I think that part of the decline can also be attributed to Russia's rise in singles.
Last edited by DarrellH; 02-14-2013 at 06:47 PM.
I am not sure what you mean by "obvious look issue", and given A/E's international successes, I wonder who the "no one" are that considers A/E not a threat.
And this Euros was the weakest probably ever. European ice dancing is dying along with the Russian school, especially once P&B retire. DomShabs bronze in 2010 was the worst result at the Olympics for the #1 Russian team (they had always won gold or at least silver), and it's looking very possible there will be no medal at all in Sochi. This is also the longest streak they have gone without a medal at Worlds, and given that the Russian teams were 5th and 6th at GPF (without W&P), there is no guarantee of a medal, only a chance. I can't remember a time before when Russians were not considered gold medal threats, even if they didn't actually win. Even DomShabs were a gold medal contender.
It's very likely that Russia will not win an ice dancing medal in Sochi. Just like they were not close to a medal in Moscow worlds. The issues of senior dance collapse when put up against Detroit/Michigan training happens in every senior worlds and also 2010 Olympics.
Oh Davis & White won't retire after 2014 at all, IMO.
The 2018 podium will consist of gold for I&K, with the battle for silver and bronze between one of B&S, an up and comer from juniors, and possibly, possibly D&W (only if they stay til 2018).
I think it's more like the rest of the world has caught up with Russia, than Russian ice dance going into serious decline. All they have to do is what had worked for them in the past- find young talent at an early age, and cultivate it.
My earlier comment still holds- Russian coaches moving to the west is one of the reasons for the decline, but it is not as big a decline as it may appear; a lot has to do with the west figuring out how to win in ice dance.
The flip side is Russia has gained a lot in the ladies field, and there is some decline in the USA ladies (an understatement?)
Elena and Nikita will have a great shot post 2014
they have many good juniors too going to seniors like Stepanova/Bukin
the 2010 was the transition period where all the soviet born ice dancers retired
They do need to find young talent (which they have in abundance), and cultivate it, but something about how they are going about cultivating is clearly not working.
There could be one more factor. In the past - USSR years- the top skaters went for pairs and ice dance. Those were their glamor sports. Now a lot more talented skaters are skating singles, thus reducing the pool for pairs and ice dance. Pairs still look OK to me, but ice dance has definitely suffered. I still believe that the North Americans have figured out how to win with the current rules, while the Russians may still be a step behind (not for long though).