Canadian Pairs 2018/2019 Season News and Updates

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Habs

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I was at the 2014 Canadian Nationals and my impressions were that although Purich/Tran looked good together there was a feeling of tension and frustration. They just seemed somehow anxious in their practices and not happy or relaxed. As I recall, Lawrence/Sweigers had battled injury that year and the third spot could have gone either way but L/S were clearly better on the day.
I was an unabashed Lawrence & Swiegers uber and still think they were robbed of the Canadian Junior title in 2008. :drama:
 

Erin

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I was an unabashed Lawrence & Swiegers uber and still think they were robbed of the Canadian Junior title in 2008. :drama:
I dropped a very loud f-bomb in the stands when that result happened. Catherine M can attest to how unhappy I was (she was also unhappy but was a little more polite about it).
 

Colonel Green

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I was an unabashed Lawrence & Swiegers uber and still think they were robbed of the Canadian Junior title in 2008. :drama:
Speaking of them, Paige got married recently. KMT was posting a bunch of Insta Stories from the wedding.
 

Sylvia

Not yet ready for club comp. season to be underway
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Speaking of them, Paige got married recently. KMT was posting a bunch of Insta Stories from the wedding.
That was from Paige's "bachelorette weekend": https://www.instagram.com/p/BvxbqjsnFtj/
She posted on her IG in late March that the wedding is in 2 months.

In case anyone missed this post from January 1st:
Web article on Paige Lawerence from CBC's "Player's Own Voice" series": Small-town kids can make it big, too

Also, the podcast of Anastasia Bucsis's interview with Paige: https://podcast-a.akamaihd.net/mp3/podcasts/playersownvoice-3wx8MLwW-20181217.mp3
Video from July 2018:
 

Janef

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Indeed, Natasha and Mervin performed very well together. They are both skilled pairs skaters, and it definitely shows:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXr0_kdUNZc TEB 2013
They completed all their elements, including the jumps. So they were a good team, but they were lacking in pizzazz and chemistry, which is spilling out all over the ice in this P/W performance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89aLQGZCN8A The music choice helps, but I think P/W were physically also better matched than Purich/Tran

Purich was around 18 going on 19 when she performed with Drew. Maybe she lacked a bit of emotional maturity. Did she train with Davin Portz for a time after splitting with Drew? Or where did Portz enter into the picture? It doesn't appear that they ever competed together, at least not in any major competitions. As good as Purich is as a pairs skater, it is rather mind-boggling she was not helped to settle in and focus. I doubt talent such as she possesses would have been allowed to meander around as often, and then stay sidelined for a time, in a pairs-devoted country like China.

What exactly caused these yearly splits for Purich? Temper tantrums? Personality differences? Unreasonable demands? Diva behavior?

Cute Purich/Wolfe "Fast Facts" quickie vid with P. J. Kwong:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzWgEpC2GPM

ETA:
Okay, I see @barbarafan's indication that Purich was injured and had a long rehabilitation time-out. That answers part of why she's been away from the scene for awhile. Has she gotten any smarter though about sticking with a partnership and learning how to get along?
I watch the P/T video. Considering they were new together at that time it was a solid outing. Even a decent twist! Who knows what the heck goes on behind the scenes. Lol. 😬. Interesting mervin has moved around a lot too. Well anyhoo ...will see what the new season will bring. It could be interesting 😎
 

Colonel Green

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Well, between a few new pairs teams forming and one we thought had broken up sticking around, next year's nationals looks to have a few more teams.

I'll be interested to see how Skate Canada plans to hand out berths at SCI. KMT and Michael will obviously be there, and I expect Lubov and Charlie are pretty solidly liked to get the second spot. Not sure about the third. Since Evelyn and Trennt are on the season's best list they have a guaranteed spot elsewhere and may end up with a second Grand Prix anyway, Skate Canada may aim to use the third available space for another team (like Justine and Mark) who wouldn't otherwise get one.
 

Erin

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Since Evelyn and Trennt are on the season's best list they have a guaranteed spot elsewhere and may end up with a second Grand Prix anyway, Skate Canada may aim to use the third available space for another team (like Justine and Mark) who wouldn't otherwise get one.
On paper, this is definitely the best strategy. However, given the drama with Brasseur and Bardei at Challenge Cup and how that opportunity was wasted after Skate Canada used precious resources to send them there, who knows if Skate Canada will be inclined to do them any favours.

Of course, they could still follow this strategy with someone other than Brasseur and Bardei, i.e. a team like Matte and Ferland or Choinard and Ostiguy.
 

aftershocks

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Interesting mervin has moved around a lot too.
TBH, Mervin had no choice. He wanted to stay with Narumi, and he tried to gain Japanese citizenship. It didn't work out through no fault of his own. I'm not sure that Merv wanted to stay with Purich if she was so difficult to work with. But once he then moved on to pair with U.S. skater, Marissa Castelli, Mervin made a complete and full commitment. In fact, Merv and Marissa had both expressed a desire to stay together for the rest of their careers. And they were very good together stylistically, with blazing speed.

M&M simply experienced jump issues that were never worked out. I think it was about timing and different jump technique that was never figured out. And then it all seemed to get into their heads and trip them up mentally. Plus, Marissa once mentioned something about having had expectations of transitioning more smoothly, without realizing how much she had become accustomed to skating with her former partner who was a lot taller than her. In addition, she surprisingly did not have a varied throw jump arsenal. Not to say she couldn't have developed more throw jumps. She was clearly talented enough and in the process of doing so. But somehow, overall M&M were never able to drum up enough luck and breaks, which often makes a difference in pushing careers forward. I enjoyed watching them. A few of their programs are my favorite pairs programs to watch.

Now having paired with Olivia Serafini, it seems as if Mervin wants to continue competing because he enjoys skating. He's obviously willing to take on helping to train a younger partner who's never skated pairs before. And he apparently admires and respects Serafini quite a bit, having called her a saint. :saint:
 

aftershocks

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFdBa_5Ac-E L/S 2014 Cdn Nats fp lots of mistakes; she was wearing a thigh wrap and probably wasn't at her maximum best

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biR0mrK7RAY L/S 2014 Cdn Nats sp
a unique entry into a death spiral, and an intricate lift dismount; their sp I think was better than their fp

Unfortunately, Purich/Tran's performances at 2014 Cdn Nats don't seem to be available on Youtube. Here's a quick interview clip apparently at the start of the following season (2014-2015 before they broke up): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6iN2-P6Kx8

It's not clear how well or how poorly Purich/Tran performed at 2014 Cdn Nats, but Paige/Rudy didn't lay down an unbeatable performance in the free skate. I would imagine that Paige/Rudy were favored over Purich/Tran in any case since Paige/Rudy were veterans who had placed third the prior three seasons but didn't make it to Worlds due to Canada lacking a third pairs spot. This while Mervin Tran had been skating for Japan from 2007 to 2012.

... one we thought had broken up sticking around...
Are Mark and Justine still together then?
 
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Japanfan

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However, given the drama with Brasseur and Bardei at Challenge Cup and how that opportunity was wasted after Skate Canada used precious resources to send them there, who knows if Skate Canada will be inclined to do them any favours.
:watch:

What drama? Do tell!
 

Colonel Green

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It was posted earlier than Camille Ruest had knee surgery. From her social media post she expects to be back on the ice in about a month, so it sounds like it’s not so serious as to derail her from competing — that’s good, since her first post on the injury earlier had made it sound a bit like that.
 

Sk8mom123

Active Member
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On paper, this is definitely the best strategy. However, given the drama with Brasseur and Bardei at Challenge Cup and how that opportunity was wasted after Skate Canada used precious resources to send them there, who knows if Skate Canada will be inclined to do them any favours.

Of course, they could still follow this strategy with someone other than Brasseur and Bardei, i.e. a team like Matte and Ferland or Choinard and Ostiguy.
Really looking forward to seeing who they give assignments to..
 

aftershocks

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From reports they split or otherwise had a rough patch that caused them to withdraw from Challenge, but are back together now.
Okay thanks. I don't see a complete, clear and full reference here to everything that happened. So maybe it was referenced in bits and pieces. I do recall some posters in this thread being skeptical B/B had actually split up, despite the drama at Challenge Cup.
 

Janef

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Indeed, Natasha and Mervin performed very well together. They are both skilled pairs skaters, and it definitely shows:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXr0_kdUNZc TEB 2013
They completed all their elements, including the jumps. So they were a good team, but they were lacking in pizzazz and chemistry, which is spilling out all over the ice in this P/W performance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89aLQGZCN8A The music choice helps, but I think P/W were physically also better matched than Purich/Tran

Purich was around 18 going on 19 when she performed with Drew. Maybe she lacked a bit of emotional maturity. Did she train with Davin Portz for a time after splitting with Drew? Or where did Portz enter into the picture? It doesn't appear that they ever competed together, at least not in any major competitions. As good as Purich is as a pairs skater, it is rather mind-boggling she was not helped to settle in and focus. I doubt talent such as she possesses would have been allowed to meander around as often, and then stay sidelined for a time, in a pairs-devoted country like China.

What exactly caused these yearly splits for Purich? Temper tantrums? Personality differences? Unreasonable demands? Diva behavior?

Cute Purich/Wolfe "Fast Facts" quickie vid with P. J. Kwong:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzWgEpC2GPM

ETA:
Okay, I see @barbarafan's indication that Purich was injured and had a long rehabilitation time-out. That answers part of why she's been away from the scene for awhile. Has she gotten any smarter though about sticking with a partnership and learning how to get along?
There is utube video of portz. They never did any national events together so not really sure. A bit of a black hole in terms of information
 

Janef

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TBH, Mervin had no choice. He wanted to stay with Narumi, and he tried to gain Japanese citizenship. It didn't work out through no fault of his own. I'm not sure that Merv wanted to stay with Purich if she was so difficult to work with. But once he then moved on to pair with U.S. skater, Marissa Castelli, Mervin made a complete and full commitment. In fact, Merv and Marissa had both expressed a desire to stay together for the rest of their careers. And they were very good together stylistically, with blazing speed.

M&M simply experienced jump issues that were never worked out. I think it was about timing and different jump technique that was never figured out. And then it all seemed to get into their heads and trip them up mentally. Plus, Marissa once mentioned something about having had expectations of transitioning more smoothly, without realizing how much she had become accustomed to skating with her former partner who was a lot taller than her. In addition, she surprisingly did not have a varied throw jump arsenal. Not to say she couldn't have developed more throw jumps. She was clearly talented enough and in the process of doing so. But somehow, overall M&M were never able to drum up enough luck and breaks, which often makes a difference in pushing careers forward. I enjoyed watching them. A few of their programs are my favorite pairs programs to watch.

Now having paired with Olivia Serafini, it seems as if Mervin wants to continue competing because he enjoys skating. He's obviously willing to take on helping to train a younger partner who's never skated pairs before. And he apparently admires and respects Serafini quite a bit, having called her a saint. :saint:
He must be trying for a green card ha ha. I suppose in other sports they are called journeyman
 

Mad for Skating

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I wish we had more teams too.

I think pairs could follow the example set by Duhamel and Radford and get really strong and be able to nail jumps, throws, lifts etc.
I agree. Duhamel/Radford were so harshly criticized, but IMO they were just unique and emphasized athleticism. I always found their skating enjoyable, and they got the job done. Their lifts were excellent and their programs accentuated their strengths. Canadian pairs should definitely take a page from their book!
 

Colonel Green

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I think pairs could follow the example set by Duhamel and Radford and get really strong and be able to nail jumps, throws, lifts etc.
I'm pretty sure all pairs teams are trying to do that. That's not a special strategy, it's the fundamental prerequisite to succeed at pairs skating.
 

Janef

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Okay thanks. I don't see a complete, clear and full reference here to everything that happened. So maybe it was referenced in bits and pieces. I do recall some posters in this thread being skeptical B/B had actually split up, despite the drama at Challenge Cup.
Mervin Tran already has his green card.[/QUOTE
Mervin Tran already has his green card.
. Canada lost a good pairs guy. That’s too bad
 

aftershocks

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He must be trying for a green card ha ha. I suppose in other sports they are called journeyman
As @Sylvia said, Mervin already has his Green Card, and he's well into that whole citizenship process. Since he'd invested a lot of time, money, and effort into the process, surely he saw no reason to ditch the process of working toward U.S. citizenship at the 11th hour. In any case, it's possible for Mervin to retain his Canadian citizenship, when he becomes a U.S. citizen. And he likely enjoys skating for the U.S., having done so for awhile now. The other part of this, which I already mentioned is that Mervin and his former partner, Marissa Castelli, had expected to stay together for the remainder of their skating careers.They were committed to making their partnership work, but it just never got a good start out of the gate, and sadly began limping before the first turn, eh. :(

M&M were good together and they had great potential, despite the problems they faced. They went as far as they deemed they were able to go, and then it was over. Mervin wanted to keep skating and so he found another partner. And I hope he sticks it out with Serafini, and that they improve and have fun together. You can call Mervin whatever you wish, but he's a damn good skater and a skilled pairs partner, one of the best! He's also cool, witty, and a decent guy all around.

He won the 2012 Worlds bronze medal with Japan's Narumi Takahashi, because they were a very good team on the rise. They'd worked hard for five years to reach that high point. It wasn't Mervin's fault they ended up splitting. He and Narumi will always have that bronze medal victory and those triumphant moments.
 

Janef

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As @Sylvia said, Mervin already has his Green Card, and he's well into that whole citizenship process. Since he'd invested a lot of time, money, and effort into the process, surely he saw no reason to ditch the process of working toward U.S. citizenship at the 11th hour. In any case, it's possible for Mervin to retain his Canadian citizenship, when he becomes a U.S. citizen. And he likely enjoys skating for the U.S., having done so for awhile now. The other part of this, which I already mentioned is that Mervin and his former partner, Marissa Castelli, had expected to stay together for the remainder of their skating careers.They were committed to making their partnership work, but it just never got a good start out of the gate, and sadly began limping before the first turn, eh. :(

M&M were good together and they had great potential, despite the problems they faced. They went as far as they deemed they were able to go, and then it was over. Mervin wanted to keep skating and so he found another partner. And I hope he sticks it out with Serafini, and that they improve and have fun together. You can call Mervin whatever you wish, but he's a damn good skater and a skilled pairs partner, one of the best! He's also cool, witty, and a decent guy all around.

He won the 2012 Worlds bronze medal with Japan's Narumi Takahashi, because they were a very good team on the rise. They'd worked hard for five years to reach that high point. It wasn't Mervin's fault they ended up splitting. He and Narumi will always have that bronze medal victory and those triumphant moments.
Eek certainly not meant the way it sounded. Some people don’t get the perfect situation (in life,work,skating) he obviously enjoys skating so needs to move around where the work is to be found and what is best for him😬
 

aftershocks

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^^ Yes @Janef, I posted my comments before noticing that you weren't particularly trying to dis Mervin. He deserves our respect. :)

I agree. Duhamel/Radford were so harshly criticized, but IMO they were just unique and emphasized athleticism. I always found their skating enjoyable, and they got the job done. Their lifts were excellent and their programs accentuated their strengths. Canadian pairs should definitely take a page from their book!
D/R found what worked for them, that's the key. They were not really physically well-matched. I didn't like them as a team when I first saw them. They succeeded together because they shared the same heart, spirit, gumption, determination, hard work ethic, and amazing dreams. They weren't perfect, but they made me a believer. I saw their performances at the 2012 Canadian National championships. They skated well in the sp, but had a bit of a problem during the performance in which Eric got his nose bloodied. But that didn't stop them from laying down this beauty of a fp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b0ontqowZc

Watching this performance, and especially how it ended and how they reacted, I definitely became a believer. The hair stood up on the back of my neck throughout and I experienced chills of delight. I still do when I watch, because to me this performance epitomizes what figure skating is all about. Oh and yes, btw, this was the first of their 7 Canadian National pairs championships. But it was not their winning that thrilled me. It was their grit and their self-belief and their desire made manifest in a superbly uplifting performance.

If any pairs team in the world can truly learn anything from their example, Hallelujah! I believe D/R learned from Canadian teams who came before them, like Sale/Pelletier, and Underhill/Martini, and from international teams such as Shen/Zhao and Savchenko/Szolkowy. So hopefully the legacy of grit and self-belief will continue, not just for Canadian pairs, but for U.S. pairs, and for every team with a dream.
 
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