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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nylynnr View Post
    My understanding is that for ISU seasons best scores only the ISU Grand Prix competitions (senior and junior) are taken into consideration, not other international competitions or national championships. I think there was an exception made for Nebelhorn Trophy. Olympics runs on different criteria and is not an ISU event, for example, the minimum required TES to enter are different.
    GPF, 4CCs, Euros, World Team Trophy and Worlds count towards season's best scores as well.
    (http://www.isuresults.com/isujsstat/...13/sbtslto.htm)

    Don't know for sure about Olympics- but ISU does consider it for 'Personal Best' score, so it seems like it might count for Season's Best, in seasons where it happens.)
    http://www.isuresults.com/isujsstat/pbslto.htm

    Edit to add: Finally found the answer: the Olympics are considered Season's Best and do affect Grand Prix seeding.
    http://isuprod.blob.core.windows.net...gp-2013-14.pdf See 2.2d
    Last edited by Skittl1321; 01-27-2014 at 01:57 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    But, this is a reason why I don't think that Z/B are going to be a top-ranked pair team and IMO, it's beneficial for K/O and Z/B to gain the practice and confidence to have bigger throws.
    I agree about the throws. This has been one of the issues for US pairs in general throughout the years- the size of the throws (and twist) are sometimes conservative and on the smaller side. They tend to lack the explosiveness of top pair teams. A team like Z/B is probably more limited by their smaller height difference, but K/O have a couple more inches between them, so hopefully they can increase the size of their throws. A lot of it is about technique, and it's a risk to make throws bigger. But being able to perform well executed throws with big height and distance helps separate great teams from good teams. Another thing about US pairs throws in general- they need to shy away from doing throw 3S in short programs when possible. It's not quite the same as ladies skaters who have no 3Lz or 3F in their SP, but it's close, especially when you consider what the rest of the good pairs in the world are doing. I don't want to sound too negative though, US pairs need patience and to develop at their own pace. Some of the US teams are still very new.


    On another note, thanks to 5Ali3 for your post and those pictures of the twists. I had been looking at those same videos, but didn't know how to post pictures of them here. Based on those camera angles, I found it difficult to determine the angle of their left legs. There appears to me to be a rather minute difference between them there. However I was able to find video of D/C's twist from the front, and I could see a slightly more "even split" between the two legs, as you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Does the split have to be 45 degrees for each leg from the center line or just 90 degrees total?
    Each leg has to be 45 degrees.
    Last edited by stjeaskategym; 01-28-2014 at 06:36 AM.

  3. #23

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    In the new Buzzfeed article on skating, there's a great excerpt, below, about pairs. The author discusses his reactions to seeing pairs practices at Nationals. I loved this:


    But if the lower-level pairs boys [at Nationals] seemed deeply uncomfortable, the senior-level teams have somehow evolved into models of heterosexual perfection. I’m not planning to stay long at the senior pairs practice, but two hours pass before I can look away.

    Four teams — eight skaters — take the ice at a time. They’re all dressed in head-to-toe black, long sleeves and long pants, identical except for the women’s shirts, which are mostly backless. They’re all skating to the same late-‘90’s pop medley over the loudspeaker. But there’s something in seeing these skaters together, without audience or costume, that’s fundamentally different from watching a pairs program on its own. The partners skate in perfect alignment; the angles of their legs and arms are exactly parallel, or else perfect mirrors when they reach toward each other, and when one moves alone — a woman raising an arm as she gazes back at her man, his hands on her waist, his gaze solidly forward — it seems, somehow, as if he is moving through her.

    Even so, it’s the non-choreographed moments of unison that are most striking. Partners put their hands on their hips the same; they brush snow from their legs the same; they even slump the same, swinging their arms or rubbing their foreheads before straightening at the same time. Even when they’re all skating separately, when all four pairs have divided and instead eight bodies arc around the ice in a mess of lonely directions, I can see exactly who belongs to whom. The partners’ connection is evident in their rhythms and the angles of their limbs, and when one by one they come together again, it’s almost a relief, things clicking into place. Their bodies are beautiful, made more beautiful by proximity to other bodies, without a trace of sex or romance; each pair seems less an ideal couple than an ideal male and female version of the same human essence.

    Because apart from a few specific occasions — namely, at the Gay Games — pairs and ice dance are a mandated heterosexual performance. The rules are grounded in tradition, but perhaps also fear; it’s easy to imagine how threatening same-sex partners, displaying this level of physical connection, could be to heterosexual norms: a dazzling, undeniable example of two becoming one. The pairs practice is, and will remain, the most striking thing I see all week.


    Amazing writing! Here's the link to the whole article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/blairbraverm...-in-the-closet.
    Last edited by clairecloutier; 02-01-2014 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Added link to article.

  4. #24

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    Imagine how he would react to watching Russian pairs practice!

    Thanks for posting that.

  5. #25
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    Just an FYI that the author of the Buzzfeed article is a woman. I met her in Boston.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiss-n-cry View Post
    Just an FYI that the author of the Buzzfeed article is a woman. I met her in Boston.
    Thanks for the tip. Such a great article. I liked how she gave us a perspective on what it's like behind the scenes at Nationals. Especially in regard to the federation's presence and actions (or lack thereof).

  7. #27

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    (Post-2014 Nationals discussion still is ongoing in the "US Pairs 2013 News and Updates Part II" thread in GSD.)

    Pairs competing at Junior Worlds this week in Sofia, Bulgaria (excerpt from USFS' 3/11/14 press release; Team USA bio links added by me):
    Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage, the 2014 U.S. junior champions, have competed together internationally together since 2012 and will make their World Junior debuts. Kaitlin Budd and Nikita Cheban finished seventh at 2013 JGP Slovakia, the event that marked their international debut. Most recently, they finished eighth as juniors as at the U.S. Championships. Aya Takai and Brian Johnson, seventh in Boston, earned their tickets to the World Junior Championships last weekend when the won silver at Challenge Cup 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands, and earned the minimum technical scores in both segments of competition. Chelsea Liu and Devin Perini, the 2014 U.S. junior silver medalists, withdrew from this event due to an injury to Perini.
    Re-posting from the Junior Worlds forum in Kiss and Cry...
    Arizona articles on Madeline Aaron/Max Settlage: http://www.azdailysun.com/news/local...a4bcf887a.html
    Max Settlage interview transcript: http://www.azdailysun.com/news/local...a4bcf887a.html
    http://azweeklymagazine.com/article-...w-heights.html
    Last edited by Sylvia; 03-11-2014 at 11:39 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  8. #28

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    In an interview translated by Tabhka today, Maxim Trankov discussed a couple of the top American pairs:

    OE: I.e. next season your main competitors will be Chinese, Canadians, French... Americans?
    MT: There are no Americans at all. Simon Shnapir mentioned problems with his knee and he didn't know whether he'll keep skating. Coughlin said at the beginning of the season he'll have to decide. Taking John didn't make it to the worlds and Olympics their funding must be quite low now. In order to train in the USA you either have to come from a well off family or show good results. If Coughlin did not recover after his injury and there is no funding, while he has to feed a family - he is an adult guy, guess he'll have to get a job. Things are much harder in the USA in that. If you have a job you don't have enough time to train.

    So, it sounds like there is a good chance Castelli/Shnapir and Denney/Coughlin may not continue. :-( Discouraging news . . . I'm particularly crushed at the thought of Castelli/Shnapir no longer competing. They're my favorite U.S. pair, and despite their very disappointing results at Worlds, this was otherwise really a breakthrough season for them. I will miss them greatly if they stop competing. If they split, my assumption is Marissa would continue and look for another partner, but the question is, could she find one quickly? I'm going to hold out hope that Simon can get the knee problem fixed and decides to continue . . ..

  9. #29

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    If Coughlin did not recover after his injury and there is no funding, while he has to feed a family - he is an adult guy, guess he'll have to get a job. Things are much harder in the USA in that. If you have a job you don't have enough time to train.
    John is married? Since when? (I feel like an idiot is this is well known to everyone but pairs have been largely off my radar for a while.)

  10. #30

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    ^^^ No, I don't think Trankov meant "feed a family" literally.

    I posted this link in the U.S. Pairs 2013 thread (it's probably time to start using this one instead)... Denney and Coughlin were interviewed a week before her injury that forced their withdrawal from Worlds and had not yet decided about their plans for next season: http://figureskatersonline.com/news/...-a-blessing-2/

    BTW, I heard that both U.S. Olympic pair teams, Castelli/Shnapir and Zhang/Bartholomay, will attend the White House meet-and-greet on April 3rd.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    ^^^ No, I don't think Trankov meant "feed a family" literally.

    BTW, I heard that both U.S. Olympic pair teams, Castelli/Shnapir and Zhang/Bartholomay, will attend the White House meet-and-greet on April 3rd.
    Good for C/S and Z/B! That is a cool part of the Olympic team experience and they should enjoy it.

  12. #32
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    You know, if I were an American pairs coach, I would take a copy of that interview Trankov gave and post it on a bulletin board at the rink where the skaters could see it everyday before practice as motivation.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    In an interview translated by Tabhka today, Maxim Trankov discussed a couple of the top American pairs:




    So, it sounds like there is a good chance Castelli/Shnapir and Denney/Coughlin may not continue. :-( Discouraging news . . . I'm particularly crushed at the thought of Castelli/Shnapir no longer competing. They're my favorite U.S. pair, and despite their very disappointing results at Worlds, this was otherwise really a breakthrough season for them. I will miss them greatly if they stop competing. If they split, my assumption is Marissa would continue and look for another partner, but the question is, could she find one quickly? I'm going to hold out hope that Simon can get the knee problem fixed and decides to continue . . ..
    I wouldn't start mourning the loss of these teams yet based on an interview with Trankov who sees them at a few competitions each year. We don't know how recently he had these conversations with them- was it at Skate America or in Sochi? etc. I'm sure perspectives change during the course of an Olympic season. I think for example C&S would have retired for sure if they didn't make Sochi (which looked like at least a possibility in the fall) and D&C would have retired for sure if they were going out National champions and Olympic medalists (which looked like a serious possibility in the fall).

    If C&S were definitely retiring, I think they would have skipped Worlds. It really gets no better than the pinnacle they hit in Boston and Sochi- second National title and named to Olympic team at home, Olympic medals, two personal bests in the individual event. Instead it seems like they went back to training, hoped to improve their world ranking even more and were disappointed when that didn't happen. With such a good season but maybe a bit of unfinished business after a disappointing Worlds and being the clear US #1 in that top funding envelope, I'll be surprised if they don't come back next season and then take it year by year (with Boston Worlds probably serving as a significant motivator). They seem to have been really lucky in avoiding at least the major sidelining-type injuries that have plagued S/K and D/C. I'm sure reaping the Sochi rewards- White House, Stars on Ice, probably a Red Sox first pitch this spring etc.- is fun after they waited so long to get to the top of US pairs and they both seem smart enough to know that most of that will continue only if they continue together.

    Actually speaking of Stars on Ice, I think they (and Jason) are skipping the May West Coast leg at the end, which I can't imagine why they would do if they weren't planning for next season. I certainly don't think Stars on Ice told any of the Olympic medalists that they couldn't do the full tour and gave other skaters like Bradley, Czisny, Kim & Brent (as much as I like them all, they're far less in the public conscious for ticket sales) etc. a full schedule. I think that might be the strongest indicator that they're not done.

    With D&C, I could actually see them skating another season because of the disappointment of this year but at the same time, I'll be less surprised to see them go. The age difference makes them kind of a wildcard- she may feel she has a lot left in her. She's been around so long I forget sometimes how young she actually is and maybe she'll convince him to push forward another year or two especially given their personal relationship (not sure if they're still dating but they seem very tight regardless).

    If I was betting, I'd say its 75-25, maybe even higher, we see C&S competing next season. And 40-60 on Denney Coughlin.

    I'm a huge huge fan of US pairs in general but I had to laugh at Trankov's "There are no Americans." Hoping this next quad starts to change that even a little bit.
    Last edited by lauren329; 04-01-2014 at 06:57 PM.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by clairecloutier View Post
    In an interview translated by Tabhka today, Maxim Trankov discussed a couple of the top American pairs:




    So, it sounds like there is a good chance Castelli/Shnapir and Denney/Coughlin may not continue. :-( Discouraging news . . . I'm particularly crushed at the thought of Castelli/Shnapir no longer competing. They're my favorite U.S. pair, and despite their very disappointing results at Worlds, this was otherwise really a breakthrough season for them. I will miss them greatly if they stop competing. If they split, my assumption is Marissa would continue and look for another partner, but the question is, could she find one quickly? I'm going to hold out hope that Simon can get the knee problem fixed and decides to continue . . ..

    Hmmm....interesting news....I particularly hope that Denney & Coughlin do *not* retire. Despite the result at 2014 Nationals, I still think they're our #1 Pair Team, and rightfully so! They and Castelli & Schnapir blew me away when I saw them live at Skate America in 2012. However, if Simon does retire due to his knee I hope that Marissa continues on with someone like Rockne Brubaker (I always thought they would make a phenomenal on ice pair). But let's hope neither pair team has to retire prematurely.

    That said, I'm just waiting for the shoe to drop, meaning I fully expect to see a top 10 US pair team break up....

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by NadineWhite View Post
    Hmmm....interesting news....I particularly hope that Denney & Coughlin do *not* retire. Despite the result at 2014 Nationals, I still think they're our #1 Pair Team, and rightfully so! They and Castelli & Schnapir blew me away when I saw them live at Skate America in 2012. However, if Simon does retire due to his knee I hope that Marissa continues on with someone like Rockne Brubaker (I always thought they would make a phenomenal on ice pair). But let's hope neither pair team has to retire prematurely.

    That said, I'm just waiting for the shoe to drop, meaning I fully expect to see a top 10 US pair team break up....
    Disagree on D&C being the number one US pair unless we're basing things on 2012 and a GP bronze. The reality is they were 3rd at Nats and another major injury took them out of worlds again. Marissa and Simon clearly established they are US #1 winning their second title in Boston and backed it up big time in Sochi. #2 is open to debate between Z/B, D/C and S/K.

    I wonder when the hypothetical Rockne pairings will finally end. After Pyeongchang?

  16. #36

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    Lol, lauren329, but he's only 27! Seriously, there's a resaon why Rockne is considered amongst the top elite US men pairs' partners, he has everything it takes and scores extremely high when paired with the right gal and skates clean ~ Jr. World Champion, Jr. US National Champion, 2-time Sr. US National Champion, 11th & 10th at Worlds respectively with different partners ~ and it's interesting to note that the best finish for US Pairs over the past 4 years was at 2012 Worlds where both pair teams' finished in the top 10 (8th Denney/Coughlin + 10th Marley/Brubaker). And that was only his second year with Mary Beth Marley!

    Hehe, I was even hoping that Aliona would've picked Rockne as her next partner. Alas, that wasn't to be.

    Regards whose our #1 Pair Team, I still say Denney & Coughlin, whom both have better results at Worlds (6th, 7th, 8th) versus Castelli & Schnapir (13th & 11th; whom I'm a fan of as well).

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by NadineWhite View Post
    Lol, lauren329, but he's only 27! Seriously, there's a resaon why Rockne is considered amongst the top elite US men pairs' partners, he has everything it takes and scores extremely high when paired with the right gal and skates clean ~ Jr. World Champion, Jr. US National Champion, 2-time Sr. US National Champion, 11th & 10th at Worlds respectively with different partners ~ and it's interesting to note that the best finish for US Pairs over the past 4 years was at 2012 Worlds where both pair teams' finished in the top 10 (8th Denney/Coughlin + 10th Marley/Brubaker). And that was only his second year with Mary Beth Marley!

    Hehe, I was even hoping that Aliona would've picked Rockne as her next partner. Alas, that wasn't to be.

    Regards whose our #1 Pair Team, I still say Denney & Coughlin, whom both have better results at Worlds (6th, 7th, 8th) versus Castelli & Schnapir (13th & 11th; whom I'm a fan of as well).
    Word is Brubaker is happily retired and has taken a Skating Director job in Chicago.

  18. #38
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    ^Brubaker is retired???? Wow!

  19. #39

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    That makes sense, isn't he married now? Probably wants some stability. I would not blame him.

  20. #40

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    I wonder why there was no official announcement of Rockne retiring? Thanks for letting us know his status, jdonavan.

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