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New CDN ice dance team - Gilles & Poirier

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by victorskid, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. kirkbiggestfan

    kirkbiggestfan Well-Known Member

    I applied for Canadian residency/citizenship and it took a long time, but I don't see a problem with expediting the process for Olympic athletes. Their careers are short; mine will be long and painful. That is what other countries do. Russia or France can expedite a passport for Anissina or Volosozhar in no time. It is so obvious that Poirier is an unbelievable talent. The first time I saw him, I thought he had potential world champion written all over him.
  2. Tantallongirl

    Tantallongirl New Member

    I read the article as well and my first thought was how presumptuous it sounded that Piper and Paul will be on the Canadian Olympic team. Canada is lucky to have many strong ice dance teams who could qualify for the Olympic team. Alex Paul and Mitch Islam had some bad luck over the last couple of years and I think if they could have a good season they would be just as good if not better than Piper and Paul. Also, Orford and Williams, and Ralph and Hill have the potential. I look forward to seeing all these teams new programs for the Olympic year, and hope Canada sends their best based on who truly deserves it.
  3. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

    Yes and lucky for Paul he already has Canadian citizenship ;)
  4. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    Yes it is. It is not as though they all wouldn't have known that her citizenship could be an issue. I see it as a case of poor planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on mine kind of thing. Canada has lots of fabulous ice dancers and lots of female ice dancers who are looking for partners. Probably a lot more in the last few years than when Poje was looking. Paul made a choice to partner up with someone who does not have Canadian citizenship. Clearly he is free to partner up with whomever he likes, but there are consequences to all decisions. If Piper can get citizenship via the normal channels and time frame, so be it, and best of luck to all at Nationals. I feel quite strongly, however, that she shouldn't be allowed to jump the line when bronze medalists Orford and Williams, along with Paul and Islam, are ready and able to compete for Canada. It is not as though Piper and Paul are going to get anywhere near the podium, in fact, I don't think they would finish any higher than Orford and Williams.
  5. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

    Shouldn't expedited citizenship be for athletes of exceptional ability? Paul may have exceptional ability, but Piper---not so much.
  6. Subway

    Subway Well-Known Member

    I think what's relevant is Piper isn't Anissina or Volosozhar. Tessa Virtue holds that spot for Canada; Kaitlyn Weaver next. Both women with their partners rank far above Gilles & Poirier, who are one among a number of promising lower ranked teams.

    Sochi alone seems to be the impetus here, and on that basis, this rush is unseemly at best and bizarrely presumptuous and entitled at worst, at least in how they are making the case so far.

    Her citizenship status isn't impeding their career. They compete on the Grand Prix, at Canadians, at Senior Bs, and, last year, at Worlds. They're not sitting on the sidelines.

    ETA, it could be argued that granting Gilles express track citizenship would impede the career of home grown athlete Alexandra Paul. Or validate Poirier's decision to dump Canadian Olympian Vanessa Crone, by any measure a more accomplished ice dancer than Gilles.

    I'm not editing to be bitchy. Just point out that letting Gilles jump the queue damages actual Canadian skaters every bit as capable as she is, and in Crone's case, more so.

    This is about Sochi. Most of the skaters who are rushed through the citizenship process are the top skaters for their country. Tanith Belbin was a silver medalist at Worlds when she had her process. She and Agosto were the USA's top - only, to be honest - medal prospect in dance. Volosozhar and Trankov would, arguably (and have) transform Russia's prospects in pairs. Same with Anassina and Peizerat for France (in dance).

    Canadians Virtue & Moir and Weaver & Poje are the relevant ice dance teams for Sochi. Any one of a number of other dance teams can fill the third slot, to be determined at the Canadian championships. Paul's a good ice dancer, but he's not essential to Canada in Sochi. Citizenship for Piper would in essence be a favor to Piper, but the "rules" require more. He can become World Champion, if eligible to compete, in 2014 with Piper if they're good enough. No citizenship issues will prevent it.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  7. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    this is a moot point ATM - paul is still off of the ice recovering from his ankle injury. we have no idea what type of shape he'll be in to even contest an olympic spot.
  8. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Seems like Piper counted her chickens before they hatched when she made the move to skate for Canada. This isn't a case like with Tanith Belbin when she got fast tracked to get her citizenship. Tanith had been living in the US since 1998 and earned her citizenship it would have been unfair for her to miss yet another Olympics when she had been living here for almost 8 years so she deserved a break as far as i'm concerned.
    mag and (deleted member) like this.
  9. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

    THIS. There are at least 3 other teams that should be in contention for that third spot.

    Right. It's also worth noting that B/A did qualify to go to SLC in 2002 due to their placement at US Nationals, but they had to sit it out because Tanith wasn't a citizen yet. Tanith's citizenship didn't get fast tracked for those games because there were other capable US teams at the time who would be placing just as high if not higher.

    The impetus for speeding up citizenship seems to hinge on providing an exceptional service or skill to Canada. When it comes to ice dance, there is no one in the world who can provide service and skill in ice dance above what homegrown Canadians V/M can. Paul made a personal choice when he split from his Canadian partner to skate with an American. Choices have consequences. In this case, that consequence is no Sochi games.
    mag and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Rock2

    Rock2 Well-Known Member

    I truly in my heart hope that Paul gets to skate in the Sochi Olympics. She and Islam are my 3rd fave Canadian team by far :p
    Andora, alilou, Cherub721 and 5 others like this.
  11. clarie

    clarie Well-Known Member

    Ditto on that one !!!!
  12. parapluies

    parapluies Well-Known Member

    Same ;)
  13. teaspoon

    teaspoon New Member

    The Star also ran an editorial today: Ice dancer Piper Gilles should be granted Canadian citizenship: Editorial

    "U.S.-born Piper Gilles skated for Canada at the world championships last season with her ice dance partner Paul Poirier. But they’ll be denied a chance to try for a medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi if her Canadian citizenship doesn’t arrive in time.
    Red tape shouldn’t keep this athlete from going for gold."

    Watch out, V/M and D/W.
  14. hockeyplayer2

    hockeyplayer2 Active Member

    Though Weaver received her citizenship, she still had to qualify for 2010 Olympics (just as Gilles will), and she and Poje were denied the opportunity when losing to Crone/Poirier at Nationals. So receiving your citizenship does not necessarily give you direct line to Olympics. We don't know if Poirier will be ready to compete (any one hear how he is doing?) and they do still have to compete at Nationals to make the team. O/W and P/I, along with R/H, will all be pushing to make the team themselves.
  15. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    This drives me nuts! They have no more chance at a medal than the other 3 through 6 teams. They would be going so they can say they have been to the Olympics. Well, there are some other 100% Canadian teams who would like a chance for the same. Hopefully some other news outlets will pick up on this and write an article about Paul & Isalm's and Orford & Williams's Olympic dreams.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Rafter

    Rafter Well-Known Member

  17. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Since her parents were (apparently) able to afford having three kids in elite-level skating at the same time, I would guess that, if it is true, there is some family money involved.
  18. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

    And unless my computer is wonky (always a possibility), it appears that the new editorial is the only one from today's paper which doesn't allow readers to comment.
  19. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I don't see that significant a difference between Weaver's situation and Gilles'. Gilles even has Canadian family roots. It's not as if she's training out of the country: she's been living there for two years putting food on the table of Canadian coaches (as W/P did in the last Olympic cycle.). W/P came within .31 of denying Canadian-born Crone/Poirier an Olympic spot in 2010 and they beat out Canadians Ralph/Hill, Hann-McCurdy/Coreno, etc.

    I think if they expedited for Weaver, they should expedite for Gilles.
  20. blademate

    blademate Active Member

    I agree, this is really the only reason I see for granting Gilles her citizenship at this point: They did it for Kaitlyn Weaver.

    Although one could argue Canada had a *slightly* weaker field of ice dancers that year, and thus Weaver and Poje served as our strongest Olympic alternates (next in line were Ralph/Hill and Hann-McCurdy/Coreno)

    (Also, Piper can afford a Porsche because I believe her father is a surgeon of some kind... not that she is the only dancer from a more well-off background i.e. Alex Paul's father is a doctor, Tessa's is a lawyer, etc. - skating ain't cheap!)
  21. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

    Weaver and Poje also earned three international medals as a junior team.

    I think the debate about Piper's resources is less about her family's coming from money and more about the claims made of hardship in the wake of other expenditures.
  22. Emdee

    Emdee Well-Known Member

    Further the Porsche SUVs are on the cheaper side and even cheaper than the Volvo SUVS.
    Besides its no one's business what she can and cannot afford. The push for citizenship has nothing to do with the car she drives!
    I think She should be granted citizenship.
    Wasnt Tanith also granted this in the US so she could skate in the Olys?
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  23. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Tanith had already missed one Olympics because she wasn't a citizen plus she had lived in the US a heck of a lot longer by 2006 then Piper has in Canada.
  24. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

    Plus, if not for 9/11, Tanith's would've received citizenship sooner than she did.
  25. sap5

    sap5 Well-Known Member

    Tanith & Ben were also the strongest US ice dance team and the best chance for a US medal at the time.

    Does Canada believe that Gilles & Poirier are the strongest chance for a Canadian medal in Sochi? The push to fast-track citizenship makes sense if that's what is believed. Who knows with politiks these days....
  26. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

    I think Skate Canada knows full well V&M and W&P are solidly Canada's #1 and #2 teams.

    I think for all those who have been wondering over the past season or two why Skate Canada supported G&P and why G&P themselves were doing so much press is now clear. Creating a bit of buzz around them to try to push this citizenship through. Paul Poirier is without a doubt an incredibly gifted ice dancer, one of the best in Canada. Piper is his chosen partner so it's understandable why SC supports them. There was a time that Kaitlyn was noticeably weaker than Andrew but she has improved immensely and convinced me, they belong with the best dancers in the world. I suppose Piper could reach that level by 2018 as well. Anything is possible.

    Unfortunately for them there is a huge backlog in immigration and there are people who started their process long before Piper and Paul had their tryouts caught up in it. People who have lived in Canada for 5+ years, who have businesses, spouses and children who are still waiting for papers that should have went through in 2012. They have more at stake, more hardships to endure if they have to leave the country in a few months than someone who hopes to go into Sochi as Canada's #3 team.
  27. Subway

    Subway Well-Known Member

    I think Paul Poirier is a gifted skater but his ability to be at the top is yet to be demonstrated. He has deep knees and a lovely glide. But ice dancing is about elements with your partner, and where has he demonstrated anything truly exceptional there? His twizzles aren't anything to write home about compared to the top teams, his and Piper's unison is at the moment a pipe dream. I could go down a list, but I've watched him. So I'd simply say he's got lovely stroking but there's more to ice dance superiority than that.

    Weaver waited three years for her citizenship. Piper wants two years. I guess I object to the tone of their new public relations company, "The Toronto Star" which frames their story as definitely en route to Sochi, and in the editorial, "going for gold". It's a complete distortion of their situation, not fact checked, key context omitted, so where did the story come from and why was it above the fold plus an editorial? It's just an insult to the thousands of applicants who've gone through the process and should have their papers but are still waiting. As bcmg notes, these are people with businesses and families and real stakes in the country, not just in a sport. They've paid their dues.

    Not to beat a dead horse but for me the sticking point is there's no reason to send Gilles Poirier to Sochi over the other lower ranked teams in Canada. Nothing to be gained for Canada, but something to be lost for Canadian skaters who will be shoved aside for a fast-tracked American. I don't think Paul Poirier's good enough justification for that based upon his past results at the Olympic level with a much better partner, and his recent results at Worlds with this.
    clarie and (deleted member) like this.
  28. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    At least the :mitchell: emoticon will get a lot of use again.
  29. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    Blaming G/P for The Star's hype is like blaming skaters for their uberfans' claims. Poirier himself spoke about 2018.

    The official basis of family immigration policy in Canada is that it's for the well-being of the Canadian partner and has little to do with the non-Canadian partner. Unlike for an athlete competing in an individual event, this could also be considered in addition to the "exceptional" qualification to team events like Dance (or 2+person sledding, etc.).

    Weaver/Poje may have been stronger than Giles/Poirier, but they were 20th and 17th at their first WC's as the #3 Canadian team and missed the world team in 2008-9. Their first senior international championship medal, gold, was at the highly diluted field at 2010 4C's, where the beat Hann-McCurdy/Coreno by 6.5 points. The chances of them medalling in Vancouver even had they beaten Crone/Poirier for the second Olympic spot were negligible, regardless of the medals they won in junior competition, which showed potential, not results at the senior level, and even V/M were 12+ from the podium at their first Worlds. W/P came into their own in this Olympic cycle, surpassing C/P at 2011 Worlds by 9+ points in a full field.

    The third Canadian team isn't getting near the podium at Sochi, just as the second Canadian team didn't get near the podium in Vancouver. (C/P were 14th). This isn't about the podium. If anything, it's about setting up the 2018 team after V/M stop competing. (W/P could still have another cycle in them.) Poirier had some excellent results with Crone, and G/P beat Orford/Williams by over 18 points at 4C's last year, with Paul/Islam failing to make the team. I much prefer O/W and P/I to G/P, but that's hardly the point.

    I thought W/P were Canada-based throught the 2010 Olympic cycle with supplemental training with Krylova/Camerlengo, but Weaver's bio on W/P's official says they teamed up in 2006 and in 2009 they moved their base to Detroit. Even if Weaver had been granted Permanent Residency immediately upon setting foot in Canada, she would have had to been physically resident in Canada from August 2006 to Fall 2009 for three years, and the days she spent out of Canada competing, visiting family, getting choreography done, etc. wouldn't have counted. Even it was simply expedited citizen processing at that point after she had met the residency requirement -- unlikely, since it can take many months to process a PR application -- if she had at that point gone through normal citizenship processing, either she and Poje would not have been able to move to Detroit -- once citizenship was granted, Weaver could stay out of Canada as long as she wanted -- or they'd have to apply for an exception for Sochi, because she'd no longer have the citizenship residency days training full-time in Detroit. (That's why it takes 4.5+ years normally: it takes three years to qualify and at least 1.5 years to process.)

    A rumor at the time C/P split was that Crone wanted to leave Lane and head to the US for coaching, and Poirier refused. Although Poirier may be out of school soon (if he hasn't already graduated) and be more amenable to be coached outside of Canada, it's also possible that as part of G/P, Gilles will live in Canada longer than Weaver did/does.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  30. Subway

    Subway Well-Known Member

    In this case I disagree. The article lacks context and is clearly some sort of quid pro quo or favor. There's no way The Toronto Star is independently aware of the situation but not aware enough to write about it from an informed perspective. We'll agree to disagree but I firmly believe G&P are behind the article, or their connections are. This isn't The Toronto Star finding it suddenly newsworthy, independent of the skaters connections, and, as the home base of Rosie DiManno, we can't consider The Star's editorial and news departments bastions of professionalism.

    The newspaper gave front page, above the fold treatment to an ice dance team that finished in 18th place at the last world championship, from the same country that is sending the defending Olympic champions to Sochi and a top five team right behind the champions, and never mentioned either of those facts. The Star failed to mention that the third slot on the Olympic team has yet to be contested, and among those contesting it are qualified teams where both members are already Canadian. They followed up with an editorial urging us to let Gilles & Poirier "fight for gold" in Sochi, and, unlike their other editorials, disabled the comments below.

    What justifies both a leading news story and an editorial fighting to get an eighteenth place ice dancer her citizenship in time for the Olympics? Not newsworthiness. It's simply unrealistic to believe The Star did this of its own initiative.

    I do not believe Paul should be punished for his choices by any means. But that's not what's going on. If Vanessa wanted to train in the US and he wanted to remain, that's his perogative, but not one that Canadian Immigration should treat as unusual hardship. A few of Canada's current champions train in the US and are still Canadian.

    But, they are his choices, and as someone said earlier, his planning doesn't constitute Canada's emergency. There was so much ommitted from the article it throws up a flag, including how Paul Poirier found himself with a non-citizen partner less than a year away from Sochi, when he went to Vancouver without a problem.

    Is Piper Paul's family? There are families who have waited longer than two years - more like five to six - who will get their citizenship, but delayed, due to bureaucratic backlog. Why can't Piper and Paul wait with other "families" even if they miss the chance at Sochi?

    For me it comes down to the fast tracking. Weaver waited three years. If Piper were to follow Tanith Belbin's example, she would wait eight years. Where is the justification to give Piper Gilles citizenship after two years? That's the question before the Immigration office.

    I don't think anyone is saying deny Piper's application. People do question how this case merits special consideration.

    Granting it to her this fast doesn't appear warranted, as the only reason they want it is Sochi, for a berth they have yet to earn. That doesn't seem compelling enough, especially as there are other Canadian citizen teams who would be displaced if she were fast tracked.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
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