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  1. #1

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    A. Savchenko/R. Szolkowy: 10 amazing years

    This May, it has been exactly 10 years that Aljona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy teamed up and started training under Ingo Steuer. I think they deserve their own cheering and news thread. :-)

    A video collage was published to celebrate their amazing career: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=2&theater

    Aljona and Robin's achievements include four World titles, eight consecutive titles at Worlds and a medal at each Grand Prix event of their career since they started competing on the GP in fall 2004.

    At a training camp combined with vacation in Florida, the team and Ingo Steuer started working on the new programs, according to this Icenetwork article: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news

    I try to get going this thread by asking you
    What is your favorite program of Aljona and Robin?

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    I love so many of their programs. But my favorites :
    2006 SP (Souvenir de Chine) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvUicimy5cg

    2007 LP (Mission) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ipkwkZBK2Q

    And 2010 LP (Out of Africa) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXG19Nhttmk

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    The video collage unfortunately was deleted by Facebook and youtube as apparently it violated copyrights. :-( Too bad.

    They posted a different video on youtube which is unfortunately geoblocked in Germany, but maybe not in all countries (I can see it in Russia): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2mpgSG_aFQ

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    And here is the first video again, hopefully not blocked in too many places: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94gaCUrvXoY

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    As for the favorite programs, I agree it is very hard to pick. Most of their programs are unique and pushed the limits.
    I especially loved Pina (2011/12 season), Pink Panther (2010/11 season) and the Bollywood SP, but also a lot of others (L'Oiseau, Souvenir de Chine, Out of Africa, The Mission....)

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    So many beautiful ones, but I'll go with "Somewhere in Time."

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    Thanks so much, Eislauffan for starting this tribute thread and for posting the videos.

    I can't express how much I have enjoyed watching Aliona, Robin and Ingo create magical and memorable moments. What a remarkable and legendary team! I most admire their loyalty to each other and the way they have consistently challenged themselves and not rested on their laurels.

    Here's one of my favorites that I was looking back at today (and posted in the German skating thread in GSD):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXG19Nhttmk Out of Africa 2009 (S/S are in top form here)

    In addition to the above performance, I love the program that introduced S/S to the World stage in 2005: Casablanca, and I love, love Pina, Schindler's List, and Send in the Clowns. Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Souvenir de Chine are also fun signature programs, and Asoka, Lost in Space, Korobushka, and The Pink Panther were all risks that paid off. Of course they skated many wonderful exhibitions that also demonstrated great depth, range, and versatility.

    My favorite program of all is The Mission lp (their first European championship in 2007, and a hard-won victory during a difficult season. They weathered challenges during that period which might have broken up most teams):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ipkwkZBK2Q


    Thank you Aliona, Robin and Ingo!!!


    ETA: Ah, the pictures of young Robin and young Aliona from the tribute videos -- sooo cute!
    Last edited by aftershocks; 05-20-2013 at 08:40 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eislauffan View Post
    They posted a different video on youtube which is unfortunately geoblocked in Germany, but maybe not in all countries (I can see it in Russia): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2mpgSG_aFQ
    Robin hasn't changed a bit since he was a kid (other than becoming a bit bigger and taller )! Thanks for sharing, any chance that someone could translate the captions? My German is, well, non-existent.

    Favorite programs - so tough to pick! I first noticed them when the skated The Mission, so I have a soft spot for that. Send in the Clowns is really good even with the awful makeup. The Pink Panther is so fun, Out of Africa so pretty, but I'll go with Pina because it was difficult, innovative, really cool and and interesting. I just wish they could have had a truly performance of it at Worlds... I also hope they can do something of that level rather a blah effort like this season's LP. And not that I want to wish another pair ill, but unless V/T make mistakes, S/S will not be allowed to win and they so deserve an OGM. I hope they get it and do so after skating brilliantly.

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    Pina (LP from 2011-12) is definitely my favourite.

  10. #10
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    Souvenir, Korobushko, Out of Africa, The Pink Panther, and Pina are my favorites. They are so versatile - more than many ice dancers! They really spend time crafting a performance that is not just a bunch of level 4 elements but which sets a mood in the character of the dance.

    I admit, I used to think they were overrated from 2006-2009 when they became successful while having many messy performances, but they have grown into all that difficulty and now they are outstanding and do things no one else can do, including V&T. It has now come full circle to the point where I don't believe they are being credited fully for what they're doing, and they won't be given a chance to win over V&T again, possibly even if V&T have mistakes. What a shame. They have been the leaders of pairs skating for the past 7 years in my book even if they weren't always the champions.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post
    ... I don't believe they are being credited fully for what they're doing, and they won't be given a chance to win over V&T again, possibly even if V&T have mistakes. What a shame. They have been the leaders of pairs skating for the past 7 years in my book even if they weren't always the champions.
    ^^ ITA, and yes indeed, what a shame. Especially so after the difficult 2010 Olympic season for S/S when Shen & Zhao came back as favorites and ultimately received the much deserved Olympic gold medal that they'd missed out on being awarded in 2006. Now after last season being hampered by illness and artistic choices that did not pay off, S/S seem to have a mountain to climb in Sochi, as judges (and politics within the sport) clearly seem to prefer sending the message that V/T are the be-all, end-all.

    In fact, I think some judges would have liked to reward V/T with gold at 2012 Worlds but S/S's chutzpah in attempting a throw 3-axel and their innovative Pina could not be denied. V/T were awful in their 2012 sp and superb in their fp, and still nearly edged S/S in Nice, which shows to me that S/S do not necessarily receive reputation advantage (despite all the clamor in some quarters re S/S edging D/R for silver at 2013 Worlds). Clearly S/S were a bit low-balled in their 2013 Worlds sp marks in order to keep them far behind V/T. IMO, S/S have to constantly prove themselves, as their slightest show of weakness is grounds for pushing them aside (i.e., S/S paid heavily for not having a stellar showing at 2013 Europeans, and for not exhibiting great music and costume choices last season. OTOH, V/T had okay but not very strong or innovative programs and they were sloppy during the early part of last season, yet still won everything with consistently high marks).


    That said, I expect Aliona, Robin and Ingo to give it their all and their absolute best this coming season. No matter what, I'm looking forward to enjoying every moment of their final competitive season, and I hope they will be energized!

    S/S will need to bring their brilliant innovation and mastery apparently to even distance themselves from D/R and other challengers, as per the writing on the wall at 2013 Worlds. (Of course D/R are an entertaining, competitive, and solid pairs team and I appreciate them a lot. I think D/R are quite wonderful, but they do not possess the overall polish and track record of S/S). V/T are a strong and highly competitive team and they definitely improved over the course of last season with their performances even though their programs were not great stand-outs. However, I feel V/T need to bring a great deal more to the table before being heavily anointed as so much greater than Aliona and Robin.

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    Pina, undoubtedly. To me that was their signature piece, and exemplified everything that is great about this team - creativity, difficulty, unison, power as well as great skating, of course. I don't think they could have done it until this stage in their careers. Right now I think they are the only team capable of doing a program requiring that much maturity and confidence.

    But perhaps this year's programs will eclipse even Pina? I hope so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post

    In fact, I think some judges would have liked to reward V/T with gold at 2012 Worlds but S/S's chutzpah in attempting a throw 3-axel and their innovative Pina could not be denied. V/T were awful in their 2012 sp and superb in their fp, and still nearly edged S/S in Nice, which shows to me that S/S do not necessarily receive reputation advantage (despite all the clamor in some quarters re S/S edging D/R for silver at 2013 Worlds). Clearly S/S were a bit low-balled in their 2013 Worlds sp marks in order to keep them far behind V/T. IMO, S/S have to constantly prove themselves, as their slightest show of weakness is grounds for pushing them aside (i.e., S/S paid heavily for not having a stellar showing at 2013 Europeans, and for not exhibiting great music and costume choices last season. OTOH, V/T had okay but not very strong or innovative programs and they were sloppy during the early part of last season, yet still won everything with consistently high marks).
    I thought S/S received reputation advantage at the 2011 Euros over K/S, and maybe over D/R at the last worlds but it seems like usually they are held down in favour of V/T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    I thought S/S received reputation advantage at the 2011 Euros over K/S, and maybe over D/R at the last worlds but it seems like usually they are held down in favour of V/T.
    I agree. I think Send in the Clowns was my fave but it's so hard to pick just one.

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    My favorites: Send in the Clowns, Korobushka, The Mission, Pink Panther and Pina.

    Favorite exhibition: Leningrad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-U7lWsb9tQ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Robin hasn't changed a bit since he was a kid (other than becoming a bit bigger and taller )! Thanks for sharing, any chance that someone could translate the captions? My German is, well, non-existent.
    You asked for it, you got a (very incomplete and somewhat dicey) translation. Help, someone who is actually fluent!
    Your career is a one-of-a-kind story.
    A little boy named Robin, who was born on the Ostsee and in his younger years moved with his mother to Erfurth. By chance he they tried out the newly opened ice rink and from then on was in love with (excited about) figure skating. Nothing but his favorite sport held his attention; daily he spent more and more hours in a cold building, while his friends ”chilled.”
    From singles skater to pairs skater, to synchronized skating and back to pairs skating, with which he’d started so well (?), then. . .

    Four years after Robin was born, in Kiev was born a little blonde girl named Aljona, who dreamed early on of being a famous pairs skater and to give the public lasting smiles (?).

    A young, something little person, who (something about being similar in temperament). . . wants to reach the best place sought, for the long term an new partner who was just as excited as she was and had the same goal as she did.
    So she after receiving a unique letter in the mail she travel from Kiev to Germany to skate and try training on March 20, 2003. And thus, they were named the new German dream pair, Aljona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy.

    Together with Ingo Steuer, famous active skaters, they built Germany’s definitive ice skating trio.

    They became the German champions in 2004, followed by championships in the years 2005-2009 and 2011.

    In spite of various problems, together they fought and won everything that could be won in their journey. Already they are four-time world champions and four-time European champions. Still, they want to be Olympic champions.

    Um, something about dreaming and their new ideas improving figure skating overall.

    Every day the biggest and most important event, the Olympic Games, come a bit closer. Therefore they take risks and have more to lose than anyone. With outstanding elements and programs they have enchanted viewers and revitalized figure skating, and given it a completely new meaning. ART. PERFECTION. TRUTH/GENUINENESS. A VOICE (?). SUFFERING. MODERNITY.

    The pinnacle (crown) of their career will be the Olympic Games, at which, unlike with the Vancouver games, they will focus on the middle step of the podium.
    It's been a very long time, and I was never anywhere near fluent.

    I think I first noticed these two with their Mission program (that year it seemed like everyone had a Mission program, darnit)--found them so interesting, and they weren't afraid to not be "pretty-pretty" with their skating and do some different stuff. Sure, they've had some bizarro costuming choices over the years, but I really appreciate how they just go into it full throttle--you have to admire a man, especially, who's not afraid to wear lavender pleather or pom poms. Total for Robin and Aliona both.

    I do hope they can win OGM over V/T, who I find very uninteresting.
    Last edited by LilJen; 05-21-2013 at 11:38 PM.
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

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    Thank you for the translation, LilJen!
    Really nice videos...

    My favourite program of theirs is definitely "Pina". Though it will be hard for me to name some their program I don't like. Somehow I always loved their competitive programs much more than their exhibitions though (except "Leningrad" maybe).
    Oh, and I loooove their crazy costumes. I embrace their creativity even if sometimes they looked pretty weird.

    I was really sad for them in Vancouver. But I bless that bronze medal for the chance to see them competing for four more years.

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    Sigh.....

    I love The Mission because it's pretty much perfect. I love L'Oiseau because it creates such a fascinating mood. I love Out of Africa because the chemistry they share is palpable. I love The Pink Panther because it showcased a revitalized team after a disappointing Olympic season. I love Pina because it's easily the most ambitious pairs choreography since Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze's heyday. They're going to be the first four-time pairs champions to not win the Olympics in nearly 80 years, and that's a crying shame. But they are what is exceptional about COP.

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    I have pretty much loved all of their programs from 2009 onward. Schindler's List, Out of Africa, Korobushko, Pink Panther, and Pina have all been absolute masterpieces IMO. Admittedly I was irritated previously when they did so well with so many mistakes, but the level of difficulty in everything they do, and the precise technique they show, makes it understandable. And they have grown so much as a pair.

    I'm definitely rooting for them to win OGM in Sochi. It's a heck of a long shot, but if they have special programs with special performances, I think they have a shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    I thought S/S received reputation advantage at the 2011 Euros over K/S, and maybe over D/R at the last worlds but it seems like usually they are held down in favour of V/T.
    Hmmm, I think S/S have always been much better than K/S, even at Euros 2011!

    S/S have definitely been kept close to V/T in the marks over the last few seasons, even when I feel V/T were not as strong. When S/S are strong but not stellar, V/T are given the edge. And this season, with S/S slightly more vulnerable, V/T were scored out of sight. I thought S/S were a bit low-balled in the sp marks at Worlds 2013 and should have been scored higher. D/R were very good but I don't think they were better in every way than S/S, although I get people's feelings re the fp results.


    ETA:
    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    ...

    I do hope they can win OGM over V/T, who I find very uninteresting.
    Yeah, yep. There is just something that's still missing with Max and Tatiana -- a unique identity perhaps to set them apart from the same old aesthetically-pleasing classic Russian style. And sometimes they are a bit sloppy and boring. However, there is also something there that could be great, but it just hasn't gelled yet for them. V/T are beautiful to watch most of the time but they're not as dynamic and innovative as S/S.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 05-23-2013 at 06:09 AM.

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