2023-24 US Pairs Discussion - Chan you count Howe many teams we have?

Spiralgraph

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hmm the last ineligible team that won Nationals was McLaughlin/Brubaker way back in 2008 or 9. (I'm going on memory I didn't look it up.) Agreed it happens rarely. As a long time Danny O'Shea fan, I wish they could have won in a more convincing way. Oh well but I will support all pair teams that get sent out to competitions. But it'd be better if they all could land the triples with some consistancy.
 

Sarah

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Was it in the warm-up? I thought I saw her land a throw, but I wasn't watching closely enough to see the rotation.
That was the only throw I’ve seen her land.

It would be one thing if she stepped out or 2 footed the landings (sort of like Valentina landed the 3 lutz). Good? No, but it would show she was capable. Instead she’s no where near landing these. She just collapses on the landings? And it looks like that’s normal based on their reaction.
 

sk8nlizard

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These were some very generous calls… I suspect USFS didn’t want an ineligible team winning…
True, but I also thought Alisa’s 3 toe only being called under rotated in the short was generous.
And she fell on the throw in the short. If she had stood up, they would have won.
I do think that USFS wanted a team that was going to World’s to win.
 

skatingguy

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Was it in the warm-up? I thought I saw her land a throw, but I wasn't watching closely enough to see the rotation.

Finlandia I think, at least internationally.
Yes, Finlandia she landed a throw 3S - per skatingscores.com it got 0.00 GOE - that's as clean as it comes to a throw triple.


Kam/O'Shea's free skate starts at about 1:14:00
 

Baby Yoda On Skates

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Full disclosure. I am not on-board with the Kam/O'Shea pairing and I find the large age gaps squicky. Same with the Italian Cats.

That being said, I don't understand why K/O are being pushed. Did USFS facilitate this pairing? They seem to be getting the same push that Cain/LeDuc had initially and people didn't understand that either.

ETA: Thanks @skatingguy for the link. The throw 3S didn't look bad but the loop had the same collapse as her throws in Columbus. I just don't get it.
 
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Theatregirl1122

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In the pairs, LP thread, a lot of people mentioned proposed changes to pairs. Is there a discussion about that somewhere that I’m missing?
 

skatingguy

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In the pairs, LP thread, a lot of people mentioned proposed changes to pairs. Is there a discussion about that somewhere that I’m missing?
Important to keep in mind that these are as reported, and we haven't an official ISU communication for these changes.
 

Spiralgraph

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Todd Sand was 13 years older than Natasha Kuchiki when they won a bronze medal at worlds. (And Natasha was 14 at the time). It's a skating partnership not a marriage. Ellie is an adult, she's skating with one of the best US pairs men around, Danny in some ways is like another coach as well as her skating partner. US Figureskating can and does make recommendations but it can't prohibit some things. Otherwise Sappenfield would be long gone as a coach.
 
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caseyedwards

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Todd Sand was 13 years older than Natasha Kuchiki when they one a bronze medal at worlds. (And Natasha was 14 at the time). It's a skating partnership not a marriage. Ellie is an adult, she's skating with one of the best US pairs men around, Danny in some ways is like another coach as well as her skating partner. US Figureskating can and does make recommendations but it can't prohibit some things. Otherwise Sappenfield would be long gone as a coach.
But this is America in 2024 with people like Christine Brennan! You can talk about people believing the best pairs artistry is relying on romantic chemistry but ultimately in America in 2024 with Brennan types you have to talk about 31 and 19 and power dynamics and all that.
 

SidelineSkater

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I really like Chan/Howe. I have ever since they were more visible on the scene during the 20-21 SKAM and Nats time. I hope they recover quickly and fully. That said. Even if they are 100% and go to worlds. The top 10 is already very tight. Not in any order here - we have Canada 1, Canada 2, Germany 1, Germany 2, Italy 1, Italy 2, Japan, Australia, China, Hungary. My guess for top 6 would be Canada, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, but any of the others could slip in there.

That's not including any of the three pairs the US will send. A fully healthy and clean Chan/Howe could very well be top 6, but I think that's a lot to ask of them right now and I'd be thrilled if they can be top 10.

We still don't know how far along Miura/Kihara are either, but we'll see them at 4CC hopefully. The top 10-12 teams are pretty closely matched in scoring (yes there are tiers with in the groups). Let's hope for the best, and look forward to having quality talent in the US that just needs developing into world class pairs.
 

Spiralgraph

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I didn't state that pair chemistry had to rely on romantic chemistry. (The same for dance teams.) Two of my favorite US pairs of all time were Tai and Randy and Kitty and Peter Carruthers. Tai and Randy had superb chemistry and skated as one for decades and they didn't give off a romantic vibe, just a close vibe. Peter and Kitty are siblings and they skated great together.Teams can develop a close rapport that doesn't have to rely on smokey, smoldering looks to each other.
 

Trillian

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Todd Sand was 13 years older than Natasha Kuchiki when they won a bronze medal at worlds. (And Natasha was 14 at the time).

A lot of us aren’t on board with that age difference, either. Or skaters that young competing at senior worlds at all. Hence the current age rules.

It's a skating partnership not a marriage.
Ellie is an adult, she's skating with one of the best US pairs men around, Danny in some ways is like another coach as well as her skating partner. US Figureskating can and does make recommendations but it can't prohibit some things. Otherwise Sappenfield would be long gone as a coach.

That’s true, and I don’t think anyone is suggesting that there’s anything inappropriate (romantically, sexually, whatever) going on with most of these pairings. But there is a legitimate conversation to be had about the power dynamics in pairs skating teams in general, and age and experience certainly are factors in that discussion, especially when you throw in a pre-existing coaching relationship.

I’m not necessarily saying that means they shouldn’t be skating together, but I do think it’s important to be open to conversations about how those factors impact a partnership. If we want to have a healthy pairs skating culture, we can’t look at “like another coach as well as her skating partner” and pretend there’s any chance they’re equals in that scenario. That doesn’t mean it’s a no-go, especially since they are both adults. It just means the power imbalance (which is on the extreme side in this case) needs to be acknowledged so it can be managed in a healthy way.

And FWIW, as much as I enjoy a lot about this team’s skating (and think they have good on-ice chemistry!), I find the situation with the throws pretty troubling at this point. It looks like she’s not even close to landing them most of the time and also that she’s frustrated about it. This is exactly the kind of scenario where it would probably be a lot less risky for her to develop her skills at slower pace. I can’t watch them without worrying that she’s going to get hurt, which kind of kills the vibe.
 

Jonas

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Can we take a moment to appreciate the depth that is continuing to develop in US pairs?
I agree here and I do hope all of our teams are still together and healthy and vying for 2026!

That said, the Pairs FS on Saturday was a huge let down. With the field being wide open and everyone scored so relatively close, I was hoping for some A-game performances. Lots of C-minuses in my book -- just messy all around.

Efimova & Mitrofanov are my current faves and, IMO, should be the US Champions! Russian style feels in both programs -- just love it. If she can learn to jump like Audrey Lu I think we've got a contending team.

I wonder how much of a factor McBeath's new blade played in their FS. Look forward to seeing this team develop as well.

Kam & O'Shea -- Very honestly, I think they were both kinda embarassed to have won. Oddly enough and/but also IMHO, they are the most unevently matched team of the current US crop.

Liu & Nagy -- I found her mistakes to be the least surprising. Jenni Meno competed singles (and had a solid 3toe and 2Axel back in her day), so I hope she sets her aside to work on these over the next 2 years. Kinda pointless to have this stellar 3twist (which, IMO, can probably be upgraded to a quad twist!) only to have that GOE fully negated by a sbs jumping pass.

Yes, I do think Martins & Bedard can potentially pass Kam & O'Shea and Liu & Nagy by or before Cortina.

Plazas & Fernandez -- I've pretty much dismissed this team given all of the promising new teams we have, but I admire their tenacity and kudos to them for stepping up! Their last lift was stellar -- fittingly, a la Evora & Ladwig circa 2009-2011!! I'm not counting them out for Cortina because I can't help but see parallels between them and Amanda Evora (who's one of their coaches) when she approached Vancouver. Plus, if anyone knows how to sneak a team onto the US Olympic Team, it's Jim Peterson!

Lastly, I wanna give a shout to Diegerness & Sadusky. There was definitely some shade thrown towards them (perhaps meant really for Sappenfeld) during the USA broadcast, but I wonder if going much easier, but relatively cleaner was a smart strategy, wherein they can build in the added difficulty.

Your thoughts...
 

moonvine

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Full disclosure. I am not on-board with the Kam/O'Shea pairing and I find the large age gaps squicky. Same with the Italian Cats.

That being said, I don't understand why K/O are being pushed. Did USFS facilitate this pairing? They seem to be getting the same push that Cain/LeDuc had initially and people didn't understand that either.

ETA: Thanks @skatingguy for the link. The throw 3S didn't look bad but the loop had the same collapse as her throws in Columbus. I just don't get it.
I am on board with it. I love them. I don't care about the age gap. They are both legal adults. I have a 62 year old friend who's married to an 80 year old and no one cares. I swear I think they could get married and cause less of an uproar than just skating together. It's just so odd to me.
Other than that, she's clearly having enormous problems with the throw triples and I've often wondered why they don't go back to doubles. It's my understanding she isn't landing triples in practice either and why put an element in that you know you can't successfully do? I know they will need triples if the are to get far, but I worry about her losing confidence.

I have no idea if USFS facilitated the pairing. I know there is a lot that goes into a pairs team, including physical compatibility, willingness to train in the same place, skill level and who knows what else. I'm just glad Danny has a partner and other than the triple throws they are sublime (my opinion).
 

moonvine

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Lastly, I wanna give a shout to Diegerness & Sadusky. There was definitely some shade thrown towards them (perhaps meant really for Sappenfeld) during the USA broadcast, but I wonder if going much easier, but relatively cleaner was a smart strategy, wherein they can build in the added difficulty.

Your thoughts...
I've already said my piece on Kam/O'Shea, but I love Digerness/Sadusky. She was skating with a sprained ankle, so I'm sure that affected their choice of elements and I'm amazed they were able to skate at all. Pairs girls are so tough. My favorite thing about them though is their ending pair spin in the Long Program. It is glorious and I love it. He's a lovely person too. He was one of the only skaters to actually attend the FOFS breakfast last year.
 

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