The most exciting pairs team today for me are Savchenko & Szolkowy. Pang & Tong had great routines at the Olympics and Worlds, and it will be fun to see what they might do if they plan on continuing. I've loved watching the great connection between Shen & Zhao, and their uplifting mastery on the ice. G&G simply one of the greatest pairs of all time. But today, for me, Savchenko & Szolkowy in collaboration with their coach, Ingo Steuer, have raised the bar in pairs figure skating. I look forward to seeing what they will do this coming season.
It's sad to hear about the break-up of McLaughlin/ Brubaker. Hopefully, Rockne will find another partner. For a short time, I believe Tai Babilonia had been a mentor for them (someone to talk with who had been there, done that). Tai has a great interview from last year on manleywoman's podcast in which she speaks about giving advice to Rockne and Keauna. She had asked them, "How much do you want it?" and "What do you feel right now?" Tai shared her experiences with Keauna, and told her she understood that feeling of being overwhelmed. She counseled Keauna and Rockne to have patience, and work on improving and not worry or think too much about winning. That's good advice for all skaters. One thing Tai emphasized for all U.S. pairs: "Stay together doing the tough times and the growth spurts, because you will have a better chance of succeeding in the end." The important thing Tai noted was that both sets of parents, the coach, and the pairs team must all be on the same page. Tai also stated that if you come to a point where you're not happy and you don't feel you really want it, then you should get out.
Here's some inspiration for pairs skaters of today. Watch those pull Arabians, the cartwheel lift, split jumps, and the spread eagles into ina bauers! Tai and Randy didn't have the speed of Rodnina and Zaitsev, but they had superb command, precision, artistic flair, finished moves, and unparalled unison.