2023-24 Pairs General Discussion - Join the SBS Double Salchow Club!

Karen-W

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Moss/Galbavy’s account tagged Wiktoria Pacha/Szymon Derechowski (POL) and Zarah Wood/Alex Lapsky (GBR) in their 2nd set of photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/C5YIR7BrDYT/

Photo of Cohen/Vochozka, Pacha/Derechowski, Moss/Galbavy and Wood/Lapsky
 

Karen-W

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Peng/Wang’s new FS was choreographed by Marie-France Dubreuil after Worlds: https://www.instagram.com/p/C5ganRoLgr4/
I wonder if that means that Lori Nichol is no longer under exclusive contract with the CFSA and could choreograph for other teams. If so, that would be great news because her pairs choreo is some of the best we've seen in the last 5-6 years.
 

Sylvia

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Sylvia

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Re-posting here from the U.S. Pairs news thread...

Anna Kellar ("I’ve been thinking a lot about pair teams with a big age gaps and whether it’s an issue. I really appreciate that Ellie and Danny were willing to talk about it so frankly with me!") - Kam/O'Shea article published today (April 22):
 

Sylvia

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ICYMI, here are links to Anna Kellar's other pairs articles this season:

The Future of Pairs, Part One (August 17, 2023):
... throughout the 2022/23 season, I asked athletes and coaches what it will take to grow interest in pairs, among both skaters and audiences.
I found consensus for some ideas: introducing skaters to the discipline early in their careers, more training and support for pair coaches as they are starting out, and the importance of international collaboration. Many also talked about the risks and rewards of the discipline’s spectacular elements, and how to overcome the fear that they can provoke in skaters, coaches, and even the audience.
I also found a lot of optimism about the future of the sport – optimism that has been partially born out by the rebounding number of teams at the 2023 World Championships and catalyzed by active work to repopulate the discipline.
Nonetheless, pairs is the smallest discipline, and there are real obstacles to future expansion. There is also some disagreement on what changes to the rules and culture of the discipline are necessary.

Annika Hocke/Robert Kunkel (Nov. 7):

Ondrej Hotarek on the keys to pairs success (Dec. 5):

Kevin Dawe (Dec. 21):
In the series “The Future of Pairs” I’ve been investigating how to strengthen skating’s smallest discipline. A major theme that emerged is the need to develop and support new pair coaches around the world.
Kevin Dawe coaches the 2023 Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov. Dawe went from no pairs experience to bringing a team to Junior Worlds within two years. I spoke to Dawe at the start of the 2023/24 season.

The Future of Pairs, Part II: Motivation and Building Pair Programs (December 23):

Last sentence: "A forthcoming third section of ‘The Future of Pairs’ will examine the cultural changes that the discipline must make."
 

Karen-W

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Oxana Vouillamoz and Tom Bouvart are a new pair competing for Switzerland. They both used to compete for France with their former partners.
Reposting my comment from the OES news thread about this.
Bouvart only competed a handful of times with Coline Keriven in the 2022-23 season - his last competition with her was Bavarian Open 2023. I didn't realize Vouillamoz was actually Swiss but her ISU bio says she was born in Sion. Her last competition with Flavien Giniaux was GPdF this past November, so the earliest this new team would be able to compete internationally is likely the CS Warsaw Cup.
 

Belsornia

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I’m glad Vouillamoz has found a new parter (and I hope Bouvart has been using his time between partners to work on his strength - he had some scary lifts with Keriven).
 

Sylvia

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Thanks, Claire! :)
I spoke with Bruno Marcotte at Worlds to get some updates on Miura/Kihara, Bombardier/Mimar, and Kam/O'Shea:

From the end:
Q: One of the proposed changes involves transitioning a leveled lift in the free skate to a choreo lift. What do you think about that?
Marcotte: It’s good. It’s fine. Personally, I would like for them to add, and not remove, things, and maybe do something else [in lifts]. Lifts and throws are what makes us different from ice dance and other events. But I think it’s important that we bring in an element of the spectacular, an element of originality. It’s important for people that watch the sport. Because right now, when you watch a competition, pretty much everybody does the same lifts. So hopefully this choreo lift will be very different from the other lifts. I really hope that it’s not restricted by level, that it’s judged by personality. That would be cool.
 
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Karen-W

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And official announcement from Oxana today confirming their partnership and representating Switzerland.


They are training in Bercy. All of a sudden, Switzerland might be a contender to make the Team Event in Milano-Cortina!
 

Karen-W

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And... representing France - Flavien Giniaux & Chloe Panetta (previously skated for Canada with Kieran Thrasher) - training in Caen with Bruno Massot and in Oakville with Bruno Marcotte.

 

Amy L

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I heard that Matte & Pierre broke up partially because a release wasn't in the cards any time soon. If that's true, good luck to Chloe and Flavien. (it came from Reddit so I can't verify the truthfulness of any of that)
 

Karen-W

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I heard that Matte & Pierre broke up partially because a release wasn't in the cards any time soon. If that's true, good luck to Chloe and Flavien.
Well, we know that Skate Canada has tightened up its release rules after the Soucisse/Firus departure and require the skaters to pay back all the money received as Canadian skaters. Theoretically, I'd guess Chloe owes less than Matte given that she's only competed on the junior level internationally - here's her ISU bio with Thrasher - http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00111117.htm. Jr Worlds twice, JGPF and 2 JGPs in 2022-23, 1 JGP in 2021-22 and also the John Nicks IPC in 2021, plus whatever team envelope funding she and Thrasher received.

As far as Matte/Pierre go - their results at French Nationals as guests were not promising - they were comparable to Faula/Belle and that's :yikes:plus I heard that he was hoping to find a partner who could reliably land a 2a.
 

Sylvia

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Well, we know that Skate Canada has tightened up its release rules after the Soucisse/Firus departure and require the skaters to pay back all the money received as Canadian skaters.
Just curious - how do we know this?

FWIW, I recently heard that Skate Canada reportedly has made being released easier since S/F and that skaters don’t have to pay back any funding they’ve received. Hopefully this means Panetta’s release will be straightforward and that she will be able to compete in the upcoming season :)
 

Karen-W

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Just curious - how do we know this?

FWIW, I recently heard that Skate Canada reportedly has made being released easier since S/F and that skaters don’t have to pay back any funding they’ve received. Hopefully this means Panetta’s release will be straightforward and that she will be able to compete in the upcoming season :)
It was discussed somewhere in GSD - was there a thread dedicated to the Soucisse/Firus switch? If not then in the Canadian Ice Dance thread when the appeal ruling in favor of S/F was released last fall.
 

kwanfan1818

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Skate Canada created new rules, but didn't disclose them, which was one of the reasons the arbitrator slammed them. Those new rules were stricter.
 

marbri

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There seems to be a rumor floating around Xwitter that Brooke McIntosh has a new, unidentified, European partner.
A bit offside but I was listening to a recent podcast that had Summer McIntosh on and when the topic of her sister came up Summer said that when they were both younger and still in skating and swimming that Brooke was a better swimmer (called her a natural swimmer that can still do all four strokes) and that Summer was a better skater at the time. But they each ended up picking the sports they did because Summer decided early on she wanted to be in control of her results and not let it be up to a judging panel and Brooke must have loved skating.

In the end Summer clearly picked the right sport, and she is about 10 cm taller than Brooke so would have ended up too tall for skating. But it does make me wonder how well Brooke would be doing as a swimmer. Summer doesn't skate at all anymore but said Brooke still swims well. Unfortunately there were no hints about Brookes skating plans, I tried to listen between the lines, but nothing.
 

Sylvia

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ISU Congress to Decide Big Changes for Pairs ; Rule makers hope to boost creativity with new elements by Anna Kellar (April 30, 2024):

ETA - relevant excerpts from this new GSD discussion thread on the ISU Congress 2024 Agenda that was published today: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/2024-isu-congress-agenda.111760/
USFSA is proposing a technical commentate exclusively for Pairs. ISU Council is against the proposal.

ISU Council is proposing the following age limits for Junior
Pairs: 21 for women, 23 for men. Max 7 years age gap

USFSA wants 16 years old as minimum age for Senior Pairs for next season. ISU Council is against.

Pairs FS: lifts down from 3 to 2. One choreographic lift added. Choreographic pair spin added. Pair spin combination and
choreographic sequence gone. Jump combinations/sequences must have 2 jumps, not 3.
 
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Karen-W

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ISU Congress to Decide Big Changes for Pairs ; Rule makers hope to boost creativity with new elements by Anna Kellar (April 30, 2024):

ETA - relevant excerpts from this new GSD discussion thread on the ISU Congress 2024 Agenda that was published today: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/2024-isu-congress-agenda.111760/
Just to clarify - the USFS proposal for 16 for senior pairs women is not for just next season but would be "From the Season 2024-25 forward" - which would mean it is a permanent change. Frankly, I agree with the ISU Council and see no reason to drop the age minimum for Senior Pairs Women down to 16.

Also, Canada is proposing raising the Junior age limit in Pairs to 23 for both women and men. The ISU Council is opposed.
 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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ISU Congress to Decide Big Changes for Pairs ; Rule makers hope to boost creativity with new elements by Anna Kellar (April 30, 2024):

ETA - relevant excerpts from this new GSD discussion thread on the ISU Congress 2024 Agenda that was published today: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/2024-isu-congress-agenda.111760/

And bring back the spiral sequence, and a combination spin and a side-by-side spin in both programs
 

Karen-W

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So, I looked through the SB list for Pairs, the ISU bios, and the USFS Nats bios to figure out which teams the ISU age increase would positively impact and allow to compete additional junior seasons if the ISU Council proposal passes - I don't think it's realistic to think either the USFS or Skate Canada proposals will pass. I'm not sure who among the Canadian pairs that haven't competed internationally yet would be positively impacted by the age increase (none of their intact teams that competed int'lly are aging out of juniors this year) - perhaps someone can chime in with that info. And, obviously, I've left off the teams that have already split up.

* = skater who ages out without the age increase

de Nardin/Rossi Lopez* ESP – 2 additional seasons
Ehrhard*/Pellegris FRA – 2 additional seasons
Metelkina/Berulava* GEO – 2 additional seasons
Ackermann/Harms* GER - 1 additional season
Steblyanka*/Gneiding* GER - 2 additional seasons
Shimizu/Honda* JPN – 2 additional seasons
Pacha/Derechowski* POL – 2 additional seasons
Pazienza/Knorr* SUI - 2 additional seasons
Delis/Schwab* USA – 1 additional season
Williams/Lewer* USA - 2 additional seasons

Also, IceLab is apparently holding another Pairs Seminar this week and British Ice Skating will be hosting a Pairs Training Camp & Tryout in Dundee May 27-28.

And, lastly, Niccolo Macii has shaved his lovely mop of hair. Not his beard, just the top of his noggin.

 

Karen-W

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I just read the AnythingGOE article about the proposed pairs changes and found some parts intriguing. It doesn't really seem like there is universal support for implementing these changes in the upcoming season, plus a lot of skaters seem to disagree with the choices the Tech Committee are recommending to some extent. Chris Knierim shared it on his Xwitter and made some comments about the lift levels being one direction he would have gone in instead of removing one leveled lift and turning it into a choreo lift.

It does make me wonder if these changes are as set in stone as they appear to be and also whether or not there could be sufficient support behind the scenes for the USFS proposal to create a separate Pairs Tech Committee.
 

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