Aljona Savchenko has been released to the USA to continue her pairs career

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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Actually, that wouldn’t be a bad idea. It’s a pity it is too late for that now. Krasnopolski is an experienced skater (unlike Nyman) and he is used to changing a partner every year so that means that he must by pretty good at starting from zero and learning to synchronise jumps and other elements with someone new. I think it could have worked pretty well. Or at least, it had a better chance to succeed than finding an inexperienced partner who has never even competed at senior world championships.
I hear there is a fetus with potential in Costa Mesa that Aliona has her eye on.
 

Willin

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I wonder (a) what they told her and (b) what kind of real choices she had.

I know some people think she could get anyone she wanted as a partner. But if I were a male pairs skater in the US, I'm not sure I would want to partner with someone who was in their mid-to-late 30s and wasn't going to get US citizenship for possibly 2 Olympic cycles.

Note: this does not excuse her from partnering with someone with those kinds of allegations against him and the coach. Just more of an explanation for how desperation could cloud her judgment.

What I do not understand was that the US federation asked Germany for her release. Couldn‘t they alert her that Sappenfield was indeed under investigation? If it is true that they advised US teams to leave the camp it makes no sense to invite her in. Or do you think Aljona did not tell them where she intended to train?
My understanding of the situation was that USFS originally had Aljona move to the US for a cushy coaching gig - essentially helping USFS develop their pair's teams and pair's program out of USFS's home rink at the World Arena. After Dalilah left, they needed someone to fill that pair's coaching and leadership hole and Aljona is certainly a big name in the pair's world. For Aljona, this would probably give her a good salary, some job security, and lots of connections that could get her students - which she might have needed if the rumors about her being difficult to work with are true.

Then, somehow, she got in touch with TJ and Dalilah and was offered an opportunity to compete again and took it. Of course USFS would jump at the chance to have her compete for them considering her past success, but it still seems at this time they primarily wanted to make her happy so she would coach for them.
 

Ananas Astra

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My understanding of the situation was that USFS originally had Aljona move to the US for a cushy coaching gig - essentially helping USFS develop their pair's teams and pair's program out of USFS's home rink at the World Arena. After Dalilah left, they needed someone to fill that pair's coaching and leadership hole and Aljona is certainly a big name in the pair's world. For Aljona, this would probably give her a good salary, some job security, and lots of connections that could get her students - which she might have needed if the rumors about her being difficult to work with are true.

Then, somehow, she got in touch with TJ and Dalilah and was offered an opportunity to compete again and took it. Of course USFS would jump at the chance to have her compete for them considering her past success, but it still seems at this time they primarily wanted to make her happy so she would coach for them.

That actually makes a lot of sense.
 

Doggygirl

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It makes the most sense of anything we've heard so far.
The thing that has me scratching my head goes back to the ???? experience the Knierem's had with her. While the details are scant, it seemed that their coaching arrangement didn't end well. So how would TPTB at USFS hold Aliona is such high regard as a coach? I'm with ANL - can't wait for Alexa's "tell all" book someday....
 

flyingsit

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I assumed that Savchenko didn’t understand that Alexa’s illness had been so severe that she still needed to moderate her training somewhat.
 

Karen-W

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Let's not forget that Chris' head and heart clearly weren't in the "game" anymore. It is possible that the split was caused by his unwillingness/ability to train at the level Aljona expected and that Alexa, because she loves Chris, put him first, which was the right thing to do on a personal level. It's hard to say what a driven team like K/F or C-G/L would do in collaboration with Aljona.
 

MacMadame

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I remember a lot of snickering at the Knierims when they abruptly left her. How things change ... But anyway, it's very possible that TPTB blamed them for the split just as much as some fans did.
It's also possible that they had reason to believe that Aljona had learned from the experience.
 

Willin

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The thing that has me scratching my head goes back to the ???? experience the Knierem's had with her. While the details are scant, it seemed that their coaching arrangement didn't end well. So how would TPTB at USFS hold Aliona is such high regard as a coach? I'm with ANL - can't wait for Alexa's "tell all" book someday....
Well, considering how long they kept Dalilah around despite all the gossip... And given other situations... Somehow USFS doesn't vet anyone well.
 

Frau Muller

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Well, considering how long they kept Dalilah around despite all the gossip... And given other situations... Somehow USFS doesn't vet anyone well.
I keep thinking that Delilah must have some serious blackmailing dirt on some bigwig at USFS, to appear at recent competitions as if nothing’s happened... seemingly without a care in the world.
 

Ananas Astra

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I keep thinking that Delilah must have some serious blackmailing dirt on some bigwig at USFS, to appear at recent competitions as if nothing’s happened... seemingly without a care in the world.
I have never understood why she has been so powerful anyway. What is her personal background in the sport? I couldn't find any competition records of her from the past. Moreover, her pairs have mostly been nothing special and all I ever noticed before the Coughlin stuff was that there was constant partner switching in her camp, often connected to personal relationships.

I get why coaches like Eteri, Mishin, Moskvina, Arutunian, Orser or Tarasova have such political power because they have quite a legacy and Sappenfield's "achievements" aren't even worth the dirt under above mentioned people's fingernails. I mean, even a scumbag like Morozov has earned his political power by coaching several skaters to plenty of big medals.
 
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Willin

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@Ananas Astra Her and Tom Z both have underwhelming records compared to less politically powerful coaches simply because of location. They are (were in Dalilah's case) long time coaches at USFS's home rink - so they coach and skate and become friends with the top brass of USFS. They see them several times a week, which gives them time to use their friendships to their advantage. Instead of having a few times a year at nationals or national meeting to suggest things or promote themselves/their skaters, they get chances to do it every week. This is also why some CS skaters seem to get a lot of opportunities over other skaters of a similar caliber.
 

yeslek

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Let's not forget that Chris' head and heart clearly weren't in the "game" anymore. It is possible that the split was caused by his unwillingness/ability to train at the level Aljona expected and that Alexa, because she loves Chris, put him first, which was the right thing to do on a personal level. It's hard to say what a driven team like K/F or C-G/L would do in collaboration with Aljona.
I believe they said it wasn’t a good environment for either of them to thrive mentally and physically. Chris was also very injured. I think it’s also telling how exhausted Bruno was and how uninterested he is in continuing when they could still be at the top.

I think K/F are in the right environment now. Clearly one of Aljionas strengths is her work ethic and I don’t think that is something Brendan and Alexa lack. They seem like very motivated people and are mature enough to know their body on when to push and when to give it a rest. Maybe aljiona would be better with a younger skater but that also brings up another set of issues.
 

Sylvia

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Zakrajsek was also given the Coach of the Year award despite encouraging athletes to compete with serious injuries. That speaks volumes about their priorities.
Zakrajsek won that award once in 2009 - before he got that "rep" AFAIK. Ditto for Sappenfield whose only win was in 2008 (when Keauna McLaughlin/Rockne Brubaker won their first national title).
 

Ananas Astra

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Aljona has given an interview to BILD, Germany's biggest tabloid: https://www.bild.de/sport/winterspo...ist-mein-comeback-geplatzt-77716766.bild.html

She pretty much claims she "didn't know" despite her research. Her comeback plans are on hold now. She'd love to do shows with Bruno and raise her daughter, maybe work as a coach.

I don't believe her she didn't know since it has been out there for quite a while. She probably is just trying to save her reputation.
 
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sus2850

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She also says TJ showed her a paper from Safe Sport clearing him? Can this be true?
It obviously is an interview where she tries to save her face but some things do not add up.
 

MsZem

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Aljona has given an interview to BILD, Germany's biggest tabloid: https://www.bild.de/sport/winterspo...ist-mein-comeback-geplatzt-77716766.bild.html

She pretty much claims she "didn't know" despite her research. Her comeback plans are on hold now. She'd love to do shows with Bruno and raise her daughter, maybe work as a coach.

I don't believe her she didn't know since it has been out there for quite a while. She probably is just trying to save her reputation.
This is probably what she'd have liked to have happened. But yes, it's not very believable - is BILD reliable despite being a tabloid?

Hard not to notice the one person who is not mentioned.
 

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