. Her shoulders were high and tense, her arms were stiff, her back was stiff , her leg extension low , with no turnout. I was completely impressed with what Gauthier managed to achieve with her in a couple of years , and even so, there's still room for improvement . Of course, her commitment and willingness to work are partly responsible for her improvement , too. It's clear that there's nothing lacking in the work ethic dept., so the fact that she had all these problems has to be the fault of her early training. With her drive to achieve, I'm sure if she'd been given the instruction, she would have striven to excel...If Barkell was her primary coach for all those years ( which I would doubt judging from his other skaters ) then I'll happily heap blame on him too.
    IIRC, Lee was not Meagan's singles coach, and I believe she only began full-time training at Mariposa in her later teens, having stayed most of the time in Lively/Sudbury before that - which even though Sudbury 'produced' Jeff Buttle (though he only lived there a few years), isn't a world class training site.

    Meagan Duhamel & Ryan Arnold - 2005 Canadians SP They could do the jumps and throws but not much else. And IIRC, they started just for fun - Meagan wanted to try a throw with her friend and nailed it on the first try and decided to try pairs for fun. To go from 'just for fun' to top 6 in the world in 3 years, having started at 19 years old is pretty amazing.

    Meagan's first partner, Ryan was a somewhat successful pairs skater with his former partner Carla Montgomery, winning the Canadian junior title in 2002 and coming 5th and 6th at the Jr worlds with her in 02 and 03. They weren't outstanding, and IIRC she grew too tall for him, but his singles career helped him out in some areas, though he never developed in the more artistic aspects. I kind of always got the feeling from him that he wasn't very ambitious, which I think hurt Meagan's development during their short career together - you're only as strong as your weakest link.

    I also kind of think that Lee Barkell was run a bit ragged with all he had going on. He (at the time) was one of the top singles coaches in Canada (Buttle, Mabee, Ferreira, Oda...) as well as one of the top pairs coaches. Most coaches seem to specialize in just one discipline whereas he was an 'expert' in two. I'm not saying that hurt his coaching abilities (though there were rumors around the Torino time that Buttle started training more in Toronto because Lee couldn't focus as much time on him with Oda becoming a contender), but being able to take an elite pairing and working them over from the ground up basics in a short time would be a difficult mission for anyone - but to be devoting so much time to so many elite skaters while trying to form a new partnership that hits the ground running without being great at the basics - insane!

    I think that's why it took pairing with Craig for Meagan to really hit her stride. She was paired with a stronger partner which really worked with her work ethic. Craig also already excelled in the areas where Meagan struggled, so she had to up her game and it showed immensely. Right from their first competition, the improvement from her time with Ryan was blatantly obvious. Moving to Gauthier and having a larger team around them that was able to focus on them more than Lee was (IMO) able to really brought out the best in her.

    Again, I'm not bashing Lee - I think he's an amazing coach and works wonders. Though since Jeff's retirement it does kind of seem like he's dropped off the face of the earth. So happy that Oda's going back to him.

  5. #65
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    Meagan moved to Barrie in 2000 when she was 14 and trained with Lee Barkell from that time until she teamed up with Craig Buntin. Lee was listed as her singles coach and is mentioned in every article about her during that time. She had several years of training with Lee Barkell!
    Last edited by sk8tingfan30; 05-11-2010 at 07:52 PM. Reason: additional info

  6. #66
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    My God ! When you mentioned Meagan's former partner, I thought maybe I'd lost a whole year there.. I feared C.R.A.F.T. disease ( that's Can't Remember A F(bleep-bleep) Thing disease ) had set in big time..always a danger for us really - long - time fans
    I checked ,but no...I remembered most of the others in the top group or two ( including Terra Findlay and John Mattatal )...I just must have been sorely unimpressed.

    So maybe I've been giving Lee Barkell undeserved credit for all these years..maybe I was influenced by my extreme fondness for Jazz & Lenny. ..Like I said before, it's hard to know how much fault lies with the coach and how much with the guidance or standards of Skate Canada... Boo! Hiss ! to the culprits... Meagan could have achieved the improvement in line, etc. that she has under Gautier ( and much more easily ) if that effort had started at 14 or earlier. It would have improved her results as a singles skater, too.

    And all the more Kudos to RG and his team.

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    Meagan Duhamel had no ballet training whatsoever when she was at Mariposa and she trained in Barrie from the time she was quite young. The first thing Gaultier when she went to Montreal was to put her in ballet training. Since teaming with Radford, she has stepped up her ballet classes.

    When Lee Barkell was being named as "Canadian Coach of the Year" in 2006, he was really over-committed. He was working with Jeff Buttle, Nobunari Oda, Langlois & Hay, and those were just his international elite skaters. He also had Joey Russell who won Jr. Men's in 2006, Jamie Forsyth (bronze, Canadian Jr. Men's 2006), Meaghan Duhamel (4th Sr. Women's), and a slew of Jr./Novice Pairs teams. After Canadians, the Moscovitch's and Stephanie Moratta switched to Lee Barkell, as Paul Wirtz was ill and passed away a few months later.

    At Canadians in 2006, some of the "lesser" skaters were saying that they were getting 15 minutes every other day with Lee, when he was in Barrie. With Jeff, Nobu and L&H on the senior GP circuit, and Russell and the younger pairs teams on the Jr. circuit, that wasn't often.

    While Mariposa has always used a "team approach" to coaching, it's difficult to get attention with a top ranked coach when you're not on the "A" list. Not surprisingly, a couple of years later, many of the "B" list of students had moved to other training centres.

  8. #68
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    Thanks, Dragonlady. I've been meaning to come back to this, but keep getting distracted. As a long time fan but an outsider, I'd like to know what stance Skate Canada is taking on this nowadays. I'm sure it's been at least a decade that we've been hearing noises about the need to develop more rounded skaters , but not seeing evidence of any real concerted effort as far as dance training goes.

    It seems to me that the best solution would be if the coach was required ( at least very strongly encouraged ) to provide this as part of their training regimen . I know there would be no shortage of qualified dance teachers out there ( particularly at the more junior levels) who would be happy for the work. If there was a room attached to the ice rink where the skaters could at least take a barre , it would save the parents extra running around.The students would just accept it as part of their training. And they would be in a class with other skaters.

    I'm sure the situation is better now than when I was a kid ( at least I certainly hope so), but I often think of my first skating friend whom I met when I was 11 or 12. Her coach ( maybe a bit progressive ,at the time) suggested it might not be a bad idea to take a few ballet classes. It was just a suggestion, maybe in response to her mother asking if there was something more they could be doing.

    We became friends, but other than that , I don't know how much she really got out of the experience. She didn't stick with it for even a year. She was the only skater not just in our class, but in the whole school. She would have felt very uncomfortable in a much younger class, yet she was very far behind the rest of the class close to her age. She was doomed to be the one who was always being corrected and since she blushed easily , I know she was mortified a good deal of the time.

    I've often thought of her over the years and thought how much different it could have been for her if she had had a short ballet class once a week from the time she started skating or if she could have been in a class with other skaters who would all be working on the same things with her.
    Last edited by Pratfall; 05-21-2010 at 06:52 AM.

  9. #69

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    Anabelle Langlois' retirement was made official by Skate Canada today.

    ETA link to thread in GSD: Anabelle Langlois retires; Cody Hay plans to continue competing
    Last edited by Sylvia; 05-21-2010 at 06:53 PM.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sit_spin View Post
    Is Mylene Brodeur planning to retire as well, or just John Mattatall?
    Mylene and John registered for Quebec Summer Skate will be held August 5-8, so they are not retiring.

    http://www.patinage.qc.ca/userfiles/...scriptions.pdf

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyf View Post
    Mylene and John registered for Quebec Summer Skate will be held August 5-8, so they are not retiring.

    http://www.patinage.qc.ca/userfiles/...scriptions.pdf
    and Mylene's getting married tomorrow

  12. #72
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    At a recent WOS seminar Dylan spoke to the young skaters about how he was working to improve himself and is now taking ballet. He asked the entire group who took ballet -3 kids put up their hand-2 boys and 1 girl. Strange, it doesn't seem like there is the same theories about ballet being good for skaters..it was also strange that there were more boys than girls doing ballet too. ( the one little boy said he danced 5 days a week and the other boy 4)

  13. #73

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    Very few of the girls who skated with my daughter were taking ballet. She was one of the only ones. It made a visible difference in her posture, her balance, the way she moved her arms and held her hands and it most definitely reflected in her marks. The improvement in her balance was very marked.

    Both the Cricket Club and the Granite Club have ballet instructors. Summer camps usually have some dance component to them. But from what I've seen, the calibre of dance instruction available in these adjunct programs wasn't the best. More like giving the students some ballet background as opposed to expecting them to learn ballet.

    My daughter's ballet mistress is very highly regarded and placed a number of children with the National Ballet School. The difference between the level of instruction my daughter received from this woman, as opposed to the ballet programs she worked with that were affiliated with skating schools, was like night and day.

  14. #74
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    The new pair of Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford is official!! They are registered at the Quebec Summer championships 2010 in Pierrefonds and they will represent the province of Quebec.

    Go to the page 28 here: http://www.patinage.qc.ca/userfiles/...ions%20(2).pdf

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    Re: ballet- Well thanks, you guys - that is pretty much as I feared. It seems a real shame to me that we're not really seeing to it that our skaters have all the help they can get.

  16. #76

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    At a recent WOS seminar Dylan spoke to the young skaters about how he was working to improve himself and is now taking ballet.
    I find this quite encouraging. If his actions really match up with his words and he is taking some serious ballet training, that could really help with the only major weakness that I see with with this team (other than their inexperience) - their lack of refinement.

    It is too bad that it isn't taken more seriously by some other skaters, though.

  17. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by quebecoise View Post
    The new pair of Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford is official!! They are registered at the Quebec Summer championships 2010 in Pierrefonds and they will represent the province of Quebec.

    Go to the page 28 here: http://www.patinage.qc.ca/userfiles/...ions%20(2).pdf


    These photos of some outside lifts are really cute, especially where Meagan is watering the plants from up high.

  18. #78

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    Eric is so secure on the lifts, It's one of his greatest strengths. Craig was hampered in that regard by a shoulder which was always iffy at best. This prevented them from doing more complex lifts with multiple changes of position.

    I have my fingers crossed that Meagan and Eric can remain healthy and give it their best shot.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andora View Post


    These photos of some outside lifts are really cute, especially where Meagan is watering the plants from up high.
    Meaghan is so SOOO buff! Can't wait to see them!

  20. #80
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    Radford has curl power.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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