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  1. #681

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    I'm sad for Simpson/Blackmer, but I'm glad that they are both planning to continue.

  2. #682

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    Simpson/Blackmer...somehow I knew this was coming.

    I'm really sad for this, will always enjoy their Titanic program, it was lovely. Best wishes for both of them in their future!
    MERYL DAVIS AND CHARLIE WHITE - 2014 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALISTS!

  3. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Simpson/Blackmer split: http://www.usfsa.org/Story.asp?id=49788&type=media

    Both will look for new partners.

    What sad news to read after the Thanksgiving weekend.

    Seriously, I've always said they were one of my favorite jr. pair teams, tied with Madeline Aaron & Max Settlage, and was so looking forward to them debuting as Seniors this year. Their "Titanic" program was truly iconic, their masterpiece, what they'll be known for.

    She in particular really draws the eye with her passion and musicality. Reminiscent of Sasha Cohen in a way, but taller and longer limbed. Therein lies her downfall in pairs skating though. Methinks this is the real reason why neither of her partnerships lasted more than 3 yrs. And makes me wonder if she has grown even taller than 5'3"? After all she is 17 yrs. old now and may have grown a bit more...

    Here's hoping Britney does not have to look outside the USA for a partner, the same way Caitlin Yankowskas had to do, whom after searching for a couple of years finally found her 6-foot tall+ prince in Great Britain.

    Take heart young Britney, and look to pair couples like Vanessa James (5'6")/Morgan Cipres(6') and Sui(4'11")/Han(5'7").

  4. #684

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    The latest "Inside Edge" blog has details on why Chris Knierim was stuck in Beijing after Cup of China, as well as some of their other challenges so far this season: http://www.icenetwork.com/news/2013/12/04/64386776
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  5. #685
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    Wow, thanks for posting that, Sylvia, didn't know what additional challenges Chris Knierim had to overcome until I read that article. Kudos to him for holding it together after the debacle of his passport being in his coach's possession (whom flew home to the US while S&K did the gala), and thank goodness he was able to stay with Evan Bates for a few extra days in China (to save on cost) while waiting for his passport to arrive (thumbs up for his parents coming through & mailing it to him, though I think his coach should have, jmho). All that (and on his birthday no less ) and they were still able to do good in Russia; better than they did in China.

    ps: the things these skaters go through is really an eye opener, and makes me appreciate them even more!

  6. #686

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    Here's a very good local article on Alexandria (Alex) Shaughnessy, who has been skating for 5 years with Jimmy Morgan -- they will make their senior national debut in Boston: http://duxbury.m.wickedlocal.com/wkd...tguid=fbMLVytD
    Excerpts:
    “It’s been incredible. I can’t imagine skating with anyone else,” Shaughnessy said. “Jimmy and I are best friends. We’re like brother and sister, and you don’t normally see that. We’re very lucky that we’re such good friends and so supportive of each other, that we don’t get mad at each other. It’s something that we love to do, and that defines us. And we have a great sense of humor. If we make a mistake, we’re a little upset when we come off the ice, but 20 minutes later, we’re joking around about it.”

    The duo’s rise to the top began in 2011 when Shaughnessy and Morgan took home silver at the Novice Pairs 2011 Eastern Sectional Championships. They then went on to finish fifth [in Junior] at the 2011 USFS Championships.

    Shaughnessy, a business major at Northeastern, and Morgan, a New Hampshire native and senior at Boston University, made their senior pairs debut this summer at the 2013 Cranberry Open. Their next event as seniors pairs is right here in Boston, and Shaughnessy is beyond thrilled to be able to compete at a national event right in her own backyard.
    ...
    Coached by Bobby Martin, Carrie Wall, Amanda Farkas, and Sheryl Franks out of The Skating Club of Boston, Shaughnessy and Morgan train extensively. Shaughnessy also works with coaches Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson. Shaughnessy and Morgan work out Monday through Friday, three hours on the ice, which includes two hours of skating and one hour working on jumps and spins, and one hour off the ice, doing cardio, strength training, conditioning, and flexibility exercises.

    “You have to put in the hours, and you have to stay focused,” Shaughnessy said. “We come in every day and do the best we can. We have great chemistry between my partner and I and our coaches. We can always be honest with each other.”

    With no pressure weighing them down, Shaughnessy and Morgan are ready to go out and make the most of their experience in January at the Garden. And if mistakes happen, they won’t fret. They’ll do everything they can to fix it for the next event.

    “We try not to think of the name of the competition and that they’re all the same. You have to be determined and motivated, but you can’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake,” she said. “Instead of thinking of it as a mistake, we think of what we need to work on, sit down with our coaches, and see how we can improve and how they can help us do that.”
    Last edited by Sylvia; 12-14-2013 at 06:13 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  7. #687

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    Boston Globe article focused on Gretchen Donlan/Andrew Speroff: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/reg...UZM/story.html
    Excerpt:
    Three hours a day they toil on the ice, followed by an off-ice workout together for another hour, all between a part-time job for Speroff and classes at Boston University for Donlan.

    “It doesn’t just come,” said Speroff in a quick break. “It takes a long time, and a lot of practice, and a lot of work.”

    “They push us so hard before the competition [that] at the actual competition, I think it’s pretty much a break,” Donlan said.

    Despite the looming US championships, Speroff and Donlan maintain a meditative-like focus on the present, on practice, on whatever happens to be the next competition.

    That focus has worked well so far. In October, the team won first place at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy in Slovakia. The following month, they took the gold at the Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria.

    “I felt like I’ve been honing in what I need to, to perform my best, and [have been] relaxing as much as possible and trusting my training,” Donlan said after the latest competition.
    ...

    “They have all the goods, in my very strong opinion, to take on anybody that’s out there, and have worked extremely hard getting their technical elements up that other teams should be very scared of them come nationals,” said Bobby Martin, their coach and head pair coach at the Boston club.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  8. #688

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    Castelli/Shnapir and Donlan/Speroff as well as their coach, Bobby Martin, are included in this article and 3-minute video featuring most of the Skating Club of Boston Nationals-bound skaters: http://www.boston.com/sports/other-s...inglepage.html
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  9. #689
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    The latest "Inside Edge" blog has details on why Chris Knierim was stuck in Beijing after Cup of China, as well as some of their other challenges so far this season: http://www.icenetwork.com/news/2013/12/04/64386776
    Wow. Proud of them for achieving a PB at RC in spite of all the setbacks. I'm relieved to hear there is nothing physically wrong with Chris

  10. #690

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Castelli/Shnapir and Donlan/Speroff as well as their coach, Bobby Martin, are included in this article and 3-minute video featuring most of the Skating Club of Boston Nationals-bound skaters: http://www.boston.com/sports/other-s...inglepage.html

    at Simon Shnapir breaking into song for a second at the end of their interview.

  11. #691

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    The 3 Boston pair teams are the class of the field. So stylish.

  12. #692
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    The article touches on a key point which will be interesting to see. How each athlete will respond to both the opportunity and additional "pressure" of skating before a hometown crowd. The support for all of the skaters at a US Nationals will be awesome I'm sure, but how skaters perceive the environment is still a distinct issue.

    Wishing them all moments which make for positive memories to last a lifetime.

  13. #693

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    It's interesting to note:

    2005 US Figure skating championships:
    1. Orscher/Lucash
    2. Inoue/Baldwin
    3. Hinzman/Parchem

    2006 US Figure skating championships:
    1. Inoue/Baldwin
    2. Hinzman/Parchem
    3. Orscher/Lucash

    2009 US Figure skating championships:
    1. McLaughlin/Brubaker
    2. Denney/Barrett
    3. Inoue/Baldwin
    4. Evora/Ladwig

    2010 US Figure skating championships
    1. Denney/Barrett
    2. Evora/Ladwig
    3. Inoue/Baldwin

    Based on this, Scimeca and Knierim have a great shot to go to the Games, as do Zhang/Bartholomay.
    Last edited by Jayar; 12-16-2013 at 05:02 AM.
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  14. #694

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post
    It's interesting to note:

    2005 US Figure skating championships:
    1. Orscher/Lucash
    2. Inoue/Baldwin
    3. Hinzman/Parchem

    2006 US Figure skating championships:
    1. Inoue/Baldwin
    2. Hinzman/Parchem
    3. Orscher/Lucash

    2009 US Figure skating championships:
    1. Marley/Brubaker
    2. Denney/Barrett
    3. Inoue/Baldwin
    4. Evora/Ladwig

    2010 US Figure skating championships
    1. Denney/Barrett
    2. Evora/Ladwig
    3. Inoue/Baldwin

    Based on this, Scimeca and Knierim have a great shot to go to the Games, as do Zhang/Bartholomay.
    Yeah, I thought about this pattern of the reigning champs not making the Oly team during the GP. I'm very concerned, as I believe Simon hasn't really landed a sbs jump all season. Fingers crossed.

    Re: the second spot-- I would love to see a Evora/Ladwig or Hinzman/Parchem situation with Donlan/Speroff.

  15. #695
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    ^The race for Sochi is really among Denney/Coughlin, Scimeca/Knierim, and Castelli/Shnapir. D/C look to be the favorites just because they are so consistent. S/K and C/S will probably be in a close fight for #2. If you were to press me for my opinion, I would bet on S/K just because despite the injury over the Summer and the weird setbacks this Fall, they have been building momentum and already got a personal best in November at Rostelecom, whereas C/S have regressed on the SBS jumps and while you can tell they have worked hard on PCS, their programs this season are too cluttered with mistakes.

    In my fantasy, C/S and S/K skate clean and represent the US at Sochi. Both have better PCS / are more promising in the long term than D/C (even if I respect D/C's improvements).

    I don't see D/S making the Sochi team.

  16. #696

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    ^The race for Sochi is really among Denney/Coughlin, Scimeca/Knierim, and Castelli/Shnapir. D/C look to be the favorites just because they are so consistent. S/K and C/S will probably be in a close fight for #2. If you were to press me for my opinion, I would bet on S/K just because despite the injury over the Summer and the weird setbacks this Fall, they have been building momentum and already got a personal best in November at Rostelecom, whereas C/S have regressed on the SBS jumps and while you can tell they have worked hard on PCS, their programs this season are too cluttered with mistakes.

    In my fantasy, C/S and S/K skate clean and represent the US at Sochi. Both have better PCS / are more promising in the long term than D/C (even if I respect D/C's improvements).

    I don't see D/S making the Sochi team.
    Yes, D/S is extremely unlikely. A 4CC spot is more realistic. But 2 Olympic cycles in a row a very unexpected team has stolen the second spot. Obviously S/K and C/S are the favorites for the second spot (I see D/C as a lock for gold), but both have had dreadful seasons. Anything could happen.

  17. #697

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayar View Post
    2009 US Figure skating championships:
    1. Marley/Brubaker
    2. Denney/Barrett
    3. Inoue/Baldwin
    4. Evora/Ladwig
    I think you mean McLaughlin?

    I would love to see C/S and S/K on the Oly team. I hope S/K can rebound from their rough GP season.

  18. #698

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie S View Post
    I think you mean McLaughlin?

    I would love to see C/S and S/K on the Oly team. I hope S/K can rebound from their rough GP season.

    LOL. Miller, McLaughlin, Marley... one of them. Oops! And fixed.
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  19. #699
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    My hope is that the Olympic team is comprised of the two teams that skate the best at US Nationals. I hope the judging is fair and unbiased and it comes down to which teams skate the best over the sp and lp.

  20. #700

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    ^The race for Sochi is really among Denney/Coughlin, Scimeca/Knierim, and Castelli/Shnapir. D/C look to be the favorites just because they are so consistent. S/K and C/S will probably be in a close fight for #2. If you were to press me for my opinion, I would bet on S/K just because despite the injury over the Summer and the weird setbacks this Fall, they have been building momentum and already got a personal best in November at Rostelecom, whereas C/S have regressed on the SBS jumps and while you can tell they have worked hard on PCS, their programs this season are too cluttered with mistakes.

    In my fantasy, C/S and S/K skate clean and represent the US at Sochi. Both have better PCS / are more promising in the long term than D/C (even if I respect D/C's improvements).

    I don't see D/S making the Sochi team.

    I agree with your analysis, Olympic. I too am hoping for a team of Castelli/Shnapir and Scimeca/Knierim, but expecting a team of Denney/Coughlin and either S/K or C/S. I am not sure who has the inside track between S/K and C/S. Normally I would say S/K, as they have typically been more consistent and beat C/S at Worlds. However, between Chris's injury and their travel problems, I might give the edge to C/S, despite C/S's numerous mistakes this year. Another factor is I do think Marissa/Simon's programs are much better than Alexa/Chris's. I feel like Marissa/Simon's short & long programs are too similar to each other in musical genre/costume. Nonetheless, at least the programs are interesting, unlike the princessy Muzak things Alexa/Chris are doing. Also, although Alexa/Chris are typically more solid with the elements, I think Marissa/Simon have much better speed on the ice.

    But, as much as Castelli/Shnapir and Scimeca/Knierim are the frontrunners for that second spot, I still think they're going to need to bring it and skate strongly at Nationals. Because other teams like Donlan/Speroff, Zhang/Bartholomay, Denney/Frazier, and maybe Kayne/O'Shea are nipping at their heels. I don't think either C/S or S/K will be held up if they bomb the elements. So I do think there is potential for one of those other pairs to make the team. It's unlikely, but not out of the question IMO.

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